The only thing better than a new episode of Below Deck on Monday nights is Sarah D Bunting's Tuesday morning power rankings. Click here for previous Below Deck power rankings.
Below Deck S07, E11: "I'm Sorry You Feel That Way"
We begin where we left off last week, as Ashton rips Kate, Brian gets pissy with Courtney about not taking his side, and Kate retires to her bunk to sob. As Rhylee tucks a crying Kate in, Tanner sends Simone a booty-call text...and actually gets away with it, despite Simone's big talk earlier in the day.
The next day, everyone's brutally hungover, and almost everyone's apologetic about their respective flare-ups the night before -- except Kate, who kind of shrugs it off as the result of day-drinking when she's called on the carpet by Captain Lee, then reacts with snide shock when it becomes clear Ashton would like an apology (and the dreaded "I'm sorry you feel that way" when called out on her lateness). And Rhylee's back in defensive mode, litigating every exchange with her colleagues and looking for reasons to get annoyed. "Good" thing Brian's providing plenty of them...
It's into this smoldering atmosphere -- literally; the galley's exhaust fan is broken, sending kitchen temps into the 90s -- that returning guests find themselves. The crew is looking to make up for a series of screw-ups the last time these folks came on the show, but a hair in the Caprese salad, a cancelled beach lunch thanks to choppy water, and that pesky fire alarm probably mean an anemic tip. And just when Ashton really needed it, too.
Who's on fire and who's all wet? Your Episode 11 power rankings...
1. Courtney. Isn't trying to hear Brian's drunk combative "so you're taking Kate's side and that's it well FINE" nonsense, but also isn't trying to hold grudges about it. And whatever leave-in she's using to keep her hair straight and smooth in a 91-degree galley, thumbs up. That's not why she got a battlefield promotion to second stew from Kate, but if it were, I'd be okay with it, and I also like that she's sorry it's awkward for Simone, but matter-of-fact about deserving the extra stripe. Some women would apologize for doing well; they shouldn't, and she doesn't. [Last week: 2]
2. Captain Lee. He talks a big game in talking-head interviews, but he does give Kate preferential treatment, it is obvious to (and resented by) the other crew, and he won't send her packing if she pulls something like this again, so he may as well not pretend otherwise. ...We do get a vintage Rosbach "god-DAMMIT" when he gets that email from the beach club. [Last week: 1]
3. Kevin. The barely suppressed glee at Kate's getting in trouble is not a good look, but you'd expect a bunch of blame-shifting when a guest finds a hair in her mozzarella, and he doesn't do any; he also doesn't try to pass off their dissatisfaction with some aspects of the meal as the fault of a hot galley. He just deals as best he's able. (But let's be real, if everyone else weren't acting like such butts this week, there's no way he'd rank this high.) [Last week: 9]
4. Ashton. I won't lie: watching him and Kevin smirk it up during the preference-sheet meeting while Captain Lee is clocking Kate for bad behavior, then watching Ashton have to eat it when the beach club complains that his pool cannonball broke the DJ's equipment to the tune of a thousand dollars, is not the worst. But I respect that he tried to draw an apology out of Kate by apologizing himself; explained calmly why he was (rightly) frustrated; and immediately took responsibility for the equipment thing. Hat tip also to making the tough safety call when he had to have known the guests, who had a rough go of it last time, would be really disappointed. [Last week: 5]
5. Brian. Still not sure where dude gets off diagnosing all the boat's interpersonal problems as stemming from Kate; I don't love it when Ashton does it, but at least Ashton's got some time in the field to bolster his opinions. Also not sure how even a new guy thinks it's a good idea to dismiss Rhylee when it's eminently clear from her body language, her actual language, and her previous season that, as Ashton points out, it's just not worth the trouble. [Last week: 3]
6. Rhylee. She's almost maternal with Kate when Kate's upset, and lets it slide when Kate's not the most rational/gracious in response...but the next day, Rhylee's back to seizing on every perceived slight and scorekeeping about Tanner nagging her to retie a line he asked her to untie, like, I get that getting flack for things that aren't your fault or responsibility is annoying, and I get that Tanner is annoying, but when you get stroppy about every single thing, nobody listens anymore after a while. [Last week: 4]
7. The guests. The one guy getting all grand about wanting "Michelin-star" food notwithstanding, they're pretty gracious about continuing to live under a bad sign with these Below Deck trips...and nobody's falling-down drunk. (Yet.) [Last week: 6]
8. Kate. I hear what she's saying about her co-workers respecting her stripes, but it's not like she's making it easy for them when she 1) refuses to apologize for anything, even when she's obviously wrong or endangering said stripes; and 2) is a snide bitch about others apologizing to her, even when it isn't required (i.e., Ashton saying he's sorry about the cannonball incident, although Kate's not on the hook for anything with that). Just say sorry! You don't have to mean it! [Last week: 8]
9. Simone. At least she realizes it's not great that she made out with Tanner again, buuuuuut she made out with Tanner again. She also calls her mom to whinge about Kate, though, and any glimmer of pity I had for her about having to watch Courtney get a promotion is extinguished when she pretty much admits she had no prior second-stew experience. [Last week: 7]
10. Tanner. I'll call his bickering with Rhylee a push, but...to paraphrase the great Kelly Taylor, this guy is never again. "I like Simone; I LOVE being single"? Yeah, we got it. He follows up that gem by wondering how many people we've ever heard say thank God they got married. Um: all of us! Because it means we don't have to deal with turds like Tanner! [Last week: 10]
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Sarah D. Bunting co-founded Television Without Pity, and her work has appeared in Glamour and New York, and on MSNBC, NPR's Monkey See blog, MLB.com, and Yahoo!. She's also the editor-in-chief and publisher of Tomato Nation, and true-crime blog and podcast The Blotter Presents.