Joao Franco - Below Deck Mediterranean

Below Deck Mediterranean Recap: Strike Out

On last night’s Below Deck Mediterranean the cracks started to show with an overworked crew and an under qualified chef!

The episode opened with June Foster literally fleeing the dinner table to puke in a trashcan. I thought Bravo was setting us up for some enormous reveal. June is pregnant! Hannah Ferrier fed her a bad oyster! Jackie Seigel‘s ring had poison in it (and who tried to poison Jackie!?)! June had an allergic reaction to spray tan! The thought of dating Colin Macy-O’Toole made June gag.

But re: June and Colin getting together. Have you ever seen two such American smiles? They both have a full set of gator chompers. Teeth so white and straight and perfectly stylized by precision American orthodonistry that a full set of false teeth would just pop out of June’s uterus. 

Anyway we never do find out if June has a boyfriend, or why June was throwing up, but I don’t think anyone (except Colin) cares what June is doing. The rest of the crew treats June like an afterthought – as disposable as the plastic silverware she forgot in Eze, the knives from which Hannah has used to slice June right out of the group.

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June Foster - Below Deck Mediterranean

June is annoying though. Like how many rounds of “June, June… Hannah; June, June… Hannah…” did we have to listen to? Which kind of got me into a mediative space after awhile. Below Deckian Chants. Colin really should make a song out of this. But anyway, had June just worn her freaking ear piece, as Hannah reminded her to do like 6 times, or put down her phone, she’d probably be able to respond to the radio calls.

Instead, June kept missing Hannah’s calls then lied that she was wearing the ear piece. Doh. Then despite taking 2 years to finish bartending school June can barely open a bottle of wine! Is that better or worse than just ignoring them because you’re drinking beer in your cabin?

Enough about June and more about Hannah making out with Travis Michalzik! I had hopes for this guy. Early in the season, Travis seemed a bit zany, but hard-working and easy-going. However with every Below Deck Mediterranean episode, we see Travis growing lazier, surlier, and grosser under the influence of Craptain Jack Sparrow. But under the influence of wine, Hannah will do… well anything even Travis.

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After promising not to kiss until they’ve gone on a proper date, Jack and Aesha Scott are literally dry humping in the back seat of the van back to Sirroco. They’re saving themselves, you guys! But they’re not saving our eyes. Watching them drunkenly grope at each other I felt like I was watching the aftermath of a prom party, and then I felt very icky.

Among their foreplay was Jack licking Aesha’s sweaty filthy feet, then spitting into her bellybutton and licking it out. All of that love, and, errrr… eroticism, comes crashing down though when Jack makes a disgusting rape joke. EEEEEEEERRRRRKKKKK [brakes screech] Rape jokes are NEVER appropriate, but as it turns out Aesha has also actually been raped. She quickly sets Jack straight that jokes like that are in no way, never, nuh-uh, acceptable. To his credit he feels terrible and disgusted with himself.

In the other car, the most exciting thing that happened was June telling Colin she used to model, then showing him a photo of her looking like 58-year-old secretary circa 1985. Colin, whose experience with women comes from spending a lot of time with his mommy, thinks June’s modeling was amazing. It wasn’t – not even for a Sears catalog.

Aesha Scott Below Deck Mediterranean

The next morning, Aesha is still feeling somber as she reflects on her past trauma. Aesha is such a lovely person. Really a good heart with a pure soul. That’s a rare find anywhere – let alone in reality TV. As she eats breakfast alone on the dock, Jack finds her to apologize. They put it behind them. After all — good vibes only before their date that evening! And good vibes will be needed after Jack pisses off Captain Sandy Yawn.

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Captain Sandy Yawn

As Sandy is doing the preference sheet meeting with Joao Franco, Anastasia Surmava, and Hannah the alarm sounds warning for Black Water Systems failure (Wasn’t black water a drink sold by Caroline Manzo??? They’ve taken over the Sirocco?!). The black water tank is actually a big deal because it’s where all the toilet refuge goes and it was overflowing. Maybe Aesha should’ve just put her finger up there?! Maybe June clogged the tank by puking?

Hilariously, the overflow ended up flooding Hannah and Anastasia’s room. Thankfully it wasn’t sewage.

Meanwhile, the engineer, Mike, is doing some pilates and wasn’t responding to his radio. But Jack was around. And he was a Royal Navy engineer so he should be sufficient! Too bad he’s in his cabin joking around with Travis while drinking beers.

Joao tried something different with the crew by giving them checklists, and when they finished the tasks, they were off. But Sandy was furious that Jack and Travis didn’t immediately jump up at the sound of the alarm and offer to help. She bangs on their cabin door and demands they go track down the engineer. Where was that guy?! It ended up being a huge cat and mouse game until Mike finally surfaced from no one knows where.

Jack Stirrup & Travis Michalzik

Sandy was obviously projecting blame onto Jack after a pattern of laziness. Which I understand, but Travis has generally seemed helpful and capable. As punishment, Jack is has to clean up the water in the girls room, but nothing can dampen his spirits (see what I did there!) because he’s about to have a date with Aesha.

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After witnessing what wastrels Jack and Travis were, Hannah decides she has to cancel her half of the double date. Mostly because Travis was drinking –  after all who would need to be drunk to put up with her for an evening?! That seems like a stupid reason. Especially coming from Winenah.

Jack Stirrup & Aesha Scott

Jack and Aesha’s date went amazingly well and they had a romantic first kiss while being serenaded over dinner. I was really hoping for these two but then I checked Jack’s Instagram and SPOILER ALERT: He’s dating some British girl who calls herself a stylist (maybe she is?), but looks like a wannabe WAG.

But, for now, Aesha is still peeping in on Jack as he takes a piss (literally) to check out his willie. In case you were wondering she pronounces it “a good one.” These two really do belong together. Move over, British girl.

To redeem himself after a thwarted date, Travis dresses in his finery – aka all dressed up with nowhere to go – and finds Hannah on the bow so they can hang out. He makes sure to bring only water. Until Hannah requests water that turns into wine. (OK, Travis offered).

We all know where this is headed: a segue about how Travis has a drinking problem, which as indicated in the mid-season previews, appears to be true. That’s a prevailing issue in yacht life, where the only entertainment seems to be getting it on with your co-workers and hitting the bottle.

Travis Michalzik Hannah Ferrier

But, for now, Travis credits a penchant for alcohol on feeling socially awkward and having a sheltered childhood. Um, Colin didn’t fall prey to that — probably because his mommy is still giving him a sheltered childhood.

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In response to Sandy witnessing firsthand how out of control the deck crew is, Joao tries to set some limits with a rule about no beer before 5 pm. Does Joao mean even during charter, or just in between? I’m confused about the logistics and laws which govern what’s appropriate. Like June thinks she needs permission to eat lunch whereas Jack doesn’t think he needs permission to raid the liquor cabinet…

And, finally, in comes the new charter led by former MLB superstar Johnny Damon, along with his wife and several friends; one of who professes to be a gynecologist. I hope he was lying because honestly it was like the Seinfeld gyno who Elaine dated. This guest made way too many vag jokes and comments, in addition to inappropriately touching the stews. GROSSSSS.

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Anastasia decides that after impressing the Queen of Versailles with her urchin she can slack off a bit with a lowly baseball player. OK, what part of Anastasia thought Jackie was classy enough to appreciate fine dining? Jackie is the one guest who would’ve loved Mila’s food. Cheez Whiz is definitely a delicacy in the Trampa Fauxsaille.

It also appears that by the way Anastasia is snapping at everyone and being obnoxious – especially when June asks an innocent question about where some cup might be – that the title of chef is going to her head. But this charter is where we start to see that Anastasia isn’t up to the task. Which Captain Sandy should’ve known all along!

Anastasia might be a natural cook with good flavor instinct, but she’s not trained. Also, Anastasia interpreting a preference sheet that doesn’t list a lot of specifics as people who don’t have sophisticated tastes is a major error!

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As evidenced by Anastasia’s first lunch, which was grilled Caesar salad with a charcuterie plate. That’s it. Nothing else. Hannah’s clipped “that’s all?” when Anastasia shared the menu, combined with Hannah snapping little notepad shut signifies that Anastasia is about to get a Honey Reward for Least Impressive. Basically, Anastasia is lucky June is an idiot who can’t work the radio.

Joao Fraco Sandy Yawn

With the deck crew floundering and Sandy’s unproductive advice that Joao “be a good friend,” she hopes to boost Joao’s morale by letting him move the yacht from the dock. Sandy hopes intrinsic motivation, as in experiencing the power which comes from controlling this enormous boat will exude into Joao’s mindset about controlling his crew.

While Joao does put it on a shortlist of his best lifetime moments, it does not translate into motivating Jack or Travis. Honestly, Joao should just dangle beers in front of all the cleaning products!

Johnny Damon Below Deck Mediterranean

Another problem with having Anastasia in the galley is that Travis is still doing double-duty, and he seems both tired and annoyed that the deck crew and interior are overly relying on him. It’s especially evident in times of crisis. Like when Sirocoo hits rough waters and Sandy decides to move the boat which requires bringing in all the water toys. The jet skis won’t move the ramp since the water is so rocky, and they can’t turn them on to move them. Travis and Jack are on break (and ignoring their radio calls), so Johnny himself volunteers to put his home run hitting muscles to work helping Colin tow it in. Que c’est embarrassant!

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If you can’t take the heat get Travis out of the kitchen — which is exactly what Joao is going to talk to Captain Sandy about! Joao basically seems jealous that Travis gets to spend so much time with the girls, lavishing in their attention and rubbing against them as he dries dishes…

That night, Anastasia serves seared filet mignon with brussel sprouts for dinner (even though the guests requested local flavors) and the plating process – making a stack of THREE elements on top of one another – requires absolute silence and concentration.

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When June comes into the kitchen to ask something, Anastasia snaps that there are too many people distracting her. June feels personally slighted. I do think Hannah and Anastasia have decided they don’t like June. Hannah because she wants to force June to quit so Anastasia can slink back to third stew. Anastasia because she’s venting her stress and how overwhelmed she is  onto the person she knows the least. Also, she’s following Hannah’s lead.

June complains to Colin about feeling ignored, but begs him not to say anything. Colin is so smitten he was ready to barge into the kitchen using a baguette and a cheese wheel as a sword and shield to defend June’s honor.

Anastasia Surmava

Unfortunately, Colin wouldn’t have fit through the door because Hannah was bringing the plates BACK after the guests – including Johnny – complained about the steaks being undercooked. On such an elementary meal, that is a seriously rookie mistake. Hannah should be angry, but is probably secretly pleased of indication that Anastasia is cracking under the pressure like day old bread.

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I’m frankly just tired of Anastasia’s outsized ego. Just as Hannah is tired of June’s excuses and nonsensical use of the English language. (or any language except text). Hannah finds June’s phone lying in the bar and tries to explain that phones stay in their cabins per Captain Sandy‘s instructions, but June interrupts with babbling some strange reason that might as well have been spoken in pig latin (or Ashley Brinton speak).

The next morning as Colin is dreaming of June riding up on the anchor dressed like a 1940’s pinup, he realizes the anchor won’t budge. It’s stuck to something! Meaning the boat can’t move. Sandy’s solution is to send the guests to Monaco while sending Joao and Travis to the bottom of the ocean in scuba gear to asses the problem and hopefully free the anchor. Jack disagrees with this plan. According to him, none of them are paid enough to risk getting pinned by a monstrously heavy anchor chain if it springs loose. When put like that I’m not OK with Captain Sandy’s solution either.

Anchor troubles Below Deck Mediterranean

And in order to free herself from June, Hannah sends her ashore to babysit the guests. Hopefully, June won’t be your typical teenaged baby-sitter who is too busy staring at her phone to pay attention to her charges…


[Photo Credits: Bravo]