Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Danielle Colby Moment That Went Too Far On American Pickers

Midway into the 21st season of History's antique hunting TV series "American Pickers," what had previously appeared to be a positive working relationship between hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz crumbled, causing the two reality TV stars to feud with one another over through a series of public statements. All the while, Wolfe remained at its helm, while Fritz appeared to be no longer welcome on the show.

Given the significant disruption to the status quo Fritz's sudden departure and ongoing dispute with Wolfe introduced to "American Pickers," whether or not third host Danielle Colby would remain a part of the series alongside Wolfe soon came into question. As of the January 1, 2022 premiere of "American Pickers" Season 22, Colby is still on the show (via IMDb) suggesting that, Fritz aside, its core will remain largely unchanged for the time being. Colby, notably, does not usually travel to look for antiques as Wolfe does and Fritz once would, but rather holds down the fort at Antique Archaeology, the store that serves as a home base for the "American Pickers" cast.

While Colby has undoubtedly remained a valuable contributor for more than 20 seasons, her numerous appearances on "American Pickers" over the course of its considerable run aren't without at least a few awkward moments. An episode featuring classic dad rock band Aerosmith arguably includes the moment some fans thought Colby most visibly took things too far.

Danielle Colby was awkward around Aerosmith

Over the course of a few episodes of "American Pickers" Seasons 19 and 20, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and Danielle Colby work on restoring the first van Aerosmith ever used on tour before eventually presenting it to the band in-person. While the van may be a more historically-important find than their average purchase, a number of users in a thread on the "American Pickers" subreddit titled "I hate the Aerosmith Van. Do you?" criticized this storyline. For example, moneyman74 accused the whole thing of being "a ploy to get ratings and do a 'crossover' with Aerosmith opening a Vegas show." For what it's worth, Aerosmith was in fact in the midst of a concert residency in Las Vegas in 2019 (via Variety) when the "American Pickers" crew gifted the fully-restored van to the band.

In the opening of the Reddit post, meanwhile, user jdfromnh75 wrote, "When they met Aerosmith, it was so inorganic. Danielle cried and it was embarrassing, because she did little to advance the project of the van." In essence, this post is describing a final meeting between the "American Pickers" crew and the band as seeming inauthentic. Specifically, Colby appears to tear up at one point during the storyline's finale, which this poster argued felt fake to some degree.

Most likely, this was intentional heightening intended to make for more compelling TV. That said, Colby's awkward behavior in a storyline already accused of inauthenticity draws attention to the series' artifice in a manner largely absent from a normal "American Pickers" episode, making the suspension of disbelief necessary to enjoy virtually all reality TV considerably harder to formalize in this moment.

Steven Tyler's behavior with Danielle was controversial

While some "American Pickers" fans criticized Danielle Colby's involvement in the Aerosmith van storyline for the likelihood that some of her behavior was staged for marketing reasons, other viewers recounted feeling conflicted about the conduct of Colby and Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler in the episode. In the same Reddit thread, for example, user americanrealism wrote that they were "kinda grossed out by how handsy Steven Tyler was with Danielle," absolving Colby herself of any weirdness and placing the blame solely on Aerosmith's front man. In the comments section of a YouTube clip of the moment, meanwhile, a user named John Pierce posted that they thought the "American Pickers" crew "acted way [too] goofy," pointing out in particular how "Danielle was like clingy on steven tyler."

For what its worth, some fans of the show shared nothing but support for Colby's meeting with Tyler. In the comments section of a Facebook video previewing the episode in which Colby and co. present Aerosmith with the van, for instance, one user wrote, "The show was awesome!!! Danielle, you were definitely googly eyes & thrilled with seeing them. You rock girl!!"

So, while on one hand this "American Pickers" storyline may well have been a promotional tie-in with Aerosmith's 2019 Las Vegas concert residency, a number of viewers seem to have found Colby to simply be starstruck, and perhaps acting differently than usual due to the presence and possibly behavior of a world famous rock star in her midst.