Starting a relationship with a fellow crew member is always complicated, especially when that yachtie is your direct boss. No one knows that better than the Sirocco crew this season of Below Deck Mediterranean as deckhand Malia White and bosun Wes Walton have become increasingly flirty with one another.
Deckhand Max Hagley recently told The Daily Dish that he's surprised that Wes had that in him in the first place. In fact, Max said that Wes is the person who surprised him the most this season "because he's so straight-laced" and always preaching that it's not professional to get involved with fellow crew members. "And then suddenly, now, he's hooking up with Malia," Max said. "I was just like, 'You're going back on your word here, Wes.'"
Still, working as part of the exterior crew with Wes and Malia, Max said that he could sense something slowly but surely brewing between these two. "There were signs. Early on, there was a little bit of banter between them, a little bit of flirting," he said. "I actually thought Bobby [Giancola] was the one Malia would be really interested in, and then it come out about Adam [Glick] as well. And then Wes is now hooking up with her. I was like, oh my God, this girl seriously causes a right storm on board. You have to see what happens."
Max said that seeing a romance bloom between two members of his team "was really tough, because they were always together on deck. It'd be like, me and Bobby would be on one end of the boat and then Wes and Malia would be at the other end. I didn't mind it so much, but I know Bobby got upset because he never really got the opportunity to show Wes what he could do."
So of course, when Captain Sandy Yawn asked Wes to choose a lead deckhand, that complicated things, to say the least. "I'm not really bothered about it by the fact of this position. But I know Bobby is really desperate to get this position. And at the same time, Malia, she's a good worker, and she really wants to progress and learn," Max said. "But do you go with your heart and you pick Malia or you sort of go, right, Wes needs to step back and go, 'All right, I'm hooking up with this girl, so she might deserve it, and she's doing really well. But at the same time, I can't choose her.' It's a tough situation to be in."
And Max believes Wes ended up leading with his heart and not his head this season. "Wes' decisions were massively influenced by the whole Malia and Wes situation, them two hooking up. Yeah, he's sort of going with his heart. It's a tough situation to be in, because obviously he's besotted by this girl," he shared. "At the same time, he needs to step back and go, 'This is not professional. If we're gonna have a relationship, we should have a relationship off the boat and pursue things after this season. But he's not. He's pursuing it while he's on board, and it's causing a bit of a storm."
Wes defended his decision to promote Malia to lead deckhand during Tuesday night's episode of Below Deck Med.
"Everything comes to work is work. Everything that comes to that is separate," he explained when confronted by Bobby and Max about promoting Malia after they kissed during anchor watch. "End of the day, these decisions were based on professional stuff, people are taking initiative, people are going forward, people are paying attention and being interested."
What's also causing some controversy is the fact that Malia and Adam had a bit of a fling before they joined the Below Deck Med crew. "Yeah, so Adam and Malia, the fling, totally didn't pick up on it. Even when they met each other in the first episode, like how they shake hands and look each other in the eye, you don't pick up on anything. It's totally like, they just played it so cool," Max said. "I wouldn't have been able to do what they done. So it was a big shock, massive shock."
Of course, we had to ask Max to weigh in on if Adam or Wes was really the right guy for Malia. Though he admitted the decision was "tough," he ultimately made a choice. "I spent most time with Wes. He's a great guy. He's a real bundle of knowledge. He's, like, a yacht geek because he's so straight-laced. You want to take him home to your mum, he's that perfect. But at the same time, poor, old Adam, he's had this fling with this girl and now they're on the same boat. It must be heartbreaking for him because he likes her so much, and yet she's now hooking up with this other guy and he's stuck in his galley as well. He can't come out," Max said. "Yeah, it's a tough situation, but I think Wes and Malia are more suited, not so much because Adam likes surfing and Malia likes surfing and stuff, but just the fact how they get along when they're together, they're almost like they're in a relationship already, like they're not, but the way they are, the way they are around each other, I think they're suited more than Adam. Sorry, Adam."
The drama between Adam and Wes came to a head in Tuesday night's episode of Below Deck Med. Relive their explosive confrontation, below.