What. Did I. Just watch? That was my rather dumbfounded reaction last Monday after screening this week’s episode of Below Deck Mediterranean. And frankly, that feeling hasn’t gone away as I sit down to write this a few days later. Was this the most dramatic crew fight in the history of the entire Below Deck franchise? Yes there have been fistfights and throuples. We’ve seen unjust firings and plenty of toxic masculinity throughout the years. But I can’t think of anything that reaches this same level of all-out war where every single person in the crew was involved. And that’s not even considering Chef Mathew Shea‘s abrupt and classless departure…
Obviously, all of the negativity can be boiled down to just one person on the boat. And that is second stew Lexi Wilson. Yes, Lexi’s bad attitude has peeked through the veneer of her pageant girl persona in recent weeks. She’s come across as high maintenance, snobby, inconsiderate and rude. But it was nothing like this. Tonight, the Bahamian bad girl ripped off the mask and showed her true colors. And there’s no word to describe them but ugly. Lexi’s the kind of girl who would not only take comparing herself to Satan as a compliment, she would openly delight in the cruelty she can wreak on the people around her. (Poor Lloyd Spencer!)
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Below Deck Mediterranean is basically a show that never ends. Over the years, it’s turned into an endless cycle of cliffhangers. With cameras rolling virtually 24/7, it’s at times hard to recall where one episode ends and the next begins. This became all the more noticeable to me over the past few weeks as I’ve been binging an old season of the OG Below Deck. (Season 3, to be exact.) Can you even believe that entire charters used to begin and end in the same episode? Now we’re four episodes in and still only in the middle of the crew’s first night out!
Speaking of that, last week we left on in the midst of Mathew Shea and Lexi Wilson‘s tiff over whether they would ever deign to speak to one another in real life. We all know the answer is a resounding “NO,” so why are we still arguing about this? I’d much rather hear all the reasons Katie Flood never wanted to become a chief stew. Or all of the girls gossip about the creepy uncle vibes Mat continuously gives off. Or listen to Malia White argue that you can be a “good person and work in yachting.” Kind of rich coming from her of all people, but OK…
At the end of last week’s Below Deck Mediterranean, we didn’t even know if the primary guests’ upcoming wedding was even going to happen. Quick recap: the entire charter had been one disaster after another. The crew was operating on pure adrenaline while still getting their sea legs under them. The whole first charter was leading up to one thing: a Mediterranean wedding officiated by Captain Sandy Yawn. And the crew did get things more under control by the second day. But then the soon-to-be bride and groom started fighting. The argument escalated to the point that the groom called off the wedding, storming out of the cabin and leaving and eavesdropping Katie Flood scampering for cover.
The fight carries into the rest of the night. (Though it’s unclear whether the bride ever made good on her threat to call her fiancé’s mother. I need to know.) Lexi Wilson is left to eavesdrop on the argument during the late shift. And by the time everyone heads to bed, it’s unclear what will happen the following day. Holy matrimony is officially up in the air, people. Bright and early the next morning, the mood has quieted to an angry simmer. The tension during breakfast is palpable. The groom is overcompensating with jokes while the bride sits silently, brooding over her eggs Benedict. Finally, Katie‘s forced to break the ice and ask if the crew’s planning a wedding. The couple tersely agrees to a sunset ceremony.
Wow, the season premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean was an unmitigated disaster, huh? Captain Sandy Yawn readily admitted she pretty much failed on the first night of the season. Like, we’re talking falling flat on her face (much to the delight of many a viewer, I would presume). The weather was terrible. Chef Mathew Shea jumped ship at the first sign of stress. Therefore, the food, cooked by the rest of the crew, was atrocious. (Shout-out to the commenters who reminded me that Malia White played sous chef all season last year. That ability to help in the kitchen must’ve gone overboard with Tom Checketts…) The demanding guests were unforgiving. The whole thing really couldn’t have gone worse.
So now the main question is…can the crew right the proverbial ship? Or will it sink before the season’s even left the dock? In the aftermath of that terrible dinner, the answer to that question is uncertain. The guests got sloshed in order to choke down the food they were served. And although primary Terez is still throwing a tantrum in her cabin, everyone else seems to be in a (drunkenly) decent mood. One of the guests even insists on making chief stew Katie Flood do an “airplane” like a six-year-old. That seems like it would cross a line about appropriate treatment of the crew, but anything to save the tip, I guess?
What’s the saying? As one ship docks, another sets sail? In the Bravoverse, that can only mean one thing: as the mizzen and main are furled on Below Deck Sailing Yacht, it’s time for Season 6 of Below Deck Mediterranean! The good news? We’re back in Croatia! Which longtime fans will remember as the setting for Season 2 — widely regarded as probably the show’s most iconic season ever. (Though this particular recapper is also partial to Season 3’s adventures on the Italian coast…)
The bad news? You may not be happy with some of Bravo’s casting decisions. Because, yes, both Captain Sandy Yawn and Malia White are back. Frankly, it’s just a baffling decision that makes absolutely no sense to me. Especially when you consider how much backlash they received from fans over how terribly they handled all the drama that went down with Hannah Ferrier. On one hand, I never expected Captain Sandy to go anywhere. But why on God’s blue ocean bring Malia back for another season as bosun? If we needed a familiar face to fill the void left by Hannah — and for the record, we do — why not keep Bugsy Drake as chief stew? Or promote Alex Radcliffe and make him bosun? Or better yet, both! Because I’m pretty confident that no one (and I mean no one) was asking for another season of Malia.
Part 1 of the Below Deck Sailing Yacht reunion aired last night. And in the quickest turnaround in Bravo history, we got Part 2 just one day later — in lieu of a new Real Housewives of New York City. And after watching an hour of arguing over pita, this is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. Will questions finally be answered? Will the mystery of Dani Soares‘ surprise pregnancy finally be solved? Is Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux the father? Let’s find out!
But first, we have to endure more relationship drama from Parisfal’s resident throuple. At the end of Part 1, Gary King claimed Alli Dore didn’t have feelings for him, just like he didn’t have feelings for Sydney Zaruba. Huh? Apparently, the math of love triangles is too far out of the first officer’s academic depth. Alli fires back that of course this isn’t true. If she didn’t have feelings for him, she never would’ve dated him on the boat. Furthermore, the third stew also points out that she seemed to be the only one taking anyone else’s feelings into account in this whole mess. Or, like, what’s right and what’s wrong. Then she drops a bombshell: Gary actually had a girlfriend when he hooked up with Sydney on the first night.
Are you ready for the Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 2 reunion? Because ready or not, it’s happening. The real question I asked myself as I sat down to enjoy Part 1 was, “Did this season really justify a reunion? Let alone two parts?” Frankly, I’m not sure the answer is yes. Sure, there are a number of unanswered questions, mostly revolving around a certain mystery pregnancy. But do we really need to rehash the number of pitas Natasha De Bourg made for breakfast or the love triangle that will just never end? Apparently, the answer is yes. So here we go. Get ready to count the pitas…
We’ve weathered a full year of virtual reunions on Bravo due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while other shows are now getting socially-distanced, in-person sit downs with Andy Cohen, all the Below Deck franchises are still reuniting virtually. Several fans seemed to complain about this fact on Twitter, but honestly, it kind of makes the most sense. At least from a logistical standpoint. The Parsifal crew remains flung across the world, making a physical reunion hosted in New York difficult to organize with global travel not quite back to normal yet.
Well, yachties, this is it. The Season 2 finale of Below Deck Sailing Yacht. We’ve made it through a pandemic. The dreadful Barrie Drewitt-Barlow and his twisted Brady Bunch. One charter cut short by COVID, and another cancelled altogether. A pissing match over pita bread. A broken-down tender. “Ta-tas for Trump.” The least empowering women’s empowerment dinner of all time. A chlamydia scare (that turned out to be just run-of-the-mill chafing). And a messy love triangle that’s still not over. Honestly, what didn’t happen this season? Actually I do have something: it was a rare season where no one got fired.
So, remember last week when I pointed out the potential for the first-ever crossover event in Below Deck history? Yeah…that didn’t happen. Which I also predicted, but it still feels like a missed opportunity. Especially with Season 6 of Below Deck Mediterranean right around the corner. But alas. Instead, we get a completely different crew from the Lady Michelle for the final charter of the season. For reference, that is the boat we’ll be seeing next season on Below Deck Med. So now I’m left wondering about filming schedules and whether the two shows overlapped. Did Sailing Yacht wrapped before Captain Sandy Yawn and co. headed to Croatia? Was it the other way around? I need to know.