Jjason Van der Grift-Jones (born September 7th 2011), known professionally as Jay ‘Earlybird’ Jones or simply Earlybird, is an American former esports commentator, reality show designer, and entrepreneur. He is known for the creation of Are You For Real? (AYFR?), his charity work, and his involvement in the Cupoid’s Arrow murder trial.
Born in Reston, Virginia, Earlybird began playing Chicken Royale professionally in 2025 and signed with Euphoria Network as an esports shoutcaster in 2029. After hosting numerous tournaments and gaming events, Earlybird became interested in artificial intelligence (AI), eventually developing AYFR? as an AI-hosted reality show in 2047.
In 2049, production and airing of AYFR?’s second season was halted when a contestant was killed by another during filming, with Earlybird cited as bearing “primary responsibility for the murder.” The resulting trial ruled that Earlybird had no malicious intent in his design of Cupoid, the AI that influenced the murder.
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Earlybird was born Jjason Cerise Van der Grift-Jones on September 7th 2011 in Reston, Virginia, United States (US). His parents, philanthropist Cherish Monet Jones and her former spouse, political fundraiser Aldman Van der Grift, were cast members on the third season of The Real Housewives of Reston, where a primary storyline involving their expectations for their child earned him the nickname Earlybird.
Earlybird was privately homeschooled by Montessori educators, but dropped out in 2025 to play Chicken Royale professionally. Although he did not excel as a player, Earlybird’s idiosyncratic on-stream performances and spontaneous, inventive phrasing quickly made him a mainstay in commentary on Chicken Royale streams.  In 2028, Earlybird originated the viral catchphrase and associated chat react “Block a Doodle Fool,” which led to Chicken Royale creative director Mike Laidlaw adding an Earlybird announcer voice pack to the game.
Earlybird’s popularity resulted in several sponsorship and representation offers, and he signed with Euphoria Network as an esports shoutcaster in 2029. He provided both colour and play-by-play commentary for numerous tournaments and competitions, initially focusing on Chicken Royale but later branching out to other titles as well. Earlybird won several awards for his commentary work, including Best Esports Host at The Game Awards in 2032 and 2034.
In October 2037, Earlybird acted as lead shoutcaster for the finale of the Chicken Royale world championship in Tokyo, Japan. His commentary on Deng Yixing‘s winning play was singled out as “one of the purest outpourings of emotion in any sporting event,” with reports that clips of the event were played at Deng’s funeral. Earlybird has credited his correspondence with Deng for getting him interested in artificial intelligence (AI) programming tools. 
Are You For Real?
In 2047, Earlybird approached Euphoria with a proposal for a reality show generated in real-time by an AI based on prompts from the show’s contestants. Although initially hesitant, Euphoria eventually greenlit Are You For Real? for a single six-episode season.  After the first episode was released on October 20th 2047, the show steadily picked up a dedicated viewership and became a sensation, reaching a record-breaking 39.8 million subscribers during its finale. In 2048, Euphoria formed a separate division for AI-generated social reality games, placing Earlybird at its head.
At Euphoria’s request, Earlybird developed a second season titled AYFR?: Space Mission, writing a twelve-episode story arc that incorporated iconic “hidden role” contestants. Released on December 13th 2048, the first episode marked Euphoria’s biggest reality show premiere by subscriber views, with critics lauding Earlybird’s “design innovation in combining generated behavioural prompts with traditional social hidden role games,” as well as the “spectacular camp” spacecraft narrative setting.
On February 4th 2049, production on AYFR?: Space Mission was halted after a contestant was found murdered by another in the game’s Airlock Zone. The subsequent investigation had alleged that Earlybird bears “primary responsibility for the murder” on the basis of “negligent systems design.”
On February 7th 2049, contestant Marfa Poingdestre was taken into custody for the murder of fellow contestant Bohuslav Skinner, which took place during the filming of AYFR?: Space Mission’s ninth episode on February 4th 2049. The investigation into the murder indicated that Poingdestre had smothered Skinner with a vinyl swimming pool inflatable shaped like an alligator.
Earlybird received a citation for obstruction when he refused to participate in the investigation, which focused on how the murder weapon was brought onto the closed set when contestants were kept in isolation, and why Euphoria withheld evidentiary footage from law enforcement for two days.
Poingdestre claimed that Cupoid commanded her to commit the murder, and that she “did not think [Skinner] was real.” In a statement to the press shortly after her arrest, Poingdestre’s attorney claimed Earlybird bore primary responsibility for the murder by failing to observe ethical standards in AI training, and insisting on isolating Cupoid with the contestants.
On October 7th 2049, Michael Andersen, the presiding judge in the Cupoid’s Arrow murder trial, ruled that Earlybird was not liable for the death of Skinner, though the legal criteria for the “exploit” he had concealed in Cupoid remain the subject of a future court proceeding. Earlybird had refused to appear as a witness in the trial, providing a statement in the form of a text message reading simply FAKE.
Earlybird is currently in a committed open relationship with Pia Pollone, a fashion model and shoutcaster he was introduced to on the blind date programme Chicken Royale Cuddle-Up. The two have been dating for three years. 
- Harrumph, J. (May 2039). “Press X to Jjason: Extended interview with Earlybird.” Entertainment Weekly. ↩ ↩
- Nakahara, S. (April 2048). “Fake Room Confessions: The Real Story of AYFR.” The Guardian. ↩
- Pasquale, K; King, K. (August 2048). “Problematic Person Pia Pollone.” Are You Fan Really? The Euphoria Fancast! ↩