When host Alan Cumming announced Deontay Wilder’s unexpected departure from Season 2 of The Traitors during episode 4, fans were left with questions about the early exit of the renowned boxer.
In a recent interview, Wilder, 38, shared insights into his decision, revealing that the game proved to be more challenging than he initially anticipated. Despite the perception that identifying traitors among a majority of faithful players would be straightforward, the experience stirred unexpected childhood trauma for the heavyweight champion.
Wilder, not known for reality TV stardom, found himself facing emotions from his past that he hadn’t anticipated. The show’s environment, where accusations and betrayals were commonplace, triggered memories that struck a chord with him.
In episode 3, viewers witnessed Wilder’s emotional turmoil after falsely accusing Maksim Chmerkovskiy of being a traitor. The revelation of Maksim as a faithful member deeply affected Wilder, leading to visible distress.
Reflecting on this incident, Wilder expressed regret over bearing false witness against Maksim, with whom he had built a strong friendship on the show. He emphasized the need for a watchful eye in a game where emotions, actions, and accusations could shape the outcome.
The boxer’s emotional journey on The Traitors can be traced back to his challenging childhood, marked by financial struggles and personal hardships. His mother left the family when he was just 9 years old, and challenges persisted, including teasing by classmates and the birth of his daughter with spina bifida when he was 19, leading to a battle with depression.
Despite his tough exterior as a professional fighter, Wilder revealed his emotional side, acknowledging that the game stirred up intense feelings. In his words, “Although my profession is the hurt business, as I call it. But as a man, as Deontay Wilder, as a person, I’m a loving, caring guy that I love everybody and I want to see everybody succeed in life.”
Wilder’s departure was a significant moment in the season, with host Alan Cumming mentioning his exit in a voiceover during the beginning of episode 4. The boxer chose to leave the game, citing overwhelming emotions and the toll it took on him.
While Wilder’s departure marked an unexpected turn, it adds a layer of authenticity to his portrayal on The Traitors, showcasing a side of him rarely seen in the professional boxing arena. As the season continues, fans will undoubtedly miss his presence, but Wilder’s decision to prioritize his well-being reveals the complexities of participating in a high-stakes reality competition.