Below Deck’s Fraser Olender Shouldn’t Trust His Judgement (He Chose The Wrong Second Stew)
8 mins read

Below Deck’s Fraser Olender Shouldn’t Trust His Judgement (He Chose The Wrong Second Stew)


  • Fraser’s judgment is questionable this season, especially with his choice of second in command and handling of interpersonal conflicts.
  • Barbie Pascual has proven to be a valuable asset as a stew, despite Fraser’s initial reservations about her controlling nature.
  • Fraser’s personal biases have clouded his judgment, leading to missteps in managing his team and determining who to trust.



Below Deck season 11’s Chief Stew Fraser Olender has trusted his judgement throughout the season, but he should be second guessing himself after choosing the wrong second in command. Fraser, who first appeared on Below Deck season 9 as a stew, has been at the helm of the stews since Below Deck season 10. Fraser’s first outing as Chief Stew was difficult and in dealing with some personal drama between two of his stews, he learned quickly what he was and wasn’t willing to put up with. Fraser’s been looking for a calmer environment aboard the St. David this season.

While his time on Below Deck season 11 has been somewhat less dramatic than the charter season on Below Deck season 10, Fraser has been working hard to cultivate a more inclusive environment for his stews. With such a heavy focus on ensuring there’s limited drama, Fraser has been somewhat preoccupied, which has made it clear that he’s not paying close enough attention to what’s going on with the work ethic on his team. In pouring his efforts into creating a better, drama-free working environment, Fraser’s judgment has been skewed in terms of who he can trust this charter season.


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Fraser Has Been Hard On Barbie Pascual Throughout The Season

Early on in the season, Fraser got to know his stew Barbie Pascual and shared that he was excited to be working with her throughout the charter. With a great resume and an immaculate work ethic, Barbie has been a helpful addition to the crew. She knows what to do without being given much direction, and though she’s been stubborn when it comes to taking direction from Fraser, she’s been able to recalibrate and course correct when she’s told she’s wrong. Barbie, despite being one of the best employees on St. David, has had a tough time winning Fraser over.

Fraser’s initial read of Barbie was that she was high strung, and while that was true for the stew, it was clear that Barbie was great at her job. Fraser held his tongue about her being high maintenance for the first days of the charter season, but things got difficult when it became clear that Barbie was too controlling for Fraser to order around. Rather than confronting the issue head-on, Fraser went around Barbie and spoke to Captain Kerry Titheradge about her personality issues. Captain Kerry understood Barbie was an asset and tried to push Fraser to get over things.

Barbie’s Controlling Nature Has Been Difficult To Deal With

Although Fraser’s treatment of Barbie has seemed like it’s somewhat more strongarmed than necessary, his reaction to her being overly controlling isn’t out of the ordinary. Barbie, who shared on Below Deck season 11 episode 1 that she doesn’t have financial need and works for fulfillment, has a specific way she wants to do things. She’s shared that she’s well versed in the world of superyachts, and has her own processes that make the work she does easier For Babie, it’s clear that she’s got experience under her belt and wants to do as much work as she can independently.

While the independence in her work is nice, Barbie has been difficult for Fraser to deal with. Barbie feels that she’s able to do a lot on her own, which is helpful during busy moments during the charter when Fraser is otherwise occupied, but can be difficult when she’s being given direction. With Fraser trying to cultivate his team, it’s been clear that Barbie has struggled to take his direction rather than doing things her own way. Dealing with Barbie’s independence has been tough for Fraser, who knows she would prefer to be on her own away from the team.

Barbie’s Feud With Cat Baugh Has Created Too Much Tension

Below Deck's Barbie Pascual & Cat Baugh montage

Barbie’s time on the St. David has not come without its own level of drama. Her fellow stews, Xandi Olivier and Cat Baugh, have been working hard to live up to Barbie’s expectations, but Cat has struggled with her role on the St. David. Throughout the first several episodes of Below Deck season 11, Cat has been overly emotional and struggled to take criticism, making it clear she’s never worked on a superyacht of this capacity. Cat’s experiences is in smaller yachts, and her working style hasn’t meshed well with Barbie’s, which has caused tension between the St. David’s stews.

Fraser Has Tried To Help Cat, Despite Squashing His Beef With Barbie

Although Fraser has stayed mostly out of the arguing between Cat and Barbie, he’s offered his counsel to both women in trying to smooth things over. When Cat came to him directly to discuss the issues she’d been facing with Barbie, Fraser found himself sympathetic to her and blaming Barbie for their beef. Rather than being the impartial third party a Chief Stew should be, Fraser chose to give preferential treatment to Cat and allow her to take on service, which led to some disastrous results. Cat, who wasn’t ready for service, made several mistakes in front of Captain Kerry.

While Fraser was adamant that he wanted Cat to be on service, it was clear she wasn’t ready for the job. He had to accept that Barbie was the stew he needed to rely on, and decided that he needed to talk things out directly. The pair spoke with some serious tension, making it clear that while they’d tried to build a bridge and get over their issues, they were still very much there between them. Fraser, who knew that Barbie was a major part of his team, had to accept his personal issues with her and put them aside.

Fraser Choosing Xandi Olivier As Second Stew Was A Mistake

Xandi Olivier Below Deck

Although Fraser’s problems with Barbie have been put on the back burner, he chose to elect Xandi as his second stew, effectively making her the second in command. While Xandi has been helpful in her job, Barbie has been working to prove herself throughout the first charters of the season. The Below Deck season 11 stew has been a huge asset to the team, working hard and doing her best in stressful situations, especially when it comes to the charter guests. Choosing Xandi, who has primarily been taking care of the interior of St. David, sent Barbie a clear message.

Fraser’s Judgment Has Been Off All Season

Montage of Below Deck's Fraser Olender with gold background
Custom Image by César García

After watching the first several episodes of Below Deck season 11, it’s become clear that Fraser’s judgment has been off for the majority of the season. From his decision to push Cat to take on service before she was ready simply to prove a point, to making Xandi his second stew when Barbie was the person who deserved the job, it’s clear Fraser has been working off his personal bias. The Below Deck Chief Stew has made it clear that he shouldn’t be trusting his gut, which appears to be pushing him in the wrong direction time and time again.

Below Deck

season 11 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo, then streams the following day on Peacock.

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