Oops. Well that can of beans didn’t take long to spill, did it? Amid the first day of school vibes, new faces and understaffed first charter, this season of Below Deck Mediterranean got off to a weird start. Mostly thanks to the bizarre dynamic between chief stew Natasha Webb and Chef Dave White. And surprise, surprise, it only took two episodes to find out just how well the two newcomers knew each other before coming on board M/Y Home.
Remember last week when I said the pair’s touchy-feely relationship was giving me flashbacks to Malia White and Chef Adam Glick? Yeah, I didn’t realize at the time just how right I was. But before we get into the big reveal at the end of the episode, let’s cover everything else that happened during the first charter of the season.
Crash, Bang, Boom
Last week ended with disaster striking, as the yacht lost control of its stabilizers. But as is typical with editing on this show, the chaos realistically only lasts a few seconds. Bottles crash to the ground. There’s a mess to clean up. Vacuums are brought out. And Captain Sandy Yawn runs around the entire boat making sure everyone, from guests to crew, is safe and OK. Honestly, the worst part of the whole ordeal is that Chef Dave‘s dinner prep gets completely disrupted. But it looks like he saved the fryer from falling into the pot of boiling water.
Determined to get to the bottom of the mishap, Captain Sandy makes a visit to the engine room. Where the chief engineer gives her a big long explanation about how the boat is a hybrid with an A/C cooling system. Which is apparently what caused the stabilizers to have their power temporarily cut. Backup generators were involved. But honestly, I started tuning the whole thing out. Unless you’re really into yachts, you probably don’t care that the new boat is a hybrid. This is not the kind of drama that we watch Below Deck Med for.
Raygan’s Winning All of the Awards
Raygan Tyler continues to be the clear weak link in the chain of command this week. Captain Sandy‘s solution to the stabilizer malfunction is obviously to distract the guests by throwing all the toys in the water. But such a simple task takes forever, leaving the guests literally waiting and watching as the crew fumbles under the bosun’s inept leadership. Mzi Dempers quickly senses that working under Raygan won’t be quite the tightly-run ship they were last season with Malia White in charge. But he’s not about to say something this early in the season.
And that’s not all. Last week, Raygan let Jason Gaskell do all the work. This week, she’s bad at putting together anchor watch schedules. And break schedules. And really any kind of schedule at all. Her excuse is that she doesn’t know yet what all the deckhands’ capabilities are. But the bosun certainly knows when to take her smoke breaks!
Second Stew or Captain of Team Too Much?
We also get to know more about Kyle Viljoen this week and, uh, so do the guests. The stew is still pretty freshly out of the closet and he seems to really bask in telling people about it. Maybe I’m being overly harsh, but it just feels like Kyle teetered on the line of professionalism multiple times this week. First he was regaling the guests with his life story. (Part of which involves being in a secret 12-year relationship with a man who ultimately left him for a woman before he came out.) Then he was serving them drinks while wearing a bright pink, inflatable, vibrating penis apropos of nothing. And yes, the guests went along with it and made jokes, but it certainly wasn’t something they asked for. Which made it feel sort of inappropriate?
Of course, all of that was coupled with Kyle greeting the co-primaries in their room. While wearing a mask and getting tickled with a feather by Natalya Scudder. Again, the guests seemed amused in a sort of awkward, cringey way. And the stew clearly thinks he’s hilarious. But it’s all coming across as a little bit Team Too Much. Try taking it down a notch. Or several. So far, I can see a clear path from here to him trying to kiss a charter guest later in the season, as we saw in the supertease.
A Bit of Constructive Criticism
After pulling off a successful anniversary party-slash-sushi night, the first charter ends on a decent note. Even though Chef Dave just about dropped the gorgeous mirror glazed cake he made for the big night. The next morning, Captain Sandy entrusts Storm Smith and his impressive mustache with calling distances during docking. And thankfully, the first docking goes off without a hitch. Though come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing Raygan touch a single line during the process.
As they leave the boat, the primaries call out the deck team’s general lack of organization. And in the tip meeting, Captain Sandy demands that the department gets up to her standards for the next charter. Everyone’s finally here. There’s no more room for excuses anymore. Looking at you, Raygan. But still, the crew earns a tip of $27,000. Which is a massive tip in terms of general Below Deck history. Also side note: the funniest part of the episode was easily the door to Natalya and Raygan’s cabin continually getting stuck, right?
The Truth Comes Out
The crew heads to their first night out. And even before they’ve made it to the restaurant, the other guys are asking Chef Dave about his relationship with Natasha. Like, they’re totally dating, right? No, no, the chef insists. Just great pals who met five weeks ago on their last boat. And share long, awkward hugs in their cabin. And fall into one another’s arms in the corridors. That’s all there is to it. Promise. Meanwhile, in the opposite van, Natasha tells the others that she joined her last boat with an ex-boyfriend but ended up with “another guy” by season’s end. Hmm…
At the table, the topic obviously gets brought up again. And when Natasha steps away to the bathroom, Dave finally admits that while they’re not a couple, he’d like them to be. Which Natalya is more than happy to report back to the chief stew the moment she sits back down. Oh and there’s one more thing for Dave to admit to production in his confessional: He and Natasha did hook up on their last boat. But she swore him to secrecy before they started filming for Bravo’s cameras. Except oops, it took all of two days for that to come out! So basically, it really is like Malia and Adam 2.0. But where will Natasha and Dave go from here?
TELL US – ARE YOU SURPRISED NATASHA AND DAVE HOOKED UP BEFORE FILMING? WHY DO YOU THINK SHE SWORE HIM TO SECRECY? WAS KYLE BEING TOO FORWARD WITH THE GUESTS? IS RAYGAN SIMPLY INCOMPETENT OR JUST IN OVER HER HEAD?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]