Get ready pay-dirt fans as Gold Rush Season 5 kicks off in full throttle with new miners, new machinery and some seriously intense new story lines. Gold Rush Season 5 premieres Friday, Oct. 16 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery. Last season’s winner Parker Schnabel is upping his ante and he’s looking to double his take from last season, with an unprecedented goal of 2,000 ounces. That’s more than $2.5 million! Not sure if that’s even realistic, but you go boy! The now-humbled Todd Hoffman is desperate to get back in the game after a ridiculously low yield of gold last season (let’s try and forget Guyana), but in true Hoffman form — he’s not giving up. Hoffman is determined to rebuild with no team and no claim. What he does have is determination, drive and his faithful Pop to stand by his side. The Norwegian F-bomber — Tony Beets (pictured)—proves to more than a badass this season and his new piece of machinery will leave you jaw-dropped. Have you seen that dredge?!!!
But first let’s start with the Gold Rush preshow — The Dirt — which kicks off on Friday, Oct. 16 at 8pm ET/PT. Executive producer of Gold Rush and host of The Dirt, Christo Doyle, gives us the scoop on his rather awkward conversation with Todd Hoffman, which is part of the preview.
“I would describe what happened in the jungle — and we talk about it on the first episode of The Dirt, and it was a rather uncomfortable conversation — as an epic failure,” Christo says (pictured left). Hoffman yielded only about $4,000 worth of gold in Season 4 and “enough diamonds to bedazzle your shirt.”
“He’s candid and honest about it. He left a humbled man. And a broken man. But he has no regrets,” Doyle says. “What’s interesting about Todd and what people love about Todd — he doesn’t just sit around and go the easy route. He goes for it. I think that’s inspirational for viewers. He’s hoping and banking on the silent majority to support him. This season you’ll see in the first episode, he has to make a very critical decision as to whether or not he can rise from the ashes and mine again. He is at absolute rock bottom. He lost his crew. He’s got no mining plans and he’s got no plan.”
Here’s more on our conversation with Christo and why we’re more than excited for the new season of Gold Rush.
The premiere episode of Season 5 has lots of changing; it looks like you are setting it up to be one awesome season.
Christo Doyle: We are. We got very lucky. I have absolutely no control of these gold miners. We are in a “follow” scenario — we are fly on the wall. They made a lot of changes this year and allowed us to get an incredible story, get some new miners, some new claims, get some new equipment, get some new ways of getting gold out of the group and luckily that ended up in us getting the most gold we’ve ever gotten on Gold Rush.
Heading into the fifth season, how do you continue to maintain Gold Rush as one of Discovery’s top-rated shows?
In any show I’ve worked on at Discovery, and I’ve worked on a lot of different series — I’ve worked on American Chopper, I’ve worked on a lot of car shows — I constantly try to keep things fresh from season to season. I’m very aware of how competitive the marketplace is. TV is very different these days. We have very short attention spans amongst our fans, our viewers, and it’s incredibly important that the show seems fresh from season to season. So I take whatever I’m given and do my best to flip things, manipulate things so that we have shockers, twist turns and big differences — so we really excite viewers right out of the gate. And this season, we have tremendous change. We have a guy who has moved on from a crew, finally. I think fans have been clamoring for it for a long time. We have Todd Hoffman rebuilding from rock bottom. We have young and some would say cocky Parker Schnabel setting an ambitious goal. We have a new miner Tony Beets, that you can’t really understand most of the time but he is absolutely an incredible character.
Speaking of understanding Tony Beets, I really appreciate the subtitles. Thank you.
Yeah, and I had to ask him face to face if I’m offending him by subtitling him. He said, he’s not offended. [Here’s a fun fact you’ll learn in the premiere: 25 years ago Tony moved from Holland to Canada, where his first job was milking cows in British Columbia, where he made just $4 an hour]
Yeah, he’s one scary dude.
He is the most manly man I’ve ever met in my life. And I did say I have a man crush on him, but I’m more terrified by him than I have a man crush. His handshake is absolutely unbelievable. It’s bone crushing. He feels like he can just rip your arm off at any point. And he’s just an absolute no BS guy. He’s all about getting the work done and going after it.
That piece of machinery that Tony found is incredible. Where did he find that dredge? Tell us about this thing.
As you know Tony’s always been known as the Viking. He’s a fan favorite. I’ve always wanted him to be in the show more. He came to me and said that he was going to buy a million dollar, 75-year-old dredge that hadn’t moved in 30 years. They use to use these things back in the ’50s and ’60s. They would basically flood areas/claims and chew up the ground with these dredges and move and make millions and millions of dollars. It was a self-contained gold catching machine. When Tony told me he was buying this dredge — sight-unseen — we went and looked at it. (Well, I didn’t look at it personally; the production company went to look at it in the middle of winter via helicopter and dropped Tony off.) It was an absolute no-brainer that we were going to include him in the show. I felt like we needed to see new machines in Gold Rush. We’re in Season 5, we’ve seen the same kind of mining over and over. Todd was in the jungle last year; he got two pathetic ounces of gold. We really needed something to spice up the show. People have been clamoring for Tony to be more involved and this dredge is just the icing on the cake.
Let’s talk about Todd Hoffman. He had such a sucky season last year. After that debacle do you think he deserves another shot?
Personally, I told Todd I thought going South to the jungle was a mistake. My vote only matters so much. I have no control over what he does. I told him I thought leaving North America would be a risky move, both from a gold mining perspective but also with our North American Gold Rush fans. It’s tough to relate to South America. It looks like a jungle, not necessarily an area they want to see Todd mine. We had some difficult conversations but he decided to go anyway. … This season you’ll see in the first episode, he has to make a very critical decision as to whether or not he can rise from the ashes and mine again. He is at absolute rock bottom. He lost his crew. He’s got no mining plans and he’s got no plan.
It looks like he’s got his dad, but now Dave’s competing against him?
He’s got his dad and Dave Turin had no choice, and Todd doesn’t fault him. What you’ll see is that Dave Turin does what he’s always wanted to do, which is get out from under Todd and have more control on a mine that he can find more success and have more say so in it.
Let’s talk about Parker. This season he’s amping up his goal and shooting for 2,000 ounces. What do you think about that? Do you think it’s realistic?
Show wise I think it’s incredible. No one’s ever set a goal [like that] – he’s doubled the goal from last year, so from a story perspective it’s absolutely incredible. I am worried that he set himself up for failure, and so is he. So, it does make me nervous. I think the fans are going to feel for him. There’s a lot of pressure on him from the get go. He’s stressed out. He may or may not take some of that stress out on his crew. I think you’ll see a different Parker early on in the season.
Have you seen him mature from last season to this season? [Parker turns 20 this season]
I get that question a lot. And he’s maturing. When he’s mature — he’s incredibly mature. When he’s immature — he’s very, very immature. He’s transitioning into a man. He has times where he can act like a punk, which I’ve called him on on The Dirt but there are other times where he is incredibly business savvy. I often joke with him that I’d want him to be my lawyer.
Gold Rush airs on Discovery Fridays at 9pm ET/PT.