'Below Deck Sailing Yacht's Daisy Kelliher on Her Gary King Makeout and More Season 3 Surprises (Exclusive)

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Daisy Kelliher has one word to describe her return to Below Deck Sailing Yacht: "Traumatizing."

"I was traumatized," the returning chief stewardess confesses to ET over Zoom. "I had definitely a few sleepless nights. There were tears -- I don't normally cry -- I think everyone was quite shocked at me crying. So yeah, traumatizing is the way I'm going to describe it."

Season 3 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht marks Daisy's second ride on the reality TV roller coaster, which while "traumatizing," proved to be easier this time around, partially thanks to her fellow returning co-stars: Captain Glenn Shephard, chief engineer Colin MacRae and first mate Gary King.

"I think I trusted the process more," she muses. "I was more comfortable with the cameras. I knew the boat. There was a lot more last year, the fact that it was a whole new crew, a new boat, for me. This year, I didn't have to worry about Colin, Gary and Glenn, I didn't have to worry about the boat, so already so much pressure was taken off of me. Yeah, also probably I'm getting older, my patience is wearing thin. I think everyone experiences that as they get older. They care less what people think. So yeah, it's inevitable that I just relaxed into my role a bit more."

That relaxed vibe might've contributed to the must-see moment from the season 3 trailer: Daisy and Gary indulging in a hot-tub makeout session! The pair had a contentious relationship in season 2, which apparently combusted into fireworks while filming season 3.

"That kiss got way too much air time, I was not happy about that," Daisy admits, hinting that anything romantic stopped there with that kiss.

"You know what, it's a complicated dynamic," she remarks. "You've experienced something together -- and we're both very stubborn and passionate about what we do -- and we're trying to figure out our friendship and trying to work with each other, and I think it's easy for those lines to get blurred. So I think that's what happened, but I'm not really sure, to be honest."

Daisy Kelliher and Gary King kiss on Below Deck Sailing Yacht
Bravo

Daisy clarifies that she and Gary are just friends, despite what many assumed to be a recent couple's getaway together to Los Angeles. "I think it's so funny that you can't hang out with somebody you kissed with, without it being like, 'Oh my god, they're going to get married!'" she says. "No, we're just good friends."

Daisy isn't the only crew member Gary kissed over the course of filming season 3. The trailer shows him sneaking in some smooches with one of Daisy's new stews, Ashley Marti.

"It's just like, really? Again?" Daisy asks, referencing the love triangle Gary found himself locked in last season with stewardess Alli Dore and deckhand Sydney Zaruba. 

"It's like, 'I can't handle this,'" she adds. "I actually don't think it was really all Gary's fault, to be honest. I think I got more mad at the girls. Yeah, of course, it's going to cause friction. I think it wasn't as bad as last year, because I think Alli and Gary were almost basically in a relationship by the end. But yes, it causes friction."

It seems there was quite a bit of friction for Daisy when it came to her stews this season. Alongside Ashley is another newcomer, Gabriela Barragan.

"My relationship with my stews was a bit harder, that was more of a challenge for me," Daisy shares. "I loved my stewardesses -- they were amazing -- but it was just something that I hadn't experienced before."

"I'm used to my relationship with Dani [Soares] and Alli," Daisy continues, shouting out her team from season 2. "This was definitely a bit more of a challenge. I don't think the girls were as close with each other as maybe Dani and Alli, so it was me managing that, which was, yeah, a challenge."

Daisy says she found herself playing "mom" quite a bit while filming season 3, between managing her staff and the charter guests.

"It was just 'mom Daisy' walking around being like, 'Don't do that. Put that down. Go to bed,'" she teases. "I did relax a bit more because I was like, 'You know what, if the boys don't want to help me, that's on them this year. I'm not going to stress myself out the way I did last year...' So I was a bit more relaxed in a sense, but yeah, I'm always going to be the mom of the group. That's just my role."

Daisy's former stew, Dani, is playing that role in real life, though. The season 2 star welcomed her daughter, Lily, just as season 2 finished airing amid a tabloid minefield over Lily's paternity. Dani maintained that co-star/deckhand Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux was Lily's father, but Jean-Luc (aka J.L.) seemed skeptical of her claim. He skipped out on the cast's virtual reunion, instead doing a smaller one-on-one chat with Andy Cohen, and posted on social media about his desire to take a DNA test. Nearly nine months later, J.L. finally revealed in a lengthy Instagram post that the test was complete and that he was, in fact, Lily's father.

"Honestly, that post was so tacky," Daisy blurts out. "I mean, I can't describe-- I shouldn't comment on it, but I mean, it was nice to see him acknowledge it. It was a little, you know, nine months too late."

"But I never had an issue -- personally, this is only my opinion -- of J.L. wanting the paternity test," she continues. "That's between him and Dani. For me, it was the way it was handled. I think everybody felt the same way. That post was a very 'me' post. I think the whole situation was a very, 'Me, me, me.' But there's different sides to every story, and I'm there for J.L. if he needs me. But Dani is really the one who's doing all the hard work, and that post just made no acknowledgement of what Dani's been through over the last few months, between the pregnancy, the birth, the post. So for me, it was just tacky."

Daisy has maintained a close friendship with Dani and Alli since wrapping production on season 2. The charter guests she met along the way, however, she did not stay in touch with... leading to a "nice surprise" when Bachelor alum and season 2 primary Erica Rose returned for another trip.

"I was just so happy," Daisy says, sarcastically. Below Deck Sailing Yacht fans will recall Erica's original charter featured a number of fights among the girls she brought on board, as well as a dramatic moment in which Erica confronted the crew for gossiping about her mother when they thought no guests were around.

"This year, it was different on a not... yeah, you'll just have to wait and see," Daisy offers, making a nose-dive motion with her hand. "It was definitely that way. So yeah, that's going to be very interesting to watch."

"I was definitely less patient this year, less polite and overt," Daisy notes of her approach to the guests her second time around. "I was like, 'You're all a**holes." No, not all of them, but some of them."

The production/charter schedule worked a little differently in season 3 than it did in season 2. With COVID restrictions relaxed in some ways, the Parsifal III team took on more trips, which in turn led to more days off with the crew in between... and more drama. 

"Every single day. I was like, 'What the hell is happening?' Every single day," she recalls. "You just can't write it, honestly. You just got such intense personalities. ... It's such a surreal situation to be in. I honestly woke up every day being like, 'What's going to happen today?'"

Daisy Kelliher clicks glasses with her Below Deck Sailing Yacht co-stars on season 3 of the Bravo series
Laurent Basset / Bravo

And now, viewers will get to watch it all back on TV! Below Deck Sailing Yacht airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo, starting Feb. 21.

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