Below Deck: ‘We were stuck’ How Captain Lee saved Bravo series after huge set back

Below Deck season 9 preview

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Throughout the nine series Below Deck has aired on Bravo, Captain Lee Rosbach has remained an iconic fan-favourite. Despite his exceptional presence in the series, he would’ve never become Captain, if he didn’t save the show back in season one.

Captain Lee stole viewers’ hearts in the first instalment of Below Deck with his no-nonsense leadership and witty one-liners.

With his tendency to give fatherly advice and an endless supply of stare-downs he was dubbed Stud of the Sea.

For fans, he seemed to be the perfect person to lead a crew of young and energetic group of stewards, while catering to picky guests.

However, Below Deck could’ve looked completely different if Captain Lee didn’t save the show after a huge setback.

Speaking to, producer Mark Cronin revealed Aleks Taldykin who appeared in season one was initially cast as captain.

He revealed: “Aleks had the right licence for that size boat and we thought that was enough.”

“I thought, ‘Oh he’s got a licence, that’s good, he can be the captain. We’ll get the old guy off and we’ll put the young guy on, and we’re in business,’” he confessed.

Although things seemed to be going smoothly with the plans, the crew was faced with a huge setback.

Although Aleks had the correct license and was qualified to charter a yacht, Captain Lee made a good point and highlighted he didn’t have enough real-time experience.

Mark recalled Lee telling him: “Just because you have a captain’s licence does not make you qualified to run a charter yacht, and take 150ft yacht off the dock, anchor it and bring it back to the dock.”

The producer went on to realise Lee was right and if they were to face real danger at sea, they would need someone who could calmly handle the boat.

This was when he suggested Aleks should be the face of the yacht and he would lead the boat off camera.

He stated Lee’s idea to sail behind the scenes wouldn’t work because Below Deck was set to be a reality show and it would confuse staff.

The series was also going to highlight the inner workings of yachting, therefore it wouldn’t work “realistically.”

This was when Lee was asked to take over as captain, however, he had to convince Bravo as they initially wanted someone younger.

Mark was able to get network bosses behind the idea as he suggested Lee would win the ladies over as a “silver fox.”

With Captain Lee leading a crew of young stewards the series came across as a family dynamic, especially when he would punish them with the occasional ticket home.

Below Deck is filled with forbidden relationships, non-stop partying and explosive arguments so if the crew messed up they would have Captain Lee to answer to.

With these scenes, Mark suggested keeping Aleks may have not made the series as interesting as he was a similar age with the crew.

Thankfully it worked out as Captain Lee is one of the main reasons viewers tune in to the series every week.

Below Deck season nine premieres on October 26 on Bravo in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.

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