McKeown simply leaned into rumors drummed up on social media when Below Deck Down Under was filming in Australia. Fans spotted him in the same harbor when the crew was filming. Some surmised he was hired to be the chef on the new series. When McKeown showed up on the cast, he continued to fan the flames that Walker would be his replacement. He recently said he enjoys shaking up rumors online – including his ongoing posts that he is attending BravoCon 2022.
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McKeown’s pranks are a lesson in don’t believe everything that’s posted online. “I’m pretty sure that was me,” McKeown admitted to fueling the rumor of Walker’s return to Below Deck during an appearance on Another Below Deck Podcast. “I kept blasting this Leon stuff early on social. Up until my [departure]. And it kept getting retweeted, reposted. It got picked up pretty good.”
Walker was fired midway through Below Deck Season 3 after a greasy oven was blamed for a late-night kitchen fire. The fire wasn’t the sole reason Walker was fired. He also clashed with the majority of the crew, but especially with chief stew Kate Chastain.
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Aside from being fired, Captain Lee Rosbach, who fired Walker, said he was one of the most difficult chefs he’s worked with on the show. In a Bravo blog, Rosbach referred to Walker as the “single most disruptive force” he’s ever “had the displeasure of working with.”
“You now are going out of your way to disrupt and divide everything and everyone on board,” Rosbach wrote. Adding, “The fire in the galley was your fault. Period. The clean, dry sheet pans in the oven were neither clean nor dry.”
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Some fans wondered why McKeown lied to them about Walker taking his place. “Honestly I went there for pure entertainment,” McKeown laughed. “I wasn’t looking to become this major star from Below Deck. No one has, and no one will be. It’s a f***ing show.”
At that point, McKeown came clean about his assertion he’s going to be at BravoCon 2022. “We’re going to talk about the famous Ryan likes to make things up kind of thing out there,” McKeown said. “I’m not really going to BravoCon. But we’re going to keep pushing it.”
Bravolebrities who are attending BravoCon posted the BravoCon 2022 logo and said they would be appearing at the event. McKeown used the same logo and verbiage, giving fans the impression he would be appearing. However, a quick search of the talent lineup does not include McKeown.
The Below Deck BravoCon lineup includes Captain Jason Chambers, Kate Chastain, Mzi “Zee” Dempers, Daisy Kelliher, Gary King, Captain Lee Rosbach, Aesha Scott, Captain Glenn Shephard, Courtney Veale, and Captain Sandy Yawn.