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Yes, Below Deck Down Under Captain Jason Chambers Has Seen Your Thirst Tweets

Who knew a tight shirt could make such a splash?

Jean Bentley

If you've been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the newest addition to the Below Deckfranchise, Below Deck Down Under, then you've definitely seen the trailer — and in particular, the show's newest Captain emerging shirtless from the water like some sort of Aussie god. Captain Jason Chambers knows the scene has caused quite an uproar online — and, as you'll see in the first episode, among his new crew as well. But the good-natured Captain brushes off any compliments about his good looks.

"The production crew behind me is fantastic," Chambers demurs, joking, "and so is the makeup team!"

Down Under is the latest addition to the popular Bravo reality hit, which follows the dramatic goings-on of the crew on luxury mega-yachts as they try to meet the demands of their wealthy clientele. Joining the original Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht, the new series takes place in Australia's Whitsunday Islands with fan-favorite veteran Aesha Scott returning as chief stewardess with a crew of new faces. New episodes release Thursdays on Peacock.

How did you get involved in the show?
Jason Chambers: I was in bed at 2 a.m. and I got an email from a good friend of mine and his wife saying that if you really want a really good captain for the show, this is the one and I just replied, "Go away." And then they reached back out the next day. I talked to my crew — because I was driving a boat at that stage — and they said, "You should do it." I'm like, "Really? Me? No, come on," and they said, "You'll love it." The more and more I dove into it and spoke to the Bravo team and the Below Deck team and met the people behind the scenes, it just seemed like what an adventure this was going to be, with the boat coming down to Australia. I wasn't going to miss trying to showcase Australia.

Especially for the majority of the past two years when Australia has been cut off a little bit from the rest of the world.
Chambers: True. The show's changed format so much over the years. I watched a little bit over the years, however, the more I saw, the show was moving towards different areas with different backdrops and more adventure. The crew drama's there always, that's part of our industry. But the show itself was getting more into remote locations and it's turning into a travel show.

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What are some of your favorite places you've worked in your career?
Chambers: Australia's got a little bit more to show, so hopefully they do another season down there. However, one of the best moments in my yachting career was cruising through Papua New Guinea on a superyacht, and there was a lot of downtime. We got to go out and explore and found villages that needed medical assistance and more water and solar. So we, as crew, started spending the owner's money on giving back to the villages. When the owners turned up and saw what we were doing, they were like, "wow, this is amazing, keep doing it." I was very fortunate for about three or four years to work in a program that I could actually explore but also give back to the local people. It was the most rewarding part of my career.

What do you think your leadership style is like?
Chambers: A lot of captains actually think they are surgeons and have lives depending on them, whereas mine is I've been doing it for 20 years. I feel young and vibrant because of my attitude and hands-on approach, and I really focus on the crew enjoying themselves and enjoying their environment because we do have to live 24/7 together. I think that resonates back to the guests — when the guests come on and they see a happy crew bantering amongst each other, that enjoy their job, and they're smiling and they want to wake up and do their job, that is the most important thing first. Everything else comes [second]. Look, outside the hazards of our industry, which every industry has hazards, I don't think we're going to [risk] lives by doing something wrong, you know? Let's just enjoy ourselves and be respectful.

Jason Chambers, Below Deck Down Under

Jason Chambers, Below Deck Down Under 


In the trailer, it appears you don't necessarily end the season with all of the same people you started with. What can you say about how that drama plays out?
Chambers: The best thing I've gotten out of this show is that actually, it's real. What they're doing is putting a three-or-four-month charter season into six weeks. So all the drama that you see on Below Deck actually does happen in our industry, but just over a broader, longer period. It's just more confined. And the stress is more confined. So there's nothing different out of this series that doesn't really happen in the real life. You will see ups and downs and you will see pitfalls and people grow, but the best thing I've also gotten out of this is watching the crew grow from not knowing the boat, not knowing each other, not understanding the environment, and then turning around at the end to be better crew members.

There's a stereotype that we've seen play out on Below Deck over the years where the chefs are jerks. Is that is that real, or is it just the people that Bravo keeps casting?
Chambers: Out of every position on board, the chef would have to be the hardest position. They have to work tirelessly to deliver for the crew, but then turn around and bring their A-game three or four times a day to the guests. And they're usually solo, and usually we always say that the charter tips are always about the food and then the service and those two have to work together. The communication between interior and galley has to be on point. If it's not, we lose our tips. So they have a lot of pressure, chefs. They have a lot to deal with. And you know that's why every chef show — I think Gordon Ramsey's made money off being an ass.

That was very diplomatic. So, I have to ask you about the fact that in trailer and in the first episode there are a lot of comments about your good looks. Have you seen any of that? How do you feel about it?
Chambers: I will say this, the production crew behind me is fantastic and so is the makeup team. They're fantastic.

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What do you think about all the GIFs have you emerging slowly from the water, though?
It could have been a bit slower and you know, maybe they could have told me how they were going to angle that and I probably would have done a bit more working out. [Laughs]

Love it. Is there anyone from the season that you would want to work with again or that you're still in touch with?
Chambers: Yeah, we're all still in touch. We experienced something great together, working together. They grew a lot. I'm proud of them. They actually did so well. Hopefully [we can all work together again], but I want to come back first. I'm worried about myself first!

I think Aesha is a fan favorite, so people are excited to see her again too.
Chambers: She's definitely my favorite as well. She's just got a can-do attitude and good, positive vibes. You have to enjoy your environment, and she does enjoy the environment. She enjoys her job and when I saw her walk in - I'd seen her on previous episodes - I was excited. I felt like, there's my little safety net. I can just get on and have someone with me, right next to me, trying to accomplish the same thing, and that's to give the guests the best time that they're paying for.

This is the first time we're seeing Aesha as chief stew, and you also have a first-time Boson. It seems like you have to shepherd your heads of department in a way that you maybe don't always necessarily have to.
Chambers: You will see that in the first few episodes that I have to be hands-on. I have to keep checking. I can't just sit up in the bridge and just drive the boat. My job is to make sure all departments are delivering to the standard that we need. So I have to be hands-on until I feel comfortable enough to pull away. Every captain's got their own guidelines where they want to give to a charter guest. I've got mine so I have to show them what I'm expecting. So I'm hands-on at the start because I do have a crew that is taking that first step and rising up a little bit in departments like you said a new boson and new chief stewardess.

It sounds like this season will be very exciting. Plus there are lots of great Aussie accents.
Chambers: I have to practice to be really Australian. We call it "ocker."

Where are you from in Australia?
Chambers: I'm from an hour north of Sydney, but my family are from inland and I've lived in Spain for many years. My daughter was born in Spain. And for the last seven years, I've lived in the Philippines and started a little resort there.

New episodes of Below Deck Down Under air every Thursday on Peacock.