'Alaska: The Last Frontier' Update: Jewel Talks About The Kilcher Family, Returning To Alaska, And The Perks Of Yodeling

Georgia Makitalo

The new season of Alaska: The Last Frontier is starting on October 2. Besides the usual fascinating everyday life struggles of the Atz family and friends on the homestead, there is going to be the bonus of Grammy award-winning singer Jewel making an appearance on the unscripted Discovery Channel program. Why is Jewel going to be on the show and what should we expect?

"I return to Alaska as often as I can to visit my dad, who stars in the Discovery Channel's Alaska: The Last Frontier."

When they first conceived of the show, the producers of Alaska: The Last Frontier had no that the Kilcher family had a very famous family member. Jewel recalled when her little brother Atz Lee texted her that he was going to sign a television contract, she thought that he was buying a physical TV. He was living in the wilderness of Alaska, and she knew he didn't own a television. But, in fact, it was a team of Discovery Channel television producers who wanted to film these Alaskan "hillbillies" for a reality series.

The next day, Jewel had her management company talk to the production people to make sure that her family members were not taken advantage of and to ensure they signed a decent contract. This threw the Discovery Channel producers for a loop, as they never imagined that this remote family, living the life of pioneers, could possibly be related to one of the most famous singer/songwriters in the world: Jewel Kilcher.

Jewel is not the only musician in her family, and music has always been part of the Kilcher family. Jewel recalls that after her parents split up, only in fifth grade, she and her father, Atz Kilcher, sang in local taverns to make some extra money. Now, the musical family team has reunited as her father helped co-write the theme song for Alaska: The Last Frontier, which he sings along with Jewel.

There has been no indication if there will be any music on the reality series, but fans can only guess that if the musical Kilcher family reunites, they are bound to spring into song. Perhaps the family will do some yodeling back and forth? Listening to Jimmie Rogers' music, Jewel's father learned how to yodel.

Jewel told the oot that at the age of 6, she used to go up on stage and yodel for as part of the family musical act. Now she includes yodeling in all of her musical performances!

"My dad is a cowboy and he taught himself how to yodel by listening to Jimmie Rodgers records. When I was six, my parents sang at dinner shows for tourists in hotels, and part of the act was me getting up and yodeling."

Ironically, yodeling is very traditional to the Swiss people, so yodeling certainly honors grandpa Yule's heritage. Offstage, Jewel finds yodeling very practical when she cannot find her five-year-old son Kase. Instead of calling, she will yodel and he will yodel back.

"Yodeling comes in handy. If my son wanders off in the fields, I call to him by yodeling and he yodels back."

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]