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.
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.
Some Below Deck crews are better than others. This season is a perfect example of that. Captain Lee Rosbach is coming through, as usual. And Eddie Lucas‘ comeback season is going well. Other than that, it’s hard to root for most of the Season 8 cast members. Then again, it’s tough to get to know so many new cast members every season, or at least it is for me. It would be a much better show if we actually knew all of the cast members on the season, so we could jump right into watching some drama.
Well, Below Deck alum Kelley Johnson just put together his dream crew. It’s all hypothetical, of course, but it would make for an interesting season if this group actually did come together. Interestingly enough, he didn’t include his sister/fellow Below Deck alum Amy Johnson in his list.
It’s been quite a pleasure getting to know Izzy Wouters on Below Deck this season. From her listless days with the interior staff, to absolutely shining on deck, Izzy’s professionalism and banter with her co-workers gives the show a great balance of humor and entertainment.
Actually, it’s Izzy’s exchanges with bunk mate James Hough that are just top notch hilarity. He may have been testing the waters with all of the ladies on board, but Izzy teases James in the way a sibling might. Izzy could have just not been that into James, and we would have left it at that. But the amount of male attention Izzy gets on social media since appearing on the show has inspired her to reveal her sexual preference. In a witty delivery that only she could create.
Watching Izzy Wouters blossom on the deck team has been like viewing the formation of a diamond. Since moving out of interior service on Below Deck, Izzy has stood out on her team. She is very competent and professional, looks out for her colleagues, and has a hilarious personality too.
If it seemed like Izzy and chief stew Francesca Rubi were about to but heads, bosun Eddie Lucas is encouraging and appreciative of her. If only “sunshine” crew member Shane Coopersmith could evoke the same feelings. And while Izzy’s transformation could be the simple result of better skill placement, it is important to have good management.
Hannah Ferrier may have been fired from Below Deck Mediterranean, but she is still following the franchise. Case in point are the Tweets that Hannah shared regarding Below Deck’s new chef, Rachel Hargrove. She seems to be speaking in support of Rachel after an episode in which Chief Stew Francesca Rubi shaded her uncouth sense of humor.
It’s no epiphany that charter chefs are difficult. Both Hannah and Kate Chastain struggled to deal with challenging personalities in the galley. No one more so than Hannah. She got Mila Kolomeitseva, who licked steaks and used box pancake mixes. Then there was Tom Checketts and his mansplaining tantrums. Adam Glick cooked decently, but belittled the interior staff.
When the Below Deck series premiered, it was a novel concept. It wasn’t a reality show about the glamorous and privileged, but of the people behind the scenes. In this case, the staff and crew that create the experience for their guests. We follow them living and working in confined and stressful quarters. They fight, get along, hook up, and everything in between and we’ve been watching for eight seasons now.
Of course, the original series branched off to include Below Deck Mediterranean and Below Deck Sailing Yacht. Below Deck Mediterranean just aired its fifth season, while Sailing Yacht finished its premiere season. None of these shows disappointed, but there was a notable season that pulled in the highest amount of viewers ever.
It was clear to Below Deck Mediterranean viewers that it was time for Hannah Ferrier to move on. She was chief stew since the series premiered, but seemed less and less enamored with her job. Hannah often butted heads with her superior Captain Sandy Yawn, who described her as, “checked-out.” Hannah was asked to leave the boat when valium was discovered in her possession.
Bugsy Drake took over like a breath of fresh air, and Hannah went home. It could have been a low point for Hannah, but she seemed ready for life back on land. Since filming for the show, Hannah hit many life milestones. She and boyfriend Josh welcomed daughter Ava, their first child together, in October. Hannah also celebrated her birthday on Sunday with her family, and got a very special surprise this year.