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Below Deck Sailing Yacht Producers on Crew Member Conflict: "That's When It Becomes a Thunderdome"

Jill Goslicky and Matt Reichman give some insight into the drama between Daisy Kelliher, Natasha De Bourg, and Gary King in Season 2.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Daisy Kelliher Natasa De Bourg Gary King

Few series bring the workplace drama quite like Below Deck, and the current Season 2 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht is taking that to a whole new level. Though we've witnessed crew members coming into conflict before on the high seas, we've rarely seen the heads of department butt heads like they are on Parsifal III this season. 

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Sailing Yacht on Peacock and the Bravo app

Daisy Kelliher and Natasha De Bourg didn't get off to a great start, with the chief stew and chef disagreeing over the amount of pita bread served to the guests during the first charter. Things went from bad to worse during the third charter of the season with poached eggs and dessert sparking more conflict between the crew members.

The chief stew has also increasingly found herself at odds with first mate Gary King, who didn't have the most positive response to Daisy's request for the deck team to assist more in the interior. He made his feelings very clear during a tense tip meeting in the April 5 episode of Below Deck Sailing Yacht (clip below).

Daisy Kelliher and Gary King Are Having a Hard Time Finding Common Ground

Jill Goslicky, an executive producer of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, and Matt Reichman, Vice President, Current Production at Bravo, broke down the drama among Parsifal III's heads of department during an exclusive interview with Bravo Insider. Goslicky noted that this kind of dynamic comes with the territory of having three strong-willed leaders on board.

"I mean, I think what Daisy’s experiencing is what it is to be in a leadership position, right? You have this vision for what you want for these guests, and you’re trying to bring it all together. And all you need to do is communicate it to all these other departments, who have their own opinions and their own agendas," Goslicky said. "And Gary’s trying to run his department and do his thing, and then Daisy’s asking him to get involved with the interior. And Natasha — she’s an artist; she has her own opinions on what’s going out." 

Seeing how the crew juggles individual responsibilities while working as a team is "also part of the special sauce of this show," according to Goslicky. "Everyone is trying to do this job at a really high level and pull together. To me, it often feels like a production. I see a lot of parallels between TV and what yachties do. They’re trying to pull this all together," she said. "There is natural conflict there. And not everyone agrees on the way forward. The job is too fast; they don’t have time to hash it out and, like, really work through it. They only have time to say, 'Here’s what I’m doing, here’s what I need you to do, let’s go.' And as a result, they’re not always on the same page. They’re each trying to do their own thing that they think is in the best interest of their department. And then conflict naturally arises."

Reichman noted that there's especially a lot of pressure put on the partnership between the chef and chief stew, as much of the success of the charter really depends on this close working relationship. "The chief stew and the chef on a yacht, the charter is often made and broken by that dynamic. I think it’s the nature of the job," he explained. "Natasha’s a fantastic chef with loads of experience, Daisy’s a fantastic chief stew with loads of experience, and they just haven’t had that experience together. And it's up to them to sort of navigate that over the course of the charter season and create a workflow. And when they do, it’s great. And when they don’t, it’s great TV."

Are Daisy Kelliher and Natasha De Bourg Already Running Into Issues?

As for Gary's attitude toward the interior, Reichman explained that it's very true to the first mate's own past experience in the yachting industry. "That’s Gary’s truth. The boats that he’s worked on, that’s how things ran, you know? And you imagine if he was, like, on a boat with Kate Chastain, you know? What would that have been like? Lucky for Gary, Daisy is pretty level-headed," Reichman said. "And, by the way, that’s not to say that Gary’s in the wrong; it’s just that’s Gary’s reality of that’s the job, and Gary’s been doing this for, what, like, 12 years. [It's] not like he’s coming into it green."

What makes this discord so captivating to watch, according to Goslicky, is that who's right and who's wrong isn't so clear-cut. "My favorite conflicts on the show are ones where each of them has a point of view that holds water and is totally valid, and they just can’t seem to find a way to work together. And I think that’s true of the conflicts this season," she said. "Like, Gary being asked to help out, he’s like, 'I work 18 hours a day as it is. Now I’m being asked to do your job.' But then the interior genuinely needs the help, and Daisy is used to deckhands helping out. They both have very good points. There’s no right or wrong. There’s no, like, good versus evil. Everyone is just doing their best, but in trying to do that, conflict arises."

And with so many people with different backgrounds and experiences living and working together in tight quarters on the yacht, there is bound to be friction — whether cameras are there or not. "The alchemy of Below Deck is when you bring all these people together — it’s a house show, but they’re actually doing stuff that’s meaningful and that they’re passionate about and you just see it. You see it come out, and I think that we really cast amazing yachties that are really good at their jobs," Reichman said. "And when you get a lot of people that are good at their jobs but have a different point of view, that’s when it becomes a thunderdome. That’s the sort of the nature of the beast, and I think it’s all just sort of true to the job."

Want more Below Deck Sailing Yacht? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on the Bravo app.

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