• "Gold Rush" is a reality television series airing on Discovery Channel that follows the exploits of several family-owned businesses in their search for gold and other minerals.
• The show has now been airing for 13 seasons, launching 8 spin-off series and numerous after-shows and specials.
• Fred Lewis is one of the show's stars, originally a fan of the show before joining it in 2019.
• Fred and his crew have had a difficult time this season, with multiple injuries, vehicle breakdowns, and poor performance.
• Fans have expressed their disappointment in Fred's performance, with speculation that he may leave the show in the near future.
“Gold Rush” is a reality television series airing on Discovery Channel that follows the exploits of several family-owned businesses as they go about their search for gold and other minerals. Generally, the show concentrates on placer mining, which is a method of searching for gold in stream beds by applying open pit excavations or numerous other methods.
While the first season of “Gold Rush” took place in the Klondike region of Dawson City, Yukon, Canada, later filming of the show moved to places that include South America, Africa, and other parts of North America including Alaska.
With the show now currently airing its 13th season, which premiered in September 2022, it’s clear that the exploits, drama, and excitement in the daily lives of placer miners seem to provide riveting entertainment for the show’s expansive audience.
In fact, “Gold Rush” even launched no less than eight spin-off series and featured numerous after-shows and specials that allowed viewers further insights into the placer mining industry, as well as the exploits of their favourite mining crews.
Of course, as many of the viewers have seen in the show, and one could naturally guess, mining for gold can be an extremely profitable business. The leading company, and also the current season’s strongest competitor, Parker Schnabel, boasts millions of dollars in profits earned over the period of several seasons, including the latest thirteenth season.
However, as much as one can make money in the placer mining industry, there are still many dangers involved, and quite often the mining exploits don’t turn out to be as profitable a gamble as the mining crews would hope.
As such, viewers would have seen miners come and go on the show, some hitting the jackpot, while others wash out in miserable failures, and the latest season of “Gold Rush” is no different. Quite possibly, “Gold Rush” viewers might see one of their favourite stars leave the show – it seems that Fred Lewis’ luck in excavations could be running out this season, and his fans might soon be bidding him and his crew farewell.
Who Is Fred Lewis?
Although easily mistaken for one of the stars of “Vikings”, due to his majestic facial hair, Fred went from being one of “Gold Rush’s” avid fanatics to becoming one of the show’s prominent stars. Fred first appeared in “Gold Rush” in 2019 in the ninth season, forming part of Parker Schnabel’s crew, and since worked his way up to eventually leading his own crew.
Born in 1977 in Dresden Mills, Maine, USA, Fred spent his early life living in a small logging community with his brother Mike, where they lived on the family farm helping their dad raise livestock, as well as a garden. Following his matriculation from Wiscasset High School, just outside of Dresden Mills, Fred enlisted into the US Army, Fred served eventually as a Green Beret, completing his training as a Medical Sergeant for the US Special Forces, and Lewis completing several tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea and Africa, where he learned to easily diffuse stressful situations. While part of the US Military, Fred specialised in learning four different languages, which include Norwegian, Korean and German, making him quite a colourful character.
It was during the time that he trained in linguistics, that Fred met his wife, Khara, who also served in the military. On 27 May 2006, Fred and Khara tied the knot, and have been married since, sharing four children from their union, specifically two boys and two girls. While his personal life remains private, Fred doesn’t shy away from sharing pictures of his family on his Instagram, but the details of his family life stay under wraps.
Unfortunately, according to certain reports, while touring in Iraq, Fred became the target of a sniper who shot him in the helmet. Luckily, the incident didn’t cost him his life, but according to reports, he sustained a bad head injury which caused him to suffer seizures and short-term memory loss.
Because of this, Fred left the military on a medical discharge, and spent some time at home to recover. To his good fortune, he quickly regained his health and was able to move on with his life.
After leaving the army, under encouragement from his brother Mike, Fred went on to study Agriculture at Eastern Kentucky University, specialising in livestock production.
For some time, Fred worked with his brother managing farms in North Carolina and Kentucky, but eventually grew restless, as many veterans often struggle to find their pace in life again following a military tour.
Moving on with his life yet again, Fred studied web design, and even earned a master’s degree in Educational Sciences, eventually becoming a high school biology teacher, and also working as a middle school history teacher. During this time, Fred also became a wrestling coach and volleyball coach, bouncing around in life, unable to find a sustainable balance.
Unfortunately, Fred lost his teaching position during the 2019 pandemic, and as such had to find new employment. It was then that he took the opportunity in a new, adventurous industry – mining for gold.
In 2019, Fred enlisted as one of Parker’s crew members, specifically because of his medical expertise, but he quickly proved to his new employers that he can handle any tough, stressful situation they throw at him. Before coming onto the show, Fred admitted that he used to watch every episode, and enthusiastically followed every season with close interest.
Now, Fred had the opportunity to experience all the action first hand, and he certainly has not regretted his decision to join the industry and show…. at least, not until the recent misfortunes his crew experienced.
Eventually, Fred caught the attention of “Gold Rush’s” producers, who invited him onto the show to lead his own crew in the thirteenth season of the show. While Fred might have grown particularly famous on “Gold Rush” for his facial hair, the one thing that certainly sets him apart from the rest of the show’s stars is his fit, toned physique, which one could expect from a special forces soldier.
However, while he might keep in shape, not many of his fans would actually know that Fred once competed in “American Ninja Warrior”. Although he may not have got too far in the obstacle competition show, it’s nonetheless quite a prestigious achievement to even compete.
What Happened To Lewis?
Unfortunately, no amount of military training and physical exercise can really prepare anyone for placer mining, as is evident in Lewis’ case. In the latest season of “Gold Rush”, Fred was given the opportunity to lead his own crew, and although he seemed to have a knack for this kind of job, things haven’t been going according to plan for Lewis.
During one of the latest episodes that aired in December 2022, Fred voiced his opinion on what could happen, as he talked about everything that is going wrong. According to the veteran, if he and his crew don’t meet their goals, or even pick up the pace at some point, then they might be forced to quit the season. This would mean that they would not only drop out of the show, but also stop their mining exploits. Fred’s opinion on events caused rumours to spread rampantly, suggesting that Lewis might leave the show at any time.
However, it seems that Lewis isn’t the only one concerned about their lack of success this past season, as one of Fred’s crew members also spoke out, saying that he leaves his family for long periods of time to help Fred achieve his goals.
Unfortunately, according to the same crew member, if the bad luck and poor performance streak continues, it wouldn’t be worth it to come out for another season. Some of the problems that plague Fred and his crew include injuries, as well as machine and vehicle breakdowns, ultimately hampering their efforts, progress, and success.
Yes, Fred does read the comments.
— Gold Rush (@Gold_Rush) February 4, 2022
Sadly, it’s not only Fred and his crew who seemed concerned about how things are going for them, but fans of the show also expressed their opinion on how poorly Lewis’ crew is doing. While Fred may have begun his stint in “Gold Rush” earning the respect of both Parker and the viewers, he is now struggling to maintain that good standing.
Taking to Reddit and other discussion threads about the show, fans continue to express their disgust about Fred’s operation, with some even questioning its legitimacy.
Some consider that Fred has been the worst rookie in the history of the show, while others question how Lewis and his crew mess up the simplest tasks, often taking way too long to complete, and seem to be quick to remark on Fred’s mistakes. In fact, for some fans, it became so bad that they would skip past Fred’s segments in the show, and some even admitted that they use his segments as an excuse to visit the restroom.
In addition to Fred’s failures, some fans even expressed their disgust about how frequently Lewis would discuss his ‘time in the military’ instead of focusing on the mining operation. Some of the comments on these discussion threads are the responses of other veterans, who complain about the apparent nonsense Fred keeps talking about.
Unfortunately, it’s become so bad that Fred accused the people of bullying him on these various discussion threads, but it seems clear that Lewis might soon be leaving the show.
As proof of how badly things are going, Lewis’ team is in last place at the usual weigh-in, and one of the teams ahead of them, although marginally, has not even been mining for the most part of the season. Quite honestly, if things get any worse, Fred might definitely be leaving both the show and the placer mining industry.
Although Fred might be falling out of favour with the viewers, there seems to be a handful who still support him, saying that he’s out there trying to find a new way of making a living, and that at least he’s trying.
Nonetheless, with all the misfortune and mistakes plaguing Fred and his crew, they might not have much of a future in placer mining, as it seems that they’ve hardly even been able to make enough money to pay salaries, never mind breaking even.
For now, only time will tell if Fred succeeds, and to find out if he stays on with the show, fans can catch up on the series on Discovery Channel or any affiliate programs. However, the future doesn’t seem too bright for Fred and his crew.