Why Natalya’s Exit On Below Deck Mediterranean Is a Relief

(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images)

Natalya Scudder recently quit filming for Below Deck Mediterranean. However, her failure to complete a second season onboard wasn’t really shocking. Working underneath and alongside Chief Stew Tumi Mhlongo, Jessika Asai, and Kyle Viljoen, Natalya’s team struggled to form healthy relationships. On this though, we feel like Kyle was the most problematic, but more on that in just a bit.

The fighting this season in the interior department has truly been next level. I wouldn’t want to stay either, were I Natalya. And yes, we know that she is not blameless for her role played. However, for herself, and for the others who still remain onboard, we feel like Natalya’s exit on Below Deck Mediterranean was a relief, and we’ll tell you why now.

Natalya Aided in A Lot of Drama


As we said before, Natalya was not an innocent victim of a poorly functioning team. She gossiped about her co-workers and started unnecessary arguments fairly often. Case in point, when Tumi asked, twice, to have a quick discussion with Natalya, trying to repair their working relationship, Natalya shut her down. Then, right as Tumi was about to walk away, Natalya declared “you always walk away,” which was…confusing.

Likewise, her go-to move saw her dissing her boss, Tumi, to anyone that would listen. This started to make everyone onboard uncomfortable. Minus Chef Jack Luby that is, as he understood that Natalya wasn’t the biggest problem starter onboard. He also saw that Natalya was going through some personal issues this season, so his grace offered was high, and for that, he’s now our favorite player on Season 8.

Natalya was also starting to grow disproportionately aggressive and reactionary towards Tumi. Tumi couldn’t even move her hands while speaking without Natalya screaming. Meanwhile, Natalya used her own hands in conversations far more than Tumi ever did.

Tumi aside, Natalya’s biggest nemesis onboard was Kyle. He’s ours too, so we get this. For us to never hear any more of Kyle’s diva-like posturing being met with Natalya’s defensive rebuttals, which later turned into gossipy venting sessions, we are glad. This is just one of the reasons why Natalya’s early exit came as a much needed relief for this season of BDM.

Natalya’s Exit Will Show Kyle’s Toxicity All the More


Right after Natalya departed, Captain Sandy Yawn called Kyle into her wheelhouse. Here, she clocked Kyle’s behaviors real quick, proving that Captain Sandy doesn’t always deserve the hate that she gets. She saw right through the main issue onboard, telling Kyle that he was “the common denominator” of the interior team’s struggles. Shortly after, Tumi, having not even been involved in this stern conversation, also called Kyle the common denominator, so all eyes are now falling in Kyle’s disgraced direction.

After Captain Sandy told Kyle that one more slip up would see him fired, Kyle folded into himself. He appeared very sad, trying to come across as small and humble. Now that Natalya is gone, Kyle really will need to step up his game. Any additional fights or gossiping amongst his team will shine a light on just how problematic he really is, and for this, we are relieved that Natalya has removed herself from the toxic equation on Below Deck Med.

Natalya’s Open Relationship Was Hard to Watch


This entire season, Natalya was involved in an open relationship with her beau back on land. Due to this, she and Luka Brunton engaged in several PDA sessions. This all began to fall apart though when Luka was cuddling with Natalya in a bunk. Here, her boyfriend reached out, and Natalya immediately dropped Luka just to respond.

Later, while sitting closely together during a crew night out, Luka saw a text pop up on Natalya’s phone. In this, she and her boyfriend typed “I love you.” The pair finally agreed that their boatmance was going nowhere, and Natalya’s pairing with Luka crumbled. That’s ok though, as Luka fell right into Jessika’s awaiting arms.

We still can’t help but feel pretty badly for Natalya though. Like her or not, her off-air relationship felt toxic. There was a constant battle seen between her head and her heart, as her boyfriend would text her often to let her know of his conquests, while needing to know exactly what she herself was up to. This was all hard to watch, so we are relieved that this messy storyline is now a thing of the past, as Natalya has since exited stage starboard.

Natalya’s Mental Health Was Taking a Beating

Natalya Scudder/Instagram

Right after her early exit aired, Natalya posted a video speaking about online bullying. She began by letting the viewers know about her life-long struggles with mental health. “When I was 15-16 I started dealing with depression. I would get so overwhelmed with my emotions that I was unable to deal with it,” she explained.

This video was raw, as Nat divulged that she was a survivor of two sexual assaults, which triggered her mental soundness all the more. She then revealed that her mental health deteriorated while filming Below Deck, so she had to leave before things got any worse. Concerned about the welfare of her co-stars, Natalya also spoke to the viewers who were negatively weighing in, saying that “the online bullying has been horrific not just for me, like, across the cast.” She then asked everyone at home to cease their keyboards fire(s).

At the end of the day, this is just a reality television series on Bravo. Natalya’s mental well-being is far more important than being on TV. We are therefore relieved that Natalya removed herself from Below Deck Med, for now, as Natalya’s surprise comeback was just featured on the Season 8 midseason teaser trailer.