Made in Chelsea: The one where Jamie wins EVERYTHING

in Made in Chelsea/MIC Series 17

“Is his penis golden?” asks Jamie Laing incredulously.

He might well ask. For his nemesis, James Taylor, is certainly having a lot of fun with the ladies.

By episode 4 of our favourite dollop of posh, the Made in Chelsea lothario has dated Verity Bowditch and Eliza Batten at the same time and has now moved on to dating yet another optimistic newbie: Rosi Mai Walden.

“I think he genuinely likes me and doesn’t know how to control himself,” ventures Verity Bowditch.

This is putting quite a positive spin on the fact that James said he’d cheated on her with Eliza because “it’s easy.”

Luckily, the dangerously optimistic Verity has a good friend in Jamie – who is entirely unconvinced by her claim:

“I think he’s a douche,” he states simply, before taking a moment to reflect on doucheness:

I was a douche but I was a funny, nice douche. He’s just a douche.
Jamie Laing

He’s  got a point – Douche without a side order of Funny or a punnet of Nice is one unappetising dish.

How can Verity be hungry for more?

Perhaps because Jamie considers himself to be a better calibre of douche, James is not too keen on him – as Verity reveals:

He’s been calling Jamie “a Puppet Master” (he was first described this way on An Idol Mind, folks!) with a fondness for “manipulating people.”

How?!” laughs Jamie. “Who have I been manipulating?” he asks with faux indignation, a big grin upon his merry face.

But Verity isn’t finished: “And he said that your sweets taste like arse!” she sniggers.

Jamie’s body shakes with laugher: “Ow!”

“They are f*cking delicious,” he declares, managing a straight face.

Because, let’s face it, they are delicious.

That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t something deliciously satisfying about the way James blurted out this blasphemous treasure.

He’s ballsy is our James, as is becoming ever more apparent.

We could ponder upon exes Maeva D’Ascanio and Miles Nazaire agreeing a truce of sorts, or revel in Mark-Francis Vandelli as he flounders around, completely out of his element at Mahiki in Mayfair. (On being offered a drink by Freddie, he shudders: “I feel that the plastic,” and an indignant finger raps on Liv Bentley’s vodka and diet coke, “may cause an allergy.”)

But all of the above faded into background noise because episode 4 was essentially hijacked by Jamie Laing and James Taylor who held us all hostage with some fairly magnificent TV.

So much so that their scenes deserve all of our attention:

The action begins at Le Chiffre, a city speakeasy in South Place Hotel where the Made in Chelsea boys have decided on a poker match – which is clearly meant to represent a battle of wits between the feuding Js.

Suffice to say, Jamie is as worried about James beating him at poker as he is about chickens taking over the world. It just isn’t a realistic threat.

But Alex Mytton sees an opportunity to tease – and he wouldn’t be Mytton if he didn’t take it:

“I think maybe you’re quite similar,” suggests the Bequiffed One, very smoothly.

“We’re not similar at all!” interjects Jamie rather too swiftly.

“Similar taste in women.” continues the insistent Mytton, as if he hadn’t heard his friend. “You quite like Verity…” he purrs.

“Shut up – no, I don’t!” exclaims Jamie, as any schoolgirl might.

“I saw the way you were looking at her…” adds Mytton, who clearly should not be left alone with a pair of binoculars.

Mytton is right about one thing: James “doesn’t like” Jamie – and it’s about to go down…

James versus Jamie: Round 1

As the boys gather around the poker table, the battle commences:

“You told (Verity) that I took a girl to Paris.” begins an indignant James, going on the attack.

“You did.” states Jamie simply.

“Yeah, of course I did but why would you tell her that?” An exasperated James is not building a brilliant defence for himself here.

(As Mytton points out, it didn’t help that James’ date – not having been briefed on the secrecy of the date  – posted photos of it on social media…)

James is also angry about Jamie bringing Verity to a party so that she could confront him about this secret date:

“What pleasure do you get out of that?” he demands of Jamie.

“To watch you squirm.” states Jamie, unbowed and steadily meeting his eye.

It is worth re-watching their exchange for many reasons, not least of all, the expressions on Harry Baron’s face.

“I just think Verity is better than you…and I think you know that and I think that’s what bums you out,” says an unrelenting Jamie.

“But you’re making presumptions about everything!” exclaims James, despite proving unable to challenge Jamie on any of them.

“No, I’m just saying with her that I think she’s better than you.” needles Jamie, as cool as the proverbial cucumber.

“Which I probably agree!” exclaims a furious James, who despite stating this, is not looking particularly agreeable.

“That’s not about your relationship,” adds Jamie, digging the needle a little deeper, “I just think that as an individual I think she’s better than you.”

“You’ve said that three times,” observes James coldly.

“I’ll say it the fourth,” says Jamie, entirely undeterred:

“I think she’s better than you.”

“Keep going – one more time. One more time.” snaps James.

And then what will you do, James?

For Jamie hits back, without hesitation:

“She’s better than you.”

James does nothing. Nothing.

Jamie suggests that James leave – but it is actually Jamie who leaves – with everyone’s winnings from the poker.

The killer touch on this legendary performance, is the way that Jamie reaches out to shake Miles’ hand before he leaves.

James’ best mate, with just a moment of hesitation, guiltily accepts the handshake, completing James’ humiliation.

(Anyone else feeling a teeny bit sorry for James?)

But it’s a masterful performances from Jamie, for three simple reasons:

          • Jamie really is the Puppet Master: Jamie is several steps ahead at every stage of the game, but rather than seeing him as a manipulator, let’s simply call him strategic. As a strategic person, it is possible that Jamie has a certain outcome that he wants to achieve – and like a lined up set of dominoes, everything seems to have fallen where he wanted it to. As mentioned by the observant Mytton (who will never let a mate get away with anything) Jamie recognises James’ motives as he believes them to be the very ones he used to possess back in his bad boy days. This gives Jamie a massive advantage because James can only guess at Jamie’s motives.
          • Jamie is basically right: James and Verity’s lopsided ‘romance’ is hurting her badly. James knows it is hurting her. So does Jamie. As James is not in love with Verity the power dynamics are completely uneven. Although James has been honest about not being in love with Verity, he still “entertains” the situation, as Miles puts it. It’s a difficult position to defend and so, naturally, James finds it difficult to defend when confronted by Jamie.
          • Jamie is the reigning King: He’s arguably the most compelling character on Made in Chelsea; charismatic, funny – and ballsy. He is also increasingly asserting his position as the alpha male (in this episode you could say that he’s setting the rules and moral code for his group. Which, you could argue, is sorely needed.). Of course, James is attempting to usurp Jamie – or at least challenge him – but the only way Jamie can be overthrown is if James or some other alpha character becomes such a master of fun and charisma that they actually outshine Jamie. (Unless Spencer Matthews returns don’t hold your breath…)

Now let’s take a moment to consider James’ predicament.

He has said that he admired Jamie.

He may have watched then, as we all did, when Jamie and Spencer Matthews left a trail of broken hearts in all the best postcodes.

Perhaps it’s a bit like growing up wanting to be Superman, and then meeting Superman and him ridiculing you for how silly you look in your tight blue and red Superman costume.

Which – in the cold light of day – you suddenly feel a bit embarrassed about wearing to the supermarket.

You can hear the ring of disappointment in James’ voice when he says that he used to look up to Jamie:

Or perhaps it’s like playing GTA  lV – and being told off for stealing cars. By Roman.

Of course, stealing cars is wrong, but that’s the game! That’s what we signed up for!

Don’t hate the player, hate the game!

(Disclaimer: I love GTA lV. I will never hate the game.)

But this isn’t a game. It’s real life. Well, it’s reality life. And reality life has consequences.

And James isn’t liking them.

“Why do you give a f*ck? Tell him to f*ck off!” points out a baffled Liv who, after Jamie, is probably the most alpha person on the show.

And in James’ defence, Verity is a grown woman – and James has told her on numerous occasions that he doesn’t want a relationship with her.

Yet Verity has chosen to remain friends with James, despite having feelings for him.

The situation can be summed up in a few sentences – and is:

Jamie: “You’re a muppet!”

Verity: “You can have feelings for someone and just want to be friends with him.”

Jamie: “Absolute horsesh*t!”

Jamie has really developed a knack for telling it like it is.

Habbs puts it more delicately, with these wise words:

“I feel like there’s a little part of you that just wants to keep being friends with him in the hope that he’s just going to see the light and you can be together because that’s just normal…I would be the same!” she adds, intriguingly.

Habbs and Jamie recommend cutting James out of her life – cold turkey – and Verity, a bright and beautiful girl who clearly deserves better, finally sees the light and agrees.

But the saga isn’t over quite yet… for James and Verity have one more heart-to-heart:

“Right now I’d love to have you in my life – as a friend – but I can’t be one on one with you because I want to date other people,” James tells Verity.

He couldn’t be clearer.

“I don’t understand why you’ve got this huge block against me like going any further,” persists Verity, who wants an explanation.

Similarly, I don’t understand why Matt Damon hasn’t hunted me down yet.

Some mysteries have no answers.

But Jamie has plenty of answers and he’s spotted James with Verity – which brings us to James versus Jamie: Round 2:

You’ll notice that James use exactly the same failed strategy as in round 1…

He warns Jamie off – which is like a red flag to a bull:

“Jamie, please watch yourself,” says James sternly, shaking his head, “Please watch what you say, please.”

This kind of parental tone only compels Jamie, who is nothing if he is not a rebel, to reject James’ attempts at authority.

But James has the sense to ask a very key question:

“Explain why your involvement with me and Verity is so important to you.”

Listen to Jamie’s response – does he really answer the question?

“If you just stood there like a man and said ‘You know what, I f*cked up, this is how I’m feeling.’ then I would have respect for you. But no one can have respect for you right now because all you’re doing is talking sh*t to everyone. You’re saying to her that you care about her when you don’t! All you want to do is have sex with her. You know that, you said that round the poker table to everyone. You’re annoyed at me because what I do is I bring out your bullsh*t and I stand up to you.”

Leave her alone. That’s all you need to do. Why don’t you do that?
Jamie Laing

Naturally, James is distracted by the many valid points Jamie raises and forgets to pursue his original line of questioning.

A line of questioning also taken up by Mytton who earlier that evening queried his friend in a similar fashion:

“How come you care so much?” wondered the Bequiffed One – but failed to receive a response from Jamie.

By going on the attack, Jamie successfully saved Verity from further heartbreak and has also turned the focus away from himself (and his motives – which if not questionable, are certainly being questioned) and back onto his foe.

It’s a brilliant strategy.

In poker terms:

James dealt himself a bad hand. He called anyway.

Jamie bet.

James raised.

Jamie went all in.

James folded.

And we still don’t know the cards Jamie was holding.

The final score?  2.0 to Jamie Laing.

But Jamie shouldn’t get too comfortable.

For those crushed one week, live to resurface another week, twice as vengeful.

A weaker man than James would have crumbled under Jamie’s gaze. Or sunk under the weight of his (wise) words.

Call him brave or call him obstinate but James refused to leave that poker table when Jamie asked him to.

He has his feet under the table – and he’s not going anywhere.

Jamie has been having nightmares about being chased…is James the one at his heel?

Perhaps we’ll find out next week.

Until then….long live the King!

Are you #TeamJamie or #TeamJames? Tell us why in the comments section below!

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