Jedward are going dating in MTV’s latest show
Single AF is no country for young Jedward
‘For Jedward to stay in the striplights of fame, they’ve had to make a Faustian pact and become the jesters for ex- premiership footballers and hardened nightclub hustlers.’ Photograph: Kyran O’Brien
And lo, it has come to pass: our Jedwards have grown into Jedmen and have signed up to take part in MTV’s new celebrity dating show.
Single AF (for those of you not fluent in the language of ver kidz that translates as: Single as F**k) is their social-media infected take on E4’s mildly diverting Celebs Go Dating. Single AF will dip into the same pool of reality stars as Celebs Go Dating, which involved cast members from TOWIE, Geordie Shore and the receptionist from Tattoo Fixers attempting to find love with actual “civilians” (the horror),
The E4 show proved one thing about these jobbing celebrities, whose complex internal feuds fill the pages of Closer magazine, like a reality telly version of Game of Thrones. They do not see themselves as Z-list wannabes, one step away from a “normal” person effectively doing “nixers” as a replacement for real famous people.
The true sadness of the show was that most of those featured believed that they were above their mirror-image, fame-hungry selves sitting across the table, who were only dating them to get on telly. Time really is a flat circle.
It was a narcissist’s circus, a show where Stephen Bear was king, a man who so completely imbues toxic masculinity that it emits from his pores like a new Davidoff fragrance, a Neil LaBute nightmare transported to East London. This was a callous, cold environment made for the likes of Stephanie Pratt, the reality telly veteran, whose battle weary, dead eyes have survived not only Made in Chelsea but her cornflake-headed brother Spencer’s lunacy in The Hills.
If MTV follows this template (which is looking likely) it’s not the kind of show for the kind hearted soul or the meek. This is a place where gentle spirits are mangled for cheap laughs. It’s no country for young Jedward.
From the video trailer for the show, which features the brothers chatting while pictures where they look like Gus Van Sant film extras fly about (making it feel like a dating profile set in a Japanese photo-booth), it’s not exactly clear if the Jeddies are looking for two people or just one person to fulfil their relationship dreams.
This all seems unsavoury and depressing. Anyone who witnessed Geordie Shore’s Chloe Ferry giving Jedward’s John a lapdance on this year’s Celebrity Big Brother as personality vacuum Jamie O’Hara and others whooped and cheered like the girls in the shower scene in Carrie, will know it was skin-shreddingly uncomfortable. It was an aggressive, sexual bullying that would not have been tolerated had the genders been swapped.
Hopefully MTV are not planning to mine the twins for cruel comedy but at this stage even the boys must be aware that this has become their sad lot in life, to be the double punchline to the reality telly joke. They are like popstars that have been thawed out from the late 1990s. Back then, they could have easily survived on a diet of roadshows and Saturday morning kid’s telly appearances but the landscape has changed. We now live in a pop world that is unforgiving and eschews novelty fun for endless filtered duckfaces on Instagram.
For Jedward to stay in the striplights of fame, they’ve had to make a Faustian pact and become the jesters for ex- premiership footballers and hardened nightclub hustlers. Reality bites; with any luck it won’t scar Jedward.