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The Daily Dish Below Deck

Andy Cohen on the Below Deck Season 7 Reunion: "I Feel Bad That I Failed People"

The WWHL host regrets some of what he did — and didn't — say during the reunion.

By Laura Rosenfeld
Ashton Pienaar's Tearful Apology to Kate Chastain

Andy Cohen addressed some of the backlash he has received from fans, including Leslie Jones, over how he handled the Below Deck Season 7 reunion.

How to Watch

Watch Below Deck on Peacock and the Bravo App.

The Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen host addressed fans' concerns over how he questioned the Valor crew during the sit-down this month, particularly when it came to the male crew members' behavior this season, on his SiriusXM show Andy Cohen Live on February 19.

"Everyone kind of behaved like a--holes at one point or another, and the point of the reunion is for both sides to say what they have to say," Andy said. "So I just want to say, do I think the guys behaved horribly? Yes, of course."

Andy went on to say that "people are really upset" with his interactions with Ashton Pienaar at the reunion, in particular.

"I want to say that at the reunion, which is the time for both sides to say what they have to say, he sat there and apologized with a four-minute soliloquy with tears in his eyes. Typically what you look for at a reunion is some sort of apology or moving forward," Andy explained. "You all feel that I failed you. I am sorry for that. I am trying to get to a place where you move forward and people kind of own their behavior. That is my goal, to get people to own their behavior. For me, if I sit there and I look at Ashton with tears in his eyes, apologizing, do I think he's at least making an attempt to own his behavior? It seems like it. I don't know what to tell you."

He also noted that he had just had a procedure performed on his forehead, which was covered up with a large bandage, only a couple of hours before filming the Below Deck reunion. "I was on painkillers. I was in a lot of pain," Andy said. "I just want to explain my state of mind."

Andy apologized to those who feel like he wasn't holding the crew members accountable enough during the reunion. "All I'm saying is everyone had things to answer to, and I'm sorry if you felt I was imbalanced in my holding people to the fire," he said.

If it seems like Andy is tougher at other reunions, like The Real Housewives, he explained that's because he's an executive producer on all of the franchises, whereas he has no involvement in Below Deck's production.

"That was one of the last shows I developed when I was in charge of development at Bravo. I don't have anything to do with Below Deck. I'm not a producer," he said. "When Bravo asked me to host the reunion, I even said to everyone and I said to all the producers, 'You guys, people are reacting so strongly to what's going on and the misogyny and the whole thing. I want to make sure that I represent what everyone is so upset about.'" 

Because of his status as an executive producer of The Real Housewives, Andy said that he felt like he could be more authoritative in situations like when he was firm with LeeAnne Locken over her racial comments at The Real Housewives of Dallas Season 4 reunion. "And so that's, I think, part of the reason that I feel bad that I failed people because I'm not a producer of the show," he said. "As a producer of the Housewives of Dallas or all the Housewives, I have so much more information going in, and I just feel so much more authority to sit there and be like, 'That's not true. No.'"

Andy also said he regrets asking Courtney Skippon if there was any chance she and Brian de Saint Pern would be having "a nice, long chat" after the reunion, a question the third stew was visibly upset about as the reunion came to a close. 

He explained where he was coming from with that "cringey" question during his radio show. "The context of that is we have had Southern Charm reunions, we have had Below Deck reunions where people hated each other, horrible things, and then they all go out that night, and they get drunk. I come into work the next day, and they're like, 'Guess who hooked up last night?' I'm like, You're kidding me! You're kidding me! Like, how is that possible?'" Andy said. "So that's why I asked that question. Do I wish I had not have asked it? Of course. I understand how it came off. That's why I asked that question."

Go behind the scenes of the Below Deck Season 7 reunion, below.

Captain Lee Rosbach Calls Out the "Deplorable" Behavior of the Below Deck Season 7 Crew
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