‘Below Deck Sailing Yacht’: Parker McCown Says Leaving the Show Was a ‘Difficult Decision’ (Exclusive)

The writing was on the wall last week as Parker McCown from Below Deck Sailing Yacht had a choice to make. He could step it up on deck or take the money and run.

Captain Glenn Shephard wanted McCown to make the decision rather than lowering the boom. McCown seemed pained, trying to decide if staying on the boat was worth the stress and anxiety he was experiencing. McCown did some soul searching and realized he was better off resigning than continuing on and ultimately getting fired.

Parker McCown
Parker McCown |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

McCown told Showbiz Cheat Sheet it was a tough choice, but knew he made the right move to resign.

“I was torn,” he admits. “It was definitely a difficult decision. I was really determined to finish the season out. And it was a bummer. But there was a lot of conversing between me and Glenn in that meeting that’s not shown on the show. I was listening to him because I think he felt like it was the best thing for everybody. And I didn’t want to risk putting myself in a really bad situation.”

McCown made the right decision for himself

During the episode, Shephard urges McCown to think about what he wanted to do. McCown takes some time to mull over what was going to be best, while the crew wonders if McCown was going to stay or leave.

McCown calls Shephard on the radio to share that he was ready to leave. “As far as my well-being goes, I think I need to resign,” McCown says. He adds in a confessional that certain people in the crew have expressed they didn’t want him on board. “And that’s what I think is so f**ked up,” he says. “I don’t want my attitude to put me in a situation where I might get fired.”

McCown assures Shephard his resignation is not because of him. “It’s not because of the crew,” he insists. “It’s because of me.” Shephard agrees and says the decision was best for McCown.

“I’m a little relieved that Parker’s made this decision because if Parker doesn’t feel as if he can change, the best thing for me and the crew is just to get a replacement,” Shephard says.

McCown told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that his situation could have gotten worse. “And I left on good terms. So yeah, I think it was the right move and I have no regrets.”

He says goodbye to the crew

Shephard hoped McCown could learn how to get along with people. “Because that’s a big part of any industry,” Shephard says in a confessional. McCown begins his farewell tour on the boat, sharing with first mate Paget Berry he’s going to get the love of his life back. He was seen calling his ex-girlfriend Kaiti to see if she’d meet him in Greece.

Berry said on Colin Macy-O’Toole’s Radio Check podcast that he really likes McCown. “With Parker, he’s got a big heart and is a great guy,” he said. “And I’m happy I spent time with him outside of work. But I tried to take him under my wing the best I could in the beginning.”

McCown told Showbiz Cheat Sheet he would definitely work with Shephard again. Also, he has a lot of love for Duggan and Berry. “Throughout the show and in post interviews I’ve always commended Paget and Ciara. I only have good things to say as far as working with them directly. Paget taught me a lot. Ciara taught me a lot.”

He says goodbye to chef Adam Glick who says he likes “this Parker” better. “You know, I’m not surprised Parker couldn’t cut it,” Glick says in a confessional. “But I am surprised it took this long.” Of course, close friend Madison Stalker was especially sad to see McCown go. “There goes my buddy,” she says in a confessional. “And now, without Parker, Georgia [Grobler] and I are pretty much the official third couple.”

Below Deck Sailing Yacht airs Monday at 9/8c on Bravo.