Nico Scholly is anchored on land until further notice. Stationed in his hometown Chicago during the offseason, the lead deckhand of Bravo’s seafaring show, “Below Deck,” is steering clear of nautical obligations while Season 5 continues to air every Tuesday. We caught up with the veteran yachtie, who opened up about the other side of luxury: the ship Valor’s close quarters, his late brother’s foundation and what he has mapped out for the future — by land and sea.
Scholly’s sophomore year on Captain Lee’s charter was anything but smooth sailing. “It’s been pretty messy,” the 24-year-old admits. “The big difference is the crew and how green they are and inexperienced. I’m taking [on] a lot more responsibility [and] the main difference [from last season] is the screw-ups.”
Staying sane (and not seasick) is another challenge on a 150-foot boat. While they see the luxury and opulence, viewers nary take into account how truly close the quarters are on the yacht — especially when you consider the covert production crew. “A lot of people don’t take the [camera crew] into consideration. That’s the most impressive thing: there are so many people involved.”
Less covert, however, is Scholly’s relationship troubles. Viewers have watched the deckhand navigate rough waters, especially when it comes to his on-and-off-again relationship with his Chicago girlfriend Melissa. Temptation on the boat caused Scholly to hookup with fellow yachtie and stewardess Brianna Adekeye, and his relationship back home fell apart. “I realize I made a massive mistake,” he says. “And even though my girlfriend didn’t know about it at the time, for her to actually watch it unfold in front of her family and friends was too much for her.”
Scholly and Adekeye “haven’t spoken too much” since the show wrapped, but Scholly isn’t looking for a relationship right now, anyway. “I am single, but not really looking.”
A year ago, Scholly lost his younger brother, Tristen, when he fell from a balcony in Lincoln Park. Scholly and his family set up a foundation in his brother’s name to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. While focused on growing the foundation, Scholly shares that his brother would have loved the show. “He was just like me. We were really close. He’d find [the show] absolutely amusing and very funny.”
As for whether he’ll be back on “Below Deck?” Scholly shares he has to wait for an invite from Captain Lee. “It’s a 50-50 shot I guess.”
Tune into new episodes of “Below Deck” every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on Bravo.