You weren't expecting any of the Below Deck crew members to get engaged this season, were you? Well, neither was Ashton Pienaar, who was just as surprised as the rest of us when Abbi Murphy announced that she had said "yes" to her boyfriend Patrik's proposal via text message in the latest episode of Below Deck (clip above).
"I was completely shocked and taken aback. I was just kind of in that moment just waiting for somebody to be like, 'No, it's a joke. We're just joking.' And it was for real," Ashton told The Daily Dish during an interview in New York City on Monday. "I've never heard of a proposal over text message. I've heard of breakups and relationships starting over text message, but not marriages. I don't know, maybe Abbi takes those types of things much more lighthearted than other people would and maybe that's why she would see that it's OK. But I was shocked. Very shocked."
The news especially caught Ashton off-guard because things had been a bit flirty between him and Abbi so far this season of Below Deck. "This is very bizarre," Ashton said in an interview during the episode. "I just spent a night on the bunny pad trying to hook up with her, and now she's engaged. I f--king can't believe it."
That made Brian de Saint Pern wonder if perhaps Ashton wasn't so happy about Abbi's engagement news, after all. "Ashton is coming on very strong with Abbi since this whole engagement thing," the deckhand said during an interview in the episode. "I think he might be a little bit jealous."
Ashton told The Daily Dish he definitely didn't agree with Brian's assessment. "Look, what Abbi and I had was a momentary thing that night. I mean, Abbi's a cool girl, she's pretty, and we had a little thing on that first night. I wasn't so into Abbi that I would get jealous over something like this. Honestly, we were in the early days of the season where you're still trying to feel each other out and see who you [have] connections with and who you could maybe have something with," he explained. "Honestly, there was no jealousy at all. I was just dumbstruck. I was like, how could this be happening? Is this [a] for real kind of thing?"
The bosun said he didn't treat Abbi any differently than anyone else in the deck crew, before or after she got engaged. "I treated Abbi based on the work that was being done by her and her attitude. He says that on camera, but in the next scene, he's having the same fight with her. So, what, are you jealous too, bud? Like, what are you on about? Like, what are you actually going for here?" Ashton said of Brian's comments. "Clearly, her attitude and her head is somewhere else. And that's what I'm reacting on. For you to throw the whole Abbi thing and marriage and me being jealous, it doesn't really make sense."
Abbi and Patrik would go on to tie the knot at the town hall in Plymouth, Massachusetts following this season of Below Deck, she recently confirmed on Instagram. "My dad was there and it was a beautiful, meaningful and simple ceremony. We didn’t want or need a fancy wedding because we only needed each other in that moment," she shared in the post. "Now we are happy, sailing, living in Greece."
Do Below Deck fans believe that Ashton really wasn't jealous of Abbi's engagement? Check out their take from Monday night's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, below.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.