Celebs go Dating: Shallow, fickle, anxiety-ridden narcissists – they’re just like us really

Reality TV: Like all forms of modern dating, the show remains a compelling mix of humiliation and blind egotism

Celebs go Dating: It’s not exactly true love they are seeking but someone to bolster and enhance their brand

Celebs go Dating: It’s not exactly true love they are seeking but someone to bolster and enhance their brand

 

It’s a new season of Celebs Go Dating, a new opportunity for wannabe models and Instagram “influencers” to bag some air time on E4 and go on a date with someone whose last partner was a dancing dog on Britain’s Got Talent. Featuring the usual mix of ex-Love Island cast members (who were themselves civilians only a short time ago) someone from dance troupe Diversity and actual, bona fide celebrity Mutya Buena from the Sugababes it, like all forms of modern dating, remains a compelling mix of humiliation and blind egotism.

This year, with the addition of a new dating guru, American smoothie Paul Brunson, there is a vague notion of attempting to dig deep with the celebs and their dating histories, offering them self-help platitudes and hugs rather than just Nadia and Eden dissolving into hysterics behind their clipboards. For all Paul’s valiant efforts and faux-emotional approach with the clients, his perma-grin fades in the face of Love Island’s intimidating Ice Queen, Olivia Attwood.

She is a glorious uncontrollable vortex of chaos, a hard as nails Lynda La Plante she-wolf dressed in Missguided’s tightest bodycon outfits

Like Gemma Collins and Charlotte Dawson before her, she is a glorious uncontrollable vortex of chaos, a hard as nails Lynda La Plante she-wolf dressed in Missguided’s tightest bodycon outfits. Her tawdriness is that of Katie Price in her prime with her unfiltered frankness at times leaving Paul visibly distressed. Always late, always in the middle of drama, she regales effervescent, ever-smiling receptionist Tom with tales of PMS and period pains until even he appears as though he’s looking for an escape route.

Arriving to the singles mixer on the first night she proceeds to make the rounds of potential dates, staring into their faces with her terrifying look of studied boredom, listening to their tirade of chat up lines and predictable Christmas cracker jokes before offering up the factoid that raisins and dates “make you poo” then wandering off clutching her glass of prosecco oblivious to her bewildering behaviour. She and TOWIE’s Chloe Sims are the living embodiment of Shania Twain’s That Don’t Impress Me Much, spending most of the event in a corner despairing and rolling their eyes.

Inoculated from the idea of romance

Their dalliances that have created tabloid fodder and made them regular fixtures on the Daily Mail’s Sidebar of Shame have left them hardened, suspicious of all men, inoculated from the idea of romance. The only lasting relationships they have is the Faustian pact they made with this type of personalised celebrity, acutely understanding that they are required to feed the monster, create the drama to keep the merry-go-round moving.

It’s not exactly true love they are seeking but someone to bolster and enhance their brand. Unlike poor Mutya Buena who seems to be under the mistaken impression that she is on a real dating show.

Buena is surprisingly vulnerable and seems genuine in her search for someone, wearing her heart on her sleeve like one of her many tattoos. She is left tragically stripped of her dignity on the first episode as the man she picks to date on the mixer rejects her, leaving her standing alone, the only dateless star. It shouldn’t happen to a Sugababe.

Thankfully, comic relief is provided by Eyal, Love Island’s spiritual sage whose chat has not improved from the days in the villa as he still continuously informs everyone how “deep” he is, on a quest to find someone who has “heavy flow” (*cough* Olivia?) and is into all things non-material which is obviously why he ends up choosing to date an 18 year old underwear model. Shallow, fickle, anxiety-ridden narcissists – turns out those dating celebs are just like us.  

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