It’s a matter of some debate whether the series of events leading up to Tom Checketts working on the same yacht as his then girlfriend Malia White were circumstantial or premeditated. Both Tom and Malia worked in the industry and hadn’t seen each other in some time. Tom just happened to be available when Captain Sandy Yawn fired Kiko Lorran, and was her first choice in replacing gentle Kiko, who was fired in the middle of dinner service and generally humiliated.
But as it turned out, just having Tom on board wasn’t enough. Malia wanted to switch cabins and put two warring egos into one confined space. When Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier refused to room with Bugsy Drake, Malia reported Hannah’s valium and CBD pen to Captain Sandy, though she had prior knowledge of these items. Sandy fired Hannah, promoted Bugsy, and Malia got easy access to Tom. Sandy even announced the new bunking arrangement over the radio.
Below Deck Mediterranean seems plagued by chef mishaps. Never have they ever had stable situation in the galley, except perhaps for Adam Glick. Ben Robinson worked the premiere season but did the franchise a huge disservice by returning to land-life. There was steak-licker and Putin hardliner Mila Kolomeitseva. Kiko Lorran did a fine job, but one mishap left him traumatized and also fired by Captain Sandy Yawn. Tom Checketts cooked very well, but prefaced each meal with a tantrum.
Love her or hate her, but Captain Sandy has earned the right to an amazing chef. She helped cook the first dinner for gosh sakes. In fact, the whole crew had to get involved after Chef Mathew Shea went to hospital due to a knee injury. One that could have been prevented, by the way, if he hadn’t ordered a LITERAL TRUCK LOAD of provisions for the first charter. That’s over-compensation for your own anxiety Mathew.
What is it about Captain Sandy Yawn and Below Deck Mediterranean chefs? Or chief stews for that matter. Though, Sandy seems much happier with Katie Flood taking over for Hannah Ferrier this season. But as for drama in the galley, well it’s either that Bravo sends one incompetent chef after another or Sandy is the common denominator.
Sandy drove Kiko Lorran, a perfectly respectable chef, to tears and hovered over an already high-strung Tom Checketts. She berated Ben Robinson when dinner was served cold without dealing with the real issue; a faulty stove. Now, there’s Mathew Shea, who ran himself ragged with anxiety and an inflamed knee. He ducked out of his duties on the first day of charter one. Not a bright start, but perhaps Mathew deserves the benefit of the doubt. Katie had good things to say about him by the end of the season. Sandy, on the other hand, did not. But what’s the truth? Is Mathew as bad as Sandy says or is her hyperbole sullying the name of another good chef?
The Below Deck franchise has ballooned into three separate shows, each with it’s own flair and character. From the gorgeous locations, to the crew, to the incidents that happened onboard, the franchise has something for everyone. Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht all bring the drama. Viewers can expect crew hookups, galley disasters, and drunken fights.
Then there are the specific situations that defined each show. Former bosun Ashton Pienaar almost lost his life on Below Deck. Captain Sandy Yawn made a grown man cry after terrorizing Chef Kiko Lorran and fired Hannah Ferrier in a vindictive manner. After a charter guests supposedly brought drugs onboard, Captain Glenn Shephard made the decision to search their bags.
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.
Both Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean have undergone some haywire transformations in their most recent seasons. Among the highest ranking changes was Bugsy Drake coming on as a second strew mid-season and ending in the role of chief! Who saw that coming? And what was the new interior leader’s point of order? Tablescapes of course!!
Have you ever seen so much tablescape drama in your life? Captain Sandy Yawn shamed Hannah Ferrier for her lack of gusto for table design. It is such a weird microcosm of existence to get hung up on. Like how much emotion can one person have around napkins, those weird flat marble stone things from your grandma’s house, and forks? I guess the answer is, a lot.
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.
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.