When it comes to the larger Below Deck universe, does anyone out there actually care all that much about drama between guests? That’s the question I kept returning to as I watched this week’s episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Sure, it makes for good TV when they’re particularly obnoxious or memorable. (Think the Drewitt-Barlow family from earlier this season.) Or when they’re making things miserable for the crew with their wild antics. (I.e. Deloris going overboard for a midnight swim on last season of Below Deck.) But when the guests are busy fighting amongst themselves, I tend to check out. It’s just not that interesting in the context of the story any iteration of Below Deck is telling.
Apparently, Bachelor Nation alum Erica Rose and her friends didn’t get this memo. Or chose to ignore it in an effort to either A.) vie for camera time or B.) use this charter as their personal audition reel for the Real Housewives. As the episode opens, they’re still fighting over lunch, with one convinced that she’s being shunned by all her frenemies for…get this. Being the prettiest one in the group. For real. These guests are so vain and immature that their arguments sound like they should be happening in a middle school cafeteria. “Mom, can you come pick me up? Everyone’s picking on me because I’m the prettiest one at the sleepover!” Girl, please.
At least the nonsensical spat provides a good distraction for Dani Soares, who was right in the middle of trying to quit the charter season early. She’s so freaked out by the possibility that Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux could have an STD that she’s become impossible to reason with. She’s also gone around and told everyone in the crew in a panic. Daisy Kelliher tries to get her second stew to take a beat because she knows, like a good manager, that she can’t give her the attention she needs at the moment.
Colin Macrae laughs the whole thing off and insists Dani‘s overreacting. According to the engineer, if every yachtie quit because of a potential STD wrecking a boatmance, there would be no one left to work in the industry. It’s a terrifying thought. But this actually makes a bit of sense, considering Gary King‘s worried that Jean-Luc‘s hypothetical infection could have inadvertently reached him by way of Dani and Alli Dore‘s guest cabin hook-up a few episodes back. Crew members are always joking that yachting is an incestuous industry, but this takes it to another level.
Eventually, the guests stop fighting long enough for Gary to take them on a snorkeling excursion to explore a shipwreck in Stomorska Bay. But instead of taking in the once-in-a-lifetime experience, the girls mostly whine and complain that the water’s too cold. Back on board, Jean-Luc consults the crew doctor about his medical crisis. She calmly informs him that, yes his symptoms sound like they could be an STI. But it also could just be a case of chafing. He relays the information to Dani, who apologizes for freaking out. Meanwhile, Gary’s confused why Alli‘s giving him the cold shoulder. She doesn’t want to cuddle now that she knows he slept with Sydney Zaruba. Which, in a way, is surprisingly admirable. Alli just wants to sleep well at night knowing she made good choices.
While Colin makes the crew dinner, Natasha De Bourg is in charge of the guests’ mermaid-themed dinner party. (Which Captain Glenn Shephard hilariously bowed out of, claiming a non-existent seafood allergy to avoid dining with the nightmare guests.) The chef wants to hit it out of the park after coming up two courses short during the previous night’s meal. There’s smoked salmon stuffed with avocado miso and signature mermaid-tinis. Followed by tuna tartare and seafood pies cooked in cream. Mussels with garlic, lobster and potato purée, and Croatian sea bass. It’s a true seafood feast fit for a mermaid.
For dessert, Natasha recycles the edible table art trick she tried a few charters back. Which is incredibly lazy if you ask me, and several of the crew members seem to agree in their confessionals. The guests must not think too highly of Natasha’s idea either. Because instead of eating it, they dare Jean-Luc to slide across the table wearing nothing but a mermaid costume. The stunt only creates more of a mess for the deck crew to clean up. And a headache for Captain Glenn, who threatens that the dessert better come out of the boat’s teak and cushions. Or else. But it was worth it for JL if it means a bigger tip. Plus, he got one of the guests to lick the dessert off his abs. So there’s a visual you’ll never be able to get out of your head!
Once the guests are in bed, Alli pulls Gary down to the laz for a serious talk. Confronted with the revelation that everyone knows he had sex with Sydney, the first mate doesn’t even try to deny it. Wise move. Alli suggests if he really likes her, they can wait until after the charter season to see what happens. You know, when they’re far away from Sydney and the pressures of the boat. But Gary just feels like the butterflies he’s felt for Alli all this time are dying. And not even a bunkmate pep talk from Colin can get him to stop moping. Seriously, Gary. The season ends in like five days. You can’t wait less than a week?
Good news! The next morning is the last full day of the charter. Even better news! Jean-Luc gets confirmation from the doctor that his genitals are merely chafed. No chlamydia! Seriously though, why did he turn this into a storyline by saying it aloud on camera? The whole ordeal could’ve been better left unsaid. And both JL and Dani (by association) would’ve been spared the embarrassment of worrying about an STI on national television. Meanwhile, Gary‘s decided there’s only one way to handle Alli pumping the breaks on their boatmance. And that is to completely ignore her and act like a petulant five -year-old who didn’t get what he wanted.
Captain Glenn sets sail en route to Stari Grad, where they’ll be anchored for the day. Sydney is tasked with writing an original song for the ladies’ upcoming women’s empowerment dinner that evening. Because nothing screams girl power like fighting over who’s the prettiest princess on board… But first, Erica Rose‘s mother Cindi requests a massage from Alli in her cabin. Having spent 90 minutes being regaled by Cindi’s stories last week while unpacking all her bags, Alli makes a joke to Daisy that Cindi will probably just gab through the whole spa service. Which Erica overhears and is…less than pleased about. She quickly reports Alli to both Captain Glenn and Daisy, who’s tasked with reprimanding her. But that mostly means the chief stew pretends to talk to her subordinate while reminding her to just be more discrete.
Meanwhile, Gary, Colin and Dani set up the beach picnic for the afternoon. There’s immediately a spat over who gets to sit by Erica during lunch and you can practically hear the collective sigh of relief from aboard Parsifal that these guests are finally off the boat. However, problems with service quickly arise when Dani realizes she didn’t pack enough rosé. Or water. And the guests don’t want champagne. As the team scrambles to find more, Captain Glenn notes that everyone seems off their A-game. And with just one and a half charters to go, the Canadian captain is starting to lose his patience…
TELL US – DID ALLI DO THE RIGHT THING BY PAUSING HER BOATMANCE WITH GARY? DO YOU BLAME CAPTAIN GLENN FOR LYING ABOUT HIS “SEAFOOD ALLERGY”? WOULD YOU HAVE KEPT THE CHLAMYDIA SCARE TO YOURSELF IF YOU WERE JEAN-LUC?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]