Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck admitted that people told him the series would be the death of the industry.
Former crew member Adrienne Gang said she was set up to be vilified on the show, plus Captain Sandy Yawn said she makes far less money on the series than being a yacht captain. Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean crew members recently opened up about some of the downfalls and hurdles they experienced due to the series.
While the cast acknowledged the Below Deck franchise is a smash hit and has actually been beneficial to the yachting industry, former and current cast members admit to encountering the downfalls that come with being on reality television.
Adrienne Gang says she was made to be the ‘b*tch everyone loved to hate’
Adrienne Gang, who was the first chief stew on Below Deck Season 1 worked on getting the franchise launched. “I thought it would be interesting to get involved as there are always fascinating people on board and conflict among the crew,” she told The Guardian.
She soon realized yachting and reality television was a dicey combination. “It was a certified nightmare,” she said. “The production team didn’t really know what they were doing and I had never worked in TV before, either. It was a giant clusterf*ck: they didn’t have a big enough camera crew in the first season to capture everything that happened, and they couldn’t really get the guests to relax.”
“It was the most stressful situation I’ve ever been in. I don’t feel like I was supported,” she added. “[The producers] knew from the beginning that they wanted to make me the b*tch everybody loved to hate. They did some really tricky, manipulative things to make sure that there was opposition, like amping us up on purpose before we would go into our one-on-one interviews by saying: ‘Oh, you would not believe what Kat said about you,’ and she had never said it.”
Chef Ben Robinson regrets some on-camera drunken moments
Chef Ben Robinson, who quickly became a fan favorite, wishes he didn’t do as much partying as he did on the series. “There were drunken moments when I probably didn’t say or do the right thing,” he told The Guardian while laughing.
“Drinking during a reality TV show isn’t the best decision, but it also provides a nice outlet,” he continued. “I try not to live in regret, but I did take my pants down once with my brother and we walked along the dock together. Thank God, I’ve got probably one of the nicest a**es in the free world.”
“I’d never watched reality TV, so I didn’t understand the process,” he admitted. “It was definitely stressful. Apparently, I didn’t talk very much for the first couple of weeks. Most charter guests get on the boat and they love the crew, but some of these numbskulls come on as our enemy because they realize that it’s a good storyline that will give them more screen time.”
The show doesn’t pay as much as ‘real’ yachting
While the crew receives their tips and salary, the show only shoots for six weeks out of the year. “The money is not even close to what I made as a superyacht captain,” Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean shared with The Guardian. “But I’m helping people to realize that there are jobs out there and it fuels me to go back for another season. I feel like God gave me a platform for a reason and I get thousands of messages on how I help people. I’m an inspiration.”
Yawn also said she used to book a slew of speaking engagements prior to doing the show. The gigs dried up shortly after being cast. “After my first season, I wasn’t sure if I would do the show again because it was so stressful,” she revealed. “People in my industry were judging me for doing it. As a female captain, you’re pretty popular and I used to do a lot of public speaking on women in yachting, but after the show I wasn’t really invited to speak any more.” She told The Guardian that speaking engagements once again ramped up.
Rosbach shared that the series attracts people who prioritize screentime to being a true yachtie. “In terms of the cast, you get a feel for people who are looking to further their career in the industry or if they have a separate agenda,” he said. “Usually the ones who have a separate agenda don’t fare too well. But I’m going to stay on the show for as long as they will have me.”
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