Below Deck Mediterranean recap
(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images)

Natalya Scudder Teases Explosive Drama With Tumi Mhlongo on Below Deck Med

Bravo is making a habit of cross-casting reality TV stars across the Below Deck series. Fan favorites are put on different boats and functioning with a new crew. And there is no guarantee of a similar outcome.

A good case in point, if the previews are to be believed, is Tumi Mhlongo. She served as second stew to Aesha Scott on Below Deck Down Under. Tumi functioned beautifully at her job and quickly became a fan favorite. She got along with Aesha very well.

But a change of scenery and promotion could throw what was previously a harmonious situation into turmoil.

This is “the most drama” Natalya’s “ever had”

That and a delay at border control put second stew Natalya Scudder in charge on Below Deck Mediterranean for a short time. So perhaps it all became a power struggle regarding who was better at the job. Natalya certainly took her former chief stew Natasha Webb to task for losing focus to her. Just a guess.

“I’m happy being in any position because I just think being in a lower position, you’re doing your job, but you can relax a little bit more, interact with the crew a bit more,” she told Showbiz Cheat Sheet of the temporary promotion.

“But it’s also very difficult for me to step down. Just because I have been in yachting for eight years. And I have been chief stew on multiple different vessels. So I’m used to managing a team and I definitely know how it should be done. So it was interesting to watch someone else come in and take over that role,” Natalya continued.

Natalya was positive enough at first. She told the news publication that she was “very excited” to work with Tumi.

“Her coming on board, I’m actually very excited. I saw a lot of her work from the Australian Down Under season. I saw her table decorations. I’m very positive about her coming. And I couldn’t wait to see what she does. I’m actually very excited for her to arrive,” Natalya said.

Conflict is on the horizon though. Natalya revealed, “can’t give away too much, but yeah, it’s we definitely have a lot of moments and there is a lot of times during the seasons we have ups and downs. But it’s definitely some of the most drama I’ve ever had, more than what I had with Tash.”

That’s a standard. Because those brunettes were at each other’s throats by the end of the Below Deck Mediterranean season.

Why were they fighting?

As for what caused the conflict between Natalya and Tumi, the former chalks it up to conflicting personalities.

“I think anyone can see from the commercial things just get heated. The dynamics are weird. We’ve got a lot of strong personalities here. So lots of big personalities on board and I get along with the majority of them. But also there are people you’re naturally just not going to click with. But I really do put in my best efforts to get along with Tumi. As I said, I watched her season. I respected her and I thought she sounded so lovely and I loved her work,” Natalya said.

“I clash heads with a solid two or three people this season,” she added. Of course, the mind turns to Kyle Viljoen, with whom Natalya also worked previously. And fought with.

Ultimately, it all comes down to respect. The returning reality TV star stated, “I’m very welcoming and I love positive energy. But when someone disrespects me or when someone upsets me, I’m definitely not one to sit back and just be like, ‘Yeah, that’s fine. They treat me like that.’ Obviously, I start off as the chief stew. So, I try to be the most respectful when [Tumi] comes on board. And yeah, I just don’t feel respect from some people. So I just kind of bite back. And people might say that is like the hierarchy or you are being disrespectful, but I respect anyone until they give me a reason not to and I can’t bite my tongue.”

Natalya is taking a different approach from her freshman season when she “let things go on for too long.”

“Things start to boil and I’m like, it’s been a couple of weeks now,” she concluded. “And I do feel like I’m like I’m putting in a bit more effort. And then I think I finally snapped. So this season I tried like address things a lot more quicker than carrying on for like multiple weeks into the charter season.”

Catch the new season of Below Deck Mediterranean Monday, September 25 at 9/8c on Bravo.