Choosing her own happiness first. After offering viewers a glimpse at her relationship with her boyfriend, Vincenzo, during season 8 of Below Deck, Rachel Hargrove revealed that the pair called it quits — and it was all because of the show.
“I got an ultimatum of, ‘Please don’t film that show.’ And then, ‘Why are you still working on boats?'” Rachel, 39, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting season 9 of the Bravo series on Wednesday, October 20. “So I was, like, ‘Well, you met me doing it.'”
The professional chef admitted that she was confused why her ex wouldn’t want her to have a career that allows her to support herself.
“I would be encouraging for me to pay for my own expensive tastes,” she joked to Us. “Because mama likes nice stuff.”
Below Deck fans saw Rachel’s relationship play out on screen when the reality star temporarily quit after learning from Vincenzo how bad the COVID-19 pandemic was becoming. Rachel ended up returning to finish out the rest of the season but then revealed in January that they split.
“We’re not together. Yeah, it took us five months to get back together — well, to see each other again from the start of filming,” she shared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at the time. “It took me 21 days at sea to get back to him, and before I knew it, it was done.”
Looking back at the split now, Rachel admitted that it is hard to have a long-distance relationship in her industry.
“It’s extremely difficult. I mean, it is what it is, especially if your partner’s not on the vessel with you,” she noted to Us. “You’re out of port for so long and that individual is alone to their own devices. So there can be insecurities that arise and arguments or misunderstandings that happen.”
Rachel explained that the split showed her the perks of being single and she is looking forward to Below Deck fans seeing that play out during season 9.
“I don’t know. I’m not going to ruin it for the viewers at all. The reason why is because I’m very, very excited about this season,” she added. “It’s a lot of fun and I hope there are no spoilers because I want everybody on their seats every Monday and Tuesday night watching this, streaming it on Peacock and getting so excited. I want Reddit to blow up about it. I want Facebook groups. I want everybody just on the edge of their seat waiting for the next week when we finish that episode.”
Below Deck Season 9 returns to Bravo on Monday, October 25 at 9 p.m. ET
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi