‘Below Deck Med’ Ended as the Highest Rated Season in Franchise History

Below Deck Mediterranean‘s most controversial season also became the highest-rated too.

Hannah Ferrier
Hannah Ferrier |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

“Season five of #BelowDeckMed finished as the highest-rated season in #BelowDeck franchise history among total viewers, garnering nearly 2.6M viewers an episode,” Bravo Ratings reports. From cast and crew firings to formerly beloved cast members transforming into the show’s villains, viewers breathlessly tuned in until the bitter end.

Despite the high ratings, the season left many viewers feeling sour. “Actually the most hated season that weaponized mental health finished with the lowest rated reunion show, ignored the backlash & brought back the vile offenders for next season,” one person replied on the thread. “This is the 1st reunion where cast are rumored to have snorted cocaine off camera. What a success.”

Viewers left with strong opinions about the cast

Chief stew Hannah Ferrier and chef Hindrigo “Kiko” Lorran were fired, which generated anger and resentment for many viewers. Most of the anger was directed at Captain Sandy Yawn and bosun Malia White with how they handled both situations.

Lorran left the boat after his infamous “Vegas night” debacle. Viewers asserted that Yawn trolled Lorran in the galley kitchen and tripped him up because she micromanaged the chef. Ferrier was fired under circumstances that involved Yawn and White.

RELATED: ‘Below Deck Med’ Viewers End Season 5 Feeling Frustrated and Angry

White snapped a photo of Ferrier’s unregistered prescription valium and vape pen. She sent it to Yawn after she and Ferrier warred over cabin assignments. Yawn fired Ferrier but said she only dismissed her because she no longer trusted her.

Ferrier’s firing became a turning point on the show. Viewers lashed out in droves against both White and Yawn, prompting both cast members to turn off commenting on their Instagram accounts. Although the season has ended, the anger for both seemingly continues. “Ugh, but please don’t bring Malia and Sandy back,” a person replied on the Bravo Ratings Twitter thread. “I CANNOT stand to watch another season with the two of them.”

Controversy dogged the entire season

Bravo and production company 51 Minds fired deckhand Pete Hunziker early in the season. Hunziker shared a racist and sexist meme on his Instagram and doubled down when fans questioned his share. His storyline on the show was pinned on his behavior toward women on the boat and he was demoted from his position as lead deckhand. Hunziker was removed from the show after his demotion. Fans eventually forgot he was on the show and then wondered who he was when he’d occasionally pop up in the footage.

Viewers also felt duped when Christine “Bugsy” Drake returned and later White’s boyfriend Tom Checketts seamlessly moved into the chef role. Showrunner Nadine Rajabi insisted that none of the storylines were scripted or premeditated.

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“That was not a setup,” she said on the Reality Life with Kate Casey podcast. “I know it looked like it, I promise you it wasn’t. And [Christine] Bugsy [Drake] as well. There were two other second stews that were lined up and they both fell through. So that was a last-minute thing.”

“Tom was always supposed to come,” Rajabi continued. “Sandy was actually looking for another chef. It was tough to find another chef. At the time we had somebody else lined up, and some things happened. It was another female chef and she couldn’t make it.”