Why Did Deontay Wilder Leave 'The Traitors' Early? The Game Can Get Emotional (EXCLUSIVE)

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Jan. 19 2024, Published 7:32 a.m. ET

Deontay Wilder in The Traitors
Source: Peacock

Season 2 of The Traitors on Peacock has a full roster of contestants but, unlike the inaugural season, there are only celebrities here to try to scheme and claw their way to the cash prize. One of those celebrity players is pro boxer Deontay Wilder, but after he chose to exit the show in the Jan. 18 episode, fans were left trying to figure out what happened.

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Because Deontay doesn't have experience in the reality TV space, some viewers wondered what motivated him to be part of the cutthroat series. But, he shared with Distractify in a press junket ahead of Season 2, he wanted to show people there is another side to the guy in the ring. And, despite choosing to leave the show early, he was able to do that. However, the "why" of it all still looms on viewers' minds.

Deontay Wilder in a mission with scarecrows on The Traitors
Source: Peacock
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What happened to Deontay Wilder on 'The Traitors'?

The Traitors host Alan Cumming explained in the Jan. 18 episode that Deontay left the game early, before a murder or banishment took him out. Deontay hasn't shared on social media or otherwise why he decided to leave The Traitors, but it could have something to do with the game itself. He says in one episode that you really have to be careful about who you accuse of being a traitor, because if you're wrong, you are partly responsible for that innocent person being eliminated from the game.

"I really want people to understand who I am and, you know, emotions are real," Deontay shared with us. "Although it's a game, it's a lot of emotion involved in it, especially with me."

And we see plenty of that emotion in the first few episodes alone. It's possible that the emotional side of things got to be too much for Deontay who, again, isn't used to the politics of reality TV.

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Deontay and Alan sit by a fire in the castle on The Traitors
Source: Peacock

Deontay also stressed that, although he is a fighter professionally, that isn't who he is in all aspects of his life.

"I keep things in the ring," he explained. "In the outside world, I am who I am. I'm a loving and caring person that loves every human being because we all are part of the human race. So I think we all need each other. And that's what I believe in."

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Deontay's fans were surprised to see him on 'The Traitors.'

Ahead of Deontay's self-elimination on The Traitors, many of his fans commented on his various Instagram posts to urge him to get back in the ring, or to settle a match with other specific boxers. Seeing him as one of only two non-reality TV stars on The Traitors seemed to be a surprise for them.

In the end, though, it's doubtful that Deontay's fans played any role in his need to leave The Traitors. Being in that environment is hard for anyone, let alone someone who has a more empathetic nature.

Watch The Traitors on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on Peacock.

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