All season long, Sarah D Bunting has been ranking the Below Deckers on a weekly basis. With the final charter of the season complete, it's time for her full season power rankings. Care to relive the magic of each week's rankings? Dive into our archives.
The charter season ended this week without many surprises, except maybe Brian and Courtney's detente, which may or may not end in a booty call, and the final crew party of the season, which doesn't end in Rhylee and Ashton coming to blows -- but only because Ashton passes out in a cabana a few hours into the festivities. Beyond that, it's more of the same: Kevin and Kate snarking on each other over Peniscake-gate, followed by Kevin kicking sand on Kate, then passing out on the way home; Tanner doing a gazillion shots, and then not getting any; and Captain Lee enjoying a quiet night on the boat doing household chores.
You won't see many surprises in our season-long rankings, either... although if you'd told me at the beginning of the season where some of the Below Deck-ers would end up by the end, I wouldn't have believed you.
Who's a lifeboat and who's a turd in the punchbowl? Your Season 7 power rankings...
1. Courtney. She got off to a whiny start, but between a series of appealingly rando statements about last suppers (ikr?), a season-long commitment to not getting nearly as wasted as the rest of the crew, and almost no performance issues on the actual job, she's the clear MVP of the season. [Last week: 1]
2. Kate. Everyone's favorite towel-penis artisan didn't have her best season, but this group of nincompoops would get to anyone, even if half the exterior crew weren't smooching her without her buy-in. I guess she could have tried harder to relate to Kevin and Simone, but it's unlikely to have worked. [Last week: 4]
3. Captain Lee. Full of his customary extremely relatable vinegary attitude and vintage-yet-timeless expressions (who else could get away with still saying, "It's been a slice"?), but whether he genuinely didn't know about his employees' drunken shenanigans and bullying, or did know and chose to let them work it out (with these subpar "results"), The Most Interesting Captain In The World was a disappointment this time around. [Last week: 5]
4. Team Redhead. "Rhyles" should probably not have come back -- and she'd probably agree with that assessment, given the bullshit she had to put up with. Under the circumstances, she bore up pretty well, and was supportive to other crew members who were struggling. Abbi...also was on this season! Yeah, remember her -- couldn't work the radio, because rules weren't her "forte"? Abbi wasn't great, but she was subtracted from the proceedings speedily enough to prevent her from 1) dragging Rhylee too far down in the rankings or 2) acting as big a fool as most of her exterior-crew colleagues. [Last week: 2]
5. The guests. Jemele Hill and her hilarious friends (and their excellent tip) almost made me forget Brandy almost dying of alcohol poisoning like 15 times in three days, and that guy ordering his friends to vote for Trump. Almost. [Last week: 3]
6. Simone. Look, we've all gotten entangled with a Tanner, but my empathy only goes so far, and doesn't extend to Simone's baffling sense of entitlement vis-a-vis Kate training her for a job she apparently lied in order to get, and didn't do terribly well at even after Kate showed her the (very) basics. [Last week: 7]
7. Brian. Brian made an impressive run at raising his overall ranking in the late going by setting his sights on ending the season on a good note with Courtney, and pleading with Kevin (in vain) to apologize for kicking sand on Kate. That said, his knee rendered him useless for a long stretch, during which he felt free to weigh in on Rhylee's malign influence on the crew -- and as soon as he was back to full strength, he was joining in the mean-boying with a vengeance. And nobody else broke a six-thousand-dollar piece of equipment. [Last week: 8]
8. Kevin. He had a handful of decent-human glimmers -- blocking Ashton from getting physical with Kate; singing little songs; wearing a teeny pirate hat -- but his insistence on mistaking Kate not doing everything his way for Kate "checking out" was unbearably condescending. [Last week: 6]
9. Tanner. We spent the first half of the season listening to him puke, and the second half wanting to, thanks to his kiss-and-tell routine after hooking up with Simone, his clueless pursuit of Kate, and his squirm-inducing relationship with his mom (who calls their parents "soft and gentle"? Weirdos, is who). He's an immature follower who truly seemed to believe he could get it in with Kate after taking Kevin's side yet again, and who needs to learn how sunscreen works. [Last week: 10]
10. Ashton. After a reasonably strong start, his ranking just dived off a cliff; the blaming bad behavior on drunken alter ego "Smashton," the combative violation of crewmates' personal space, the condescension to -- and permitting, even encouraging, the bullying of -- Rhylee all added up to crappy rankings week after week. And not for nothing, but I'm pretty sure it's Ashton who introduced the obnoxious "brü" into our Below Deck lives. [Last week: 9]
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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!. Find her at her true-crime newsletter, Best Evidence, and on TV podcasts Extra Hot Great and Again With This.