Something fishy is going on with Below Deck Mediterranean and with each episode we see the further unraveling of Anastasia Surmava and Travis Michalzik. Anastasia is reminding me of one of those Tudor princesses forced upon a throne she is woefully unprepared to reign; the pawn of warring factions seeking the easiest and most disposable means of domination. Anastasia is a sitting duck … and if she doesn’t watch out she might find herself served (undercooked) for dinner!
I do not understand where these sudden temperature issues have arrived from? Anastasia was doing OK the first couple charters. She assumed the mantle of chef, but now the girl needs to acquaint herself with Mila’s microwave! Or possibly have Captain Sandy Yawn invest in plate domes? Anastasia believes the problem is not with her cooking (No! Never her fault!), but in the 130 feet it takes to migrate food from the sweatshop galley – a literal hovel of doom where chefs go in like lions and out like sobbing mental patients – to the table. Um, how does 130 feet freeze rice?
Then there is Travis. He gets my “bless his heart” award for this week. Although it really outta be “God did not bless this mess.” Travis and Hannah Ferrier have found themselves in some sort of toxic intermingling, which involves mean mommy role playing and Hannah making “save me” eyes at Joao Franco and trying to goad him into rescuing her. I just cannot take the depravity! I’d rather watch Jack Stirrup suck Aesha Scott‘s toes on an extended play loop for the next 15 straight hours while being forced to consume cold rice and ravioli.
So bless everyone’s heart. Let’s get this thing started.
So first Johnny Damon‘s wife Michelle expects FIVE STAR. No, no – she doesn’t want a Back To School FiveStar notebook in Wide Ruled spacing to doodle Johnny Loves Michelle, she wants FIVE STAR chicken nuggets. Not eggplant rollatini. Look, I joke but I wouldn’t want that either. Maybe as a side? These people were trying to drink the Sirocco out of low tide – they needed sustenance (or else risk a brawl with the neighboring yachtee).
An eggplant slice ain’t gonna cut it. Actually the one guest who initially lodged the complaint about the food was polite and non-offensive the entire charter. Also at no point was he wearing a t-shirt featuring a picture of an erection, ala Anders (who IS a doctor responsible for sticking his hands up women’s crotches and needs to be banned from humanity everywhere).
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Despite their perpetual hanger, Damon, party of 7, had fantastic things to say about the crew and left a sizable tip, both in monetary value and in practical ones. Sandy has some things to consider and what a bitter pill to have one’s decision making processes called into question by a woman wearing the equivalence of a stripper’s costume as a shirt. Did anyone else notice that this episode opened with the very first line being, “We had sex in the bathroom…” I assume that was Michelle referring to her first date with Johnny?
Sandy decides the way to motivate Anastasia into greatness is to pull Travis from the galley so she has to be a #BossBabe without relying on a sous. “Own your galley!” Sandy encourages with the intense conviction of a multi-level marketing Upline. The world is your Mary Kay, Anastasia! Hannah did not look convinced…
Then Sandy surprises the crew by announcing a mid-season respite at the high-end resort Hotel Monte Carlo where there will be unlimited access to alcohol and tons of embarrassing antics. And in this case, also tons of thongs! Bless these girls and their cellulite-free booties.
Instead of reveling in galley ownership, Anastasia is literally chafing under the pressure and even starts snapping at Aesha. Everyone is mean to Aesha this episode. It’s because she just wants everyone to be her friend. Even the vacuum, who will be your Mr. Right in times strife. Bonus fun if you straddle it while it’s turned on!
But Anastasia seems to believe she has a real career now, one that requires brain power, unlike being +1 to a vacuum. Um, wasn’t Anastasia third stew 3 charters ago? Wasn’t she the June, June, Hannah of yore? OK, not fair – there’s only one June Foster. Thankfully.
That night, with the crew boat-bound awaiting their day off, Travis and Jack play bartender and get trashed wasting top-shelf liquor on slapstick bartending tricks they probably got off June, a bartending school dropout. Hannah has no time for fun — she is on a quest to know Joao’s heart. HAHAHA… Joao’s heart basically makes me think of fish lips opening and closing with nothing coming out but bubbles that go nowhere.
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Hannah is desperate for love and attention (or something not therapy), so she pulls Joao aside to inquire if he was serious about being jealous that Hannah was making out with Travis.
I am BARFING over a potential Joao/Hannah hookup. I am also laughing hysterically that while Hannah tackles this task she is wearing a camouflage statement shirt that reads, “Eternal Dilemma.” Joao insists he was just being “hypothetical,” but Hannah isn’t convinced. After all her other shirt says, “Thin line between Love and Date.”
Moments after Hannah’s hypothetical rejection, June tried to have a bonding moment, but Hannah’s eyes just called her dumb until June ran away mumbling about how swimming pools make her want to eat soup. I can’t figure June out? Is she just really anxious? Does she have Aspergers which she confused with Have to have burgers? Is she just… literally on a different frequency communing with butterflies and Colin Macy O’Toole‘s rash-prone dermatitis? June, you make yachting fun. Did you hear that? Is your radio on?
The next day Hannah sets off to for realz make Joao jealous by making out with Travis in front him from the beautiful pool of the Hotel Monte Carlo. When I say making out, what I really mean is chain-smoking and blowing it in each other’s mouths, then tapping out your smokes in the ashtray resting on Travis’s crotch. It has the opposite of intended effects, because Joao, now an arbiter of class, is disgusted.
Even I can agree with him there! But Joao expecting high-end standards at a place with a beer pong table? Also, Joao clearly hasn’t been reading tabloids about the exploits of the rich and famous – much a debauchery and disgustingness to be had!
Now I am convinced the crew wasn’t actually allowed inside the hotel (and probably peed in the pool). Because otherwise Jack and Aesha would’ve found themselves a room to get busy in. Instead they dry humped at the pool, fondled Travis‘ semi in his too-tight speedo, and drank and drank and drank. Travis promised Hannah he wasn’t gonna get too wasted, then proceeded to pass out at the pool before dinner. To quote Hannah, “Oh Honeeeeeeey,” with laser beams eyes deflating any hard-on that may linger.
Travis’s lowest moment comes at dinner when he wrenches the wine bottle out of the waitresses’ hand and demands to open it himself, going so far as to tell her to “Fuck Off.” The incident is so egregious even Colin says something. Something mild and very vanilla, something that would melt June’s heart into Adffogato Soupreme.
Then, Colin broke into hives and flounced down to the June end of the table to sulk with his sister island, Iceolation. Colin probably also called his mommy to ask if she still has his peer mediator handbook from middle school. Look, I love Colin – I do, I do. He’s sweet and demure and all the things I would probably be on this ship of fools and floozies.
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Speaking of, Joao is a shithead! TOTAL. He does not approve of Aesha’s raunchy humor or being comfortable with herself and her body, so he says her dinner outfit makes her look like a Russian Prostitute. Right in front of Jack. Who has the dignity to look speechless and appalled. He really should’ve punched Joao in the face, but unlike Hannah, Aesha doesn’t need a man and fights her own battles so much better.
Instead, Aesha calls Joao out at dinner. He gives some bullshit explanation that he respects Aesha because she reminds him of his mother who was robbed and beaten with an elephant bone but always stayed positive. So, Joao calls his mother a prostitute? Joao’s problem is that much like a certain Real Housewife of New York we all love to hate, he tries to use his childhood as an excuse for everything. When Joao is confronted he immediately starts bring up some tragic memory as a distraction
Except it sounds like Aesha also had a pretty rough childhood, one which she doesn’t use to define her life, and which has made her realize she needs to live life fully and for herself. Aesha doesn’t need a man to approve of her or condone her behaviors, and she doesn’t need one to tell her that they understand she is a survivor of tragedy. Basically Shut the fuck up, Joao!
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BUT! BUT! Isn’t it funny that last season Joao treated Hannah the way he’s treating Aesha, whereas Brooke was his virginal motherfigure, ever-forgiving. Now Hannah is the new proper mommy type, and Joao is constantly turning a blind eye, because in what universe is Hannah classy?
Like a good Mummy Dearest Hannah pulls Travis outside to lecture him on appropriate drinking behavior. It’s all fine and good advice, which he clearly won’t take. Hannah has a soft spot for Travis because he reminds her of her older brother… Why is she playing footsies with her sib?
Since Travis was drunk/passed out/getting lectured he missed Aesha’s entire exchange with Joao, but Aesha fills him in later. Although Aesha thanked Joao for the explanation, she knows this won’t be the last time he makes a comment since it wasn’t the first time either.
The next morning as they’re prepping for their newest charter, Travis requests to have a one-on-one to tell off Joao for insulting Aesha. Like many of Travis’s plans it all came to naught because he couldn’t point to anything specific that occurred being that he was PASSED OUT and all. Joao also seems to think Aesha truly accepted his apology… Let he Joao Franco Apology Tour Round 2 commence!
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And now a new group of charter guests full of hijinks! Here I am, yet again, wondering, “Where do they find these people?” Bravo must have a rolodex of all the outrageous people in America sitting around, waiting to be plucked out of obscurity. So let’s meet Vern, the primary, an accountant with a penchant for bright colors and illicit jet ski rides, and friends who love truffle fries. This group wants to party. And drink a lot of fresh juice. Captain Sandy thinks they will be fun… Captain Sandy can hide in the bridge.
Anastasia seems prepared, but almost immediately there is an issue with the homemade lobster ravioli being cold. In fairness to Anastasia there was a strong wind… But as Hannah often says a true chef would know how to accommodate for this.
Over lunch, there is another timing issue again when Anastasia sends out the mains, but hasn’t even started the sides and these guests want truffle fries. Like children they ask over and over again, every 5 seconds. The “truffle fries” rant basically replaced “June June Hannah…” as the unofficial anthem.
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By the time Anastasia finally gets them to the table, the guests are ready to jet ski to another country; way out of legal jurisdiction which has them zooming in between other boats, until the boat police fire up their sirens. It was the most action they’ve had since Lindsay Lohan was at the Cannes Film Festival without underwear. Fearing a fine Captain Sandy demands Joao go out in a tender to round up the guests and pull the jet skis. OOOOH! Sanctioned!
Then comes dinner. First of all, I really don’t understand Anastasia’s choice of cuisine? Why would you serve America southern food when these people are in the south of France. The rice is cold (of course), which has several guests sending it back to be reheated. Vern also complains that the fish wasn’t seasoned enough. But I mean how much Cheddar Bay seasoning does a guy need? It looked like that fish was wrapped in paprika!
The biggest problem, however, is Anastasia’s inability to take criticism! Captain Sandy sends her up to enquire about dinner but just as she is getting defensive and making excuses for cold food, Sandy interjects with a brilliant idea! They’ll just put the plates in the oven to help keep the food warm. There’s Captain Sandy for you, revolutionizing food service everywhere. Or just using Google.
But no amount of toasty warm plates can make up for Vern finding a hair in his cheesecake. A dessert he apparently doesn’t even like (probably because this is France – why are you serving Key Lime Pie?!). Anastasia insists it’s not her hair and we leave on a Whodunnit Clif Hanger? Who put the hair on Vern’s cheesecake?
Also, the preview for next weeks supersized episode – whooooweeee! I think I know what happens with the crew shifting around.
TELL US – IS IT ANASTASIA’S TIME TO GO? IS TRAVIS OUT OF CONTROL? SHOULD AESHA FORGIVE JOAO?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]