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, E12: "Yacht-Pocalypse Now"
Our Valor-ous heroes manage to get through the rest of the charter with everyone in one piece -- albeit not rewarded with a very good tip -- but that Titanic joke Captain Lee cracks at dinner with the guests is apt. The minute the boat's cleaned up and the booze starts flowing...disaster.
Things aren't great before the cocktails, mind you: Ashton's knot-tying clinic with Tanner and Rhylee goes exactly like you'd expect, with Rhylee getting unhelpfully defensive and Ashton losing his cool in response; Tanner, wanting to hook up with other women and not feel guilty, has yet another talk with Simone to remind her that it's not exclusive between them, and she has yet another series of eye-rolling "whatever" talking-head interviews about, basically, his killing her lady boner; and Brian asks Courtney out on a proper date, but she's not happy with her hair, not happy about missing her nap, and not terribly gracious about a biffed drink order. And this is BEFORE everyone gets wasted...an hour cab ride away from the boat.
By the time everyone's poured themselves out of the cabs for late-night snacks, "Smashton" has gotten in Kate's face, Kevin has filled the galley with smoke (again), and Kate has quit and ordered the cameras to kick rocks. So, just another night out with the Below Deck-ers, then.
Who's going out with a bang and who's a whimpering mess? Your Episode 12 power rankings...
1. Captain Lee. His tux-and-cowboy-boots game is strong, and he's full of compliments for the crew, even if the tip doesn't match what he saw. [Last week: 2]
2. Kevin. Kills it with the food, although the younguns are skeptical of some dishes initially. Has no talking-head interviews...well, really at all, but certainly none of his customary "the interior made me look bad" complaining. Despite disliking Kate, is the one to intercede, repeatedly, when a drunk Ashton is physically charging Kate in the cab, and doesn't seem to have to think twice about it. [Last week: 3]
3. Simone. Tops in dance moves and eye-rolls, as she's openly laughing at Tanner's attempts to back-burner her all "yeah, GOT IT." Plus, no clashes with the boss. [Last week: 9]
4. Courtney. This Jersey native can strongly relate to a frizz situation ruining a whole evening, but Brian's right: if you don't want to go, ask for a rain check. Courtney nearly dozing off in the club because she's bored and over it is more unambiguously relatable, even though her night ended with roses and eavesdropping (always the hoped-for outcome). [Last week: 1]
5. Kate. Is she a little snide about Ashton's mother? Maybe. Is it the best idea to call him on his behavior when he's 19 sheets to the wind, or the best look to sigh in a talking-head that she's the only one who knows how to do their job on the boat? No and no. Is the show downplaying how invasive Ashton's behavior is, between the unwanted frenching and the climbing into the back seat to bellow at her? Yes. Period. I suspect Kate's actually quitting because she feels unappreciated, versus unsafe, but I feel unsafe watching Ashton around her. That we don't see a producer say anything on-camera until she's trying to leave is pretty messed up. [Last week: 8]
6. Rhylee. Kate nails it: yeah, Ashton's an ass sometimes, but Rhylee can't take direction. I always appreciate that she has Kate's back; I wish she knew better how to have her own. (And her mutual admiration society with Simone in the cab is fun.) [Last week: 6]
7. Brian. Whatever sympathy I might have felt for him when Courtney was an Eeyore on their date didn't make up for him telling Ashton that he's fine with Ashton firing Rhylee. And while I don't use whatever nonsense the cast is getting up to on social media in these rankings, that he's still harping on Courtney about not sticking up for him in an episode that aired weeks ago is...a point of view. [Last week: 5]
8. The guests. Missing the beach trip is that disappointing that you short the bag? The kids had a great time and you loved the food; get over it. [Last week: 7]
9. Tanner. Oh my God, this moron. The formal "just so we're clear, I want to bone other chicks, kthxbai" "meeting" he calls with Simone is laughably lame, and following it by drunkenly announcing to Kate that he's wanted to hook up with her all season is really dumb given the presence of cameras. And I get that Ashton is his boss, but when you get hauled out of your bunk to agree that "nobody likes" a crewmember who outranks you, and you go along with it? You're a turd...or staggering drunk. Aaaaagain. [Last week: 10]
10. Ashton. The knots lesson isn't a bad idea, but he ought to have gone in determined not to lose his cool -- or taken Rhylee aside separately, knowing how she tends to react in a situation like that. Ashton definitely ought not to have mashed on Kate a second time when she obviously doesn't want it, lunged at her in the cab over a nothing comment, punched the window of the cab when Kevin restrained him from (possibly) punching Kate, and dragged Tanner out of bed to help him mean-boy Kate. For the umpteenth time, "Smashton" isn't cute or funny. He's misdemeanor assault. Enough. [Last week: 4]
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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.