From arguments in the crew mess to hookups in bunk beds to charter guest meltdowns, cameras capture every jaw-dropping moment on Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht. However, it didn't always used to be that way.
Back in Season 3, Eddie Lucas and Rocky Dakota's hookups in the laundry room (clip above) eluded producers until toward the end of the charter season, it was revealed during a behind-the-scenes look at production on the current season of Below Deck Med published in The New York Times on June 29. “The result is now we have a camera in the laundry room," Noah Samton, senior vice president of current production at Bravo, told the publication.
Captain Lee Rosbach also noted that "we now have cameras in the laundry room," thanks to Eddie and Rocky's Season 3 fling as he and Kate Chastain looked back on all of Below Deck's hookups in an interview with The Daily Dish during Season 7. "They ruined it for everyone," Kate added. "This is why we can't have nice things, Eddie and Rocky."
Below Deck Med executive producer Nadine Rajabi recalled a similar instance while filming Season 2 of that franchise when she had a feeling that Malia White was becoming romantically involved with another crew member. "The reason there's a camera now in the bridge is actually because of that one season. So we put a GoPro before I left the boat, and we planted a mic, and we see Malia and [Wes Walton kiss]," Rajabi shared at BravoCon in November 2019. "I was like, 'I knew it!'"
Rajabi also described at BravoCon how much the scope of coverage on Below Deck has expanded through the years. "Back when we first started, we didn't have that many surveillance cameras because the boat's not that big. How much can you actually cover? We had like eight to 10 surveillance cameras. And then we started missing things," she said. "We realized if we put more cameras and the boat was always running audio, we could hear everything. And so, that's how the show's evolved. You guys have seen the show has grown and there are more stories coming out because we're able to hear more and more stuff's happening. Before it was happening, and we just couldn't hear it. Now we have close to 18 surveillance cameras, so we're always rolling 24 hours a day, and we don't miss anything."
Samton recently told The New York Times that those who join the Below Deck crew know that they will need to be an open book throughout the course of the charter season. “They’re here to share every aspect of their lives,” he said. “Those are the rules. The only place you have privacy on the boat is the bathroom.”
But the bathroom is only private to a certain extent. Below Deck cast members are told at the beginning of a season that if two or more people are in the bathroom at the same time, a camera will likely not be far behind. “Not just because of sex,” Samton told The New York Times. “It could be they’re having a conversation — they hate so-and-so. We need to know that.”
Surveillance cameras, hand-held cameras, remote-controlled mounted "robo-cams," which can silently zoom in on a crew member's phone screen, and GoPros located in places like the inside of a walk-in cooler are all used to film every waking second of the crew throughout the charter season, according to The New York Times. “There’s nowhere they can hide,” Samton said.
Want more Below Deck Med? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on the entire series through the Bravo app.
Take a tour of the Below Deck Med Season 5 yacht, The Wellington, below.
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