Why Did João Franco from ‘Below Deck Med’ Choose Travis to Be Lead Deckhand over Colin?

When bosun João Franco found himself in a leadership position on Below Deck Mediterranean, he had to make some tough decisions.

In addition to managing the deckhands, he also had to appoint one deckhand to be his “second in command.” The lead deckhand position is typically awarded to the crew member who has the most experience and leadership qualities amongst the team.

Joao Franco, Captain Sandy Yawn |Photo by Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

But fans were surprised when Franco chose new cast member Travis Michalzik to take the lead over close friend Colin Macy-O-Toole. Franco and Macy-O’Toole worked together last season, plus became close friends. Franco addressed why he went with Michalzik for the role.

Michalzik has the yachting chops

Michalzik isn’t new to the yachting industry. Bravo seems to sometimes hire green crew members to boost drama. But this time they went for someone with a long history in yachting to fill this deckhand position.

According to his Bravo bio, he left high school “on a pursuit to finding true happiness.” He wandered for a while until he fell into yachting. And he’s remained in the industry for the last eight years.

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“He heard about a deckhand job on a sailing yacht, and for the last eight years has been living the life as a jokester, party boy ‘yachtie’ with a work hard, play harder attitude,” according to his bio. “As a deckhand, he appreciates good work ethic paired with strong communication skills.”

Franco agrees he is the most qualified

A Twitter fan asked Franco why he chose Michalzik to be the lead deckhand and not his pal Macy-O’Toole. “I was wondering, obviously travis has more experience so i know thats why u picked him…but, having worked with @ColinMacyOToole did u consider picking him as your lead deck hand? I know its only his second one, but sometimes having a rapport is better.”

Franco appreciated the question, plus he made this remark about Michalzik’s experience. “Great question! I considered all options. With Travis’ experience he actually should have been bosun! making that call was easy and I feel I’d have lost respect from the crew if I favoured colin.”

Macy-O’Toole and Franco are extremely tight. In fact, Macy-O’Toole was the reason why Franco returned to Below Deck Med. The friends grew closer after the show wrapped and Franco even met and hung out with Macy-O’Toole’s family too.

Franco has a good point

Perhaps Franco watched the season where bosun Wes Walton chose deckhand Malia White to take the lead. White was in the throes of a love triangle with Walton and Chef Adam Glick. The crew started to notice the budding romance and friction between Glick and White.

But when White was made lead deckhand, crew members thought Walton made the decision with his heart instead of his head. And while viewers could see White was a talented and determined crew member, Captain Sandy Yawn felt the need to back up Walton’s decision.

At the time Yawn tweeted, “Wes made his decision. Malia was the right decision cause of her interest on the bridge. She was always asking me q’s about navigation.” When a viewer asked Yawn about Walton and White’s relationship she said she was in the dark at the time. “I was shocked! and I had no idea. I saw this on TV as you the viewer did.”