Below Deck’s Highs and Lows Of 2023

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

The Below Deck franchise has brought us a lot this year. New crew members, familiar faces, drama, intense accusations, and friendships—all of this took place, and all of it was wild. As we begin to say our goodbyes to this year, we’re looking back at everything that’s transpired on deck. In turn, these are our top picks for Below Deck’s highs and lows of 2023.

High – BDDU’s Epic Leadership

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Below Deck Down Under Season 2 gave us a massive high with its leadership. Chief Stew Aesha Scott and Captain Jason Chambers are two of the best Captain-First Stew pairings at sea. This year saw the duo facing two separate sexual assault attempts while in between charters. On each, they handled their team members with respect and care, while swiftly removing the perpetrators from the yacht.

Aesha and Captain Jason are literally the dream team. They are firm and kind, and they both know how to handle conflict, sans any additional drama. Their epic leadership skills made this entire season “ah-maaaazzziing.” Truly, Aesha and Captain Jason can never leave, as they are our favorite Below Deck high from 2023.

Low – BDDU’s Two Assault Attempts

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Sing it with me, You take the good you take the bad and there you have the asshats named Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne. These two disgraced yachties worked alongside Aesha and Captain Jason on BDDU Season 2. To explain why they suck, Luke drunkenly crawled into Margot Sisson‘s bunk looking to score, despite her spoken “no.” Similarly, Laura ignored Adam Kodra‘s “no,” while also making light of Luke’s actions.

On Luke, production stepped in to save the day. They forced Luke’s naked, pasty body out of Margot’s cabin, which made Luke mad, while we all cheered from our couches. Aesha alerted Captain Jason, who immediately sent Luke to a hotel. The very next day, Luke lost his job.

With Luke now gone, his bestie Laura was crushed. Therefore, Laura began to express that Luke hadn’t done anything wrong, other than picking the wrong girl to try and score with. I’m channeling Dan Levy here as I type-yell “EW, LAURA!” She also continually tried to score with Adam, who in turn had to keep turning her advances down.

Needless to say, Laura walked the plank as well. Luke and Laura were the absolute worst parts of this entire franchise this year. They therefore earned their spots well, making them our lowest of lows for Below Deck 2023.

High – BDSY’s Entire Season 4 Crew (Minus Gary King)

Ileisha Josephine Dell/Instagram

Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 4 featured yet another love triangle with Gary King, but we are choosing to leave him for the section just below, which I’m sure is not shocking for anyone with a pulse. Despite Gary, this crew goes down as our favorite combined group of yachties. Ileisha Dell, Alex Propson, Lucy Edmunds, Mads Herrera, Chase Lemacks, and even our failed lovebirds of Daisy Kelliher and Colin MacRae all showed up and showed out this season.

What made this crew so darn likeable was that everyone knew how to do their jobs well, and their teamwork onboard was excellent. They were all also great humans, who in turn formed genuine friendships during filming. To date, this group remains tight, often posting images of their meet-ups on land. For the levity that these yachties brought, we choose them as one of our high’s for Below Deck 2023.

Low – The Accusations Against Gary King

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Gary often comes across as a creeper on BDSY. He loves the ladies, and weirdly, many of them have loved him right back. However, post filming for Season 4, Gary was called out, big time. In a disturbing Rolling Stone article, Samantha Suarez from the production team claimed that Gary had attempted to force himself on her during filming, while several additional voices also stated that they’ve witnessed Gary “constantly” making women uncomfortable.

Gary’s time is now up. He was removed from BravoCon 2023, and his future on this hit series lies in the balance. These accusations are very serious, and as they have come from multiple people, they cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, the allegations made against Gary are easily one of our lows for Below Deck in 2023.

High – Fraser Olender’s Chief Stew Showing

Fraser Olender/Instagram

Kate Chastain left large, snarky shoes to fill after walking away from the Below Deck franchise. Luckily, her male twin, Fraser Olender, rose up this year, taking Kate’s place rather well. Overall, Fraser is witty, fashionable, and makes for excellent confessionals. Though his leadership skills saw a few tweaks needed this year, he rose to the occasion, making him one of our 2023 highs for the Below Deck franchise.

Low – We Said Goodbye To The Stud of The Sea


Captain Lee Rosbach kicked off the entire Below Deck franchise in Season 1, and he stayed on until Season 10, becoming the face of this hit Bravo series. He lead with wit and charm, and his unflappable way with words has seen hundreds of memes and quotes becoming iconic. Sadly, after filming for Season 10, it was revealed that Captain Lee was not invited back to film for Season 11.

Our hearts sank at this news, and we know that we are not alone in our feelings on this matter. Captain Lee breathed heart and sass into this series, and we will miss his presence tremendously on our screens. Therefore, Captain Lee’s removal from this series family has to go on our 2023 list of lows found on Below Deck.