‘Gold Rush’: Meet Kayla Johanson, Newcomer Making Noise on ‘White Water’

by Amy Myers
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There’s a new Gold Rush star at the riverbed, and she’s a force to be reckoned with. Meet Kayla Johanson a gold diver who agreed to join Dustin Hurt’s team. Prior to becoming a star on the show, Johanson was a one-woman operation that dredged her own metals since she was a teen. When she’s not underwater searching for gold nuggets, she also operates her own online jewelry shop that uses gold she finds in the river.

Initially, with all of her varied success in both mining and jewelry-making, Johanson didn’t have much need to join Gold Rush. However, Hurt needed extra hands on his team, and when he asked for her help, she didn’t want to let him down. So, the soloist agreed to join the show to help Hurt with his new operation that required two teams, two dredges and, most importantly, two divers.

But while Johanson clearly had the experience needed to be a part of the mission, she worried that she wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the crew. In the episode of Gold Rush that introduced the new star, she even admitted to being “a little nervous” about meeting everyone else. Because she had been working alone for so long, Johanson thought that perhaps she wouldn’t adapt well to the group dynamic.

Soon, though, Johanson’s first-day jitters gave way to a sense of determination. In a sneak preview clip that Gold Rush posted, fans saw the newcomer take action when Hurt’s team struggled to get gold out of the ground.

“Someone’s gotta show the boys how to do it,” Johanson said as she prepared to dive. “Two dredges means two divers. Two divers means more gold.”

Why ‘Gold Rush’ Star Dustin Hurt Needed Help From an Old Friend

Usually, Dustin Hurt doesn’t need much help on Gold Rush. With his father by his side, the two run a tight operation with an experienced team of miners and divers. However, recently, the star revealed that his father wouldn’t be by his side this season. Instead, he was exploring other mining opportunities elsewhere. This was partly to expand the family’s legacy past the white water rapids of Alaska, but also to relieve the almost 80-year-old Fred Hurt from his post at the treacherous gold mining site.

With his dad gone, Hurt decided to create two teams instead of just one to double their productivity and, hopefully, their gold count. So far, the Gold Rush star is happy with his decisions as the only mine boss on the site.

 “I think I made the right choice on that,” Hurt told Looper. “We had some good people, and I don’t know how much I can tell you about that. But we did get some good people. And I think it worked out just fine, the way we made it happen.”

Outsider.com