Bravolebrities are a delightful microcosm of reality TV stars. Whether your distraction of choice is one of the Real Housewives series or a Below Deck spinoff, the Bravo channel is a self-sustaining entertainment community. Fan favorites from different shows get screen time on Watch What Happens Live, where they mix and mingle with Andy Cohen.
It’s a good environment for cross-cast friendships to develop. Maybe a little flirting as well. Take Alex Radcliffe and Heather Gay. The Real Housewife of Salt Lake City star was on WWHL with the Below Deck Mediterranean deck hand for the holiday episode. It was filmed virtually, but the two seem to have breached the screen barrier and hit it off. Maybe it was the sight of Alex in a Santa suit. More on that later.
Welcome back to Below Deck, where Hurricane Hargrove has made landfall in Antigua. That’s right, Chef Rachel Hargrove‘s drunken rampage on the crew’s day off isn’t over yet. At the end of last week’s episode, the polarizing chef was last seen demanding the house band bust out their best Patsy Cline. Well, that or some “nasty ass music.” Needless to say, the entire crew is mortified. And not even Francesca Rubi‘s prodding can get her off the stage.
Eddie Lucas is so embarrassed that he simply walks away. As in physically removes himself from the situation to not be associated with his least favorite co-worker. Eventually, Izzy Wouters joins Francesca, and the two manage to coax Rachel back to the audience. Where she promptly crashes, falling asleep without a care in the world. But the damage is done. Rachel’s off-charter behavior is way past being a problem. And it’s about to get worse.
Kate Chastain has had to make a life on land for herself after quitting Below Deck last season. The original chief stew that regaled us for years with her pithy, dry sarcasm is the queen of Bravo talk shows now. She co-hosts Bravo’s Chat Room with Gizelle Bryant, Porsha Williams, and Hannah Berner. Kate also appeared on Galley Talk with other Below Deck Alums.
Recently, Kate was looking for some new artwork to adorn her wall for the show. She attempted to purchase a piece, but found that her supposed clout from Below Deck did not transfer to negotiating a sale with an in demand artist.
How much trouble can one pint-sized charter guest cause on Below Deck? If her name is Delores, it turns out the answer is, well, quite a lot. So much, in fact, that this episode is super-sized! In the immediate aftermath of last week’s nighttime swim, Captain Lee Rosbach is fuming. Like, he’s so angry that you can practically see steam coming out of his ears. Delores is finally out of the water, wrapped up in a towel but still not sorry for disobeying his direct orders. As far as Cap is concerned the charter is over, and they’ll be heading back to the dock in the morning.
In the meantime, they have to get through the night without Delores deciding to go for another dip in the dark ocean. So Lee asks the crew to take turns playing prison guard. Which means standing in front of her cabin door all night in shifts. Naturally, this affects the entire crew and no one is particularly happy about getting their night’s sleep ruined. When Chef Rachel Hargrove finds out what’s happened up on deck, she labels Delores’ behavior “DILLIGAF.” (This stands for “Does it look like I give a f–k?” and…accurate.)
Rachel Hargrove made waves as the first successful female chef on the Below Deck franchise. The word “successful” is used strategically as Mila Kolomeitseva deserves mention, but only in disgrace over her steak-licking and plated nachos.
Not only does she know how to cook, but this girl brings the quirky personality that makes for entertaining viewing. Maybe Rachel knows how to bring it for reality TV, because Below Deck was not her first stint on the medium.
Many Below Deck alums disappear into post-reality TV obscurity. Ashton Pienaar could have been remembered as the deckhand who entertained his castmates with outrageous Smashton moments and narrowly escaped death when his foot got tangled in a tow line and he was dragged overboard.
Unfortunately, Ashton returned for season 7 as a newly appointed bosun. His zeal for the job was quickly dampened by lack of management skills and being triggered by Chief Stew Kate Chastain. Smashton became downright scary and threatening towards Kate and deck hand Rhylee Gerber. He had quite a bit of damage control to do at the reunion, and revealed that he had started counseling to deal with issues he identified after watching himself on screen.
Welcome back to another week of Below Deck, maties. It turns out, this week is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. That’s right, the one where Captain Lee Rosbach gets mad. Last week’s episode ended with James Hough and Elizabeth Frankini finally getting down and dirty in the hot tub. And this week picks up the following morning, which is a full turnaround day for the next charter.
And would you be surprised to learn that Liz has trouble keeping her fling with James to herself? The stew immediately spills the beans to Ashling Lorger and Rob Phillips. We’re talking the moment she arrives on deck. Like, before poor James is even awake or has had time to put clothes on. So by the time he shows up for work, the rumor mill is already in full swing about his escapades the night before. (Naturally, none of this stops Francesca Rubi from finding reasons to criticize Elizabeth’s work first thing in the morning. This despite claiming she doesn’t want “any animosity” in her department, but alas…)
What do you do when you hate your second stew? There’s no denying the tension in the interior has been building for several charters now. And this week, all of that drama finally starts coming to a head. So if you’re Francesca Rubi, that means making a blatant power play to reassert your control over Elizabeth Frankini. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last eight seasons of Below Deck, it’s that the chief stew always demands respect and deference. And she’ll get it by laying down an iron fist. (Miss you, Kate Chastain!)
Last week’s episode ended with Francesca complaining once again to Captain Lee Rosbach about her underling. Because at this point, there’s nothing Elizabeth could do that Chess won’t find some issue with. I say that recognizing that Elizabeth has certainly made mistakes this season. But I can’t help but root for the underdog in this feud, and Francesca hasn’t exactly been a supportive boss. Last week, Captain Lee warned her that finding a new stew could bring a whole other rash of problems. So instead, she decides she’d rather keep Elizabeth on the boat and punish her another way.