Below Deck Charter Guest Brandy Ashton Pienaar

Below Deck Recap: Booze Cruise

Oh sheesh, last night’s Below Deck was A. MESS. From charter guest Brandy, a literal sea sponge soaked in champagne and leeching everywhere, to Kevin Dobson‘s inability to count, to Abbi Murphys drunken disarray… I don’t know what is in the water over in Thailand, but remind me never to drink it!

So Helen + ‘friends’ are on a beach picnic, slurping down cocktails and fish sandwhiches, taking selfies, and Brandy is so trashed she’s speaking in tongues and seeing apparitions in the pattern of her beach towels. Too bad she didn’t have an epiphany about the evils of gluttony, like Helen advised. 

Below Deck Charter Guest Brandy

I have no idea what is going on with this girl, but she’s the drunkest guest I’ve ever experienced. Captain Lee Rosbach gets Brandy back to the boat and calls for medical attention. Courtney Skippon doesn’t like to touch anything icky or slimy or unappetizing, so naturally she gets put on Brandy-sitting duty until the doctor arrives! Every so often Courtney pokes Brandy with a broomstick to make sure she moves, then goes back to picking at her nails. OK let’s discuss that Thai doctor. Brandy tells him she’s been drinking champagne for 2 weeks straight so he prescribes juice, then deduces that the incoherent woman talking to her imaginary friend Jeff, is like totally fine.

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Meanwhile Kevin prepares dinner. Theoretically. It would appear that provisions and towns don’t exist in Thailand, because even though Kevin ran out of fish for the seafood extravaganza, and was forced to comb through the freezers in the nether-regions of Valor, he STILL DIDN’T ORDER ANY ADDITIONAL food. Like, duuuuuude — ultimate hypocrite! Lecturing Kate Chastain on how service should be conducted, when you can’t even plan your own dinners?!

Also having difficulty with planning is Abbi. Oh this one… She can’t handle getting herself dressed because having three outfits, in three different colors, is so confusing, but she can remember to apply BODY BRONZER in the middle of tropical heat? Luckily Helen is currently there to rub her orange glow all over everything, but happens when new, spray-tanned guests arrive? We’re going to find stains ala Abbi on everything. Courtney is going to love cleaning those!

Courtney is growing on me, though. I kinda love her disenfranchised entitlement, like a Chica Barnfell’s parents lost her at sea and she woke up on a yacht that belonged to someone else, now has to work her way back to the United States and her pony. Or who knows maybe Courtney thinks getting a job will finally make her parents pay attention to her so she not longer has to eat lasagna as birthday cake.

In addition to Abbi’s wardrobe dysfunctions she cannot restrain her hair. I know it’s all fun to look like a Disney Princess, but it’s more than likely gonna go down like Rose on the Titanic, then Moana. Plus I’m pretty sure even Moana fashioned a clamshell into a barrette a time or two. Honestly as a fellow long-haired girl, I don’t know how Abbi can stand that sticky mass all over her neck. Furthermore it’s making Ashton Pienaar look bad because Captain Lee has to remind him to tell Abbi the rule. In fact Ashton’s entire team is making him look bad!

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While he’s changing into his blacks, Brian de Saint Pern is bringing up the slide and uses something called a “davit” – a small crane-like object that apparently cannot be bonked against an open umbrella lest it be rendered useless. Basically it’s a very expensive piece of equipment that must be handled with care while being expected to do heavy lifting. So, Courtney. Anyway, after breaking Brian goes straight to Captain Lee in a panic to confess, bypassing his direct superior Ashton. Captain Lee isn’t impressed, and warns Brian that people on his watch are allowed only one mistake. Otherwise they have to traverse over to Below Deck Mediterranean where Captain Sandy Yawn gives out free hugs with every fuck up.

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Below Deck Captain Lee Rosbach

Then Captain Lee calls Ashton onto the bridge to report Brian’s error. Ashton has no idea what Lee is talking about and is given a lecture about losing control of the pecking order. Peck, peck – Ashton, that’s failure knocking. In an effort to salvage the morale and organization of his crew, Ashton gives them a Captain Sandy-esque pep talk about how he’s always there for them.

Of course no one is going to crash and burn harder than Kevin. After his issue with Simone Mashile over breakfast service and Kate’s tattling, Captain Lee calls Kevin in for a talk. Kevin obviously does not understand how this works: he listens to Captain Lee give some cockamamie lecture filled with Dr. Phil of the High Seas metaphors about anacondas eating raccoon meat and vintage Cadillac coupe Deville’s having less rides than Dr. Lee’s patience, then one is expected to look down at the ground apologizing, with promises that Captain Lee will be replaced in their prayers as one’s personal Jesus. Instead, Kevin, who’s in the middle of dinner prep, rushes through explaining that he fixed things with Simone, and then blames the entire thing on Kate for being a crybaby.

HA! at Captain Lee getting a taste of his own medicine for once. Uh-oh for Kevin being too stupid to realize what a gaffe that was. So bad Kevin might as well hang himself out to dry from a broken davit that is suspended above a whirlpool or Helen’s open arms.

Oh, but it gets worse, becuase then Kevin accidentally EATS Captain Lee‘s portion of the main course! Brandy is out for dinner, down in the convalescent cabinet screaming “Champagne, Jeffery” to the soundproof walls, so Kevin has prepared dinner for 7, with NO EXTRA PORTIONS left. He scrounged through the freezer for some barebones, leftover fish, wrapped them in banana leaves, and the plops them on a carrot salad, and right as the stews are taking out these plates in an orderly fashion, Kevin samples that seventh portion, forgetting that Captain Lee is eating with the guests. Which obviously means Captain Lee is left sitting at the table munching a garnish while the guests slurp up reconstituted fish. Unimpressed doesn’t begin to describe it.

Kate is shocked. Actually Kate is gleeful. Nothing – absolutely nothing – more accidentally perfectly karmactic has ever happened in her life. But seriously, why wouldn’t Kevin quickly apologize, thenrun back to the galley and then whip up something extra for Captain Lee?!

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Below Deck Courtney Skippon Simone Mashile

But dinner isn’t over yet! Because Courtney is hating on Brian in a “mentionitis’ kind of way. Like Courtney keeps pointing out everything that’s wrong with him as a way to casually keep talking about him. We see you Courtney, mocking his instagram, and calling his ripped abs a “negative” because it means he spends too much time working out, not enough time kissing up to her. I am with her though on shirtless gym selfies – appalling.

Just as it seems that everything has calmed down there is a rustling, and a giant flapping mothra with gaping black holes for eyes and a screeching mouth, comes flying into the kitchen descending upon a panicked Courtney. Yes, Brandy has woken from the dead and the first words out of her mouth are “champagne.” SERIOUSLY!

Courtney immediately gets Kate. Brandy has no idea why everyone is in bed, as if she hasn’t been blackout drunk and passed out for 10 hours. While she sits in the main salon talking to her blank phone, Kate and Courtney conspire to make her a fauxmosa of OJ mixed with sparkling water. Brandy is too permanently brain damaged to notice, then flaps out into the night air to eat the wings off butterflies. That woman is terrifying, and needs a hair brush worse than Abbi does.

Below Deck Kevin Dobson

The next morning Kevin is full of fake cheer as he goes to the bridge to formally apologize to Captain Lee. Instead of eating humble pie, explaining that he’s struggling with ordering provisions, then offering to make it up to the Captain with a fantastic lunch, Kevin offers basically a lame excuse. Captain Lee won’t even turn around to look at him as he tersely reminds him that he better get his ass in gear. I find this incredibly petulant. I get it, Lee is trying to reminds Kevin that he’s the one in control, but this is an opportunity to forge a relationship in which he explains to Kevin just how unprofessional his conduct is and formally warn him. However if he wants to Tinder dating mindfuck Kevin, Lee succeeded, because Kevin walks away knowing something is very wrong.

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A point that is reinforced when Helen hands Kevin a box of women’s panties with a fake pearl necklace and asks him to send her a photo of him wearing them. Courtney feels disgusted by proxy because Kevin is gross and smells like old fish, not fresh fish. You know, I don’t think Kevin is a bad guy. He even goes out to help the deck crew once his duties are done. He’s just a clueless, arrogant, asshole who doesn’t read people well. He’s Batman: a loner with the desire to help and serve, but without the utility belt, common sense, or working detectors.

Simone also feels frustrated. Every since her issue with Kevin, Kate has protected her by stuffing her into the laundry, and she’s only allowed one bathroom break per 2 hours. What Simone doesn’t get is that she’s a complete novice with service who can’t even make elementary cocktails and gets flustered with guests. Although Kate is thrilled Simone wants to learn, dealing with the guests does not seem intuitive, yet ironing does. Meanwhile Courtney thinks she is one of the guests so she has no problems swanning around, mixing cocktails, and conversing.

Helen and Richard tip generously, and Captain Lee is pleased with every aspect of this charter — taking special care to praise everyone – but Kevin. Yep, even Abbi got a high five for finally learning how to work t-shirts and do a ponytail after watching several YouTube tutorials.

Below Deck Tanner Sterback

There is a bright light though! Tanner Sterback has finally gotten up the gumption to ask Kate out on a ‘date’ or so he thinks. He proposes they meet, post-charter, to share a bottle of wine, and Kate accepted, thinking it was literally two colleagues with some sauce, until Courtney revealed that Tanner is considering this a date with his very own Mrs. Robinson. Suddenly Kate is very busy washing her hair!

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That night literally everyone gets smashed. Except Courtney. Courtney can’t get drunk because how else would she manipulate the affections of every man on Valor? Ashton has suddenly decided he’s into Courtney, sheerly because someone else wants her and Courtney is so very NOT into him. She is slowly thawing to Brian, and after he swaps shirts with the bartender and spends the entire evening wearing a bright red child’s sailor shirt, she realizes he will likely forgo days on the treadmill if she demands it of him. Courtney is also not impressed with Ashton’s attempts at small talk which include asking her to name her biggest flaws. Obviously that’s a stupid question considering she doesn’t have any!

Tanner spends the entire night drunkenly attempting to formally ask Kate out, but she only likes men who grovel without the aiding of alcohol, so… she’s still washing her hair! Also Tanner is only tolerable if one is supremely drunk. Otherwise he’s a meathead with a mama’s boy complex whose primary hobby is partying. And since Tanner hasn’t written Kate a love poem to Cheeto-s yet, she’s keeping him very on the back burner.

After a terrible charter Kevin and Abbi get the most drunk. Abbi gets so wasted she can barely stand up, has no idea where she is, and falls on the dock getting back to the boat. Then after everyone goes to bed, she sytays up eating everything in sight while talking to herself about how much she loves meat. Um, meat overdose?

The next morning Abbi is so ill/hungover she can’t get out of bed and actually texts Ashton to say she can’t come to work the next morning. As if she has a job at Taco Bell, or something!

These people are a mess. I blame the Brandy Effect.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]