Below Deck Med's Natalya and Tumi Immediately Clash During Insanely Awkward First Meeting

Find out why Below Deck Mediterranean's Tumi Mhlongo and Natalya Scudder butted heads during a heated discussion after meeting for the first time on the Bravo series' Oct. 2 episode.

By Brett Malec Oct 03, 2023 2:15 AMTags
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Tumi Mhlongo's arrival on the M/Y Mustique is definitely rocking the boat.

After being absent from Below Deck Mediterranean's season eight premiere due to visa issues, the Chief Stew finally arrived on the Bravo series' Oct. 2 episode. However, the South Africa native immediately clashed with interim Chief Stew Natalya Scudder upon boarding the super-yacht.

"I've been in the industry for a really short amount of time," Tumi admitted in a confessional. "One thing that scares me is will the crew respect me? It's really important to set boundaries at the beginning because that's something I've always had to do in yachting anyway. Like, 'You're not capable,' or there's not a lot of people like me or it's like, 'How the hell is she here?'"

In addition to her insecurities about taking on the role of Chief Stew for her very first time, Tumi was also nervous to work with Natalya after hearing some stories from fellow Stew Kyle Viljoen.

"Kyle told me he had his ups and down with Natalya and I don't want to disrespect her, but I don't want to demand respect," the Below Deck Down Under alum explained. "That's where my struggle comes in. So, yeah, of course I'm worried."

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During a tour of the yacht, Tumi and Natalya immediately disagreed about where the silverware and glassware were stored in the dining room and butted heads about how to display the guests' tanning lotion.

And when Natalya asked, "So what do you think of the boat?" Tumi replied bluntly, "The organization's a s--t show. "

Caught off guard, the interim Chief Stew replied, "Excuse me?" before Tumi clarified, "No, the boat itself."

Laurent Basset/Bravo

While a relieved Natalya explained, "I was like, 'I think it's been going pretty bloody well,'" her new chief noted her issues with the vessel itself

"I'm not talking about you, I'm talking about the actual boat itself," Tumi said sternly. "The way that it's naturally been set up."

However, the two continued to butt heads over their feelings about the M/Y Mustique. In fact, after Natalya called the ship "amazing," a frustrated Tumi reiterated her position.

"I'm giving my opinion though," she insisted. "I'm telling you that's how I feel. Don't get defensive. You're getting offended. I'm not offending you. From your part of organization, it's impeccable what you've done in a day. Before you got on this vessel, the way it's set up is not necessarily the way I would want. That's all I'm saying."

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However, Natalya then doubled down, trying to get the final word by adding, "I'm just telling you it's been great," before Tumi got even more heated by using her hands to interrupt Natalya.

Unfortunately, this also struck a negative cord with Natalya, who scolded Tumi for frustrated gesture.

"Don't do this with me," she snapped. 'Don't put the hands up at me please. Thank you!"

See how the drama plays out when Below Deck Med airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.

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