Made in Chelsea’s production line of anonymous blondes continues
Reality TV: Tabitha is so forgettable she fails to hold Miles’s attention for even one episode
Hopefully this holiday will see the Chelsea crew returning to the Royal Borough of Kensington refreshed and ready to obsess over their complex romantic entanglements with renewed vigour.
Nothing signals the death of summer like those Chelsea poshos abandoning the claustrophobic confines of SW3 to have one last hurrah in the sunshine. The surroundings may be more sumptuous and the camera filters dreamier than ever, but their busy schedule of bitching, backbiting and boozing remains resolutely unaffected. In fact, such is the familiarity of the setup, that this latest jaunt to Croatia could be any season of Made in Chelsea on tour.
How many times have we seen bumbling Bullingdon-Fraggle Sam Thompson sweating on a yacht/on a beach/on safari/in a hot yoga class, as he confesses his inevitable tale of betrayal to his latest gullible conquest? This year’s victim is Sophie “Habbs” Habboo who has the eyes of the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny and all the sense of a half-chewed Twix. Habbs and Sam were casually dating in Chelsea this summer, reuniting in Croatia with young Sam wooing Habbs in the style of an aging millionaire by renting a yacht and professing his feelings for her amid platters of beady-eyed prawns.
Unfortunately, Sam fails to reveal that he had reverted to his old laddish ways by hooking up with a random girl on his trip to Las Vegas with resident erotic eyebrow wiggler Harry Baron. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there, of course, but rather this gossip travels to Croatia, becoming the convenient ticking time-bomb ready to shatter relationships around the dinner table – where all traditional Chelsea confrontations occur.
Over a fancy fish dish, Sam is thoroughly filleted by Harry Baron’s girlfriend Melissa Tattum who divulges the secrets of the lads’ holiday told to her by her beau. With Haz Baz breaking the sacred bro-code, Sam delivers the reckless knockout punch, informing Melissa that Harry and his fiendish eyebrows enjoyed some alone-time with the same lady in a casino bar on their trip. Such over-the-top drama is usually the edible gold leaf sprinkled in the potent cocktail of the show but now these affects feel depressingly watered down.
Perhaps it’s because the fresh faces within the cast cannot convey the true histrionics required. Neither Habbs nor Melissa can reach the level of unalloyed insanity of tumbleweed-haired Cheska Hull or the halcyon days of Lucy Watson, Chelsea’s own Veruca Salt who could reduce a slinky Sloane-temptress to tears with a casual roll of her eyes.
The Chelsea production line of anonymous blondes continues to swing into action delivering up more indistinguishable moon-faced flings for the group to dissect and then discard like a tacky souvenir. This season’s trinket, Tabitha Willett, is so completely forgettable that she fails to hold would-be paramour Miles Nazaire’s attention even for the duration of the episode.
These girls do not possess the winning exuberance of Binky Felstead or the reality telly chops of Stephanie Pratt, who seems like Julianne Moore in comparison to these unremarkable clones. Reality television is never recognised for its wealth of acting talent is but stalwarts such as Oliver Proudlock or Jamie Laing should be awarded for their seamless technique, a certain effortlessness which help audiences suspend their disbelief even when the announcer advises that some scenes are “created” for entertainment purposes.
Hopefully this holiday will see the Chelsea crew returning to the Royal Borough of Kensington refreshed and ready to obsess over their complex romantic entanglements with renewed vigour. Luckily, there are still some cast members who can conjure up that old magic, with Mark Francis Vandelli and his caustic sidekick Victoria Baker-Harber offering up shiny guillotine smiles to the less fortunate newbies. Victoria is rapidly transforming into The Dowager Countess of Chelsea dispensing acerbic advice to terrifying German aristo Sophie Hermann, “When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into someone’s eyes” she cackles, ensuring that once she’s around there will be no rest for the wicked this summer.