‘Below Deck’ Creator Reveals His Favorite Cast Member (and Who He’d Like to See Get a Spin off Show)
Before Below Deck was the mega show on a mega yacht, creator Mark Cronin participated in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit. Cronin literally answered any questions fans had coming off what was one of the show’s wildest seasons.
And while Cronin addressed his career and creating the show, he also spilled the tea about which crew member was his favorite at the time. He also revealed which cast member he’d like to see get a spin-off show. And went further by addressing the age-old question about how real (or scripted) the show is.
This was his favorite cast member at the time
The AMA session occurred in 2016, which meant Below Deck was entering or amid season four. So when a Reddit user queried about a favorite cast member, Cronin replied, “At the moment my favorite cast member is Kate on Below Deck. She’s just a pleasure to watch as she works and navigates her world all with pithy and hilarious commentary.”
But when it came to the worst cast member, he wasn’t as candid. “The worst? Wow – I’ve had so many poorly behaved cast members… but, in some ways they are my favorites. The worst cast member to me is someone forgettable – and so I have forgotten them.”
These controversial cast members were also favorites
Season three was certainly a wild ride for both the cast and audience. When Reddit users asked about cast member Chef Leon Walker, Cronin said, “Leon was a nice guy – probably too mature for reality TV – lol. I don’t think he got a bad edit – I think he had trouble participating fully in the show. He just wanted to cook and sleep. That’s not great for being a big character in the show. The fact that Kate hated him was real – I think it had to do with her feeling that he was being lazy.”
Another crew member from the same season, who received just as much hate was Raquel “Rocky” Dakota. “I love Rocky! She was an awesome woman.” Cronin asserted. “A real force of nature and very very creative (if not super-effective). I know she is going to grow up to be an amazing success – and yes, I realize I’m talking about a grown woman.”
Who would be good in a spin-off show?
Cronin agreed with this Reddit user’s statement, but it is unclear whether he thought a spin-off for this cast member was a good idea or not. “Rocky needs her own show! She’s the good kind of crazy lol,” the Reddit user wrote. “How she was treated by the other cast members was messed up. She didn’t deserve the treatment she received.”
He was clear, however about giving this cast member a spin-off. “I would love to do a spin off with [Chef ]Ben [Robinson],” Cronin wrote. “Nothing in the works at this time though.” Although fans have been missing Robinson, they may get their fix on Below Deck Mediterranean, season four.
And is the show really real?
The reality of this reality show is up for debate. When The Cheat Sheet asked Below Deck Med deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole, he said the show was extremely accurate. However, Below Deck guest Charles Michael Yim insisted on Instagram he was edited to look bad. Plus, former Below Deck stew Caroline Bedol told The Cheat Sheet scenes were omitted from her series.
When asked the same question, Cronin responded that the show is definitely not scripted. “The contract between the cast and me is: ‘Please make us a great show that people will love – and please be fair in portraying who we are and what we do.’ I try to keep to that – and for the most part all of my former cast members – literally hundreds of them – feel that I kept that contract. I do feel bad when someone is shown to be horribly flawed – the only thing I can hope is that they learn from seeing themselves as the world sees them.”
He added, “All reality shows are different. There is a spectrum from the very fake to the very real. I think though, that reality TV tends to be more real than you think. The skeptical audience is giving us too much credit for being masterminds.”
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