Battle of the Stews: Who’s Right, Tumi or Natalya?


Tumi Mhlongo and Natalya Scudder are involved in an intense feud on Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8, but who’s in the wrong? Tumi was assigned as the season’s Chief Stew, after Natalya had served as 2nd Stew during Below Deck Med Season 7. However, when Tumi ran into issues with immigration, Natalya stepped in to fill her position until she arrived.

When Tumi did finally arrive onboard, she and Natalya instantly began to clash. Their relationship has not improved, and their feud has divided fans into “teams.” Keep reading to find out whether we are Team Tumi, or Team Natalya!

At First, Tumi Was In The Wrong

Below Deck Mediterranean recap
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When Tumi first stepped onboard, she was arguably in the wrong during her first interaction with Natalya. Tumi failed to address how hard Natalya worked as Interim Chief Stew during the first charter, which understandably upset Natalya.

The two got into a heated argument within minutes, where Tumi claimed that the boat’s organization was “a s**t show.” This comment was out of line, since Natalya did put a lot of work into making the yacht look nice for Tumi’s arrival. Tumi claimed that she was referring to the structure of the boat itself rather than Natalya’s work ethic, although this seemed far fetched.

Then Natalya Took Things Too Personally

Below Deck Mediterranean recap
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During the interior team’s first meeting, Tumi announced that she planned to rank her team as she felt it helped keep a good structure. As Chief Stew, Tumi completely had the right to this, regardless of Natalya’s desires.

Tumi explained that she wanted Kyle Viljoen to serve as 2nd Stew, since he excelled with the guests and service. Natalya, on the other hand, was assigned to be 3rd Stew, since Tumi noted she was great with laundry and cleaning. Jessika Asai, in turn, was assigned as the 4th Stew.

It was evident that Natalya took Tumi’s rankings personally, even though she should not have. Tumi was acting within the limits of her authority as Chief Stew, and she was not trying to make Natalya feel bad by putting her as 3rd Stew. Tumi had a perfectly logical reason for her decision, and even went out of her way to compliment Natalya on her laundry skills!

Now Natalya Is Completely Out Of Line

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After the second charter, Natalya began to act completely unreasonable toward Tumi. Tumi made notable efforts to remain calm with Natalya, and listen to her point of view, while respectfully sharing her own. An example of this was when Natalya complained about Kyle not cleaning up the pajama party, which ended at 3 am. Tumi explained that she would rather have Kyle just go to bed at that point, but Natalya refused to comply.

Natalya proceeded to tell the rest of her fellow crew members all about her hatred of Tumi, which some of them began to get sick of. One of Natalya’s favorite people to complain to was Chef Jack Luby, who also got off on the wrong foot with Tumi. However, he admitted that he now had a better opinion of Tumi, and was not interested in what Natalya had to say about her.

The turning point came when Tumi noticed Natalya had failed to fully clean the cabins, which she then conveyed to Jessika. While Tumi should have approached Natalya about it herself, Natalya’s reaction was still unwarranted. Natalya called Tumi over and asked what the problem was, and seemed to completely forget that Tumi was the Chief Stew.

The confrontation got so bad that Captain Sandy Yawn had to step in, and call both ladies to the bridge. Uh oh! In front of Captain Sandy, Natalya quickly declared that she could not work with Tumi. Tumi, on the other hand, laughed it off then realized that she should have responded more professionally. Both women received a warning from Captain Sandy, and were told to figure it out.

After Everything, We’re Team Tumi!

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After everything that has gone down between Tumi and Natalya, we are one hundred-percent on Tumi’s side. Despite being a bit aggressive at first, Tumi is the Chief Stew and deserves to be respected for that. Tumi also made several attempts to try to work things out with Natalya, which she was not receptive to. While we hope that these two stews can make up by the end of the season, it’s not looking likely.