The first impression Captain Jason Chambers left on Bravo fans was as Below Deck‘s undisputed hottest captain. During the second season of Below Deck Down Under, however, Chambers proved he’s much more than a pretty face. Upon learning that an alcohol-fueled outing had ended in a crew member trying to climb into his coworker’s bed without her consent, Chambers acted swiftly to remove the aggressor — and a costar who defended the behavior — from the boat.
“I honestly spent hours and hours every day replying back to people because there were so many that had a story to tell [after watching the episode],” Jason, who has been coined a Guardian in Us Weekly‘s Reality Stars of the Year issue, says. “I’m trying to do as much as I can. There’s a lot going on out there and this actually brought to light a hell of a lot. The amount of feedback that came to me — I’m pretty overwhelmed.”
Below Deck Down Under was the third spinoff from the franchise but the first to be tested out on Peacock’s streaming service. The series subsequently made a permanent move to Bravo for its second season — which blew up in the wake of the consent scandal.
In August, viewers were shocked when footage aired of Luke Jones entering Margot Sisson‘s room naked before production stopped him. Jason and chief stew Aesha Scott, swiftly stepped in and Luke was subsequently fired for his behavior. Second stew Laura Bileskaline was also dismissed for supporting Luke and for her unwelcome advances toward deckhand Adam Kodra.
Following the drama, Jason and Aesha received an outpouring of praise for handling the situation with respect. This was also the first time producers broke the fourth wall and intervened.
“Obviously I’m not going to be able to do what I do without my team around me. What we do — and definitely what production does behind the scenes — it really always amazes me. There’s so much work [that] goes into it,” he tells Us. “As a yacht captain, I know what logistics are and I do a hell of a lot of it. But to actually see the production go behind the scenes while allowing me to do my job and not interfere with me, it is quite amazing. This show has come about over a decade [on air] now and they really showcase how we operate a boat and crew.”
The captain credits his own experience for allowing him to properly address the sensitive situation — and create a safe space on screen and off.
“We really saw some big poignant moments [during season 2] where I had to step up as a captain. And if I didn’t have the experience, I probably might’ve reacted a little bit differently. But I knew that I needed to step carefully through this and make the right decision,” he explains. “I didn’t think it was going to have as much of an impact as what it did at that time.”
Jason also discusses how season 2 has allowed viewers to see him at his most authentic.
“I think my patience and empathy and the way I conduct myself [has come through]. [It] was questioned in season 1 a bit about me being too friendly and all that, but that’s the way I operate,” he shares with Us. “These people are my friends. I work with them 24/7 in the same environment. I am a father, a brother and a friend.”
Jason concludes that the third installment in the Below Deck franchise has “really opened a door for a lot of people.”
“I think this show is bringing out [so many fans]. I’m talking to a lot of people that their husbands and boyfriends are only watching the show Below Deck Down Under,” he says “They weren’t in the franchise before. So I’m getting to actually meet [these viewers] when I go out and they are watching the show and they’re enjoying the leadership aspect of it without being too egotistical.”
Below Deck airs on Bravo Mondays at 9 p.m. ET. For more with the Reality Stars of the Year, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.