• Emily Riedel is a gold miner, opera singer, and star of the reality show "Bering Sea Gold"
• She was raised in a middle-class family in Homer, Alaska and studied at the University of South Carolina
• She began gold mining to fund her operatic studies after college
• She is the first and only female captain on the show and captains her own boat, The Eroica
• She is estimated to have a net worth of $250,000 and has appeared on various talk shows
Emily Riedel is a prospective American opera singer, and a gold miner, born on 4 July 1988, in Homer, Alaska USA. She’s known for being a “Bering Sea Gold” star, and the only female Captain on the show.
Emily Riedel was raised in a middle-class family in Homer. Her father Steven Riedel is a fisherman, and although his job provided for his family, they weren’t surrounded by lavishness.
Emily’s mother’s name is unknown, also whether Emily has any siblings. Details of her childhood and early education are unknown too, but she developed a great interest in music during her infancy, showing especial enthusiasm in opera.
In 2014 she revealed to Millenial Magazine her favorite opera singers: ‘Marilyn Horne is a goddess. Ana Moffo is perfection. Of course Pavarotti is an absolute necessity on a regular basis.’ Though her love for old opera in unrivaled, she also enjoys modern singers of the genre: ‘There are some incredible artists on the scene right now in the world and I hope that opera continues to be supported and sustained because it’s such a beautifully rich and expressive art form’
After her high school matriculation, she started her studies in the University of South Carolina. She paid her way through university with the help of small jobs she obtained in Alaska during college breaks, and eventually graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Music.
Start in Gold Mining
After College, Emily felt the need to continue her education, but financial difficulties meant that her dream of studying at an Opera Conservatory in Vienna was not easy to achieve.
In an interview with GeekMom in 2015, she confessed these complications to be the reason she began gold mining: ‘I was just out of college and broke, and I had a friend up there mining for gold. It wasn’t so much the gold that was drawing me. He said it was easy to make a large amount of money in a short amount of time – kind of a risk-free adventure’.
Thinking it was an easy way to fund her operatic studies, she accepted the offer made by Zeke Tenhoff, childhood friend and owner of The Edge, to work as a deckhand on board his boat: ‘So I just showed up in Nome with $300 to my name, and lived in a beach shack five miles outside of town and was just kind of squatting there in a sleeping bag.’
Working in Nome, one of the most remote and isolated villages in Alaska, proved to be a real challenge for her, and although gold mining in the Bering Sea turned out to be no trouble-free activity, she faced circumstances best as she could: ‘I kind of waltzed into this crazy situation, and I’ve been waltzing ever since, sometimes with two left feet.’
In 2014 she talked about the difficulties of gold mining: ‘You’re fighting so many odds.
The fact that you’re diving six feet under ice in 27 degree water, while trying to maintain and run your equipment in extreme temperatures – it’s a logistical nightmare. And we were living it every day’.
Gold mining is not as profitable as it seems, thus Emily’s dream to study in Vienna still seems far away: ‘It’s a lot more of spending money than making money somehow.’
Reality TV Star – Bering Sea Gold
A few years into working on board of The Edge, Emily and other boat-mates were approached by TV producers: ‘Discovery Channel thought they wanted to do a show here and they found out about us. We were this quirky bunch of people and they were like, ‘We can’t miss this opportunity.’’
— Bering Sea Gold (@BeringSeaGold) September 1, 2015
Although Emily could have been wary of the situation, she thought it would be beneficial for them, as “Deadliest Catch” – another reality show of the network filmed in Alaska – was very popular.
Premiered in January 2012, “Bearing Sea Gold” had the highest network rating score for a debuting series, with 3.66 million viewers. It continued an audience success, therefore it’s conctantly been renewed, and is currently in its 11th season.
Emily not only is a fan favorite, she has been regarded as the show’s star by critics and fans, a notable achievement for a woman in a show produced mostly for a male audience. However, Emily doesn’t want her gender to be an important issue in her work: ‘I’m a person trying to do a job, and I am a woman.
And there are sort of the challenges that go along with that, but I certainly think it takes women a couple steps back if we’re simply rewarded for showing up, as opposed to being rewarded for showing good merit.’
Emily left The Edge boat after buying her own vessel named The Eroica, which was introduced in the third season of “Bering Sea Gold”. The boat’s name has its origin in Emily’s love for music, as it was inspired by Beethoven’s symphony No. 3 entitled “Sinfonia Eroica”, translated as Heroic Symphony in English.
As The Eroica’s Captain, Emily has faced many challenges: ‘I’m running this dredge by myself. No one’s helping and supporting me. I’m trying to run a crew and keep a crew stable.
And no one’s going to do that but me.’ In an interview with GeekMom she continued: ‘I’m struggling with my own demons with regards to diving and owning a dredge, and I’m still learning so much about being a boat captain. Every day is a huge learning curve – how to run crew, how to run the boat.’
In an interview with Hollywood Soapbox, she also commented on her experience as the first and still only female Captain on the show: ‘I realize there’s a lot I have to learn about being a leader, and that makes me hesitant to call myself one I suppose, especially in terms of being called a trailblazer and a symbol for women wanting to break into a man’s world’.
Shortly after boarding The Edge, Emily started dating her childhood friend and co-worker Zeke Tenhoff.
Though the relationship lasted a few years, it ended in the first season of “Bering Sea Gold” when the couple faced many issues between them.
Despite their failed romantic relationship, Emily remains friends with Zeke, although she has reservations about the time they spent as a couple. ‘A lot of things went wrong in Nome over the last four years that ended a lifelong friendship, and that’s upsetting.’ She said to Hollywood Soapbox in 2014.
Currently, Emily is apparently single, and doesn’t have children.
Emily Riedel has an estimated net worth of $250,000, as a result of her work, now as Captain of gold dredging boat The Eroica.
Emily is a gorgeous woman of green eyes and naturally blonde hair, although she has dyed it dark brownish-red in the past. She’s 5ft (1.52m) tall and her weight is approximately 148lbs (67kgs). She’s has a visibly slender figure.
Her father Stevel Riedel also appears in “Bering Sea Gold”, though he captains Minnow boat.
Before the fourth season’s premiere, Emily made many changes to The Eroica: ‘I had to buy a new pump and pump motor, a lot of outboard maintenance. I had to do a lot of re-welding on the pontoons, had to hire people to help me build a new deck for it, and a new cabin.’ Due to this, she has said her boat is a money-sucking black hole.
I tell ya what, y’all- happiness is having an awesome coaching with Maestro Grant, where you discuss the practicalities of belting in a contemporary arrangement of Stabat Mater. #karljenkins
Emily’s philosophy to mining is: ‘more power and less finesse.’
Though Emily doesn’t regret her work in gold mining, she looks back at her first years in it with nostalgia: ‘I find myself looking back a lot and wishing that I had done things differently. But, you know, this happened the way it happened. Certainly I wish that I had been braver and more decisive… But when you’re young and stupid, you’re young and stupid.’
Emily has appeared in various talk shows during her time in “Bearing Sea Gold”, and has been interviewed by Larry King, Jeff Probst and Steve Harvey.
She sung an opera version of Kanye West’s famous VMA’s speech in a talk show.