It was truly the end of an era. In the season 3 finale, Jason 'Jay' Gardner caused hysteria when he told his villa-mates that he would not be returning to Geordie Shore. In reality TV terms; this was John Lennon leaving The Beatles.
After the initial shock, we all realised that this has been coming. In episode one, Jay told us he was in love and had his beloved’s name, Chloe, scrawled indelibly on his skin in an odd position adjacent to his six pack. With a Yoko at home, he joined up with the rest of our heroes to seek expand his horizons abroad. In 1968, the Fab Four headed to India to seek spiritual enlightenment. The cast of Geordie Shore were dispatched to Cancun for Spring Break. By sending them to the doing mental shit with morons capital of the world, the intention was obviously to drag the lads and lasses further down into the vomit filled gutter, but the opposite has happened. Although Geordie Shore 3 had its share of depravity, it also had old fashioned love stories, wit and, at times, it was downright wholesome.
Jay was the Kemal Atatürk of this revolution. Leading by example, he showed there was another way. He still went out and got mortal, but he remained faithful no matter how much Yank college muff was waved in front of him. One by one, the others realised that it was possible to retain the best of the old ways while also embracing previously alien concepts.
He still went out and got mortal, but he remained faithful no matter how much Yank college muff was waved in front of him.
Fate also played a part. James hit town with a new weapon, his awesome Mexi-combover hairstyle, which he aimed to deploy in an effort to decimate every ‘worldie’ that crossed his path. Unfortunately for him, a serious knee injury picked up on a wrestling excursion left him confined to the villa for many long nights while his wing man Gaz went out and got involved in threesomes with heavily tattooed blondes. What developed was a beautiful romance, reminiscent of Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester, as Holly would pass up the megaclub excursions to flop out her double Fs and comfort the patient by sucking his cock.
At the same time, Charlotte was coming to terms with her deep feelings for Gaz. Her regular tears resulting from his playboy antics added a deep poignancy to proceedings. The whole tone of the show altered as viewers rooted for the pair to settle down rather than get involved in pornstar gymnastics with Aussie tourists that we knew would inevitably lead to further discord. Consider that Sophie and her boyfriend Joel went back to Blighty to preserve their relationship and the original Geordie girl with a V.I.P. edge Vicky accepted Ricci’s proposal of marriage and you conclude that the show is closer to Cold Feet than the Jersey import that inspired it. The girls are D.T.F., but only with guys who they care about. Even when the producers tried to introduce turmoil in the shape of Pol Pot style despot Cancun Chris- the All You Need is Love vibe won out.
Jay was joined by his darling Chloe for his final moments in Mexico. Like a buff Ban Ki-moon, he selflessly devoted his precious time to conflict resolution in the always volatile Gaz and Charlotte region and diplomatically blessed the union of Vicky and Ricci, despite harbouring reservations.
As Jay and Chloe took their jeep off into the sunset, his aura remained to influence the remaining five- except Rebecca who has been a bit of a remote, Phoebe style presence all series. Gaz was forced to drop his act and confess his feelings for Charlotte while James and Holly went out on a wave of emotion that topped anything in the recent Olympic Games.
Charlotte summed up the void we all felt: “I can’t believe I’m not going to be waking up with them, getting ready with them, going for shits with them.”
After trying to hide his true feelings for months, James melted our hearts with the touching assertion that giving Holly one is “better than having a wank”. He turned on the Clarke Gable charm and remarked: “I’ve had enough shit times in that, I may as well have a couple of good times.” As he and Holly vigorously shagged the life out of each other in his wheelchair, the Officer and a Gentleman vibe was only shattered when James dropped his killer “we’re having a wheelie good time here” line.
In the morning, the North East’s Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had no regrets. “I wanted to bang James and I did bang James, but it’s not just about sex any more” said Holly. James made sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he contemplated the position: “I’d have been all over them worldies if it wasn’t for my leg. I suppose Holly maybe is a worldie in her own special way”.
And that was it. Charlotte summed up the void we all felt: “I can’t believe I’m not going to be waking up with them, getting ready with them, going for shits with them.”
“I’d have been all over them worldies if it wasn’t for my leg. I suppose Holly maybe is a worldie in her own special way”.
Geordie Shore will be back, but without Jay, what direction will it take? The original was pitched at Gazza level yet the example of Jay has elevated it to Terry off the Likely Lads/Donna Air levels of morality and sophistication. Will his departure signal a descent into Biffa Bacon depths or will the progression continue?
With Jay widely tipped to enter the Celebrity Big Brother house on Wednesday- this working class hero may be on the verge of redefining reality TV for a new era. All I am saying is: give Jay a chance.
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