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The Daily Dish Below Deck Mediterranean

Tumi Mhlongo and Natalya Scudder Reveal How They Really Felt About the Chief Stew Switch

Tumi Mhlongo also opened up about having to manage "massive personalities" on Below Deck Mediterranean.

By Shannon Raphael

The first charter guests have barely departed motor yacht Mustique and there's already been a few major changes to the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8 crew.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck Mediterranean on Mondays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo app

In addition to Bosun Ruan Irving's exit, Natalya Scudder was appointed as the interim chief stew while Tumi Mhlongo was stuck overseas due to a visa issue (as was fellow interior crew member Kyle Viljoen). Then, on Season 8, Episode 2, which aired on October 2, Tumi officially arrived to the Genoa dock to take over as chief stew — but how did Natalya really feel about stepping down?

The stew opened up about making the change on the show, and on the September 25 episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. Find out what Natalya said about stepping down and learn what Tumi shared with The Daily Dish about taking over by scrolling below. 

Natalya Scudder Reacts to Stepping Down as Chief Stew

When Natalya arrived to Mustique on the September 25 premiere, Captain Sandy Yawn made it clear that she would only be filling in as the chief stew for the duration of the first charter. 

Natalya said that she would be "happy" and "flexible" about stepping down once the time came, though she thought that she would do a "better job than anyone who comes in." However, in an interview on Episode 2, Natalya admitted that it would be harder than she initially thought.

"I've set up this yacht close to perfect. It's going to be hard to hand over the reins," she said. "I just want to meet her face to face, do face value, and just take it from there."

Once Natalya and Tumi did meet face to face, the two clashed almost immediately. Natalya reflected on her emotions about stepping down as the leader of the interior team during WWHL, claiming that while it may have seemed like she wasn't happy to give up the role, she really was. 

"I was happy to come back, but I'm also happy stepping down a role, as I like being a bit more fun with the crew, than like, if you're a chief stew, it's very 'focus, focus, focus, getting the job done,' and I'm not my fun self," Natalya said. "I actually liked stepping down."

Split of Natalya Scudder and Tumi Mhlongo wearing their charter uniforms on a yacht.

Tumi Mhlongo Opens Up About Being the Chief Stew

Her charter season may not have gotten off to the easiest start thanks to a visa issue, but Tumi was more than ready ready to take on her first-ever chief stew position once she arrived to Mustique

Though she had to get used to the set up of the boat, she had a clear vision of how she wanted to manage her team. After all, she said during a chat with The Daily Dish, "I'm all about leading people the way that I would like to be led."

"I like to give people the chance to do their thing, especially if they know what they're doing," she added. "I kind of want them to be their own leader in a way [and] if they need help, I can oversee things. I'm not a micromanager."

Tumi knew how she wanted to lead stews Kyle, Natalya, and Jessika Asai, but she teased that there will be plenty of drama on the crew for one key reason.

"It's absolute chaos. The crew is definitely massive personalities — very big personalities, which is going to be very interesting," she said. 

Stay tuned!

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