‘Below Deck Med:’ Why Did Captain Lee and João Franco Get into a Tense Twitter Exchange?

Although João Franco from Below Deck Mediterranean has certainly improved his yachting game, he still got a bit of a Twitter lashing from Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck.

The bosun reluctantly returned this season after being pretty disappointed with his behavior on the show last year. The only reason he chose to return this year was that close friend and deckhand Colin Macy-O’Toole urged him to redeem himself on the show.

Joao Franco and Colin Macy-O’Toole |Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

And redeem himself he has. Not only has Franco been completely focused on work he’s getting along well with chief stew Hannah Ferrier. He is also going that extra mile to ensure he’s following all orders handed down from Captain Sandy Yawn. Plus, instead of yelling at his deck team he’s trying to find positive ways to motivate them.

So what started the tense Twitter talk?

One of the main reasons Franco was called out last year was because he flirted with one stew and dated another stew. He told Showbiz Cheat Sheet he didn’t realize how it was portrayed until the show aired. “I didn’t realize how involved, for example, my flirting was with Kasey [Cohen] and Brooke [Laughton],” he said in March. “I really didn’t know how bad it was until I saw it.”

In a confessional interview during the season four premiere, Franco shared how close he and Laughton became. “Brooke and I threw ourselves in the deep end. I met her family, she met mine. She came to Zimbabwe, and we worked so well together, we really did.”

But when the first show aired, he revealed he and Laughton broke up because she cheated on him. “Things seemed perfect, but I found out she cheated on me,” he said. Since the episode aired, Laughton refuted Franco’s cheating claims, saying the couple had already broken up before she embarked upon a new relationship.

So why did Captain Lee call him out?

In the second episode this season, Franco discusses his breakup with Ferrier. In a rather tender moment, Ferrier comforts Franco and tells him it is time to move onward and upward.

But when Rosbach saw this scene, he tweeted, “Bosun, why are you worried about last years fling, instead of what’s happening with this year’s charter schedule.”

Franco responded assuring Rosbach that his relationship with Laughton was real. “She certainly wasn’t just a fling. I’m sorry, where did I go wrong with this year’s charter schedule?”

Captain Lee doubles down

Was Franco off his game during the episode? While Rosbach addresses Franco’s relationship, he still wants to know about the bosun’s focus. “I dont know where I got that idea where she was just a fling, perhaps it was when you were playing both girls at the same time,” Rosbach tweeted. “Silly me. But that was then and this is now, so where is your focus, just curious.”

But Franco still didn’t understand why Rosbach was jabbing at his focus during the show. “Sarcasm? My focus is on doing my job as a bosun,” he responded. “Your focus seems to be on my past. I learnt a great deal from my ‘fling’ and of course @CaptSandyYawn who sees the potential in people and encourages growth. I do my best. Nevertheless, actions speak louder than tweets. Stay tuned.”

A number of fans backed Franco. But one fan felt Rosbach was trying to offer some constructive criticism and was not attacking Franco. “My interpretation is he was saying last season U focused too much attention going back & forth between Brooke & Kasey,” the person offered. “Where is your focus this season? On being the Bosun or getting your groove on? He is asking a question that benefits you. Constructive.”