On Monday, Dec. 14's episode of Below Deck, Elizabeth Frankini found herself in hot water after causing a toxic laundry error. However, in an exclusive chat with E! News, the second stewardess refused to let the accident define her or her work ethic.
According to the Bravo personality, her mind was elsewhere as she was struggling with the ongoing tension between herself and Chief Stewardess Francesca Rubi.
"I was honestly distracted by…the way Francesca answered me," Elizabeth explained. "I was really starting to feel a lot of condescending animosity from her."
As Elizabeth continued, she highlighted that she used "the bleach and the soap like [she has] done in [her] four-and-a-half years of experience on boats."
"Unfortunately, I didn't know that was so toxic and I feel so bad about it," she continued. "You know, I do feel really bad, especially 'cause Francesca did say, 'Take it outside.'"
While Elizabeth acknowledged that she "disregarded" Francesca's advice, she made it clear it wasn't intentional.
"I don't know what happened," she remarked. "There's so much always that we have to do, and it can get a lot. So, that's my mistake."
In the episode, the interior crew found themselves getting light-headed for an unknown reason and called for the chief engineer to investigate. The area was cleared due to toxic fumes, which were caused by Elizabeth mixing bleach and soap together.
Amid breaking down his findings, the chief engineer informed Francesca that the concoction was similar to "mustard gas" used in World War II.
Even though Elizabeth took responsibility for the laundry error, she noted that she wasn't the only stewardess who was planning to soak items in bleach. Apparently, stewardess Ashling Lorger intended to use bleach on her sneakers.
"So, she had her shoes in a bucket ready to do as well," Elizabeth recalled. "You can see the shoes in the bucket in the episode…She didn't end up going through with it."
Yet, Elizabeth did mention that maybe Ashling intended to bring her bucket outside. We guess we'll never know!
As for her chief stewardess' reaction to the laundry mistake, Elizabeth said she was "very surprised" by Francesca's response. Namely, at the time, Elizabeth couldn't believe Francesca felt this was a fireable offense.
"Not that I didn't think it was a big deal but, up until that point, anything that she was going on at me about was nothing worth getting fired for," she defended. "It really came out of nowhere for me."
Thanks to Captain Lee Rosbach, Elizabeth was able to keep her job, which she appreciated.
And it appears there has been no love lost between these co-stars as Elizabeth sounded off on Francesca's leadership style.
"Leadership sets the tone for everything. So, a good leader empowers, inspires, sets a good standard for the team, leads by example, you know, delegates properly, communicates," she relayed. "And I found, in my experience, that this was lacking in her."
Below Deck airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
Binge past episodes of Below Deck on Peacock.
(E!, Bravo and Peacock are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)