Captain Lee Rosbach is no rookie to the reality TV game. He has built a brand over the years starring as the original Below Deck captain. Not only is he a Bravolebritiy, but he sells merchandise and event bookings on his personal website.
Lee also critiques each crew member on their performance in a weekly blog. It’s pithy and full of Captain Lee-isms. Struggling crew members often get a larger paragraph. This week, James Hough was on Captain Lee’s radar for his lackadaisical attitude and fixation on the opposite sex.
Raise the anchor because it’s reunion time, yachties! The entire Below Deck Mediterranean crew is back and dressed in their best whites to hash out a season’s worth of drama on the high seas. Well, most of them, anyway. And just like most Bravo reunions these days, this year’s proceedings will be entirely virtual. Though this time around, the decision is just as likely to be about logistics, what with the entire cast spread out around the world.
Captain Sandy Yawn seems to be only one landlocked, stuck at her apartment in Colorado with the protective foam corners still stuck on the frame of the artwork behind her head. Meanwhile, Hannah Ferrier is eight months pregnant in Australia, where she filmed the reunion at four a.m. The rest of the crew is scattered everywhere from London (Malia White) and Long Island (Alex Radcliffe, who’s blessedly shirtless in the opening montage) to the islands of the Bahamas (Bugsy Drake) and Martinique (Kiko Lorran). Meanwhile Rob Westergaard and Jessica More are both in Florida, but definitely not together.
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.
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!)
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.)
Recently, the Bravo network has come down on its talent for offensive social media posts. Vanderpump Rules fired Brett Caprioni and Max Boyens for their racist tweets that resurfaced from years prior. Below Deck Mediterranean cast member Pete Hunziker got fired from the show, and subsequently edited out of the show after sharing a racist “joke” and then his follow-up tweets didn’t help the situation.
So, what’s going to happen to Real Housewives of Potomac cast member Candiace Dillard? Her homophobic and transphobic tweets recently came to light. In response, she issued an apology talking about how much she’s changed, promising that she is an LGBTQIA+ ally, despite her past sentiments. As of this moment, Bravo, a network that has touted itself as being supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community, has been silent on this. Could that be because Candiace brings so much drama to Real Housewives of Potomac? She, just like the others, issued apologies for her horrendous comments. However, she has faced absolutely zero consequences.
Malia White is facing a lot of backlash after she took a photo of Hannah Ferrier’s prescription medication and showed it to Captain Sandy Yawn during the most recent episode of Below Deck Mediterranean. She tried to contrive some faux empowerment moment about standing up to Hannah, but most people just weren’t buying it.
Instead of talking to Hannah and Sandy together and voicing concerns (that she claimed to have), she did the snake move of secretly taking a photo and presenting it to the captain behind Sandy’s back. Then, in addition to getting trashed by the fans, fired cast member Pete Hunziker is slamming Malia for alleged cocaine usage. He also claimed that he had a prescription during the charter season and faced zero consequences. Very interesting.