There’s a fundamental principle to being a rookie cast member on any long-running reality show. I wouldn’t call it a hard and fast rule, but it’s basic common sense for any newbie. And especially for one who joined a given show as the boyfriend of a cast member almost universally reviled by fans. And it’s this: if you’re brand new to the show, try not to make the fan favorite cry. Simple, right?
Well somehow Tom Checketts managed to do just the exact opposite to Aesha Scott on this week’s Below Deck Mediterranean. Over, of all things, a cucumber. And an avocado. It was bizarre. It was unnerving. And it was a confrontation so out of left field that it bears being addressed right at the top. Plenty of viewers had reservations about Tom when he magically popped on board as Malia White‘s boyfriend. The timing felt suspiciously perfect for him to take over the galley, and helped fuel rumors that Malia had somehow managed to basically cast the show in the wake of several firings by Captain Sandy Yawn.
Below Deck Mediterranean has had one hell of a season. Never before have we seen the crew try so hard to keep their jobs. First came the exit of second stew, Lara Flumiani. Then deckhand Pete Hunziker was (rightfully) let go after the season was done due to racist behavior. While it didn’t happen on the show, producers made sure to highlight what a scumbag he was. Chef Kiko Lorran was next after one bad night. And finally, the worst firing of them all was Chief Stew and longtime castmate, Hannah Ferrier.
Hannah’s firing caused a lot of controversy online and opened up a bigger conversation surrounding mental health. Captain Sandy Yawn, who did the firing and Bosun Malia White, came out looking pretty bad. In the wake of letting Hannah go, they promoted Bugsy Drake to Chief Stew. That left room for one more stew in the mix. Enter past cast member and fan favorite Aesha Scott.
Kate Chastain, love her or hate her, is an iconic Bravo-lebrity. Before her time on Below Deck she was also a Bravo super-fan! And that is why so many love her. She dishes her real feelings towards all the other Bravo-lebs she meets.
Tragically, Kate is leaving Below Deck. For those of you who stan, don’t worry, shes got her own new show on Andy Cohen’s SiriusXM channel! She’s also teased being back on our screens in the future. For those of you who can’t stand her, it’s been a tough summer, let’s at least enjoy the deep shade she brings, even if it’s off screen.
Heave ho, heave ho, it’s off the dock we go. If last week’s Below Deck Mediterranean felt like a filler episode to reintroduce Aesha Scott, this week certainly ramped up the drama for poor Rob Westergaard. But not before enduring the rest of the drunken charter featuring Johnny Damon and his band of merry pals. Or before dragging out Jessica More‘s heart palpitations from the end of last week into a full-blown medical crisis.
Remember pre-quarantine when Captain Sandy Yawn had a heart attack during SoulCycle? Apparently one in three women die from a heart attack or a stroke. I was not aware of this statistic. But Sandy used the third stew’s heart palpitations as the perfect excuse to inject the episode with a PSA about women’s heart health. First the captain lays Jess down on her couch and checks her blood pressure. She even goes as far as to text a cardiologist friend with Jess’ stats, but the doc says, and I quote, it’s “not that bad.” So, basically the entire medical emergency was all for naught. But I suppose if it helps even one female viewer be more aware of her heart health, it’s worth the tangent. And good thing Jess is OK! Well, at least before she’s about to get her heart broken…
We’re headed to Ibiza, baby! That’s right. Below Deck Mediterranean is leaving Mallorca behind for the bright lights and unstoppable party of Ibiza. Well, for the next charter, at least. No promises after that because it’s not totally clear if we’re staying there for the rest of the season.
In the closing moments of last week, we learned the identity of the new second stew: returning yachtie Aesha Scott! Everyone’s favorite bushpig from Season 4 is beyond thrilled to be back, even if the entire crew are strangers to her. In fact, the only cast member she knows is Captain Sandy Yawn, whom she envelopes in a huge hug the moment she steps on board. (Personally, I don’t know that I would come back after being thrown up on by a charter guest last year. But more power to Aesha!)
It’s got to be difficult being a reality TV star. You don’t have control of unflattering edits, you’re at the mercy of non-disclosure agreements, and have to relive some of your worst days in the public eye. Social media is forever.
Hannah Ferrier is currently living her best life. She has a doting boyfriend and is pregnant with their first child. Love her or hate her, Hannah is undeniably happy and radiant. Getting fired from Below Deck Mediterranean was probably one of the best things that happened to her. But reliving it while the season is airing and having to respond on social media might not be.
Welcome to a new chapter of Below Deck Mediterranean. The dawn of a new day. A time to set sail for the unknown sea, the wind at our backs and Captain Sandy Yawn still micromanaging the boat from the bow. Just kidding, we’re still in Mallorca.
For those of you just tuning in, this week is the first episode in the history of the show’s five seasons without Hannah Ferrier as chief stew. The OG’s firing — over an unregistered Valium prescription — was decidedly hard to watch last week. The fallout in interviews and other press was even harder to swallow. (Need an example? Just listen to the way Sandy chooses to use the phrase “do Valium” in this clip from the Below Deck Med After Show.)
After Hannah Ferrier was fired on the recent Below Deck Mediterranean episode, she decided to stroll the dock and smoke a cigarette. An understandable choice, given the brusqueness of her termination. While on the phone with boyfriend Josh, Hannah was cornered on the dock by Captain Sandy Yawn.
Sandy was looking to validate her decision. Or maybe more camera time. Whatever the motivation, she really wanted Hannah to understand her point of view and leave on a sympathetic note. Hannah was having none of it, and left the boat with unresolved tension.