It seems that this summer everyone has set sail…on a binge, at least.
Anecdotally, Bravo’s Below Deck franchise is more popular than ever, with [broadly gestures] Events of the World sending people to blue-sky, bluer-water reality TV for comfort.
The original iteration of the series, along with its spin-offs Below Deck: Mediterranean, Below Deck Sailing Yacht, and Below Deck Down Under, chronicle the trials, tribulations, and unmitigated disasters as a yacht crew of Hot, Young, Horny Things navigate the demands of diva charter guests alongside their own combusting interpersonal dramas.
The drama is addicting, and so is complaining about the most annoying and most incompetent crew members. For every glorious ray of sunshine, like current Down Under chief stew Aesha Scott, there’s a baffling chef who lied about her credentials and serves heinous nachos to guests. As with all reality TV, there are those characters that viewers love to hate, and then there are the ones they just loathe.
With both Mediterranean and Down Under currently at sea on Bravo, the Beast’s trio of Below Deck enthusiasts—Marlow Stern, Fletcher Peters, and Kevin Fallon—leapt at the opportunity to rant about the crew members they think are the worst.
RAYGAN TYLER: Below Deck Mediterranean, Season 7
There are the members of the various Below Deck crews who irk viewers because of their behavior or personalities, and then there are those who are hard to watch because they are just so excruciatingly bad at their jobs. On the currently-airing season of Below Deck Med, new bosun Raygan, at least based on what we’ve seen thus far, is almost bafflingly incompetent at her job. Not only is she failing as a leader—her crew often has no idea what they should be doing, have never been given instruction, and are routinely humiliated in front of guests—but she seems to be outrageously lazy. Who knows how much of it is editing, but the number of times she’s seen moseying around the yacht or taking a smoke break while her teammates are sweating bullets from hard work is shocking. —Kevin Fallon
MILA KOLOMEITSEVA: Below Deck Mediterranean, Season 4
Those nachos. Those cursed, cursed nachos. An image of Chef Mila dumping canned corn on that pathetic melange of chips and salsa is forever burned in my mind. Everywhere I go it haunts me, like my own personal old naked lady from It Follows. Not only could Chef Mila not cook to save her life, faked her resume with photos of haute cuisine, and copped constant ‘tude to Chief Stew Hannah Ferrier, but she was also a Putin-worshiper whose vile homophobia alienated her from the rest of the crew. The fact that she even landed in Captain Sandy’s galley on board the superyacht Sirocco makes you question her overall leadership (more on that later). —Marlow Stern
ASHLEY MARTI: Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Season 3
There are times when you’re watching yachties just make terrible life decisions that, as a viewer, is excruciating. Every woman’s mystifying obsession with Gary on the most recent season of Sailing Yacht is one thing. But the way Ashley handled it was a classic tragedy. The power dynamics in play—Gary is a senior staff member, she was the most junior employee—already made their tryst not just unethical, but uncomfortable. Ashley’s puppy-dog infatuation was understandable, if painful to watch. That it culminated in an undeniably dark moment in which it appeared that she had sex with Gary without his consent—he has been very vocal about how he’s OK with it and that she shouldn’t be criticized—just proved how much of a giant mess this was. That coupled with her professional insecurity and consistent begging to be promoted made her arc a bummer on a show that should be fun to watch. —Kevin Fallon
PETER HUNZIKER: Below Deck Mediterranean, Season 5
Peter, a junior deckhand, was already giving serious creep vibes on the ship to multiple stews before it was revealed—in June 2020, right in the thick of the George Floyd protests—that he’s a full-blown racist. Peter’s wildly offensive, anti-Black Instagram post in response to the protests led Below Deck producers to take the unprecedented step of editing down the show, which had already started airing, in order to “minimize his appearance for subsequent episodes.” Good riddance. —Marlow Stern
MAGDA ZIOMEK: Below Deck Down Under, Season 1
A new viral clip of Magda Ziomek is the perfect way to encapsulate the ex-Below Deck Down Under stew. As she’s making a rash decision to defend cheating (while she had a boyfriend, Magda still found herself attracted to the bosun), the Polish stew exclaimed, “I like to dance, I like to feel hot. I’m Latina, so I just wanna have fun!” After a producer asked if she was really Latina, she responded, “No, just inside.” As if that’s not enough, Magda continuously ruffled feathers with Aesha Scott (how???) and would not stop texting her significant other, leading to her ultimate demise on the Thalassa. —Fletcher Peters
ASHTON “SMASHTON” PIENAAR: Below Deck, Seasons 6 & 7
As any seasoned yachtie knows, the biggest Below Deck red flag is having a drunken alter ego. When Ashton debuted, he struck viewers as a ridiculously horny, fun-loving former stripper who was always game to take it off for the guests. But things took a dark turn in Season 7, as the Johannesburg native unleashed “Smashton,” a misogynistic nightmare who menaced Chief Stew Kate Chastain during a van ride—almost punching through a window in a fit of rage—and fostered a toxic, testosterone-heavy atmosphere among his deck team. A part of me feels for Ashton given his near-death experience the season prior (shout-out cameraman Brent!), but it seems the bosun title (and booze) really got to his head. —Marlow Stern
“As any seasoned yachtie knows, the biggest Below Deck red flag is having a drunken alter ego…”
LARA FLUMIANI: Below Deck Mediterranean, Season 5
Season 5 of Below Deck Med will go down in infamy for a number of reasons—Hannah v. Sandy, Kiko, Malia and Tom—but the Lara/Hannah debacle really set the tone for the whole charter. Who will be able to get that haunting “Lara, Lara, Hannah?” call out of their head? I’m certain that in her nightmares, Hannah Ferrier still hears her own voice demanding any attention from Lara. The third (or rather, thirteenth) stew got Hannah fired up, jostled her around—“Lady, don’t touch me!”—and promptly quit. Hell, the Below Deck Med crew didn’t even get the satisfaction of firing this chick. She got to walk away with the final word, proud of herself for taking a stand against…doing her job. —Fletcher Peters
LEXI “SATAN” WILSON: Below Deck Mediterranean, Season 6
Beyond boasting incessantly to her fellow crew members about her supposed $8,000/month condo in Miami—a dubious claim, to say the least—Lexi, like Ashton, had a self-described drunken alter ego known as “Satan,” and it took only one night out for El Diablo to wreak havoc. What began with inebriated insults quickly escalated to Lexi aggressively rubbing her tits in poor Lloyd’s face to spite him, and then yelling at Malia the bosun to “stand down” when she tried to intervene. It culminated in Lexi shoving and attempting to fight Mzi, one of the nicest crew members in Below Deck history. Adding insult to injury, Lexi appeared entirely unremorseful for going 300 on her entire crew (or anything, really), and later on in the season, even accused Mzi of being white because he was adopted by a white family and said Chef Mathew’s parents should have aborted him. How Captain Sandy allowed “Satan” to raise so much hell is beyond me…or maybe not, given her track record. —Marlow Stern
RYAN MCKEOWN: Below Deck Down Under, Season 1
I almost hesitate to include Chef Ryan on this list, as he is the kind of knowingly evil villain who would seem to relish the attention. His recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen saw him almost salivating at all the hate mail he was receiving from viewers, going so far as to needle Cohen for being so obsessed to how horribly he’s been coming off on the show. But the thing is, he hubris and pompousness isn’t of the “reality villain who is fun to watch” variety, but just ugly and off-putting. Whether he thinks the guests who are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to be on this yacht should work around his schedule—and his desire to serve hamburgers and quesadillas instead of high-end food—to his hideous interactions with the Greatest Stew of Them All, Aesha, it’s all just really unpleasant. —Kevin Fallon
JOAO “JEZABOB” FRANCO: Below Deck Mediterranean, Seasons 3 & 4
Rounding out the unholy trinity of drunken Below Deck alter egos is Joao, a Zimbabwean deckhand who gives off heavy “my girlfriend vanished in Aruba” energy. When Joao has a few drinks, he transforms into “Jezabob,” a smirking demon who loves nothing more than degrading women and starting fights with his crew (mostly 23-year-old Conrad, already in way over his head with posh Hannah). Joao insulted Hannah’s age and called her a “cock-juggling thundercunt,” among other things. He ranks among the most smug crew members in Below Deck history, constantly undermining his bosun while tormenting his girlfriend on the boat, Brooke, by flirting with Kasey directly in front of her. What is it with the white African deck bros on this show? —Marlow Stern
TREVOR WALKER: Below Deck, Season 4
Whenever you have the misfortune of encountering a fratty white dude sporting an arrowhead pendant necklace, there is a 90% chance they’ll be an asshole. That number climbs to 100% when they comport themselves like Trevor, a senior deckhand who spent his first night out getting sloppy drunk and insulting the shading of fellow crew member Nico’s shoulder ink. The hits kept on coming from there, as Trevor took shots with charter guests, made a series of sexist comments to the women on board, constantly bragged to his fellow crew about his years as a Paul Mitchell hair model (!), tried to fight Chef Ben (who later branded Trevor a “belligerent little redneck”) and then Nico, prompting the bosun, Kelly, to send him to a hotel overnight because he proved such a menace. Trevor was indeed a belligerent drunk, and the final straw came when he insulted the Marines to Marine vet Kelley’s face, even mockingly calling him a “PTSD f*ckin’ Marine” (on the superyacht Valor, no less). He was given a ticket courtesy of Captain Lee’s Travel Agency early on—or, to quote Cap, “He got fired for being a fuck-up.” —Marlow Stern
CAPTAIN SANDY: Below Deck Mediterranean, Seasons 2-7
Apart from the first season, Captain Sandy Yawn has spent every new chapter of Below Deck Med terrorizing her crew. Sure, it’s kind of good entertainment value. But it’s starting to get a bit tiresome, especially as this new season flops like a dying fish on deck. Though we know Bravo is likely hiring all the folks who serve as crew in the Below Deck franchise, Captain Sandy seems to be exquisitely terrible at hiring folks for her charters. Just take a look at this list for proof: Lexi? Joao? Lara? Mila? Now, Raygan? ENOUGH! Even when Sandy has a good member of the team, she finds a way to drown out their positive contributions with madness. Hannah Ferrier worked on Below Deck Med before Sandy was even on the series, and yet, the captain found a way to alienate and destroy one of the best CStews in the game. The fact that Season 5 of Below Deck Med was supposed to change the game with an all-women leadership team, Malia White and Sandy both unleashed a wrecking ball against feminism when they attempted (and failed) to tarnish Hannah’s legacy. —Fletcher Peters