EXCLUSIVE: Below Deck Med’s Elena Dubaich on Chef Drama, Boatmance Rivalries, and Why She No Longer Speaks to Joe Bradley

Below Deck Med Season 9's Elena Dubaich
Photo Credit: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo via Getty Images

Below Deck Mediterranean Season 9 has been a real treat for fans, many of whom were excited when they heard Elena Dubaich, or Ellie, would be returning after her short stint in Below Deck Med Season 7. Now stepping into the role of 2nd Stewardess, viewers are getting to see a whole new side to the star. We got the chance to catch up with Elena and chat all about the drama that’s unfolded so far on Season 9, where she stands with some of her co-stars, and more.

Initial impressions were good, but things soon spiraled on Below Deck Med Season 9

“I loved the crew,” Elena told Reality Tea. “As soon as we got on the boat, two things were certain: everybody’s hot, and everybody’s a nice person. So, it was really exciting from day one to see how it was gonna unfold between us.”

It didn’t take long for the drama to begin, but for once, it had nothing to do with crew behavior. At least, not right away. Instead, the provisioning company dropped the ball, failing to deliver enough wine for the first charter. Audiences wondered why none of the staff went ashore to grab some, but it turns out they did.

“We did go to a store; we got some rosé and white wine,” Elena explained. “But we were expecting this massive order of provisions at any moment, so it made no sense to buy crates of wine when they were saying they were gonna arrive.”

As for the personal drama with Jono? Elena says she felt much better about the support Aesha Scott, her Chief Stewardess, gave her when watching back. “When I saw that I definitely felt a bit of relief and felt like Aesha did have my back,” she told us. “I was not aware she told him that … I think there was just so much going on, she didn’t think to mention it to me.”

The next charter, Jono delivered three mediocre meals in a row to the guests. “I don’t know if I felt a bit of vindication, because at the end of the day, I’m working for my tip,” Elena said. “So, it is in everybody’s interest for Jono to succeed. We were there to make money and make the guests happy. I wouldn’t take vindication over making a good tip.”

Bri’s lack of experience, and acting as a mentor

Sabrina "Bri" Muller, who was trained by Elena Dubaich during Below Deck Med Season 9
Photo Credit: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

“Bri’s lack of experience was glaringly obvious,” Elena said. “I’m not sure how long she was on these boats in the two years of her career, and I’m not sure if she had a mentor on any of her previous boats to train her, either. She did mention that she worked on very small vessels in the past. Oftentimes, that means you work as a team of one.”

Thankfully, Elena has plenty of experience in management. “My entire spa career was as a massage therapist, but also a manager,” she explained. “Any spa I worked at, I worked at least as an assistant manager, and I worked my way up to being a spa manager for a team of eight. For me, it comes very naturally to train team members. I took it upon myself to make sure that we succeeded as a team, and I saw the need to train Bri to bring her up to speed.”

Then came the rivalry over a man. “The tension is about to build up between Bri and I,” Elena teases of future episodes. “Now, it’s becoming obvious as to why, watching it back, because I think that neither of us was aware how much Joe was playing both parties.

“I never witnessed what he was telling Bri – all these flirtatious moments that he had with her – I only saw what we had. Bri also only saw what they had, so, he kinda made it seem to both of us that he had chemistry with us, not the other girl. Some major, major tension is about to arise from this. It’s only just starting.”

Elena distanced herself from Joe after some bad behavior, but loves her Below Deck Med girls

Joe Bradley, who has been flirting with Elena Dubaich on Below Deck Med Season 9
Photo Credit: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo

“I have not [spoken to Joe since the show started airing]. I distanced myself from Joe a couple of months ago,” Elena told us. “I’m not going to go into that because I don’t want to affect anybody’s perception of him, but I just don’t agree with his behavior. Playing with women like that and not having an issue with that is just a poor character trait that I don’t want to associate with.”

Somebody that Elena does look at fondly, though, despite their Below Deck Med rivalry, is Bri. “Even for Bri and I, [coming together] is still to come in the future. I definitely support women. I think we always need to stand together and I will one hundred per cent support my girls no matter what.”

Another woman on board was Gael, who caught some negativity from viewers as she appeared to almost cheat on her then-boyfriend. When Aesha appeared on Watch What Happens Live, though, she gave some context, saying Gael’s man wasn’t as nice as people may think. Will that make the cut?

“I’m not sure,” Elena admitted. “But, from what I’ve heard, he wasn’t very supportive of her. Especially for her having the opportunity to be on a massive show like this. If you love somebody, naturally, you would want them to succeed; you’d want to support them through the experience, and he was making it more about himself and his needs. I’m not sure if that’s indicative of how their entire relationship was, but I think it was a good decision for Gael to take a step back from that entanglement.”

Elena on working around a film crew, and her experience with yacht billionaires

Below Deck Med Season 9 star Elena Dubaich on Watch What Happens Live
Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo

“The boat is super crowded with camera and production crew,” Elena explained. “That becomes a little bit hard to manage, especially when doing cabins. You can see the guest cabins are very small, and there’s a cameraperson there as well, following us. So, trying to make a bed and working your way around … can be challenging sometimes! But they do their best to stay out of our way.”

Some of the yachts Elena has worked on in the past certainly didn’t have a camera crew. Though, after the story she told us, we wish they did.

“I don’t have any bad memories with guests, because the yachts I worked on were for multi-billionaires,” Elena revealed. “One of the yachts I worked on was owned by the richest man in a particular country. So, when people are at that level of wealth, they behave in a very classy manner. Witnessing that level of opulence was very eye-opening to me. You never really get a chance in regular life to be exposed to the lifestyle that people live. So, just having a chance to witness that was quite a life-changing experience. It puts things into perspective.”

This interview has been edited for conciseness and clarity.

Below Deck Mediterranean Season 9 continues Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.