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Jennice: "I was Living a Lie"

Jennice Ontiveros explains why she changed her mind about Kelley Johnson.

By Jennice Ontiveros How were you feeling about Kelley after his birthday party?
Jennice Ontiveros: After his birthday party, I was feeling like Kelley needed a cold shower, some mouthwash, and a bottle of water! I made sure to keep a friendly distance while we were out, but he asked me to look after him when we left the bar, and I obliged. Listen, there was no way I was getting that 180lb inebriated man meat into the top bunk, and Eddie was kind enough to lend his bed until Kelley recovered. Forget anchor watch, I was on Kelley watch and I took my job seriously! I didn’t expect him to confess that his most desired post-puke (pardon the alliteration) remedy was to cuddle with me. Even though I was unsure of committing to a full on spooning, as one can be weary after watching her newly appointed cuddle buddy accost the roadside landscape, I was pretty exhausted. And if we’re being honest here, his slurred lines were really cute. The necessity for diction just goes out the porthole at a certain hour, so I climbed in. 


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Watch Below Deck on Bravo on Monday, Feb. 5 at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo App. Were you worried Kelley might leave?
JO: The boy who cried wolf -- a classic! You know, the slide is not for the hung-over, weary, or weakened. Kelley happened to be all three that day. This was the second time that he talked about leaving, so it seemed to me that he just needed to take a minute to gather himself. Quitting while we’re at anchor is just too awkward and complicated. In retrospect, I think he really could have benefitted from Kat’s guided breathing meditation we witnessed in Episode 7. I couldn’t do much to help him at that point, so I kept working with the Captain and Eddie. We needed to pull it together and ensure that deck crew was still making progress on our big task: that giant, stupid slide. Do you think Captain Lee was too hard on Kelley?
JO: If you have a tantrum, you’re going to get sent to your room. After Kelley walked off deck, putting him in time-out was probably the best human resource management decision the Captain could have made that day! Kelley needed to sit and think for a minute about how to handle his situation. When break came around, I snuck into the detention cabin to get the inside scoop on life as an injured rebel, and I’ll tell you one thing -- food really IS better in prison, especially when Chef Ben prepares it. 

[video_clip_url:] What made you change your mind about your feelings for Kelley?
JO: Chemistry isn’t just a class we almost failed in high school! There’s no recovering from it, ladies and gents. Eight hours a day? Sure… I could ignore a work crush. 24/7 with cabin fever setting in?! It’s game over. I was living a lie, and we all saw how that worked out for the last deckhand, so I decided to finally acknowledge what was right in front of me.

[video_clip_url:] Were you surprised at how large the tip was for this charter?
JO: This may come as a surprise to you, my friends, but with everything going on I rarely spend time concerning myself with what the tip is going to be at the end of a charter. I’ll tell you this much: I am ALWAYS surprised. Not because we didn’t earn it sometimes, or because we deserved more other times, but because I have never in my life seen this amount of cash exchanging hands. In bulging white envelopes no less! How coy! My mind is actually boggled, and at pretty much every tip meeting I’m thinking, “Is this real life?” and, “Where do they keep the ATM on this boat?” Then I take the envelope, write my name on it, date it, sign it, seal it, and we put that business in the safe where it belongs! Note: I never actually saw the safe, so for all I know Captain Lee’s sock drawer was pretty heavy by the end of the season. Let’s just assume that our floating bank was federally insured.[video_clip_url:]
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