Following a win on Final Reckoning, most fans would expect Hunter to be the favorite to win this season. Hunter made it to the end of both Invasion and Dirty 30, only to lose in purges right before the final. He followed up with a big win with Ashley on Final Reckoning, except Ashley was the total winner of the Final and chose to steal Hunter’s share of the million dollars. It was both sad and hilarious watching him break down after Ashley took the money.
Your heart breaks a little when you see a person win and lose 500k dollars in a matter of seconds. 500k is LIFE CHANGING money. Even after taxes, that’s the type of money you could use to pay off all your student, or pay off a mortgage, or help your family, or be able to live comfortably for a while. Then you realize Hunter did slut-shame Ashley and claimed he would be coming for her family if she slighted him.
Hunter has won three daily challenges and an elimination (against Ashley) to make it to the final six. He aligned with Wes day one, and they are nearing making the Final together. On paper, Hunter is a beast competitor who is close to pulling out his second win.
Although, if you are watching the show, Hunter is the farthest from winning out of any of the remaining male competitors. While Hunter has killed most of the quick physical competitions, he has struggled mightily with puzzles and his cardio has deteriorated massively post Dirty 30. It seems as though Hunter has focused so much on regaining the mass he lost after breaking his hand that his once solid cardio was withered away.
Hunter is a great player who has massive weaknesses. As much as Hunter hated Ashley on Final Reckoning, she was his perfect partner. Ashley killed puzzles, often figured out quick and intuitive strategies to finish challenges efficiently, and was an underrated runner. She never had the speed to win a sprint, but Ashley had the endurance to keep up with the best competitors. To top it all off, Ashley is a great political player who knows how to keep them out of elimination. Seriously, the only elimination Ashley saw during her two wins was when she came in as a Mercenary to earn a spot on Final Reckoning. Had there been no twist at the end, I wonder if Hunter would have fallen in love with Ashley for her fantastic performance in the final. He complained all season, and when it mattered most, she delivered. That’s all you can ever ask from a partner; unfortunately for Hunter, she did it with 500k of his own money on the line.
Hunter has been a jerk this season; he has treated Georgia poorly while playing a bad social game. He deserves to lose from a karma standpoint. However, it’s a bit wild to consider the person who had the best stretch of physical performance from Season 29–32 is now the worst guy left in the game and has virtually a very little chance of winning.
At the same time, Hunter is a marvel of hard work and determination as he has succeeded in the last few years in spite of himself and his flaws. One of the reasons I was a fan of Team Young Bucks when they started was Nelson and Hunter were two guys who would run through a cement wall to win. They weren’t the smartest or the most skilled, yet they worked their asses off in the gym and always killed their eliminations. My only hope is he takes this season as a wake-up call. He needs to put down some weight and run his ass off every day if he wants to win again. If not, he’ll need Ashley or someone like her to win another season.