Below Deck's Wes O'Dell Comes Clean About Jessica Albert Boatmance

screenshot wes and jess
(Image credit: Bravo)

Spoilers for Below Deck Season 9 lie ahead!

When it comes to Below Deck’s ninth season, things haven’t gotten as intense as the recent season of the Mediterranean spinoff. Pieces of the boat are unintentionally getting swept away, chef Rachel Hargrove is still at it with her NSFW commentary, and there have been some problems with the interior department. But the most juicy bits have been the various boatmances at play: Jake Foulger and Rayna Lindsey, Foulger and Fraser Olender, a little 3-way between Jake/Rayna/Fraser, with teasers also indicating something sizzles between deckhand Wes O’Dell and stewardess Jessica Albert. But O’Dell is now coming clean with what really happens between him and Albert this season.

The two have definitely been nurturing a sweet little flirtation in recent episodes. Wes O’Dell even hinted in a crew game of truth-or-dare that he wouldn’t mind kissing Jessica Albert out of everyone. The Season 9 trailer, in fact, teases that a smooch does happen between them. In an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, though, the “green” deckhand spoiled that their relationship as it stands is in the “just friends” category. O’Dell partly blames the crew for conspiring to get their sparks flying, saying:

I think things would have unfolded in a whole different way if they did not try to do that. And so we formed a friendship and it was really good. And most likely would have taken off if it wasn’t every single person, which I just found out, literally everybody on the boat was like, ‘Oh yeah, Wes and Jess they need to do something.'

RIP, then, Wes and Jess. However, if they’re just friends, what about that kiss fans will soon see on Below Deck? The deckhand confirmed to the outlet that he and Jessica Albert indeed did share something. But it’s apparently short-lived and after a ton more pressure from their fellow castmates. He said:

We do have a very good moment and the fruits of the labor of the whole entire crew, including apparently the captain too, we do get a chance to have our time together, which is very fun. I think it’s something we both needed at this point of the charter and this point of the season.

Wes O’Dell also kinda sort of attributes the show itself for why things apparently didn’t go further with his potential love interest. He said filming Below Deck was “a high-stress environment,” and they were “cautious” on how much of themselves they would “put out there.” The Bravo star joked that his mom actually watches the show, so he wasn’t about to “get butt naked” on national television. (Cough, cough, Jake Foulger.)

Evidently, too, the newcomer and the rest of the crew still had to contend with Covid-19 protocols. They weren’t allowed to interact with anyone outside of guests and production. As a result, he said it was difficult to “escape” their colleagues and “do something genuine.”

At least Wes O’Dell is upfront about the realities of reality television. But though there's now one defunct boatmance, there will surely be other's down the road. Find out who else may or may not link up Below Deck airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.