Bravo’s Below Deck franchises are some of the network’s most popular and successful shows to grace the small screen. The series has entertained audiences for years, giving viewers an in-depth look into the world of luxury yachting. The show makes it look easy, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.
The cast and crew must deal with space issues, strict rules regarding interactions between the cast and production, and a volatile and unpredictable work environment.
So, how do they get it all done? The cast and production have revealed what it’s really like behind the scenes of the uber-successful franchise.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan magazine via Screenrant, former bosun Eddie Lucas and long-time captain Lee Rosbach revealed that privacy has been a commodity that the cast has taken for granted in the past.
Eddie told the mag that there weren’t any cameras in the laundry room for the longest time — until he had an infamous and steamy hookup in the quarters during season three with then-co-star Rocky Dakota.
1. Eddie’s Hookup Led to Cameras in Laundry Room
“[We didn’t have cameras] until that season, Now, we have cameras in the laundry room,” Eddie revealed. “I can be very sneaky” until “I made a mistake.”
2. Bathrooms Are Only Place With No Cameras Unless…
The only real reprieve the cast has from the camera’s eye is in the bathroom. However, even those aren’t 100% safe. According to production and BravoTV, the cast is explicitly warned that though no cameras are allowed in the bathrooms, if multiple people enter the area at the same time, all bets are off, and cameras and microphones are allowed to follow the cast in order to catch all the juicy intimate moments.
“It could be they’re having a conversation about someone they hate, and the showrunners need to be aware of that,” one producer admitted.
3. Most of the Footage Filmed Ends Up on the Cutting Room Floor
Captain Lee also spoke on moments and footage that gets lost on the cutting room floor, revealing that one season includes over 45,000 hours of footage shot, and it must be edited down to just around a 900-minute smidgen of what was actually filmed.
4. Hookups Are Actually Quite Rare
As any avid Below Deck fan knows, hookups between cast members as well as guests are often part of the show’s storylines each season. However, an inside Bravo employee says that they’re quite rare. The source told Us Weekly that “cabins have surveillance cameras in them all the time,” and the cast is well-aware that they are being recorded. The “frequency” of hookups is dependent on how the captain is in regard to the rules for using guest areas when there are no guests on the yacht.
Audiences have seen multiple rendezvous occur between cast members in guest cabins and suites over the years, so no surprise there.
5. Cast Not Allowed to Talk to Crew
As far as interactions between the cast and crew, there’s a strict no-contact sanction put in place.
Former Below Deck Mediterranean chief stew Hannah Ferrier revealed to InTouch Weekly that the crew “won’t even talk to me. They won’t even say hello to me.” She also explained that the guests aren’t allowed to interact with the crew either.
6. There’s a Lack of Space on Vessels
Hannah went on to reveal that space is a huge issue on the vessels as the guests, cast, and crew are all pushed together like sardines, and to make the show work, production must build a makeshift studio onboard the boats.
“We’re in these tiny, confined spaces and they have very big equipment, so it makes it difficult,” she said.
Former Below Deck Med deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole echoed Hannah’s sentiments.
“They have to rip out the gym equipment and put in like 15 flat-screen TVs,” Colin told Showbiz Cheatsheet.
7. The Show is Not Scripted At All
Like most reality shows, the rumors of Below Deck being scripted have come up multiple times. But producer Mark Cronin is quick to dispel the naysayers.
“It’s very important to us that they have a ‘real experience…’ The most the crew interferes during shooting is telling someone to ‘talk’ if they are doing something mundane silently.”
Below Deck has just entered its 10th season and airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.
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