Kelley Johnson is back and better than ever this season of Below Deck. With solid leadership skills, a no-time-for-drama attitude, and no tears in sight, it looks like Kelley is a changed man since we first met him in Season 2.
Still, knowing the fact that Kelley wasn't exactly Captain Lee Rosbach's favorite crewmember his first time on Below Deck, you can't really blame chief stew Kate Chastain for being a little taken aback by the news of his return this season. "I was a little surprised when I heard Kelley was coming back, because I know him and Captain Lee didn't get along so well," she told The Daily Dish (clip above). "But Captain Lee's a very fair captain and man in general, so he was giving Kelley another chance. And I know Kelley's been working hard to advance his career, so he deserves that chance."
Kate said Kelley has improved since his first charter season on Below Deck in more ways than one. "First of all, Kelley just keeps getting hotter. It's unfair. Like, the older he gets, the hotter he gets. It's like Benjamin Button of attraction. It's so crazy," she gushed. "But also, he's much more mature. I don't think he cries once the whole season, so I think he was very conscious of that."
But during those moments when Kelley felt like he needed some guidance, especially in the absence of his sister Amy Johnson, he told The Daily Dish that Kate was there for him this season. "Did I go to her for advice and stuff like that? Yes, totally. And did having her around as another leader help me? Yes, completely. Was she there, did she have my back? 100 percent," he said. "I hope she felt the same way because, no matter what she said and to my deckhands, I supported 100 percent. I respect the hell out of Kate, and I'm glad I got to work with her again."
Kelley said his relationship with Kate was also one of the things that had evolved since his first season of Below Deck. "Kate and my relationship has changed totally from Season 2 to now. Season 2, her and my sister were not getting along, and I had my sister's back, so that kind of made me and her not on the best terms," Kelley explained. "And then my sister going back on Season 3, they became good friends, I had no reason to really not like Kate at that point then. So I just wanted to go into [Season 4] with a fresh look and just be open to her, and doing so really helped our relationship on the boat. Like I said, I'm just thankful she was there."
But did Kelley's past affinity for pole-dancing make a comeback this season of Below Deck? "When people have natural talents, you can't contain them, and we all know that Kelley's really good at dancing on a pole or dancing in general without clothes on. Maybe I wasn't around for it, but I'm pretty sure he probably did at some point," Kate joked to The Daily Dish. "There's lots of pole-shaped items on boats, like shammy sticks and beams that support the deck, so I'm sure that at some point Kelley took a twirl on one of them."
Luckily, we've already had the pleasure of seeing Kelley sans shirt once again this season. "Clearly, he works out, and he should be proud of what's under that shirt. God bless him. Good for him," Kate said. "Everybody wins when Kelley has his shirt off."
We are the champions, indeed.
See more of shirtless Kelley below, because you know you never get tired of it.