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The Daily Dish Life After Bravo

What Has Below Deck's Kelley Johnson Been Up to Since Season 2?

The #BelowDeck alum updates us on his yacht career and reveals who he keeps in touch with from the Ohana crew.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Kelley Works the Pole!

Looking back at our shows, we often wonder about the people who've left. Where did they go when their moment in the Bravo spotlight was over? What are they up to now? Each week, we'll be looking into the lives of one of these familiar faces. Today, it's Kelley Johnson from Below Deck.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck on Peacock and the Bravo App.

Though Season 3 of Below Deck has already given us plenty to talk about, we'd be lying if we didn't say we miss Season 2's Ohana crew, especially Kelley Johnson. Who wouldn't miss a crewmember that could provide a shoulder for his sister Amy Johnson to cry on one minute and then get into it with Captain Lee Rosbach the next? And let's not forget: Kelley satisfied your sweet tooth by bringing some major "man candy" onboard.

Of course, Below Deck fans will also remember Kelley's short-lived romance with fellow deckhand Jennice Ontiveros. Though Kelley and Jennice didn't end on the best terms in Season 2, we learned earlier this week that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of one day being friends with her again.

So what else from Kelley's Below Deck experience has he been able to reflect upon since Season 2 aired? The Daily Dish recently caught up with Kelley, and he's got a lot to say about how the show impacted his yachting career, what it's like seeing his sister on TV without him, and who he thinks is going to get into the most trouble with Captain Lee this season.

How has your life changed since Season 2 of Below Deck aired?

I would love to say that my life has changed drastically, but in all reality I still work on boats for the millionaires of this world. The only real difference from before and after is that I get recognized from being on the show. Usually, the yachties have tons of questions about it and then voice whether they hate it or not.

Do you still work in yachting?

I do still work in this wonderful industry. I just left a 145-foot yacht that I was the first mate on. The captain and crew were one of the best I have ever worked with. It was sad leaving the boat, but I am going to work on a Sportfish and follow my passion! I have no plans on leaving this industry. It's a job that I love, and I couldn't picture myself doing anything else.

What was it like watching yourself on TV during Season 2 of the show?

You know, it was weird, painful, funny, and just really a whole gamut of emotions. It's definitely a trip. I can't fully express it in words. It's like watching a video of someone that is super embarrassing, and you feel embarrassed for them, but put yourself into that video, and then you get to watch yourself over six weeks. It does allow you to see a third-person perspective of your actions, and it can be an enlightening experience.

Do you regret anything that happened on the show? If so, what, and how would you have done things differently?

I would have paced myself a little better on the show when it came to working. I would burn myself out to the point it would make me emotional and short-tempered. I've learned that about myself and applied it to other boats I have worked on. It's helped me be more level headed at times.

Have you watched this season of Below Deck yet? If so, what are your initial thoughts of it?

I have watched two episodes, and it seems like a decent crew. Definitely some characters that are going to shine. Looks like my brother Eddie [Lucas] is not having the best run, but if I know him, he will knock it out of the park. Connie [Arias] seems like a good asset for Eddie and definitely a hard worker! Captain Lee is still a good-ole-get-things-done type of guy! My sis, well, she is being super stew as always (I'm required by law to say that, just kidding). My sister can always find the positive things about any job, and she can always knock things out of the park. Kate [Chastain], she definitely seems to be more level-headed with everything this season, except maybe Leon [Walker] — but that looks like a horribly complicated situation. Rocky looks like she has a ton of fun, and from the last episode I watched, was starting to get her stewing skills and even got praise from Kate. Emile [Kotze], well, other than the pickup lines, looks like an awesome guy and a good deckhand. 

What is it like to watch your sister Amy on Below Deck without you there with her this season?

It's awesome watching her knock this out of the park again. I am so glad she and Kate are able to work together the way it should have been from the beginning. I'm definitely cheering the crew of Eros on from home. I know how hard it is to be in their shoes and to do what they have to. They are going to knock it out of the park and definitely make yachties proud.

What was it like for your sister to be on the show without you this season?

I would say it was awful, disastrous, worst time of her life. Do you want me to go on? I think she had a blast and was probably able to have a little more fun than I would have allowed [Laughs.] I'm just kidding.

Who among the new crew stands out the most for you and why? 

Rocky, most definitely. She's a ball of energy with a little crazy mixed in. I think if she can learn to work with Kate, she will finish the season strong. She's got the energy, spunk, and all that is needed to be a stew — and a good one. She also seems like a team player with the whole mermaid suit. I do know she needs to control some of her impulses — like, climbing up where the radars were spinning — but I think it will all end up all right.

Who do you think is going to get into the most trouble with Captain Lee this season and why?

From the teasers, I would say Eddie, but I couldn't truthfully say I believe that. They work so well together, and I know Eddie is a good bosun. So I am going to pass on this, because I really don't know. 

Do you still keep in touch with any other Below Deck cast mates? If so, who?

My sister, Eddie, Logan [Reese], and that's basically it. I think I have run into the boat Ohana more than I have its crewmembers. It's hard to keep in touch like I would, constantly traveling, and so I don't get to see everyone as much as I would like.

What do you hope to see happen on this season of Below Deck?

I want to see this crew come together and kick major butt! You know, I feel like some of the Season 1 cast members took me under their wings to help me through a lot. So I feel like I may not know all the new cast members, but I do feel like they are part of the BD family now. I want them to succeed and to make a bunch of money doing it!

What advice do you have for the new crewmembers this season?

No matter what happens this year, don't fret. In a year from now, you will laugh about anything that is happening now. I wish I would have understood that about last season. I stressed way too much about everything! Y'all are going to do great, and keep up your hard work!

See Kelley and more of our yachties in their pre-Below Deck days. 

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