George Wright and Scott Lomu of Discovery’s “Jungle Gold” (Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET) give the term “gold diggers” a literal spin with this reality show, now in its second season. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s a doozie. Two guys lose their shirts when the real estate bubble bursts and decide to do the logical thing — hunt for gold in Ghana! I got a chance to talk with the pair about how the show came about, how they feel about those that accuse them of faking and what their wives really think of what they’re doing.
For anyone who thinks their decision to pursue gold mining is utterly insane, they explained to me how they came to this conclusion in a way that sounds entirely logical. I mean, not logical enough to actually do it, but they clearly considered the idea (and had a relative in the field) before diving in. As many obstacles as they’ve faced, they’ve also learned from them and made smart decisions as well. If anyone’s going to make money from gold digging here (other than corrupt officials, thieves and the Chinese government), they at least have a shot.
We also discussed the fact that they initially started out with another partner — who committed suicide just one day before they got the call from Discovery. It’s a sad story, but their determination to continue in Wally’s honor is one you have to hear. Their wives are also dedicated to the idea of not just funding their own families but making sure Wally’s kids and wife are taken care of.
Lomu and Wright didn’t head to Africa with dreams of reality TV stardom, and it seems having a camera crew around when you’re trying to work is more of a pain than anything else. But for those thinking that they’re bad actors or are, worse, faking the drama, they have an offer for you — come to visit them in Ghana for a few days. Not that I’d recommend it, but they’re pretty sure they can school any critics. They just have to survive long enough to go back and tell the world, I guess.
While Lomu and Wright couldn’t tell me too much about what’s coming in season two, what they did say sounded intriguing. In this week’s episode, the pressure continues to mount. With their excavator back, Scott and George only have 48 hours left to prove that they can get to the gold or their mining deal with Dave Thomas will be terminated. Scott receives life-changing news that could change their gold mining futures.
Watch my interview with the guys and a clip from the episode: