It’s only Episode 3 of Below Deck and everyone’s ready for it to be over. The first charter, of course, not the entire season! We’ve suffered through two weeks with these horrendously high-maintenance guests and it’s time to get them off the boat. So thankfully, although this week picks up right at the end of the fight over James Hough, it all fizzles quicker than Francesca Rubi letting the air out of a balloon. In fact, the only thing not deflating looks to be James’ chances with Francesca? Because surprisingly, the chief stew doesn’t entirely turn down the junior deckhand’s flirtatious banter. But maybe that’s just a sign that this first, terrible charter has made everyone on board crazy.
The next morning, the charter draws to a blessedly quick close. One that’s made even quicker by the fact that Captain Lee Rosbach opts to pull anchor and head for the dock early on account of the rain. So after a streamlined breakfast of French toast by Rachel Hargrove and a particularly tight docking, it’s time for guest departure. Oh, but one more thing! Because of course there’s one more thing. Primary guest (from hell) Charley can’t help but be a bit condescending in his goodbye, but follows it up with a giant tip — $25,000 to be exact. Which is huge, especially considering the crew was literally expecting no tip at all. But does giving a giant tip truly make up for being a terrible scourge on charter crews everywhere? I guess that’s just the world of yachting…
Meanwhile, there’s a shifting wind aboard My Seanna in the form of a personnel change. Izzy Wouters told Captain Lee last week that she’d rather be a deckhand than a third stew, and her wish has been granted. Honestly, it’s a change that works well for everyone. Izzy’s happier. Francesca‘s relieved to have her off her hands. And Eddie Lucas gains someone more experienced than Shane Coopersmith on his exterior team. It’s the definition of a win-win. Immediately, Eddie welcomes Izzy by holding a line handling crash course. And after watching it, I feel like I’m even more qualified to be a deckhand than Sunshine Shane, god love him. The quick training also taught me a few things I didn’t know after watching 13 seasons of the Below Deck franchise for the last 7 years. I can rattle off the purpose of a forward spring line, but please don’t ask me the difference between a shackle and a shot.
Despite the one-day turnaround, the crew celebrates surviving their first charter with a night out on the town. James is particularly ready to hit the clubs and get wasted, but the mood at the dinner table is decidedly more sedate. It’s a huge letdown for the Brit when the most exciting thing that happens to him all night is a debate over astrology with Elizabeth Frankini. In which James reveals he doesn’t believe in astrology but is also a Gemini. Because of course he is. By 9:30 p.m., the rest of the crew is ready to head back to the boat, and unanimously vote that the wild night out ends as a vaguely pleasant evening. I know producers can’t force them to go party, but it truly was a bit of a snooze-fest. Chalk it up to more air being let out of the proverbial balloon.
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The next charter is a surprise in the form of a group of rich, entitled 20-somethings. And they’re ready to get hammered while Daddy pays for the mega-yacht. Maybe James can party with them? No, seriously, we’re talking like a 22-year-old college quarterback named Max, a surfing “entrepreneur” named Dax, their girlfriends and an entourage. Including one who might be named Jax? Either way, they could basically be high schoolers, they’re so young. And all they want to do is drink and do Jell-O shots for Bravo’s cameras. You know they haven’t reached maturity yet when the primary request on their preference sheet is to have the private yacht chef make nothing but Jell-O shots. Poor Rachel.
The day gets off to a rocky start for the deck team too. It’s seems Shane, whom Eddie‘s not-so-lovingly nicknamed Sunshine for the season, doesn’t quite understand the meaning of being on time. At 8 a.m., adorable Shane is taking his sweet time. He’s brushing his teeth and intensely reading some sort of map before Eddie has to come find him. In better news, the new third stew arrives in the form of Ashling Laura, who’s just arrived in the Caribbean from her native Australia. On first impression, Ashling seems darling. She’s blonde, cheerful and practically radiates Aussie sunshine. Obviously James is immediately smitten and jokes about having to share a room with the new stew. But instead, Izzy makes a protective maneuver on behalf of the newbie and offers to give up her bunk with Elizabeth and room with James instead. Nice try, James!
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With the crew finally rounded out, the charter sets sail. And of course, it only takes a couple margaritas for these entitled kids to be stumbling around the boat worse than Eddie. (For real though, will Eddie ever be able to get out of bed this season without falling on his face?) For this charter, Francesca also promotes Elizabeth to the role of second stew, presenting her with the corresponding epaulets on a sort of trial basis. The promotion doesn’t seem too promising though. The stew gives Captain Lee a wet shirt ahead of the charter and promptly pawns her ironing responsibility off on Ashling. Hmm…Francesca’s not going to like that.
Almost immediately after anchoring, the weather turns again, and sweet Sunshine points out over the radio that it’s raining…after it’s already raining. Eddie makes a snarky comment over the radio about Shane being quick on the uptake and the junior deckhand bristles at the bosun’s sarcasm. Inexplicably, he decides this is a hill to die on, and chooses to confront Eddie face-to-face. Eddie’s patience has already been running thin with sweet Sunshine, so he doesn’t exactly take well to the scolding. Before you can say “conservation,” the stand-off erupts into boiling tension between the two. It’s palpable, and you can almost see the moment Eddie’s face darkens. Shane’s proud of defending himself, but something tells me his days on My Seanna might be numbered.
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On the first night, the college crew has requested a sushi dinner. No problem, right? Oh wait, they want it served on the body of a naked model. Because they’re either immature children who’ve never been told “no” in their lives, or they’ve just seen Sex and the City one too many times. (Wait, there’s no such thing as one too many times when it comes to that movie.) Either way, they clearly missed Vicki Gunvalson lecturing a naked sushi model on the value of an education back in Season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County. You know, when these charter guests were in middle school.
Eddie and Sunshine are tasked with picking the naked sushi model up on shore. But even a simple task like getting back to the boat turns into a headache. Shane misses the boat with his line, which promptly gets stuck underneath the tender where he can’t reach it. Eddie ends up having to somehow use the anchor to retrieve the line and save the day before it causes serious damage. And mind you, all of this is happening in full view of the crew and a very annoyed Captain Lee. Eddie points out that he can’t exactly get mad at the hapless deckhand. But that kind of mistake certainly doesn’t make the kid look good.
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The sushi dinner, meanwhile, goes off without a hitch. Having trained in Japan, Rachel has expertly prepared a huge spread of high-class sushi made of the finest ingredients. All of which is completely lost on the drunk college kids at the table. They have no idea what they’re eating. They’re more concerned with taking pictures of themselves chowing down over the naked sushi models body. And pairing the meal with more Jell-O shots. If this is the best the rising generation has to offer, all I can say is lord help us all. Now, chef, bring more Jell-O shots!
TELL US – WHAT’S YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF ASHLING? IS ELIZABETH GOING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HER NEW PROMOTION? ARE THESE TWENTY-SOMETHINGS WORSE THAN THE FIRST BELOW DECK CHARTER GUESTS? WOULD YOU EAT SUSHI OFF A NAKED MODEL?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]