On last night’s Below Deck Mediterranean the topsy-turvy crew continued to churn out amazing results, but the cracks started showing in the most delightful way when an overworked Joao Franco let his facade slip.
Even Captain Sandy Yawn is starting to crack. And in her exhaustion Sandy starts making ridiculous demands like moving the boat 15 inches to provide better scenery for the background of guest Ashley Brinton‘s music video.
Curled up on the deck of the Sirocco, like the guts of a sea monster, is the anchor chain. Colin Macy-O’Toole was distracted trying to do the work of 2 deckhands, after being woken up in the middle of the night, and somehow the anchor got twisted and knotted up. Just like a third stew became a chef, and the lead deckhand became basically a lunch lady doling out fruit cups and crispy chicken sandwiches to the crew.
Such is the tangled life of Below Deck Mediterranean that while all this is going on and Joao is literally in two places at once like a mutant from Dr. Xavier’s lab who has time travel capabilities. Joao’s on a tender. No, he’s on the prowl. Now he’s covered in black grease lifting a massive anchor chain with his bare hands. While all this is happening, the guests are blithely munching on snacks while Ashley gets her makeup done.
Ashley’s makeup artist also doubles as her videographer, her personal assistant, and later, even her dance assistant. Does she too have the capabilities of Joao to time warp?
Meanwhile, Anastasia Surmava has settled into the kitchen and is whipping up delicious dish after delicious dish. You want pancakes! Smoothies! Cauliflower 16 ways! Steak! 6 story tall hamburgers – she’s your girl. And the guests, in their ever-drunken state, love it all. I actually thought these guests were wonderfully sweet and appreciative.
I was all prepared for Ashley to be some entitled talentless spoiled diva, and while I can’t say if she’s talentless or not (since it was all auto-tune, all the time), diva she was not. Also is that her real hair? Cause it’s like ‘I just escaped from a polygamous compound’ long.
RELATED: Below Deck Mediterranean Star Hannah Ferrier Says Mila Kolomeitseva “Didn’t Know How To Be A Chef On A Superyacht”
Unfortunately this entire charter is a slight of hand. While the guests are happy, content, and majorly impressed by how effortless the service appears, the crew is workin double-time, running everywhere. This certainly speaks to their professionalism. Colin gets so overwhelmed he forgets how to start the tender. Joao is just exhausted, and adding to that is his frustration with Jack Stirrup, who is perpetually on a smoke break and hiding in corners like a sulky teen. The actual teen – Ashley – is neither sulky, nor lazy so take note of how your peers behave, Jack!
RELATED: Below Deck Mediterranean Star Hannah Ferrier Explains Why She Didn’t Stand Up To Chef Mila Kolomeitseva Sooner
Jack’s literal half-assed work leaves Joao picking up his slack. Like when Jack claims to have secured the slide, when really the only tied one side of the ropes. When Joao sees the ropes flapping against the hull, he goes into lecturing dad mode. I mean, what if Ashley Brinton goes flying into the sea! In the middle of all this chaos there are brief moments of serenity. Like when Colin finds his calling as a “fluffer,” holding Ashley’s bounce board.
Poor Colin has no idea that his chosen career as a self-described fluffer is actually a person prepping porn stars. He thought it was the white creamy stuff that sometimes pairs with PB or goes in desserts. Or what Hannah Ferrier does with pillows. Or the style his mommy does to his hair. I’m shocked Colin even knows what porn is, actually…
Colin again puts his newly acquired fluffing skills to good use when Ashley’s manager(?), Mawnin’ organizer? Ponytail wrangler (?) decides the cast should surprise Ashley with a dance to one of her songs at the ‘wrap party.’ In one of her past lives – the one where she wasn’t a an astrophysicist studying the particle composite of poop – Aesha was a modern dancer! This is hardly what one might call dancing, but it is a fun reprieve from the nonstop work Sandy has everyone doing!
And Colin, the music nerd, gets to explain to the Jazz Hands Specialist that she’s missing the beat – for real – and the dance moves aren’t corresponding to the music. As a reward for all their hard work everyone gets an Ashley Brinton t-shirt. One for the archives, kids. And one for Hannah to turn into cleaning rags in about 2 weeks.
In the galley, Anastasia has forgotten what sunlight feels like. Soon she’ll have scurvy from being hunched over buttercream frosting for hours on end trying to perfect it within a half-teaspoon of its butter content. Anastasia even calls her mom, who we learn was once the greatest pastry chef in all of Georgia (the country, not the state) for advice. Basically, when in doubt add more butter.
Anastasia decides the dessert for the wrap party will be a three tiered rainbow cake by dying each vanilla cake a different color. Apparently this is revolutionary if you’re not on the wonderful word of YouTube or Instagram. Then she throws some sprinkles on top and it looks about as premiere as what I make for my kid’s birthday parties. It’s also leaning ominously to one be-sparkled side. Luckily the rest of the dinner is far more glorious.
The biggest snafu is when Hannah puts out a call for the deck crew to help her run plates. The exhausted Joao is practically comatose while Travis Michalzik and Jack deepen their bromance down in their cabin. No red-blooded straight man can pull himself away from a conversation about the bouyancy of Hannah’s boobs in case of shipwreck! Like will they stand up straight on their own? Will they fight back if motor-boated? Important details, people!
Unless you’re Captain Sandy, who gets angry that the guys weren’t immediately responding. After hearing Hannah repeat her call Sandy comes storming into the galley demanding to know why. Um, Sandy, are people allowed to go to the bathroom on Sirocco? Do we need to alert OSHA? In the end, it’s Joao – it’s always Joao – who comes to the rescue bearing a steaming pile of cauliflower bisque to place in front of dubious guests who wind up loving it.
Obviously, Ashley loves the surprise dance routine, which heavily references vintage N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.” As if that’s ever a bad thing! And the crew who teeny bops together, stays together, right!? Dancing had nothing on the rainbow cake, though. That night as Hannah stays up until 2 am piling tiny glass beads into canisters, whisking away the crumbs of what she knows was the most successful charter ever; crystal droplets form in the corner of Hannah’s eyes imaging all those glorious dollar signs she just knows will be given.
The next morning Travis is up at 5am, probably using Hannah’s hot spot – for data, people! – and making breakfast for the crew. Hannah enjoys flirting with Travis, but she really enjoys not being too entangled in romantic nonsense to do her job properly. This maturity from Hannah is just so… confusing. As confusing as Ashley writing a song about slaving away for money! Still who can resist a man who cooks?
RELATED: Captain Sandy Yawn Said She Wouldn’t Have Fired Chef Mila Kolomeitseva If She Knew About Homophobic Comments While Filming Below Deck Mediterranean
Anastasia whips up an amazing final breakfast complete with mini smoothie bowls decorated with coconut shavings and edible flowers. Take that, Mila! Mila probably would’ve thrown some polyester fake flowers on there, then been confused when the guests didn’t eat them.
In all the craziness of reduced staff, laundry has slipped. In the rush to get into their dress uniforms to send off the guests, Hannah can’t find her epaulets. They might be hidden in Travis‘ drawers for all we know! Necessity is the chief stewardess of invention and it gives Hannah the brilliant idea for the entire crew to say their farewells wearing Ashley Brinton t-shirts. And it was the perfect way to close a perfect charter.
The guests were lovely and tipped accordingly! Being one crew down has it’s benefits – like $2600 per person in tips. Anastasia wants to eat all this money money – roll it up like a taquito, stuff it with peanut butter and marshmallow fluff, and devour it. Or have Hannah make it rain while she rolls around naked in it!
The next best thing is Anastasia putting on her bikini to lay out on the deck with Aesha and Hannah. But first a promotion! As Sandy is combing the staffing websites for available chefs she has the brilliant idea to just ask Anastasia if she wants the job. After all it’s her calling, according to Sandy, and a calling is the same as skills!
When Sandy proposes this to Anastasia she immediately accepts (with a raise for the last charter). And as watchers of Below Deck Mediterranean well know it’s easier to replace a third stew than a chef! Feeling like she captained successfully, Sandy takes off for a day in town. Leaving the rest of the crew to their own devices in turning down the boat. Which means boozing while you barely work (if you’re Hannah).
Unfortunately, Joao and Hannah aren’t so thrilled with this new development. Hannah because she genuinely loves having competent stewardesses for once, and is nervous about what a new person will mean for their cohesiveness. Hannah’s also not sure if Anastasia truly understands what it’s like to be trapped in the galley, day in day out, charter after charter, whipping up gourmet meals multiple times per day.
Joao is unhappy because Sandy decided Travis can also just stay in the galley to assist Anastasia, which means Joao is down to one decent deckhand – Colin – plus Jack, who thinks work is spelled “O-P-T-I-O-N-A-L”. Case in point: Jack is in the middle of washing down the boat when he gets word that the ladies are laying out in their bikinis.
Jack immediately throws down his shammy in defiance, runs to take a peek, then decides to crack open a bottle of rose and deliver it to them. Even more delicious, he takes off all his clothes, bunching up his boxers into a ruffly speedo shape (fluffo?). You know panties up the butt is the way to Aesha’s heart! The entire time Joao is furiously radioing Jack, without response.
When Jack finally reappears from his triumphant mission, Joao immediately lays into him for trying to decide when work is done. In Jack’s mind when the work is finished, working is done. So tell him what to do, he’ll do it, but Joao is a micromanager who wants set strict schedules and timelines. Travis is Team Jack. Except Travis knows to keeps his defiance a secret …For now.
Seriously though, as crass and irresponsible as Jack is, he’s equally irresistible and adorable. And he’s also capable of recognizing that he’s just about pushed Joao too far and better batten down the hatches.
That night as the crew heads out, everyone dresses to the nines and is ready to party. Colin has apparently found his groove, finally, not with the guys but in between Aesha and Anastasia. They are happy to form a Colin Sandwich! Leaving Hannah where she wants to be: with all the guys fawning all over her.
And just like we all suspected the ‘New Joao‘ is all nonsense! A couple drinks in, Joao overhears Anastasia telling Colin about how much work goes into being a chef. Soon, Jezabob rears his ugly head to rip into her about how she’s not a ‘real chef.’
Even more telling, Hannah sat by and said nothing as Anastasia runs to the bathroom in tears.
Did anyone really believe Joao was a changed man? It was only a matter of time before his humble, sweet guy act fell apart like an unsecured slide!
TELL US – SHOULD ANASTASIA BE THE PERMANENT CHEF ON THIS SEASON OF BELOW DECK MEDITERRANEAN?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]