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Gold Rush exclusive: Rick Ness hits a huge low

After six years working alongside Gold Rush’s most successful miner, Parker Schnabel, Rick Ness is going out on his own and it’s a painful learning curve.

In our exclusive clip from this week’s episode, Rick is seen walking and talking to Karla who is asking him some tough questions.

Ness is frustrated and he hashes over his troubles with Karla, who is concerned for her friend.

“Starting the season without a wash plant lined up?” he said. “Not a smart move but I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t have the time I needed to plan for this, you know? I spent all winter spending as much time as I could with my mom, you know… I don’t regret that.”

Rick's mom Judy was one of his biggest cheerleaders and urged him to go out on his own. Pic credit: Discovery
Rick’s mom Judy was one of his biggest cheerleaders and urged him to go out on his own. Pic credit: Discovery

Rick’s mom Judy battled brain cancer, and she passed just weeks before the season began production.

In the clip, Ness and Karla are having a heart-to-heart conversation about the sorry state of his fledgling mining efforts.

Karla asks Rick why he has no washplant. Pic credit: Discovery
Karla asks Rick why he has no washplant. Pic credit: Discovery

As they walk, Karla asks, “Where are we in the process, do we have pay [dirt] piled up?”

“No like we’re a good ten…probably 10 days of stripping, yeah,” Rick sheepishly replies.

“Yikes, do you have a wash plant? Not even have one lined up?” Karla is in disbelief. “Rick! Rick! Um.”

Knowing she is right, Rick replies, “Yeah I really don’t know what I’m gonna do right now, but it’s not good.”

Karla puts a fine point on the dire situation, “Rick I know you had a super tough winter but you gotta get it together here!”

Fans will have to see tonight exactly how Rick mans up and pulls out of this bad situation.

The current Season 9 of Discovery’s No. 1-rated show has Ness beginning as his own mine boss with a claim of his own and everything financially on the line. It’s serious.

While Todd Hoffman parted ways with the series, Ness spent the offseason caring for his mother who passed away months prior to him departing for the Klondike.

Ness recruited his Wisconsin pals, most inexperienced, to join him on what he thought could be an amazing opportunity.

As he told Monsters and Critics in an exclusive interview, he took on the risk using his life savings.

Reviewing his bills and financials, Ness's photo says it all. Pic credit: Discovery
Reviewing his bills and financials, Ness’s face says it all. Pic credit: Discovery

The year was full of lows and highs for Ness. Heading to Guyana with Parker was a high and exciting, as he told Monsters and Critics in a separate interview.

Then when he returned, his personal life came crashing down. His mother Judy was not getting better, and he resolved to care for her until the end.

Also of note, Ness’s father was not keen on him taking on the financial risk he has done this season and urged him not to do it.

The friends who join Ness will deliver a mixed bag of results. Ness shared with us that he did not want to give this opportunity to strangers. But how he manages them and his workload will be the real shakeout this season. Ness has a bonafide business, and he needs a crew he can count on.

One of best scenes coming this season will be when Ness shows these greenhorn crew members the gold that appears in the sluices.

That will be the “a-ha” moment for them that makes them understand what is at stake and the riches that can be had. It will be fun to watch as Ness climbs out of this hole and trains them on how to mine.

Meanwhile, Parker and Tony Beets are in a bit of a war to beat each other in pulling out the gold and negotiating royalties.

Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9/8c on Discovery

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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