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Below Deck Mediterranean Season 8: Everything We Know So Far

Can Captain Sandy right the ship after two lackluster seasons?
  • Below Deck Med's Captain Sandy returns in Season 8. (Photo: Peacock)
    Below Deck Med's Captain Sandy returns in Season 8. (Photo: Peacock)

    For Below Deck fans, summer means one thing: New episodes of Below Deck Mediterranean. As befits its sweltering setting, Below Deck Med typically debuts in the warm-weather months, but for the first time in seven years, Bravo is switching up the release schedule and delaying the Season 8 premiere.

    While the delay is surprising, as Bravo's Below Deck calendar has been relatively consistent for years, it may come as a welcome change for viewers. Seasons 6 and 7 of Med were dreary affairs, and with so few crew members carrying over from one year to the next — save for Courtney Veale and Mzi "Zee" Dempers, who did their best to salvage each season — they quickly faded from memory. Fans are also experiencing Captain Sandy fatigue after she filled in for Captain Lee Rosbach on Below Deck Season 10, an experience she recently told Primetimer was "challenging" given the myriad issues with the crew. Sandy ultimately fired two people in just nine episodes, drawing criticism from Captain Lee and viewers alike.

    Love her or hate her, Captain Sandy will be back in the bridge for Season 8. Both the longtime captain, who's been with the show since 2017, and Bravo have been tight-lipped about the upcoming season, but we've been able to suss out a few important details. Here's everything we know about the new season of Below Deck Mediterranean.

    What happened on Below Deck Med Season 7?

    Oddly enough, last season of Below Deck Mediterranean was defined by drama that happened before the cameras even started rolling. Before stepping aboard Motor Yacht Home, chief steward Natasha Webb and chef Dave White worked together on a different boat, where they began a romantic relationship. Natasha attempted to keep their history a secret for the first few episodes of the season, as she had a boyfriend at the time and didn't want to be "judged" by viewers or her fellow crew members, but Dave clearly wanted something more, and on nights off, he would drunkenly lash out at her. They soon fell into a toxic cycle of making up and tearing each other down, all while Natasha attempted to salvage her relationship with her boyfriend back at home.

    As Natasha spiraled, she leaned on second steward Kyle Viljoen for support, but their friendship created a rift within the interior department. Natalya Scudder, another second stew, believed Natasha was too lenient with Kyle and became frustrated that she was left to languish in the laundry and clean up after her teammates. Still, Natalya's season wasn't all workplace drama: She began hooking up with bosun Storm Smith, but they struggled to get on the same page about their relationship, as Natalya wanted to keep things fun, and Storm was interested in pursuing something more serious.

    While the interior struggled, the deck team triumphed under Storm's leadership. (He was promoted after Captain Sandy fired original bosun Raygan Tyler.) A minor disagreement emerged as Courtney and Mzi vied for the role of lead deckhand, but when Storm gave Courtney the job, Mzi graciously accepted defeat, and the two continued on as friends.

    Overall, Below Deck Med Season 7 was unmemorable, and the part that does stand out — the Natasha-Dave debacle — is probably best forgotten altogether.

    Who's in the new Below Deck Med cast?

    Bravo officially renewed Below Deck Med at BravoCon in October 2022, but it's taken nearly 11 months for details to emerge about the Season 8 cast. On September 1, Bravo released the official trailer for the new season and revealed the familiar faces who will be joining Captain Sandy aboard M/Y Mustique. Tumi Mhlongo, who appeared on Below Deck Down Under Season 1, is stepping into the chief stewardess role, while Med Season 7 stews Kyle Viljoen and Natalya Scudder will work under her in the interior. Deckhand Luka Brunton, who joined the Down Under cast this week after Adam Kodra was fired, is also sticking with the franchise as it sets sail in the Italian Riviera.

    Complementing the returning personalities are new chef Jack Luby, bosun Ruan Irving, deckhands Haleigh Gorman and Lara Du Preez, and stew Jessika Asai. If the trailer is any indication, these newbies are about to make quite a first impression:

    When Primetimer spoke with Sandy in June, she previewed what to expect from Season 8. "Like any of the franchises of Below Deck, you get the drama, you're in a small area, you've got all these different personalities, different nationalities, different experiences," she said. "You're gonna have a travel show that highlights the beautiful yachts, and then you have the personality conflicts, and then you have the love affairs and the breakups, the meltdowns. You know, the typical Below Deck experience."

    Has Below Deck Med Season 8 already filmed?

    Eagle-eyed fans spotted Kyle and Tumi wearing the show's signature red polos in Italy last September, so it's safe to assume that Below Deck Med Season 8 filmed in Fall 2022.

    When does Below Deck Med Season 8 premiere?

    Below Deck Mediterranean returns Monday, September 25 at 9:00 PM ET. The popular spin-off will replace Down Under Season 2 in Bravo's schedule, which means fans won't have to go a single week without some yachtie action.

    What's happening elsewhere in the Below Deck franchise?

    Below Deck is one of Bravo's most popular shows, but the franchise is heading into uncharted waters as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. The flagship show has parted ways with Captain Lee, who claims executives want to "move in a new direction" after a decade spent at the helm. Lee will be replaced by Below Deck Adventure's Captain Kerry Titheradge, but the crossover means the Norway-set series, which is still waiting for a renewal after concluding its first season in January, faces an uncertain future.

    At least the more relaxed iterations of Below Deck are thriving. Down Under kicked off its second season on July 17, and returning stars Captain Jason Chambers and chief stew Aesha Scott (who first appeared on Med) have already faced a host of issues aboard their aging vessel, Northern Sun. In early August, production intervened when bosun Luke Jones climbed into bed naked with stew Margot Sisson, who was sleeping at the time; the camera crew later did the same with stew Laura Bileskalne, who repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances toward Adam Kodra. Luke and Laura were both swiftly fired, and Captain Jason hired Med alum João Franco to lead the deck team for the rest of the season.

    Below Deck Sailing Yacht's recently concluded fourth season also marked a high point for both the show and the franchise as a whole. The love triangle between chief stew Daisy Kelliher, first officer Gary King, and chief engineer Colin MacRae — all of whom have been on the show since Season 2 — delivered weeks worth of can't-miss drama, while Captain Glenn Shephard's eccentricities and forgiving nature propelled him to the top of the captain rankings.

    Between Down Under and Sailing Yacht, there's plenty of worthwhile Below Deck action for fans to catch up on while they await the next season of Below Deck Mediterranean. All 24 seasons of the franchise's various shows (16 of them Captain Sandy-free) are available to stream on Peacock.

    Join the discussion about Below Deck Mediterranean in our forums.

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Below Deck Mediterranean, Bravo, Kyle Viljoen, Sandy Yawn, Tumi Mhlongo