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What happened to Andy Hillstrand in “Deadliest Catch”?



It’s not easy to keep a loyal audience for over a decade, but somehow “Deadliest Catch” accomplished it. From its premiere in 2005, the show caught the attention of people of all ages, who have been unable to take their eyes away from all the drama and dangerous situations that these fishermen face on a daily basis.

That being, it’s not only the sometimes-unfortunate events which make “Deadliest Catch” an engaging show. It all comes down to its unforgettable cast and their heartfelt stories, to make “Deadliest Catch” truly memorable.

That being said, it’s undeniable that a huge part of the audience misses seeing some fishermen in the show, such is the case of the Time Bandit’s co-Captain Andy Hillstrand, whose disappearance from the show in recent seasons had many of his fans worried.

So whatever happened to him? Is he still in crab fishing or is he working elsewhere? And what happened to the Time Bandit and his family’s business? Stay with us to discover it!

What Happened To Andy Hillstrand?

Any keen fan of “Deadliest Catch” knows Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, long-time Captains and owners of the fishing vessel Time Bandit. Though the brothers announced their exit from the show back in the 13th season, in 2020 Johnathan surprisingly reappeared in it, but his brother was nowhere in sight as the season progressed.

Unbeknownst to many, Andy was actually meant to reappear in the show for the 17th season aired in 2021, but fell sick with COVID-19 when the show was filming. Not only this deterred him from making his long-awaited TV return, but also pushed his brother Johnathan to find another co-captain to cover Andy’s spot.

While Andy unfortunately didn’t appear in the whole season, in February 2022, he made an appearance in that year’s Annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum event to raise awareness about climate change. Though it’s uncertain if he’ll return for the upcoming “Deadliest Catch” seasons, it’s relieving to see he’s doing well nowadays.


Why Was Josh Harris On The Time Bandit?

While TV producers usually tweak a thing or two in a show to make it more interesting, these changes could sometimes be so drastic or unexpected that viewers can’t help but feel confused by them.

For those who haven’t been carefully watching “Deadliest Catch” in the last two seasons, it was incredibly shocking to see Josh Harris on board the Time Bandit. However, this unforeseen turn of events was to cover Andy Hillstrand while he was on sick leave, as the show filmed its 17th season in 2021.

Although having Josh aboard the Time Bandit might have seemed unexpected, given that he’s already Cornelia Marie’s Captain, this makes sense considering Josh and Johnathan’s long-lasting friendship. As it happens, in 2011 Josh worked under Johnathan’s guidance following his father Phil Harris’ death. The time spent on the Time Bandit not only taught Josh valuable lessons both in fishing and in life, but also grew into a strong camaraderie.

As Josh told TV Shows Ace in 2020, he sees Johnathan as ‘brother slash second dysfunctional father’, whom he respects greatly along with the Time Bandit’s crew: ‘they were my family, in a sense, that took me in. I love those guys’. Knowing this, it’s less surprising that Josh willingly took Andy’s Co-captain place, even if it was for a short while.

Why Did Andy Leave The Show?

While it’s still uncertain if Andy Hillstrand will reappear in “Deadliest Catch” following the Time Bandit’s return in the 17th season, the reason he left the show back in 2017 is still unclear for many people.

As it happens, in 2018 Andy and Johnathan announced their hiatus from the crab fishing business, due to the Time Bandit having no favorable conditions to keep roaming the waters of the Bering Sea for the show’s 14th season. The incident was incredibly unfortunate for Andy and Johnathan, who had dedicated half of their lives to their boat: ‘This is the first time in 38 years I’m going to miss a Bering Sea King crab season’, wrote Johnathan on Twitter.

Though a couple of weeks later Johnathan informed his fans that the Time Bandit had been repaired and left in the hands of Eddie Uwekoolani for a short while, the ship didn’t return to “Deadliest Catch” the next year. Instead, it was put up for sale for over $2 million, instantly putting an end to any hope their followers might have had of seeing them return to the show. That’s why no one really expected the Time Bandit to make its return to the series in 2021.

What Exactly Happened To The Time Bandit?

Unlike other ships featured in “Deadliest Catch”, the Time Bandit isn’t as old as you might think. It was actually built in 1991 following the design of John Hillstrand, who wanted an ideal crab boat to ensure his family’s future.

Built in Oregon by Giddings Boat Works, the Time Bandit offers its crew many comfortable facilities, such as a sauna and queen-size beds. At the same time, the Time Bandit’s 113 ft of length and 175,000 pounds capacity for crab, makes it a vessel fitting for the most difficult fishing seasons.


However, despite how good of a ship the Time Bandit is, nothing could have prepared the Hillstrands for the sudden and inexplicable main engine explosion it suffered in 2018. Although they didn’t know many details about it, the issue was enough to deter them from joining the 14th season of “Deadliest Catch”, and the fishing season altogether.

In 2019, the brothers put the ship on sale for $2,888,888 on the Dock Street Brokers site, though the price was lowered in the following months for reasons unknown, to ultimately taking it off the website in 2020.

Why Wasn’t The Time Bandit Sold?

Although it’s assumed the Hillstrands didn’t sell the Time Bandit after supposedly affording its repair on their own, other theories point out different reasons.

As it happens, Andy and Johnathan’s younger brother Neal has faced some difficult legal issues in recent years. Back in late 2018, he filed for divorce from his now-former wife Sugayle Marie Hillstrand, obtaining their formerly-shared $340,000 home along with several cars, as court documents state.

Though Sugayle got a couple of cars they bought during their time together, it was determined she would also get monetary compensation from the Time Bandit’s sale, of which Neal owns one third.

Though the divorce agreement didn’t obligate the Hillstrands to sell their boat, many people have theorized it could have deterred the brothers from ultimately selling it.

Why Was Johnathan In The Saga?

Much to the joy of “Deadliest Catch” fans, Johnathan Hillstrand returned to the show in 2020 after three seasons away. Though his comeback was undeniably good news for the audience, people were flabbergasted to not find the Time Bandit nor his brother Andy on sight.

However, Johnathan’s presence is easily explained; as it happens, by the time he returned to the show in the 16th season, the Time Bandit was apparently still waiting repair, but his wish to return to fishing crab was stronger than that. That’s why Johnathan ended up joining the crew of the Saga, captained by Jake Anderson.

As Johnathan told Stuff in 2020, Discovery initially offered him a return to the show on board the Cape Caution, under the command of  Bill Wichrowski, which Johnathan absolutely refused: ‘No, you couldn’t give me enough money to go out with Wild Bill, so I went out with Jake Anderson’.

Although boarding the Saga was the right choice, Johnathan also admitted his time there was enduring given the gruesome weather conditions he faced there, which were apparently the worst he’d seen in decades: ‘Never done that before in a boat. Jake Anderson, I love him dearly, but oh my God, I was tested’.

Regardless of the difficulties, Johnathan’s return to “Deadliest Catch” was successful, to say the least.

Discovery Lawsuit

If you’re a recent fan of “Deadliest Catch”, then you probably don’t know that Andy, Johnathan and Sig Hansen once had their own monster hunting TV show.


Premiered in 2011, the special episode “Hillstranded” featured these captains as they navigated the Alaskan seas looking for the most famous and feared monsters which supposedly live under there.

However, no matter how exciting the show’s concept might sound, it’s one of those projects which brings back mostly bad memories to everyone involved with it. The show’s first part was filmed in June 2010, but the second part was apparently impossible to film in August, due to the brother’s choice, or at least that’s what Discovery claimed in the $3 million lawsuit they filed in October that year for breach in contract, as the Hollywood Reporter advised.

According to Discovery, the Hillstrand’s inability to fulfill their responsibilities with “Hillstranded” resulted in millions in losses. That being said, the lack of further information regarding the lawsuit, as well as the eventual release of the show the following year, point to the case was most-likely being resolved out-of-court.

What Did The Hillstrands Have To Say?

Although nowadays this lawsuit is water under the bridge, back in 2010 the issue was scandalous, given the connection between the Hillstrands and Discovery at the time.

As Andy explained to Entertainment Weekly, the miscommunication with Discovery was the cause of their legal issues, as he, Jonathan and Sig Hansen had initially thought Discovery had completely filmed the show in June 2010, but were surprised to be called again a couple of months later for more filming: ‘our schedule was pretty much screwed. It got to the point in our relationship where something had to change, and we just said enough’s enough’.

Despite their apparent boldness regarding the issue, it was evident that the Hillstrands and Captain Hansen were troubled by the situation. Not only were they warned to speak about it with their fellow “Deadliest Catch” co-stars, but were worried about how it would affect everyone involved: ‘Emotionally, it was hell. We didn’t want to be sued. We didn’t want all the fans hating Discovery’, as Johnathan affirmed.

At some point, the Captain’s spot in “Deadliest Catch” was threatened by the legal battle they were fighting off-screen, but after sorting things out, they were eventually signed to appear in the show’s future seasons.

What Other Businesses Do They Have?

Unbeknownst to many, the Hillstrand family own several businesses besides their highly profitable stint in crab fishing. For starters, their Hillstrand Construction company seems to be growing steadily. With over 5,000 followers on social media, this small family company is managed by Scott Hillstrand, who’s Johnathan’s son and who appeared in early seasons of “Deadliest Catch”.

That being said, Hillstrand Fireworks is definitely the most prolific out of all the Hillstrands side businesses, a fact which makes the brothers quite proud.


As stated on their shop’s website, the brothers’ mission with this business was to provide an economic and safe alternative to minor firework vendors, steadily becoming a prominent distributor with over 35 years on the market.

For his part, Johnathan recently released “Adventures Of Little Bird”, a kids book series he started while in hospital after suffering a ranch accident. His work achieved such wide success that he’s already hosted several book signing sessions all around the country. As well, Andy and his wife Sabrina own Hobby Horse Acres, a recreational horse-riding center located on his family’s ranch in Indiana.

The Firework Lawsuit

Accidents happen in every industry and it’s no different in crab fishing. That being said, an unfortunate incident involving the Hillstrand brothers and a Time Bandit fisherman resulted in not only a serious legal issue for the family, but destroyed someone’s career.

David “Beaver” Zielinski was a deckhand on the Time Bandit, but during 2013’s fishing season he was ordered to aim a Hillstrand Fireworks’ firecracker towards the Cape Caution vessel. However, the artifact exploded in his hand, and left him with severe injuries and burns, ‘shattering’ his limb.

After undergoing several reconstructive surgical procedures, Zielinski recovered part of his arm, but was unable to return to fishing. That’s why in 2015 he filed a lawsuit against the Hillstrand brothers, claiming that not only were their fireworks unsafe, but also that Johnathan had acted negligently about the issue, in addition to asking Zielinski to affirm his injury was caused by a fishing accident, and not by the fireworks.

Zielinski was ultimately awarded $1.4 million in damages, putting an end to this long and enduring legal battle. However, this is one of those situations in which not even the fame and money could have helped the Hillstrand brothers. Though it’s over now, we hope the future doesn’t have other similar problems in store for the Time Bandit and its crew.

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience. At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown



Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.


Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.


The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.


Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.


Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?



For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.


From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.


The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.


She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.


When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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