Not always the perfect fit. Over the years, the Below Deck franchise has shocked viewers with dramatic exits, including firings and resignations.
Mathew Shea set a record for Below Deck Mediterranean when he made several departures during season 6. The chef initially left the boat when he suffered a knee injury that required medical attention.
“In the moment, it was the best thing I could have done for my mental health,” he exclusively told Us Weekly in July 2021. “I was in pain and having a full-blown panic attack, you know? And there were cameras in my face. It just [was] a lot. It was all a lot.”
Chief Stew Katie Flood offered a glimpse at the chaos that ensued because of Mathew’s exit — which forced the rest of the crew to cook dinner for the guests.
“Obviously I wasn’t happy. I was annoyed. I was pissed off,” she shared with Us in June 2021. “I was worried because, at the time, it was like survival mode. Like, we have guests on board, they want dinner. We need to just get through this. And then it was like, once we got through dinner, it’s like, ok, now what? Like, are we getting a chef? Is he going to be a chef tomorrow? Someone else coming? Like, what the f–k is actually going on right now?”
Although Mathew returned to the boat, he later walked off after a night out took a turn.
“They can find some f–ker to do their s–t. Good luck. You’ll have some f–king a–hole chef now,” the Bravo personality said to the chief officer as he hit multiple production cameras on his way out during a July 2021 episode of Below Deck Med.
Earlier in the episode, Mathew developed some tension between him and his fellow cast members when he overshared at the dinner table.
“I don’t like people giving me s–t. I’ve worked too hard to get s–t for being myself. Give me crap for being myself, it’s, like, f–k you,” Mathew clapped back after being told to stop talking.
Mathew returned to the boat the next morning and Captain Sandy Yawn temporarily allowed him to stay while they waited for the replacement chef to get out of quarantine. After winning over the charter guests, Mathew was able to finish the rest of the season out.
At the time, Captain Sandy noted that her decision not to part ways professionally with Mathew was due to several factors, telling Us in September 2021, “Would I have let Mathew go? Yes. Could I have? I had no choice. We were [in] quarantine. We had a bubble to get a chef to go through tests. Testing is, like, two weeks then eight-day quarantine. It’s impossible.”
For the captain, it was easier to stick with Mathew even though they had their ups and downs.
“I’d rather say hang with the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. Mathew did a great job. Setting aside personalities again, I was not at their dinners out. I heard he poked the bear a lot, and I watched it, but he did a great job in the galley,” she added. “No guests ever complained. When the guests complain, that’s when you see me in the galley. If the guests don’t complain, I’m like, ‘Great job. Keep it up.’”
Scroll on to see every Below Deck star who left quite an impression when they chose to quit the show: