Ice Road Truckers: Were rookies Dave and Maya victims of reality TV?

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Season Five of Ice Road Truckers came to an end on Sunday, Sept. 25—how did the team finish, particularly rookies Dave and Maya?

The History Channel’s popular Ice Road Truckers wrapped up the season last night as the ice roads melted and closed until next winter. Fans, however, are still buzzing all over the Internet about their favorite group of reality TV truckers.

New reality truckers on the horizon: 'World's Toughest Trucker' debuts tonight on Discovery (VIDEO)

Lisa Kelly, the little trucker who could—and does—came out on top of the load count in Alaska, and was elated by the accomplishment. The interesting—and inspiring—thing about Lisa that viewers seem to bond with is her unfailing willingness to meet her fears head-on until she conquers them. Fans know she has traveled a long way on the ice road hierarchy over the seasons, and cheer her good attitude and willingness to work for her goals. It is nice, not only to see her attitude, but to see the fan support for her efforts.

Alex Debogorski persevered through broken trucks and slippery, bouncy roads to beat his rival Hugh Rowland by a load on the count total this year. Alex is definitely one of the nice guys of the road—the proverbial "Good Samaritan." Honestly, it seemed as if there was someone needing his assistance around every corner this season, and he never shied away from helping someone in need, no matter how annoying they were in the end. Finally beating the Polar Bear in the load count had to have felt good for Alex—fans, no doubt, who have cheered Alex on over the seasons, enjoyed it, as well.

Hugh and his constant companion this season, Rick Yemm, couldn’t end the season without yet another run-in with trouble, finding themselves stuck on the road home as the season’s hours ticked down around them. Trouble seemed to find the two as consistently as those in need found Alex. But, as always, they were able to extract themselves from their situation and make it back to home base and a payday, ready to go home and catch a little rest—although not before cheering the end of the season with a sportsman-like toast with Alex. And, not surprisingly, Alex didn’t seem to use the time to rub Hugh’s nose in his win over and over and over—a fact that kind of sums up the differences in their personalities.

On the rookie front, as fans learned last week, Dave Redmon, the “Angry Alabama Wild Card,” was not present for the season finale, as Carlisle cut him loose before the season ended. Some fans were glad to see him go, citing his bad attitude and constant whining, while he seemed to have grown on a lot of fans, who thought he may have, indeed, gotten a bad deal. One thing, regardless, is interesting: Fans of sister show IRT: Deadliest Roads may remember Dave driving in the Himalayas, and note that, overall, his attitude and “rage” were not on constant display during his time weaving over the tricky surface that few of us would actually refer to as a “road” here in the U.S. And, anyone who stuck around to watch the season premiere of IRT: Deadliest Roads following Ice Road Truckers Sunday night likely noticed the difference in the two Daves, as well. He was, without a doubt, the level-headed, even-tempered partner in the pairing with Lisa Kelly in their introduction to the “Death Road” in South America. Dave has, whatever one’s opinion of him, shown himself to be an accomplished trucker, and the differences in his Ice Road Truckers attitude and his IRT: Deadliest Roads personas begs the obvious question: Was Dave actually a victim of reality TV editing?

Exclusive to Huliq: 'Ice Road Truckers': Dave Redmon opens up about reality television

Speaking of reality TV show editing, one has to raise the same question with rookie driver Maya Sieber. For many fans, she was whiny, annoying, and underskilled for the position of ice road trucker. Her time in the hot springs at the beginning of the season and her constant exclamations of “Oh no!” gave the impression that Maya was, in fact, less than competent as a driver on any road, much less a dangerous road such as the Dalton. It didn’t help that the History Channel had touted her as a tough NYC driver so dedicated to trucking, she got a “Kenworth” tattoo on her neck. But, unfortunately, all viewers really saw of Maya was silliness, referring to her truck as “cute;” appearing in a bikini in the middle of the winter months in Alaska while everyone else was shown in full-winter regalia; and seeming to be more worried about getting her hands dirty or breaking a nail than learning to work on her truck. As the season progressed, she did seem to show a willingness to persevere, and, although admitting to being terrified with almost every episode, she did not give up on herself. So, it is worth considering that Maya, too, may have been a victim of editors’ visions of a character to contrast with the hard-working, determined, do-it-herself Lisa.

Wrapping up this season’s cast was Tony Molesky. Tony himself did not add a lot to the show, really, but, as the resident suck-up to management, he was a good foil for Dave, and a great way to create tension for the show—any successful reality show must have tension, after all.

For those wanting more driving challenges, The History Channel's IRT: Deadliest Roads kicked off Season Two last night, following the season finale of Ice Road Truckers, and features Dave, Hugh, Rick, Lisa and two new drivers--although, according to teasers, two drivers may be giving up the challenge and heading home in the very near future.

Read more about Ice Road Truckers, Season Five, on
Ice Road Truckers: Girl gone wild in the hot springs?
Ice Road Truckers: ‘Oh, no!’ Maya takes the driver’s seat
Ice Road Truckers: Is Maya qualified to drive the Dalton?
Ice Road Truckers introduces new cast, splits time between Alaska and Canada

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by Pit Bull (not verified) on
Knowing Maya personally, she is an extremely hard working truck driver with a message. I never heard her whine on IRT. Everyone who she works with has said she is a consummate professional all the way. The show did show her as being afraid. This is not her character at all. She is quite daring. Yes, editing can make a person look any way. I too was surprised to see Redmond on Dangerous Roads after all the nastiness and firing him. Maya's fans adore her and she is most gracious with them. Keep an eye out for her, she has many things going for her.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think it was an editing choice so as to create conflict and tension. I think she's extremely competent.

Hi, Pit Bull; I was hoping you would chime in ... :) Not knowing Maya personally, I have no idea, like other viewers, who she is in "real life," but I did see sparks of the good qualities in her you have defended, which is why I brought forth the very real possibility that she was edited to be an opposite of what viewers see in Lisa; if that is what they were going for, they did a good job, I am afraid. Assuming Maya is back next year, and, assuming as well, that she was edited to become the "character" of Maya for the show, I hope she gets a more fair shake in Season 6. Thanks for your very helpful, insightful commentary ... :)

Submitted by Truckers News (not verified) on
We've got a story up on the site about Dave Redmon saying that his firing was staged in advance. Head on over and check it out.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Annoying and whiny? I think you got Maya mixed up with Dave! I do agree that they did edit the beginning of the season to make her seem quite incapable and underskilled but that was obviously for the drama factor. They wanted to make people think she would have difficulty, or fail so they would keep watching. As the season progressed it became quite evident that she was in fact quite capable and not the character they initially portrayed her as. I liked her from the beginning of the show as i thought she had a great positive attitide and felt that she was "real" and being herself. I perceived her to be quite friendly and down to earth myself. It turns out that I was right on the money. I got a chance to meet Maya at the Diesel Nationals in New Jersey and she was amazing! By the time I had gotten to the show and made it through the line to see her, she had already been meeting people for many hours and I'm sure that can be quite draining and tiring. However, she seemed genuinely happy to meet myself and everyone else and really took the time to talk to everyone. I was amazed! I had been a fan from the show but I am totally sold now. She is even more friendly and down to earth than I had initially pictured and is not the celebrity type at all. She is more the girl from next door who is grounded and thankful for her opportunities and more importantly, her fans. I hope she is back for season 6! As for Dave, I initially saved judgement, believing that he may be a victim of editing as well. However, after numerous episodes with him acting the same way, I didn't know if IRT's editing crew could really be so talented! Then I saw some posts he made on Facebook as well as other sites in which he whined just like he did on the show, bashed other drivers, even using childish immature names and even tried to pass negative rumors off about other drivers. I say rumors because the claim was ridiculous and it started as "I heard", typical of high school type rumor mill fashion. Therefor, I really don't believe he was a victim of editing, rather only a victim of his own negative attitude and personality. The guy looks like he may have taken a great opportunity and flushed it down the drain and as far as I am concerned, I find that better off for all the viewers anyway!

Well, I have to disagree, Anonymous, about Maya not being perceived as annoying and/or whiny ... many viewers expressed that very opinon of her, especially early on ... Dave, however, completely "out whined" her throughout the course of the show, and, therefore, I believe, minimized those thoughts--especially the whiny part--from being placed on Maya ....

Submitted by Richard Notestine (not verified) on
I was part owner and President of a mid size midwest trucking company. I can tell you that Rick and Dave are not truck drivers. They can drive but there is much more to driving than holding the steering wheel and pushing the pedals. A good driver must know the limit of thier equipment and stay within the physical limits of the equipment. Dave and Rick don't do this and end up tearing things up. I would of fired them too after the first time they tore something up. It is not hard to tell if it is driver abuse.

Submitted by IRT driver (not verified) on
LMAO! Another "reality TV know it all". Do you know Rick or Dave? No?? Oh, so your going by a scripted television show as to their accomplishments in their carrer. I see you WERE part owner. I know Rick personally, and can take Ricks word asto the driver Dave is, and I can put money down, they are better then ANY driver you HAD while owner/prezy of any company!

Submitted by Pit Bull (not verified) on
Other than the editing of choosing "Oh My God!" constantly being said by Maya to create suspence, and an air of incompetency, I didn't hear her complain. Rather I heard a braveness to perform all aspects and cooperate with all her coworkers. She just completed promotional activities for Deadliest Roads.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I actually like Dave,his attitude is good !! They are there for money and to get the job done and as many loads as possible !! Tony is the most annoying person on the show,total suck up,political correct dolt !!!! Hope,Dave is back if they have a season 6 !! Dave Redmon was a normal hard working,no b.s guy,a real guy not a phony !!


Add new comment