Oh Below Deck Mediterranean – sailing through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world with some of the most hideous people! Johnny Damon‘s wife needs to literally take several seats. Preferably on a yacht she actually owns.
I don’t know what is going on with this boat, but the constantly twisted up anchor seems to be a metaphor for the crew as well. Anastasia Surmava is now officially WAAAAY too big for her britches, but her britches are probably a thong bikini bottoms, so… Last week Anastasia was panicking over a unicorn cake. Now, she’s marching into the Michelin Star Service Station – without her chef’s coat! – to announce that she’s here to pick up her stars. Everything Anastasia served last night was a disappointment and the guests – bless their grimy, probably sexually unsatisfied hearts – were right to complain to Captain Sandy Yawn.
Chefs of the Below Deck: If we can make it at home using a Pinterest recipe we do not want to eat it on a yacht!!
So where to begin? How about underwater where Travis Michalzik and Joao Franco are still scuba diving. Tied to bottom of their anchor is the abandoned Titanic so now the Sirocco is trapped. Joao can’t make the anchor cooperate no matter what he tries. Basically the anchor is Jack Stirrup, and this is a familiar theme with Joao. Jack is Joao’s iceberg.
If they can’t get the invader anchor untwisted, Captain Sandy will have to release the Sirocco’s anchor, thereby ending their charter season because the boat wouldn’t legally be able enter any docks without an anchor. The pressure is ON. Luckily scuba diving doesn’t require talking so Travis and Joao are able to work well together.
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Two hours later, while June and Aesha Scott are relaxing in Monaco ‘baby sitting’ the guests and Hannah is furiously scrubbing cabins (“furious” being the operative word), Joao and Travis free their anchor. Travis still detests Joao, but at least he was able to demonstrate his competence to Captain Sandy!
Hannah Ferrier can now relate to Joao’s frustration with recalcitrant crew. As the familiar refrain of “June, June, Hannah…” gets stuck in our heads like the song that doesn’t end. Hannah cannot make June mind no matter how many crazy eyes she fixes at her. And Hannah was really giving Ramona Singer a run for her “honey…” this episode!
I do appreciate June’s dedication to food, though. Even in Monaco all she thinks about is lunch. The only thing that actually breaks June’s monotone is the sight of a snack. Otherwise, she’s pretty much a ghost. A ghost who can’t work a radio. Is the volume turned up? Hannah even has several crew members test June’s radio and all of them can hear, but June is on a different frequency from the rest of us. Let the game of June, June, Hannah & Seek continue!
And lest you think with the anchor corralled the crisis ended, fear not! As they’re on their way to Monaco Sandy notices high winds on the Doppler – which means they need to immediately get the boat to nearby St. Tropez, or find themselves trapped there with bad weather and seasick guests! To add to the fun they only have 4 hours before the docks close but they’re three hours away, and the guest are on shore! Colin Macy-O’Toole is dispatched to pry the guests out of the honky tonk bar they managed to find underneath a dumpster and where they’re probably offering 2-for-1 gynecological exams to sea turtles.
With all the drama between the anchor and the weather, Travis has been awake since 4am with no break – and he still has to assist Anastasia in the galley for dinner! Travis confides his frustration to Hannah, who in mommy role (aka I can control you mode), is sympathetic.
Anastasia isn’t worried about high winds rocking the boat. She’s cooked while simultaneously surfing the waves, snatching star fish from the depths to turn into soup! She’s sautéed in swimwear, chained to a stove! Which means it’s spaghetti for supper.
Sirocco arrives at port just in time, to dock in the narrowest slip ever. A grown man could barely lay horizontally in between the two neighboring boats. It was all the sex euphemisms about slipping it into a wet crevice you could think of. With a deck crew that is suddenly professional and in sync directing traffic, Sandy eases the boat in perfectly as a crowd watches on. It turns out Hannah used to work on the boat next door. A boat that is so close one of the gentlemen invites himself over (I swear he just hopped over the railings) and proceeds to get in a drunken argument with Johnny’s wife about the ways America is failing France.
In the wake of brewing brawl Hannah has to wake up Joao for help. The neighbor decides the way to bridge international diplomacy is for Johnny’s friends to have drink on his yacht. Not OK with Michelle, Johnny’s wife, who reacts by pointing her acrylic nail in the guy’s face while ranting that she owns this boat and makes all the rules – meaning no drinks with traitors! So, June, June, Mrs. Damon…?
Things get so heated Joao has to change out of his PJ’s to escort Mr. Neighbor off the boat with a bearhug while Hannah hauls Mrs. Damon off the railing where she’s caterwauling like a fish monger. “These people have to understand this is St. Tropez, we don’t act like that here, HONEY,” Hannah scoffs.
To celebrate their excellent crisis management skills in dealing with drunks Joao grabs Hannah in a creepy side-hug as she’s trying to walk away. Can someone get Joao, and Dr. Anders, the predatory gynecologist guest, some sexual harassment training, STAT!
Anyway, I blame dinner for all the acrimony. And I also blame dinner – or lack thereof – for the supremely drunken guests. See, you cannot serve a beefy baseball player and his crotch sniffing coterie several glasses of wine a teeny tiny ‘deconstructed’ salad with lukewarm eggplant rollotini and call it dinner. Two eggplant rollatini per guests to be exact, followed by adffogato. (Again.) As in Anastasia adffogato some courses. Actually, June really was confused… Considering that June is always forgetting when she’s allowed to eat.
Johnny doesn’t like eggplant, plus he sends it back to be heated up more. Expecting praise Anastasia swans up to the dinner table to announce dessert, only to be upstaged by Captain Sandy when everyone starts applauding her for slipping it in so smoothly. “Captain Sandy stole my thunder,” she complains stomping back downstairs. Anastasia suddenly has an ego bigger than an eggplant.
That truly amazing docking job Captain Sandy did demonstrate the importance of using the radio. Imagine if JUNE were on the other end of those radios? June is aware that Hannah is frustrated, but instead of confronting the situation like an adult by speaking to Hannah about what can be changed, June complains to Colin and Joao, then insists they not say anything.
Joao finds June hiding in the corner – with her BFF iPhone – and she opens up about her issues with Hannah, then decides the conversation is done by pulling an “invisibility curtain” around herself. She literally mimes this, then informs Joao that he can’t see her. Except Joao can see her. He can also see that despite her hotness, June is too crazy even for him. But not for Colly! Colly will talk to June on the wish line, Skee-Lo style. He wishes he were a baller so he could call her with a rabbit in a hat with a bat of French bread and a crueler. Also driving an Impala instead of a tender. Please tell me someone remembers this song from the heyday of 90’s hip hop??? Please tell me I am not the lone historian of cheesey.
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Only Jack and Aesha are impervious to all the issues as they take every spare moment to sneak a make out; hiding in corners, sniffing each other’s shoes, licking each other over dirty dishes. It’s basically dirt bag porn and Hannah wants the morality police to issue a citation. Except, curiously, Aesha seems like she doesn’t want to get serious with Jack just yet…
On the final full day of charter the guests decide they want only one meal besides breakfast, which should tell you all you need to know about what they think of Anastsia’s cooking! Anastasia decides to wow them with a dinner of sea urchin shells and fried lobster. She is confident until the lobsters show up LIVE (duh)! Super Chef Anastasia suddenly has an attack of the Vegans and cannot butcher a live animal so Joao has to do it for her.
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The guests haven’t eaten all day save for a snack of chips and jarred salsa (left over from Mila’s esteemed tenure as Aunt Jemima, culinary ambassador to France, introducing the Mediterranean to convenience food), needless to say, they are famished by dinner and want to be fed. Perfect time for cucumber noodles, followed by lobsters served two-by-two because only two burners were working on the stove and Anastasia didn’t figure out a way of batch preparing them. #GoogleIsYourFoodieFriend Also if that’s the situation, put out a bread basket and some fantastic appetizer plate etc. to tide them over while they wait!
Of course Johnny’s lobster is undercooked. Look – I don’t know if this guy has a fetish with rubbery over-cooked food, or he’s just really into things being extra hot, but at this point Anastasia should be aware that dude wants to burn his tongue on whatever is on his plate!
Anastasia is so unsettled after the lobster murdering that she needs to lie down. Literally. She just wants these gross guests off the boat, as if they are the problem, not her; not lobster guilt. Not even a pep talk from Travis about how much he admires Anastasia for living an unconventional life can rouse her spirit. Anastasia also blames the “temperature issues” on the crew being slow to bring plates to the table and making the guests think her food is shitty. The editors helpfully point out that the distance from the galley to the dining table is 130 feet.
In the glow of the final morning of a long and exhausting charter, Captain Sandy walks into the dining room to find all the chairs askew and June nowhere to be found. After a round of “June, June, Sandy… June, June, Sandy… JUNE, JUNE, WTF – IT’S SANDY… ” June is located at the ironing board. June’s excuse is that her radio was charging. It’s also not working. Plus speaks Klingon, not English…. And can only hear if her hair is in her ear… Sandy solves the problem by handing June her personal radio, which she knows works, and warns June that if she doesn’t listen to the prompts there will be hell to pay. June ponders that for a second, then finds herself thinking of how she just wants breakfast.
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Speaking of, Anastasia serves eggs benedict and brings them out to the guests, sans chef jacket, not even individually plated. Johnny winds up playing waiter. They might as well just hire him at this point! As Captain Sandy watches on, Anastasia gets testy when a guest asks for potatoes. Sandy interjects to let them know they can actually order whatever they want for breakfast — boxed pancakes, toaster strudel, Honey Nut Cheerio’s, pop tarts… The world is their hot pocket!
Short order cooking is literally Anastasia’s fear. Scarier than live lobsters stoically accepting their imminent doom at the hands of Joao’s savage Zim-ness, so when Sandy questions if Anastasia been asking the guests what they want the answer is NO. Which is a big no for Sandy. Also, a big no, being out of her chef’s jacket. Even if it does still carry the stink of dead lobster!
The guests seem very aware that the crew doesn’t like them. Especially Anastasia who jokes that she’s making them “a kick in the ass” for lunch. Unfortunately, Team Damon has the last laugh when they tell Captain Sandy that the food wasn’t five-star and negatively affected their entire experience. Being in France they expected French food, but what they got was… a weird ill-conceived mishmash of errors.
In the wake of everything else going well, Sandy is suddenly uncertain about the decision to promote Anastasia. Maybe Sandy should try her luck with another third stew! June’s dad was a chef, just like Anastasia’s mom, so she’d probably be fine. And we know June at least tastes her food!
TELL US – IS ANASTASIA’S EGO OUT OF CONTROL? IS HANNAH BEING TOO HARD ON JUNE?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]