It appeared on-air that The History Channel’s relationship with Dave Redmon would be over by the time Season 5 of Ice Road Truckers ended, but it was the second season of IRT: Deadliest Roads, filmed in South America, where Dave had his fill of “reality trucking” with The History Channel. Now described as the “Southern hothead” by The History Channel, Dave was featured in the show, along with truckers Lisa Kelly, Hugh Rowland, Rick Yemm, Tino Rodriguez, Tim Zickuhr, and G.W. Boles.
Fans of the show will be familiar with his early departure from Bolivia, along with Rick, which actually began with a conversation between Dave and Lisa, discussing not getting back in the truck. “That was the day that, basically, we were fired,” Dave alleges.
The morning after the not-getting-back-in-the-truck moment, Dave says he went back to the truck, to get something out of it, and found that it was gone. Upon approaching the field producer, he learned that the truck had been given to Tino, and they—Dave and Lisa Kelly—were going home. “I’m like, okay, I guess we’re fired,” Dave says. He broke the news to Lisa, who was stunned. “She just looked at me, dumbfounded.” However, shortly after that, Lisa went into what Dave terms “crash-survival mode, trying to save her career.”
Dave says that because their rooms were right next to each other at the hotel, he could hear Lisa making calls and talking with her manager. The field producer asked Dave if he would like to do an honest sit-down with Lisa for the camera, and Dave agreed. That teary interview, he says now, brought him a lot of angry comments on his Facebook page. “I basically tell her there’s no teamwork, it’s all about you, you, you, because she basically just knocked me off, went straight to the producers, making phone calls and trying to save her butt, not our butts. I really took offense to that,” he says.
Producers of reality shows seek out “new talent” for these shows, like himself, Dave explains, allowing producers and networks to prey on naïve participants and pay them low amounts of money for their work, and keep overall production costs low to rake in the biggest profits possible for the network, in this case, The History Channel. The drivers get no residuals from the show, he says. “We sign over our rights to our voice, our likenesses, all marketing. They basically just take your life away from you.” This, he says, is why he is focused on getting his message to the public.
Dave says he is not interested in doing more television at this point, although he does say that he “would probably do something on a redemption level. I would not go back into this blindly,” as he and many reality TV stars do. He believes everyone is taken advantage of on Ice Road Truckers.
“Totally. Absolutely. They take advantage of everybody on the show, from the camera guy to the AP (associate producer) to the talent. This is what they do.” Some of the people on the camera crew were so inexperienced, he asserted, they didn’t even know how a camera worked. The cameraman in his truck, he said, who was taken from post-production and given a camera, had to be shown how to use it before he could begin filming. The “cameraman,” Dave alleges, had been promised consideration for a higher position if he would work as a cameraman for IRT.
And, Dave alleges, producers of Ice Road Truckers and IRT: Deadliest Roads were not above pitting one person against another, creating rumors among the cast to cause tension and arguments, or using a cast mate to keep a rising star in line. For example, he says, the producers did not want Maya and Lisa to meet before filming began. Lisa, he claims, had not signed a contract upon arriving in Alaska, and producers were using Maya as a threat. “They were flaunting Maya, kind of like a carrot, saying, ‘This is your replacement, this is your replacement,” he describes in a sing-song voice. “They wanted a catfight between the two,” he said of the two women’s role on the show, “but Lisa wanted no part of it. She went on the I’m-gonna-be-buddies-with-her routine, and they hated it.”
In Part Five of this exclusive six-part series, Dave discusses the destructive nature of reality television, and how he deals with the negativity against him that resulted from the show. Part Five will be published on Huliq tomorrow, Jan. 28.
Image provided by David C. Redmon