I have so many conflicting feelings about what’s going on with Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Like is everyone conspiring against Madison Stalker? Are Jenna MacGillivray and Adam Glick both psychotics who deserve each other? Is Parker McCown a secret serial killer, ala Patrick Bateman. I know it’s not popular but you guys — I just get a bad feeling about him. I mean, I basically get a bad feeling about everyone except for Captain Glenn Shephard and Byron Hissey. So maybe that’s the problem?
I definitely DO NOT have good feelings about the new Below Deck Sailing charter guest Yana, and her, um… diet and cat noises? Is her brain so deprived from lack of food she can’t form complete thoughts which is why she just says “meow”?
Jenna is crying on a dock after begging Adam to sleep with her. They’ve been ‘dating,’ in the loose manor of yacht dating, for the equivalency of 2 charters. Possibly 2 and a half. It is not. that. serious. Adam turns her down because he’s trying to retain some small vestige of professionalism (GO ADAM), and Jenna freaks out that he’s icing her out by putting up emotional walls. Jenna claims she just wants to get closer to him — so how about asking about his childhood, instead of using bumping uglies as a bandaid for actual intimacy. Seems a little… immature, no?
They’re not the only couple having trouble in paradise: Ciara Duggan and Paget Berry are supposed to be having ‘alone time,’ but like good siblings-ishes who have spent their lives trapped together and therefore don’t know how to love any other way, they use that time to argue over Paget making his bed. Ciara is pissy with Paget for playing beach blanket bingo with Georgia Grobler, but instead of talking to him about appropriate relationship boundaries she’s mommying him. Like my grandmother nitpicked my grandfather until they ended up sleeping in different rooms.
The rest of the crew is out at the bar dancing and drinking. When they return to the boat Madison, Parker and Georgia want to get into the hot tub but Adam and Jenna are up there arguing and crying like teenagers deciding if they want to be penpals once summer camp ends. When Parker approaches to scope out the scene Adam warns him away. Lions, and Tigers, and Jenna… oh my! Once the coast is clear Parker whips out his guitar to serenade a smitten Madison.
Poor Parker is having and causing so many problems. As if it’s not dramatic enough that Jenna and Adam are skulking around the boat, not speaking and visibly ignoring each other, Parker cannot stop arguing with Ciara. Maybe bickering is the only way Ciara knows how to interact with men? They wind up sniping at each other over cushions and it escalates into a screaming fight about Parker trying to make rules for how people behave at dinner. I agree with Ciara here, Parker was rude and unnecessary in redirecting Paget for using the f-word. NO ONE was bothered and he clearly was not screaming. Parker has control issues and is used to be indulged. When he doesn’t get his way his tone gets very aggressive, very quickly.
Still, Ciara plays into it by refusing to just walk away and inform Paget or Captain Glenn that Parker’s behavior is inappropriate. Ciara is accustomed to not being questioned in perceived authority, and controlling people by ‘mothering’, and resents being questioned. Has he never had a real job and therefore doesn’t understand that even if you don’t approve of your superior’s plan, you don’t scream and argue?
ON THE OTHER SIDE: I think Ciara and Paget’s relationship dramas are subversively taking over the deck crew. Ciara especially seems to project her frustrations at not being heard or seen onto Parker. Hopefully, Captain Glenn doesn’t let his preexisting relationship with them blind him to that fact.
Captain Glenn calls a meeting with Paget and Ciara after noticing the tensions on the team, and instead of acknowledging that their own dramas may be affecting their ability to lead effectively or take Parker into consideration, they blame everything on him being insubordinate. Captain Glenn pulls Parker into his office and reminds him that he must respect the hierarchy. There is a time, place, and way to address one’s superiors. Handing them a Miss Manner’s book and deciding what you say goes, is not it.
On the contrary, there is Madison. Who feels overworked, used, abused, and taken for granted yet NEVER ASSERTS HERSELF. Madison needs to immediately sit Jenna down, and in a professional, straight-forward manner, give her detailed examples of how she’s being taken advantage of. Jenna either doesn’t see it, or thinks it’s funny to play into Madison’s Cinderella complex by heaping even more work on her. I think it’s a little of both. Jenna says Madison plays like she’s the hardest working person on board, when in reality she does a lot of running around in hysterics without actually working. Possibly.
It also seems like Jenna and Adam enjoy belittling Madison in a way that is gross and completely unprofessional. Workload aside, the way they are mocking her behind her back is totally inappropriate and I think it’s time to alert Captain Glenn.
The only person thriving on this boat is Georgia. She’s mastered laundry. Miracles! She and Paget are clandestinely flirting and clearly, he’s into her (although her comments often cross into the sexual harassment category with other male employees), and she doesn’t have any issues with anyone. Yet. Even Jenna is giving her compliments.
Before the incoming charter arrives, Adam pulls Jenna in for a hug and apologizes for pushing her away. According to Adam, it’s time for him to grow up by having a real-life relationship and that woman is… Jenna? She’s his culinary muse, so chop suey! Adam does warn her that sleeping together onboard is probably a mistake, as if they’re behaving like such consummate professionals straight out of Downton Abbey otherwise.
The new charter guests are Yana and Arthur, real estate agent owners from Dallas. Yana has a long list of picky food preferences, such as she only likes small cucumbers not big ones. Which has to be a double entendre for something!
Yana and her friends collectively way 62 pounds and are all married to the type of daddies with dollars. Dollars to donuts Yana smells but does not eat. Of course, Yana loooooooooooves pink. Of course, she does. Also whenever Yana and her friends clink glasses they coo “meow.” UGH.
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The plan is a beach BBQ on the first night, followed by a ‘pink party’ to celebrate Yana’s 30th birthday for the 19th time. Since everyone just wants to escape Parker he is sent to scout a beach location and claims to have found a sandy one that’s perfect. Parker explains all of this is in a long rambling radio monologue that was reminiscent of Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats during the Radio Soap Opera years. Everyone tunes him out and just congratulates him on a job well-done, but it also means no one really bothers to vet the location. Which turns out to be far from perfect!
They must reserve the beach spot by stationing themselves there so it’s decided that Madison and Ciara will go way ahead of time, to give them plenty of time to set up before Jenna, Adam and the guests arrive for dinner at 8.
This is after Madison has done cabins, and been interrupted from helping Georgia to assist with lunch service. For some strange reason – maybe because he’s feeling a burning inside his soul – Adam serves lentil soup. On a 90 degree day. The guests complain that it’s the wrong food for the weather. Um, how about gazpacho?. Adam seriously didn’t even seem to notice it’s a literal sauna outside. Yana eats one shrimp after telling Jenna she prefers to smell food than actually taste it. She makes an exception for watermelon granita which is all of 16 calories, given that it is literally blended and frozen watermelon.
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And that soup is the first sign that things are about to go horribly rocky on this charter! The second sign being when Parker drops the girls off at the beach, and after telling them not to bring shoes, they realize it’s totally covered in sharp spiky rocks. It’s impossible for them to put up umbrellas, or even walk, so they plop down on some lawn chairs for an extended break and spend the time gossiping about past boats and annoying people.
Georgia, who’s been dying of Vitamin D laundry deficiency, is rewarded for her efficiency by being told she can set up the pink party while Jenna handles dinner on the beach. That seems like a compliment but it’s really a way for Jenna to bypass more grunt work!
After deciding against the planned snorkeling because Yana doesn’t like water, Parker and Paget suddenly arrive at the beach with the guests who want to lay out! The girls were given 5 minutes warning that guests were on their way and frantically tried to recover by looking busy, but the beach isn’t combed, the guests don’t have proper shoes either, there are no tables, no shade, and certainly NO snacks. It’s a complete and utter shitshow. Why would Parker suggest they go there? Why would Paget agree!? Let’s hope Ciara is reprimanded later!
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Ciara tries to make excuses by saying they had hours before dinner and blaming Parker for suggesting the trip, but she and Madison literally took nothing out of the bags except 2 lawn chairs. In the middle of all this Madison realizes she doesn’t even have a bra on and Damn Gina! Madison’s boobs are aerodynamic. Oh, to be young again. And not have had two children.
Back on the boat, overhearing all the mayhem over the radio, Jenna snarks to Adam about Parker being a whiny mama’s boy who is probably still nursing. So now we know where the origins of that future epic freakout stem from! Thanks, Jenna, again, always so helpful. Also, Jenna calling Parker immature after her high school meltdown over Adam? Girlllllll… I’d say check yourself before you wreck yourself, but…
After realizing the beach is completely inappropriate for sunbathing, and that the crew is chaotic and frustrated (and literally arguing in front of them), the guests want to leave immediate for wakeboarding. That’s when Jenna decides it’s time for her and Adam to venture over and start prepping for the BBQ. When Jenna arrives there is still NOTHING set up and dinner is in less than an hour. Madison didn’t even consult the packing list Jenna compiled and failed to bring pivotal items, such as a wine bucket or table cloths. Jenna is already beside herself with fury, and then suddenly notices that Madison isn’t wearing a bra and really freaks out. OK, yeah, that’s not cool at work unless you work at Hooters or Hustlers. (Or Sur).
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It is revenge served hot. Piping hot. Hotter than lentil soup on a burning summer day. Jenna has been taking all the credit for good service while Madison shoulders a good bulk of the work. Jenna hasn’t been giving any instruction other than ‘do this thank you, no thank you.’ For instance, Jenna was so distracted by her issues with Adam, she barely even offered Madison a cursory glance or instructions on how to manage the beach set up. She never checked in on their progress, even after Paget and Parker returned with guests and saw the disarray.
That would have been the time for Jenna to radio over to see if they need anything, including help! That would have also been the time for Paget to suggest that the beach locale Parker scouted may not be ideal and that they need to find another location.
Jenna thinks Madison should just accept that 2nd stew means grunt worker, and maybe it does? It seems like Jenna does a great job managing guests, but nothing else.
It’s so obvious that this is Madison’s passive-aggressive revenge. She wasn’t even going to warn Jenna to bring shoes until Ciara interjected. Is this sabotage, or Jenna’s just desserts?
TELL US – IS PARKER THE PROBLEM, OR IS HE A SCAPEGOAT? IS MADISON TRYING TO MAKE JENNA LOOK BAD, OR IS JENNA A DISORGANIZED MESS?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]