Four locals featured on reality show “Hunted”
Editor’s Note: While the girls were unable to comment due to documents they signed with CBS, The People-Sentinel spoke to their parents who enjoyed seeing their daughters on national television.
Four locals played a part in a new reality television show that is billed as “the world’s most elaborate game of hide and seek.”
Anna, Flynn and Mary Scott Valentine, who are natives of Williston, along with their friend, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Furtick of Springfield, were on the Feb. 1 episode of “Hunted” on CBS. The show focuses on nine teams of two who are voluntarily on the run and trying to evade capture for 28 days to win a $250,000 prize.
“It was definitely fun to watch,” said Vince Furtick of seeing his daughter on television. He and his wife Beverly have watched the show all season.
Kia and Scott Valentine also found it exciting to watch their three daughters on television. They thought the girls would be shown briefly, but soon realized they were featured for a good portion of the episode. “We had no idea it was going to be that big a deal. The producers make it much more intense than you think it’s going to be,” said Kia Valentine of her daughters’ roles, which included aiding and abetting one team of “fugitives” as well as some snitching.
On the third episode entitled Operation Cupid’s Revenge, the team of Miles Svoboda of Atlanta, Ga. and Will Muzika of Spartanburg were introduced as southern gentlemen and ladies men. Their strategy was to hide in plain sight by relying on fellow millennials, particularly ladies, to take them in.
Their strategy of avoiding social media and contacts worked well as they avoided “the authorities” – a team of former and current law enforcement and intelligence professionals.
Upon their arrival to Edisto Beach on the fifteenth day of being on the run, the duo encountered Lizzy Furtick on the beach.
Vince Furtick said he immediately recognized his daughter after seeing her dog Lander. “She always has that dog with her,” he said.
Miles and Will asked Lizzy if she had a place they could stay for the night. While she did not, she called Anna Valentine, who lives at Edisto Beach, to see if she would let the guys stay with her. Valentine agreed.
As the guys settled in on the patio area under the house, the girls went inside the house. That’s when Furtick stumbled across a wanted poster for Muzika that the authorities had posted on social media. It stated he was voluntarily on the run as part of a new television show and that there was a “possible reward” for information leading to his capture.
Anna suggested they turn the guys in. “We don’t know them,” said Anna.
Flynn Valentine and Furtick were against the idea.
“Why would you do that? We’re supposed to be the good people. They trust us,” said Flynn.
“What’s more important, money or your soul?” said Furtick.
Vince Furtick said he “felt like (his daughter) chose the high road and tried to help. She has a great heart.”
Anna changed her mind and agreed to help the guys.
However, Anna and Flynn’s other sister, Mary Scott Valentine, later called the number on the wanted poster to turn the guys in. While she was not at the beach, her sisters had called her to tell her what was going on. Kia Valentine said Mary Scott does not like being left out of things her sisters are involved with.
Mary Scott then called Flynn to tell her what she did.
“That’s why I hate Mary Scott,” said Anna upon learning what her sister did.
While viewers could take this to mean there is angst amongst the sisters, Kia Valentine said this is a phrase jokingly used between the sisters. “Our family and girls love each other very much.”
Even with unscripted reality television shows, Valentine said it’s important to realize everything might not be portrayed or conveyed the way someone means it, such as with Anna’s statement.
“While I'm quick to point out how the producers of this type of programming can pick and choose what they want to be of focus, and what they choose may be unsettling for some and provoke scrutiny for those involved or watching, I wouldn't be a true arts advocate if I didn't just as quickly express my appreciation for their work. They too are artists. Whether it be media arts, TV, big screen, or the stage – dancers, directors, actors, visual artists, or writers – our goal is to stir the mind and soul and hope for a reaction. If there was no reaction (whether positive or negative), then, we haven't truly done our job. Hunted CBS is doing their job,” she said.
With the authorities on their way, Anna Valentine and Furtick drove Will and Miles to Beaufort. Little did they know, the hunters were tracking Anna’s phone. Though they weren’t sure of the team’s exact location, the authorities knew the marina is a popular party spot and might be a possible retreat for the team.
Later that day a drone helped locate the team on a boat. A boat chase soon ensued and the team was captured.
Kia Valentine said it’s “amazing how they can track people. You can be found out anywhere.” As a teacher, she believes this could be a good learning tool for students.
Mary Scott Valentine’s name has gone viral as a result of her brief yet impactful appearance on the show.
Some viewers have bashed her on social media, including sending her hateful Facebook messages and leaving negative reviews on her photography business page. However, Kia Valentine said her daughter has handled the attention well.
“Our younger generation watches so much television and is pulled into it so easily,” said Kia Valentine. “People need to realize it is just a television show.”
Other comments have been supportive or light-hearted. Her name is now a verb because one Twitter user tweeted, “Warning to my friends who might want to apply for Hunted season 2: I will totally Mary Scott Valentine you.”
Valentine said her daughters did not know Miles and Will were captured until they watched the episode last week. They also did not know they were trying to win $250,000.
“We were all disappointed the guys got caught,” said Vince Furtick, although he doesn’t blame Mary Scott for doing what she did. “You never know what you’re going to do in the spur of the moment.”
Though they knew it was a reality show with fake fugitives, Kia Valentine said she believes Mary Scott did the right thing because “in reality, the right thing would be to turn them in.”
Vince Furtick said he’s also proud of his daughter for doing what she thought was right.
“They were super nice guys,” he said of Will and Miles.
“Hunted” airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS. If you missed episode three, you can stream it online at www.cbs.com.