Talk about rocking the boat. Below Deck Mediterranean personality João Franco is engaged to girlfriend Michelle Dicu. Franco, a deckhand who joined Bravo’s smash spinoff in Season 3, revealed his latest life milestone via Instagram on Friday, March 6.
“The most incredible feeling I have ever felt was when she said yes,” Franco wrote, alongside a dreamy photo of the pair at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. “I’ve never felt a happiness so true and I fall in love with her over and over again, every day. Here is to the rest of our lives by each other’s side.”
The future groom popped the question with a non-traditional diamond ring. The piece includes a center stone surrounded by an Art Deco-inspired halo with a twisted band comprised of tinier stones. It appears they got engaged in Franco’s native country of Zimbabwe, a stopping point during a greater trip around Africa. His loved ones were also there to celebrate the engagement with the future spouses.
Franco, who made a splash in his season 3 debut of Below Deck Med, is now a captain of his own charter. He only appeared on two seasons of the show, initially having a polarizing effect on viewers and later winning them over with his honest ambition.
The couple first met in August 2018, when Franco was in New York City to tape the reunion special of Below Deck Med Season 3. At the time, he had just split from former girlfriend Brooke Laughton, another recurring cast member, and he wanted a fresh face for the taping. His solution was to visit the dentist to get his teeth whitened.
He got all that and more: Dicu, a hygienist at the office, ended up being the one to help him with his procedure. They didn’t start dating until six months later when she texted Franco that she was en route to Fort Lauderdale, where he was based in 2019.
“I just wasn’t looking for it at all. This girl, I say, honest to god, she is exactly my type,” he previously told Bravo’s blog. “As soon as [an episode of Below Deck Med] comes up or something, I’m waiting to be judged. I’m waiting for it. She was told that I was the douche of last season, and she hasn’t watched it. She deals with high-end actors, politicians, all sorts within her work, and she doesn’t even know who they are. She doesn’t get absorbed into that kind of thing, which is amazing. I was always concerned that she would watch the season or watch something she didn’t like. She’s seen the episodes so far, she’s seen me get upset with Brooke, and she said, ‘It happens, you know?’”