Being on reality TV can certainly shape and change behaviors, which is exactly what Captain Lee Rosbach has observed, especially with some Below Deck crew members and even the guests.
Rosbach, who has been at the helm since the series’ 2013 inception, has watched eager new crew members prepare to join the series, only to completely lose job focus and become problematic. He also said some guests act like they are producers and get wrapped up in the filming (and create drama) rather than enjoying their luxury yacht vacation.
Captain Lee quickly knows which ‘Below Deck’ crew members are drinking the ‘Kool-Aid’
After 10 years of Below Deck, Rosbach’s BS detector is finely tuned. “You can tell the ones who are drinking out of the Kool-Aid bowl even before they get there,” he said, referring to crew members on Brandi Glanville’s Unfiltered podcast.
“When producers hire our cast, they do it with certain prerequisites that they have in their mind, about personality types,” he continued. “[Like] they’re funny, they’ve got a sense of humor. Generally speaking, they’re attractive. If not, their personality makes them attractive. That’s the reason they’re hired because we can teach them everything else they need to know about scrubbing a deck, wiping down handrails…”
Below Deck captains, crew and even some producers have admitted that casting agents, not the captain, hire the crew for Below Deck. But the captain has the discretion to fire crew.
Captain Lee says some ‘Below Deck’ crew ‘morph into this monster’
“And then we put them through a process called STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), where they learn all they need to know about basic safety and that sort of thing, and all the rules that they have to abide by,” Rosbach continued.
“And then they have to pass the test,” he added. “So there’s all that involved and then something seems to happen between that time and when the cameras start rolling. Because as soon as the camera starts rolling, some of them just morph into this monster. Like, ‘Who the hell is this person? And what did you do with my deckhand?’”
Earlier in the series, the Below Deck crew was staffed with authentic yachts. But after the series exploded and other iterations spun out, some crew members who appeared on the show admitted they joined yachting because of Below Deck and hoped to get on the show.
Some ‘Below Deck’ guests are also ‘monsters,’ Captain Lee says
Morphing into a “monster” isn’t limited to the crew. Rosbach said that Below Deck guests “do the same thing the crew members do,” he shared. “Soon as the cameras roll, they morph into this monster. Do you remember Charley? Charlie Walters. He’s been on three times. Group of gay guys. And I swear to God, they spend every year… I think, three years in a row. And as soon as it gets close, it seems like they all caucus together and dream up just crazy stuff that they can do to make everybody’s life more difficult.”
Walters and friends made their last Below Deck appearance on season 8 and were dragged for being too demanding. But Walters insisted that producers told him to be difficult. “I’m used to this, gang. Do you think BravoTV has repeat guests back to play nice and be ‘not demanding’? That’s not what I was told!” I have tweeted.
His group was also especially picky with their breakfast order. But he claims his group from him was told to place over-the-top requests. “You are told to come up with the most extravagant orders you can think of,” he shared on Twitter.
Rosbach said, “We have actually told some of the guests to stop trying to be a TV producer. Enjoy your vacation. Do what you were going to do, but stop trying to make those magical, memorable moments because you’re not good at it.”