"With her being in the galley, she also took Travis [Michalzik], so that was hard for us because he was our strongest deckhand," Franco told host Andy Cohen.
"I've had amazing and incredible chefs, and you can get away with one or two amazing charters. I was just worried she wouldn't be able to hold the position by herself."
Franco and Surmava clashed during Monday's episode of "Below Deck Mediterranean" after Surmava decided to continue as chef instead of returning to her previous position as third stewardess.
"Are you a seven-star chef? Are you a Michelin chef? No, you're not," Franco told Surmava during a night out.
Surmava responded to critics in an Instagram post Monday. She shared a photo of herself wearing a chef's uniform in a kitchen.
"You can say I'm not a chef, but you can't say I don't look good in black #belowdeckmed," the star captioned the post.
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Franco appeared on "Watch What Happens Live" with co-star Colin Macy-O'Toole and also addressed his relationship with Hannah Ferrier during the episode.
"We met up previous to this last season. We kind of ironed it out and realized that if we're both going to be asked back professionally we should make amends and get on the boat with a clean slate," he said.
"Below Deck Mediterranean" co-stars Sandy Yawn, Aesha Scott and Jack Stirrup. The show is in its fourth season and airs Mondays on Bravo.
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