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Checking in on the hapless miners of 'Bering Sea Gold'

  • Author: Emily Fehrenbacher
    | Reality Check
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published March 9, 2017

Zeke and Emily head to Sledge Island on a recent episode of “Bering Sea Gold.” (Screen capture via

With the crazy antics of the "Alaskan Bush People" sucking up all the energy of this column, I forgot that "Bering Sea Gold" was airing new episodes.

"Bering Sea Gold" is like the Discovery Channel bred "Deadliest Catch" with "Gold Rush." But then they crossed "Deadliest Catch" with "The Osbournes" to create "Alaskan Bush People." And that baby was more entertaining, so they started neglecting "Bering Sea Gold." Then "Bering Sea Gold" tried to be as entertaining, but nothing worked. So with that ringing endorsement, let's check in.

First, the Bottom'z Up (Zeke and Emily's appropriately named vessel) has found no gold. But they've burned a lot of fuel on trips to and from Sledge Island. They are so bad at this that even Mike Rowe, the narrator, is giving them sass. "As more time and money goes down the Bering Sea drain, patience is wearing thin," Rowe says. "Halfway into the summer, Zeke and Emily have yet to earn a single penny."

It looks like the dream team will be breaking up in the near future. Hope they signed a prenup to cover all that debt.

Next, there are some new cast members. George Young is the newest dredge owner. He's got a tragic backstory that involves losing several family members, including a brother who drowned. He also was in a truck accident that left him with a disability and using a wheelchair.

According to his bio on Discovery Channel, "George will have to focus his energy, borrowed resources and team of seasoned divers on the one thing he needs to reset his life's trajectory: gold. He's sure he can do it — just like every miner who's traveled to Nome and failed." Jeez. Between Discovery Channel's website and Mike Rowe, this show is getting feisty. He has only made about $1,500 thus far, so he's a long way from paying his eldest brother, Dave, back.

Meanwhile, the only legit gold mining operation of them all, the Christine Rose, is pulling in all the gold. The Pomrenkes are like the varsity team, and everyone else is the freshman B team substitutes when it comes to the amount of gold they rake in.

I have to admit, the real reason I haven't been paying attention to "Bering Sea Gold" is not because it's boring, but because the non-Alaska reality TV world is currently incredible. First, "The Bachelor" season finale is airing next Monday. In case you have been living under a rock since the early 2000s (or just a productive member of society who is too busy to devote two hours of every Monday to a dumb dating show), in the final episode the Bachelor will choose his wife after dating 30 women over the course of six to eight weeks. This season we'll see if an unlovable two-time "Bachelorette" contestant, Nick Viall, can find a temporary fiancee before he ultimately leaves her while filming "Dancing with the Stars."

More importantly, "The Bachelorette" will begin filming this month. And for the first time in the history of the franchise, the Bachelorette is a woman of color. Only took 33 seasons …

Next, "Vanderpump Rules," a Bravo show about a group of servers working at an upscale West Hollywood restaurant owned by a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills, continues to be one of the greatest shows on television. And MTV's "The Challenge" isn't that great this season, but it's far better than "The Challenge" not being on TV.

Emily Fehrenbacher lives in Anchorage, where she reviews Alaska reality TV. You can reach her at or on Twitter @ETFBacher.

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