‘Below Deck’: Kelley Johnson Would Love To Return To the Show, but There’s 1 Reason Why He Won’t Be Back (Exclusive)
“You know, for me, I would do another season,” he said. “And I’ve been asked back. It’s just the monetary [aspect]. And the stress you go through. And anybody that goes on this show, it doesn’t matter how perfect you are. You can be the best stew on the show on the show. You can have an amazing personality and do the job fantastically.”
“And the fans, there’s always going to be fans who are going to hate you,” he continued. “No matter what you do. Because you can’t please everybody.”
‘Below Deck’ is more than a 6-week commitment
“For me, it’s a situation of like trying to stop a waterfall with an umbrella,” Johnson said. “The negativity is just going to get you at some point.”
“And for me, the monetary value that they pay the crew members just isn’t enough for how long you have to deal with the show,” he said. “Because you’re only six weeks worth of filming and then you’ve got, you know, the few months before it airs.”
He said that’s when the crew starts wondering what everyone is going to say about each other. “And then you have pick up interviews and all that,” he said referring to the confessionals seen throughout the season. “So it’s hard to maintain a job for basically a full year.”
“If the money was a little better, I would definitely go back,” he said. “I love Captain Lee [Rosbach]. I would love to work with Eddie [Lucas] again now that he’s the first officer. And so, yeah, I would do another season.”
Kelley Johnson explains why the ‘Below Deck’ crew don’t receive ‘Housewives’ salaries
The Below Deck crew receives their salary plus tips, but that is only for six weeks of work. “It’s hard for the show and I’ll give [production company] 51 Minds and Bravo a shout out here,” Johnson explains. “The overhead cost of this show is much larger than The Real Housewives.”
“You know, they have to pay for the boat and do all that,” he added. “So, you know, I understand where they’re coming from and why we don’t make what the Housewives make.” Some Housewives are known to make about $250,000 a year from the series.
In addition to the cost of the yacht, the production company also has to pay for gas, docking fees and other incidentals involved with private yacht travel. So for now, Johnson is happy to watch the show from his couch along with his sister Amy. “This show is pretty amazing actually because I’m not in any of the drama,” he laughed. “I don’t have to wait to watch and see how I come out!”
Johnson is also busy being the captain on a private yacht in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He also has a photography business that will hopefully allow him to return to the road post-Covid.
Below Deck Galley Talk is on Friday at 8/7c on Bravo.