The latest episode of Bravo’s hit series Below Deck Mediterranean showcased the highly anticipated meeting between Natalya Scudder and Tumi Mhlongo. However, their encounter was far from harmonious, as the two clashed almost immediately.
Tumi, a former crew member from Below Deck Down Under, took on the role of chief stew after encountering visa issues that caused her to miss the first charter. As Natalya guided her through the ins and outs of the Mustique, tensions quickly arose.
The disagreement began when Tumi dismissed the idea of living in Florida, Natalya’s off-charter residence. The situation escalated further when Tumi shared her initial impression of the boat’s interior.
Comparing it to Harry Potter, Tumi described the organization as a “s—tshow.” However, she clarified that her comment referred to the boat’s layout, not Natalya herself. Natalya defended the boat’s setup, highlighting its efficient service and glassware placement on each level.
Tumi expressed frustration at not being able to share her thoughts freely with Natalya, emphasizing that she meant no offense. She explained that the boat’s layout was not how she would prefer to step onto a vessel. Natalya, meanwhile, defended her successful organization of the boat and expressed her discomfort with Tumi’s hand gestures.
Prior to their meeting, Natalya admitted to feeling apprehensive about relinquishing her position. She believed that she had established a good rapport with the crew and had set up the yacht flawlessly. Handing over the reins would prove challenging for her.
Viewers may recall Natalya’s previous stint as a stew during season 7 of Below Deck Mediterranean, where she clashed with chief stew Natasha Webb and fellow stew Kyle Viljoen. Kyle is set to join the boat later in the season.
Tumi, known for her work alongside Aesha Scott on season 1 of Below Deck Down Under, expressed her concerns about stepping into the chief stew role for the first time. She shared her worries about being the “new kid in town” and the fear of making mistakes.
Earning the respect of her crew was another source of anxiety for Tumi. Having spent a relatively short time in the industry, she was concerned about setting boundaries and dealing with potential disrespect. Tumi revealed that her opinion of Natalya had already been influenced by a conversation with Kyle, who had experienced ups and downs with Natalya in the past.
As Tumi continues to navigate her new role and find common ground with her team, she has already garnered the approval of her superiors. Captain Sandy praised Tumi’s skills after receiving a recommendation from Captain Jason of Below Deck Down Under.
The clash between Natalya and Tumi adds an exciting dynamic to the current season of Below Deck Mediterranean. Viewers can expect further developments as the crew navigates their differences and strives to provide an exceptional charter experience.
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