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The Real Reason Jim Dorsey Left Gold Rush: Alaska

Discovery's "Gold Rush," or "Gold Rush: Alaska" as it was known during its first season, may come across as a genuine reality show. After all, it's not like they're planting gold to be found out in the middle of nowhere. If you watch the show, you know the teams are really out there giving it their all to find riches. And if they're unable to find a sufficient amount of gold, they're going to suffer financially. It's not cheap renting and purchasing all of the equipment necessary to mine for gold, so on the surface, it should come across as a reality series that actually lives up to that title. 

Reality shows being scripted are nothing new, but it may still come as a shock to hear that even "Gold Rush" isn't immune to playing it up for the camera. At least that's according to Jim Dorsey, who was featured on "Gold Rush: Alaska." He made the stunning decision to leave the dig site, and based on what he had to say, it wasn't entirely in his control whether to depart or stay.

Jim Dorsey says it was 'never [his] intention to leave'

Jim Dorsey delivered a memorable performance on "Gold Rush: Alaska," culminating in him leaving the dig site before the season was over. It was a shocking development and offered some of the most intense drama for the Discovery series. However, as Dorsey would later relate to Oregon Gold, it wasn't exactly his choice whether he left or not. As he explained, "Every formatted documentary is scripted. It is scripted from the beginning. They knew exactly what they wanted to see out of the program. Even me leaving was scripted, but in the way in which it happened was not. The plans were made, but the footsteps were ours."

He went on to detail how precisely those behind the scenes would influence his decisions, even telling him directly what to say. "They would tell me to say, 'We've got [to] get gold in seventy hours,' so I say, 'We've got to get gold in seventy-two hours,'" he explained. "Then they would say 'What are you going to do if you don't get gold in seventy-two hours?' And I am like 'I don't know you just told me to say seventy hours.' Then they said 'What are you going to do if you don't get gold?' They push you towards saying I was going to leave if we did not find gold. It was never my intention to leave. My plan was staying the entire summer and seeing it out."

Jim Dorsey's time on "Gold Rush: Alaska" may not have panned out as he originally intended, but judging from the rest of the interview, he doesn't harbor any ill will toward the show, and he's still involved in the mining community to this day. It's just a shame he couldn't show more of what he could do while he was on "Gold Rush: Alaska."