Are you ready for the Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 reunion? Because ready or not, it’s happening. The real question I asked myself as I sat down to enjoy Part 1 was, “Did this season really justify a reunion? Let alone two parts?” Frankly, I’m not sure the answer is yes. Sure, there are a number of unanswered questions, mostly revolving around a certain mystery pregnancy. But do we really need to rehash the number of pitas Natasha De Bourg made for breakfast or the love triangle that will just never end? Apparently, the answer is yes. So here we go. Get ready to count the pitas…
We’ve weathered a full year of virtual reunions on Bravo due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while other shows are now getting socially-distanced, in-person sit downs with Andy Cohen, all the Below Deck franchises are still reuniting virtually. Several fans seemed to complain about this fact on Twitter, but honestly, it kind of makes the most sense. At least from a logistical standpoint. The Parsifal crew remains flung across the world, making a physical reunion hosted in New York difficult to organize with global travel not quite back to normal yet.
Captain Glenn Shephard is at home in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. As are Daisy Kelliher and Sydney Zaruba, both of whom are working together on the same boat. (Hmm, interesting…could they already be in the midst of filming Season 3?) A wet-haired Gary King is reporting live from Genoa, Italy — the land of pesto. Natasha is the only one stateside, in Maryland for some reason. A very pregnant Dani Soares and Alli Dore are both in different parts of Australia. Colin Macrae is tuning in from a hotel in Panama. And Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux is…nowhere to be found. Apparently he’s on charter in Central America. But if Colin could trek two and a half hours through the Panamanian jungle to show up for the reunion, couldn’t JL have tried a little harder to make an appearance? Could he possibly be avoiding something?
The Battle of Daisy and Gary
Clashes between the interior and exterior are as commonplace in the world of Below Deck as, say, getting wet on a boat. So it’s really no surprise that the first thing we’re reliving from the season is the tension between Daisy and Gary. Now, Daisy is easily one of the best chief stews we’ve ever seen on any of these shows. Hands down. Even Kate Chastain thinks so. And as I’ve said in many a recap this season, Gary also seems quite capable in his role as chief officer. But if we’re forced to pick sides, we’re all squarely on Team Daisy, right?
The pair bicker over Gary‘s refusal to help the interior for most of the season. His argument is that after working 17-hour days, the last thing he wanted to do was wash dishes. But to Daisy, the fact that Gary would always take his many (many) smoke breaks right in the middle of dinner service was more than a little suspect. She also takes issue with all the rude things he said about her this season, both behind her back and in confessionals. That must’ve been hard to watch back after thinking you were mostly OK with someone throughout filming. Though Gary refuses to believe he ever called the chief stew a “bitch.” Because, apparently, there’s a difference between being a “bitch” and just being “bitchy,” OK?
On a more positive note, Andy points out that this may be the first season in Below Deck history where all the stews genuinely got along. I mean, could you ever imagine a season devoid of interior resentment and passive-aggressive catfighting? Alli and Dani both chalk their effective teamwork up to Daisy being a good leader. I for one am definitely willing to bet she’ll be back as the Kate/Hannah Ferrier of the Sailing Yacht franchise for seasons to come…
The Many Mistakes of Natasha De Bourg
Next in the hot seat is Natasha, who spent the majority of the season swinging wildly in terms of quality. Though, to be fair, the guests almost always seemed to enjoy her food. Without hesitation, the chef says the hardest charter of the season was easily Barrie Drewitt-Barlow’s family. Or maybe it was just Barrie in particular. But the good news is that, after a season of mistakes, she claims she’s finally learned the difference between scrambled, poached and fried eggs. Personally, I’ll believe it when I see Natasha whip up some eggs à la Française.
One thing Natasha didn’t learn to do, though, is count. Andy revisits the pita bread drama from early in the season. And the chef maintains she really did make 20 pieces of pita for breakfast. In fact, she even has a photo to prove it! Except, uh, the receipt she tries to whip out does not show 20 pieces of pita…There are maybe 11 at most. (Personally, I counted nine.) Like Colin gleefully said as he watched the drama play out, get it together Cheffy! If you’re going to try to come with receipts, at least make sure you’re in the right. Otherwise you just end up looking even more foolish. And not that Daisy cares anymore, but the pita photo does seem to vindicate her stance that Natasha was delusional during that breakfast.
The chef is also taken to task for only serving Erica Rose and co. three courses for dinner after promising five. Her excuse is that she thought the women wouldn’t eat much because they were wasted. And we didn’t even get to all the other times Natasha dropped the ball during the season. Like the cotton candy machine. Or the hollandaise sauce. But still, everyone in the crew — including Daisy — says they would choose to work with her again. Just maybe not on a sailboat next time?
When it comes time to discuss Parsifal’s epic crash into the dock, Captain Glenn would much rather keep talking about pita. But the good captain does have an update on what caused the “freak event,” and it comes courtesy of Byron Hissey, the Colin of Season 1. The malfunction allegedly had something to do with Glenn keeping the boat in “high revs.” He starts throwing out sailing terms like “stuck going into stern” and “controllable pitch propeller,” but it all goes straight over my — and Andy‘s — head. All we need to know is the boat crashed into the dock. It was embarrassing. And it could’ve been stopped. But at least the good news is that the stones on the dock acted as a sort of giant shock absorber. At the end of the day, the repairs only cost a couple thousand bucks to fill in the cosmetic damage.
Somehow, this segues into a conversation about Jean-Luc‘s lack of a work ethic. And it becomes pretty clear that everyone in the crew has basically turned on the deckhand in light of his treatment of Dani. (In case you somehow missed it, seriously delicious drama went down in the comments section of JL’s Instagram last week.) Sydney claims Gary did the best he could as a boss to Jean-Luc. But like the first officer points out, you can only lead a horse to water and all that…Andy stirs the pot by asking Glenn if Gary was a good example to the deck team this season. And the captain says professionally, of course. Personally? Eh, not so much. Which naturally leads us to…
It Takes Three to Tango
The never ending love triangle between Gary, Alli and Sydney! I don’t want to talk about it. You don’t want to talk about it. Andy probably doesn’t want to talk about it. But we have to. Because that, me yachties, is what we’re here to do. Gary still has no explanation for why he decided to hook up with Sydney on the first night. Even after all these months, he can’t come up with a good excuse. He just calls it a drunken hook-up. And for her part, Sydney agrees. In her mind, she just happened to develop stronger feelings for Gary than he did for her.
Meanwhile, Alli finally pipes up for what feels like the first time all reunion. She makes clear that if she’d known earlier that Gary and Sydney had done more than kiss on that first night, she never, ever would’ve pursued a boatmance with the shaggy-haired chief officer. The third stew just wouldn’t have put herself in that situation. After all, didn’t she take herself out of it once she knew what really happened? (Well, and then put herself right back in it a day later? But that’s neither here nor there, apparently.)
Then, Gary makes a bizarre comparison about the domino effect of the love triangle. He tries to claim that Alli didn’t have feelings for him just the same way he didn’t have feelings for Sydney. I’m sorry, but what? If that was true, then what are we even doing here?? Incredulous, Alli fires back that Gary’s revisionist history is clearly a false narrative. But we’ll have to wait until Part 2 to see how the rest of this drama pans out…
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF JEAN-LUC NOT SHOWING UP FOR THE REUNION? ARE YOU TEAM DAISY OR TEAM GARY? DID YOU COUNT 20 PIECES OF PITA BREAD?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]