Daisy Kelliher started Season 3 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht with the mindset that she wasn’t going to take any “you know what” from anyone. That proved challenging for the chief stew as she ventured through turbulent waters aboard Parsifal III.
The luck of the Irish wasn’t always smiling on Kelliher as she managed professional and personal conflicts within her department, initially between second stew Gabriela Barragan and third stew Ashley Marti. That was until the environment was too much for Barragan, which led to Scarlett Bentley filling the position as a junior stew.
Adding to the drama was first mate Gary King, whose flirty ways didn’t make things any easier. With wedding bells ringing for guests on the final charter and the season finale on the horizon, we caught up with Daisy to unpack what we’ve seen so far and to get some burning questions answered.
Pretty crazy that the crew had to plan for a wedding with so little time.
Daisy Kelliher: It was definitely a lot. At the same time, I’ve been doing this for 10 years, so I was kind of like, “Whatever, we’re going to either do it or not.” I’ve reached a point in my career where stressing about it won’t help. I have confidence. We can only do what we can do within 24 hours, but it turned out to be pretty incredible.
Gary was at the center of a lot of the issues you faced in your department. Looking back, how difficult was that?
I think I came in pretty confident and went in with a way I wanted to handle everything. It did not work. People are going to do what they are going to do. The Gary part was very difficult for me because I feel like I really pushed his support away last season. I tried to take a different approach with him this time. I tried to be softer. It didn’t seem like either approach worked. It was a massive struggle within my team, but it was a great learning curve and growth for me. Me and Gary, I think had a better relationship this season. It’s not all Gary. It’s the girls too. Work-wise the girls were incredible, but it wasn’t about work all the time.
Do you feel like you could have done anything differently to prevent Gabriela from leaving mid-season?
I see the comments. I know a lot of people feel it was my problem or issue with Gabriela crumbling. I don’t agree with that. I stand by the fact I did my absolute best. Gabriela is the same age as me. I think it was a lot in her head. Someone may be a bit paranoid or feel that everyone is against them, but there is not much I can say or do. It was a personal inner growth she needed to work on.
You certainly had your share of difficult charter guests. Erica Rose came back. Then you had a very demanding charter with Dr. Kim Nichols. How was it reliving these experiences?
Nobody believes me, but it was actually worse in real life than on the edited, compressed [version]. People experienced that for an hour. We got a full three days of it. Rewatching it was funny. They are not awful people. Everyone has a good heart. Them screaming my name as I ran around, maybe they didn’t realize the impact. I’m a human as well. I don’t know how they felt watching. I look back and laugh because I can’t believe I lived through it and that happened. It was all a bit surreal.
Ashley felt she should have been higher up on the stew hierarchy. It came up again when Scarlett came on board and you decided to make both junior stews. Did it make you rethink having a second and third stew?
I think it was important for me to show the girls we are a team. I did try to explain to Ashley, which didn’t get aired, that in the yachting industry the only reason we have a second stew is to have a platform to move forward. It’s motivational, but it’s not there to boss people around or be above someone else. It was important to me that she understood that by the end of the season. It massively made me think about what I’m going to do next time. Maybe I’ll make everyone a junior stew.
When it comes to your relationship with Gary, everyone seems to chime in including Captain Glenn Shephard. What do you make of the infatuation between you two?
I knew at the time during the season that my big storyline was going to be me and Gary. I very much predicted what story was going to be told. The people behind the scenes explained that the chemistry between us was so intense. The whole boat could feel it. I was prepared for what was going to happen. I was surprised with how obsessed everyone is with us being a couple. I thought everyone would be against it. We are just friends. I hate to tell everyone that, but there is nothing more to it. Just very flirtatious.
For now. Never say never. Last year there was no way I would have said I was going to kiss him. So that was surprising.
Do you feel seeing him flirting with all the girls was the turnoff?
Massively. I was the first girl in the first season he hit on. It didn’t air, but I brushed him off straight away. Other people commented saying since I didn’t give him that attention, he looked for it elsewhere. I thought that was an interesting point. Fair enough, but as soon as he went off with Sydney [Zaruba] and Alli [Dore] and now Ashley and Gabriela — yeah, maybe things would have ended differently if he continued to pursue me, but he didn’t. We’ll never know.
How would you sum up the season?
I thought it was hard to top season 2 because so much happened. This season has been such a roller coaster of emotions. So much happened in season 3. For me, it was a lot of ups and downs. Like last season, the aim for me was to come out on a high with a strong team and loving friendship. It was a massive success. That’s the fun in the show, having the audience come with us. There were points where maybe they thought, “Are we going to make it? Is the boat going to make it?” We finish on a big high, which you will see in the finale.
What can we expect from the reunion?
I think people took accountability in the reunion. It’s good to talk about the incidents during the season, but it was all good. I think we’re all still talking to each other.
Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Mondays, 8/7c, Bravo
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