For the majority of her all too brief stint in the villa of Love Island, whenever Grace would glide onto our screens, I would spit out whatever hot, comforting beverage I was drinking and loudly declare, "Who on earth is that!?" After a flurried several minutes where I'd try and look up some kind of helpline to alert the producers I soon realised that, rather than it being an intruder - as malevolent as they were incredibly bronzed - gallivanting around the Big Fucks Compound, it was in fact just Grace. She was, up until last night's swansong, profoundly forgettable.
She was one of the extras needed to make up the grand tapestry of Love Island. Seemingly never at the foreground herself, she was the bedrock which enabled other, seemingly more interesting dramas, to happen around her and, up until last night, she was portrayed as being breath-takingly and awe-inspiringly bland. Portrayed as someone that you'd forget about while you were looking at them. Even when they were speaking to you, looking into your eyes, you would feel your brain begin to shut down, feel your eyes glaze over as you tried to protect yourself from the slew of inanity you were having to deal with. Their face would slowly blur into an amorphous blob; they would become nothing, a forgotten void standing right in front of you. That was how Grace was represented, and oh how wrong it was.
For yesterday, we saw the true Grace. She emerged in full bloom from the chrysalis of restrictive editing which had hitherto focused on narratives that didn't quite concern her, to exhibit the true resplendence of her glory. Grace is unashamedly mental - her decision to sleep in a bed with Alex should have been ample enough evidence of this. Throughout last night's episode she was given the screentime for us to see this. We, the audience, were privileged witnesses of such a natural phenomena. Like a group of adventurers, wracked with fatigue, being led through the polar tundra, our frigid fingers and toes becoming more numb as we ploughed further north and as we begin to question the folly of sticking with such a foolhardy quest, we were rewarded with our goal, the Northern Lights; the Aurora Borealis glittering in all its majesty through the sky above us. That was Grace, that was the extent of the breath-taking sight that we were all treated to last night.
The Revelation of Grace came about primarily because she finally became a relevant force in the show after, to use the parlance of the show, 'cracking on' with Jack - basically taking the object of your affection to a nearby piece of poolside furniture, laying your feelings bare and then punctuating the increasingly fraught silences with declarations of how much 'bantah' you have together. With Jack meandering about the villa as an aimless singleton, after being made sexually redundant by Laura, Grace pounced and proceeded to - after saying that they ought get to know each other better - volunteer to cut his hair. It was here, during these moments, scissors in hand, with tufts of hair falling from Jack's impossibly large head, that Grace's triumphant metamorphosis occurred.
"What would you do if you weren't a hairdresser?" Asked Jack. Poor innocent Jack, little did he know that such a seemingly simple question would prompt the greatest answer ever told. After briefly going on a bizarre diatribe about how she 'loves questions', but that she's usually the one asking them, she declared, after some hesitation, that she would perhaps like to work in a hospital. Would she like to be a neurosurgeon? A nurse? A porter? An anesthesiologist? No, instead she has concocted some new, previously unknown, previously unnamed position to occupy where she would potter around giving 'some injections', chatting to patients and giving them 'grapes'. In these cruel days of the NHS being slowly strangled by sweeping funding cuts from successive Tory governments, it is a damning indictment that they have little other recourse for treatment than giving some injections and grapes.
Later in the episode she then, having made her interest in Jack known, proceeded to literally writhe around on the floor in rampant joy at the prospect of two more boys entering the house. When the text announcing this was read out by Samira, she slid onto the floor and, in a perfect impression of some kind of panicked eel that has been cast onto the deck of a fishing trawler, she thrashed around. Unlike the eel though, she was excited at the prospect of more hot meat being brought into the house, not that her life was about to be ended for her flesh to be harvested and sold to supermarkets.
It was a tour de force from Grace and it proved a thundering disgrace that the profound glory of her true self had been dampened, muted by editorial decisions. A shame that her nascent emergence as a contestant in the Hump-House occurred too late, too late for her to be saved from the caprice of the voting public.
Farewell Grace, farewell.