Below Deck: Captain Jason Chambers on Luke Jones scandal
Fans of the hit show Below Deck Down Under are split over a recent decision by Bravo to bring back a problematic crew mate.
The move comes after Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne were fired due to separate incidents of misconduct, leaving audiences buzzing.
During Monday’s episode, the deck team’s replacement was unveiled as João Franco, a familiar face from the first season of Down Under, and known for clashes with co-stars including Aesha Scott.
João took to his Instagram and posted about his return today saying: “It seems that the new season of Below Deck has made ‘smooth waters’ a thing of the past. As this season has already set a path to shatter expectations and rewrite the rulebook on reality TV, this ship has set sail and there is no stopping this momentum now!”
He continued, “Old tensions ignited, new friendships sparked, loyalties questioned, ALL the laughter and fun times, boatmances and the rest!!! Zvese sviripo!!! Enjoy everyone! I’m here for it all.”
READ MORE: Below Deck star Emily Warburton-Adams has moved away from the yacht life
João’s return to the show didn’t sit well with everyone.
Chef Tzarina Mace-Ralph seemed taken aback and less than thrilled to see him back, revealing that he had a complicated relationship with one of her close friends.
She branded him a “womanizer” and her sentiments were echoed by disgruntled viewers on the X, formally Twitter, platform.
Many expressed their displeasure with João’s presence, pointing out his past behavior and clashes with fellow crew members.
Fans questioned bringing on another alpha male following Luke and Laura’s dismissal for unwanted sexual advances.
Below Deck Down Under’s Laura defends Luke from ‘predator’ claims due to ‘kiss'[DEFENDED]
Captain Lee attacks Below Deck Down Under crewmates’ behaviour after firings[REACTION]
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The debate rages on as fans question whether João’s return is a wise choice for cleaning up the potentially toxic environment.
“I can see João hasn’t changed. He is still the same old a**hole he’s always been. Only diff is that Capt. Jason won’t put up with his bulls**t,” one fan posted on X.com.
“Is João the answer when you’re cleaning up a toxic environment?” another shared.
“Glad to see you back! Although kind of a weird episode as 2 were fired for sexual harassment and this episode was all porn stars,” wrote one fan on his Instagram post.
While some appreciate the inclusion of an alpha male crew member with a bit of an edge, others find his condescending attitude and past actions hard to overlook.
The audience’s anticipation and reactions showcase the divided sentiments regarding João’s role and its impact on the show’s dynamics.
The controversy surrounding João’s return follows the dismissal of Luke and Laura due to sexual misconduct incidents involving their co-stars Margot Sisson and Adam Kodra.
Luke’s inappropriate advances towards Margot led to his termination, as did Laura’s advances on Adam.
The incidents underscore the importance of maintaining boundaries and respecting fellow crew members, which has fans really questioning producers decision to get rid of two problematic co-stars to only then to bring back another previously problematic and toxic crew mate.
Below Deck Down Under continues Monday nights on Bravo.
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