It’s no surprise that Season 5 of Below Deck Mediterranean was such a knockout, especially after Captain Sandy Yawn’s controversial firing of longtime chief stew Hannah Ferrier. While Sandy has doubled down on her decision, saying drugs of any kind are not allowed on the ship, it raised a lot of eyebrows on whether Sandy was really worried about her captain’s license or just wanted Hannah off the boat and show. Let’s not forget that Hannah had prescription Valium, which she claims to have never even taken, and a CBD pen, which is legal in Spain. But major snake Malia White couldn’t help but kiss Sandy’s ass and report Hannah (which she wouldn’t even fess up to) once she started having arguments with her cabin mate.
But Hannah is on to bigger and better things now that her Below Deck days are over. She opened her own yachting training academy. She’s engaged and a new mommy. While she was a staple on the show since the onset, it’s good to see her living her best life after such a nasty ending.
Below Deck Mediterranean introduced our first look at a female yacht captain, Sandy Yawn. She was a leader in a predominantly male industry and provided an optimistic look towards putting a crack in the glass ceiling. When Season 5 announced a crew with women in the high-ranking positions, many viewers saw this as a potentially groundbreaking effort and a nod towards, for lack of a better term, female empowerment. Then filming began and it all went to shit.
What transpired was nothing less than an infantile display of public humiliation and accusations, helmed by Captain Sandy. She seemed to almost compete with returning Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier while Bosun Malia White was able to whine her way out of situations that didn’t benefit her career. Hannah left the series after a disturbing sequence of events, but it’s apparently not over. Recently the Captain took a rather unnecessary shot at Hannah, but this time former co-worker and barrette aficionado Bugsy Drake is stepping in.
Hannah Ferrier and Captain Sandy Yawn are STILL TALKING about Hannah’s premature departure from Below Deck Mediterranean Season 5. Then they have to RESPOND to the others’ comments to whichever interviewer has them rehashing the past. The problem is, neither will budge on their position. So we get the same defensive statements over and over.
This time though, Sandy’s snarky responses managed to turn another Below Deck alum against her. Perhaps all the interior crew of coastal Europe should take offense to what Sandy really thinks of their work, because it’s hardly a comment that uplifts other women.
Captain Sandy Yawn has been the branded as the most intense of all micromanagers. The Below Deck Mediterranean captain has a habit of inserting herself into any crew drama, and therefore into more camera time as well.
Maybe Sandy does this because she thinks it makes her a good leader. Certainly it’s a management style, but Captain Lee Rosbach can run a tight ship without watching over each dinner service or assigning cabins. So it could just for her own benefit that Sandy waltzes on screen at any opportunity, especially to the galley.
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.
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.