Love Island is on again, did you know? Because we have nothing better to do than watch it fervently every single night, every Monday VICE staff will separate the marvellous from the muggy, in this, the Love Island Power Ranking.
Love Island is so fascinating because it crams many of the sprawling complexities of human relationships into hour-long chunks, punctuated by games where adults competitively spit food into bowls. Bonds that would usually require months of work are formed at speed; people discuss "falling" for each other after ten (10) days of knowing each other.
Crucially, this rapidity also means that now, two weeks in, the contestants are starting to get so comfortable around each other that they're finally having proper arguments. Second only to when the show starts airing night-vision rutting footage – which will be in approximately 1.5 weeks' time, the official countdown having begun last night, following this year's first handjob – this is basically the central point, and Best Bit, of the whole show.
Between Rosie’s righteous dressing-down of Adam (please put, "Would you like to share it with the group???" on my mf gravestone), and Eyal exposing his true colours as a Hertfordshire theatre brat by throwing a wobbly – the phrase "mugged me off" sounding, from him, as unnatural as a dog's bark – because someone took the piss out of him a bit, it has been a yuge week for conflict.
But who came out on top? Friends, because we have no lives to speak of, we have the answers:
On Friday night's episode, Dani Dyer cried real life tears because she – like every single one of the other islanders – had to choose the two least compatible couples, in order to nominate them to be dumped from the villa. The twist had been approached by most of the contestants as an unfortunate inevitability of the show, but Dani’s reaction was that of a crushed child forced to return her puppy to the pet shop. This short moment alone exposed the rest of the contestants as CALLOUS BASTARDS, and demonstrates why Dani is the public favourite, the most truly powerful, and why, in six short weeks, she is going to win and probably get her own programme (or at the very least a regular spot on TOWIE): because she is nice. That’s all the people want, in the end.
The OG contestants have been in the villa for two weeks now, which – because they are technically still Brits Abroad – is enough time for them to get lazy with the factor 30. The boys especially have succumbed to a furious red glow all over their chests, with Jack, who is easily the most 2016-Lads-Holiday-to-Fackin-Beefa of the lot, suffering hardest. Alex, possibly the closest a human has ever come to the colour of a prawn, comes in second, while Charlie – who should have known better with a fair complexion like his – went home with a red nose. Let them be a dermatological lesson to you this summer.
Rosie is like a popular girl at school in that her eyebrows make me feel weird, and she knows everything about everyone. Her hair, like Gretchen Wieners' before it, is literally full of secrets; they cling to every lock of extension. This week, she proved her power by directly causing not one, but two major villa conflicts.
The first – her takedown of Adam – will go down in history, not least for what it revealed about how men react to women's often righteous anger by behaving as though they have been unreasonable (when Adam patronisingly said, "Okay, Rosie, OK," I was ready to somersault through the television and strangle him myself). The second resulted in Eyal losing his fucking mind because someone may or may not have implied that his knowledge of "the stars" (and, therefore, implicitly, his whole personality) was bullshit.
Rosie made it all happen from behind her enormous sunglasses. She is powerful, very powerful indeed. We underestimated her (though, as she is coupled up with The Human Eel, she ought to be extremely careful).
Underboob; The physical manifestation of
Have you noticed that the Missguided bikinis the girls are being given frequently do not cover the whole boob??? Very alarming!!! But also I want one!!!
Wes is popular with the public, and that is what counts most. He’s great craic; he's the one friend group mums always like best, because he remembers they do Zumba and will talk to them about their car problems; and he's already the star of a widely-used .gif ("Me making an announcement to the group chat," you've captioned it, haven’t you?). His nice-guy status might shift a bit if he goes after new girl Ellie – but, to be honest, Laura still presents a bit of a conundrum (see: her reaction to him saying "I'm falling for you," which was more as if he had threatened to maim her entire family Manson-style than suggested he might quite fancy her), so even if Wes did switch allegiances, his Football Captain charm might see him through.
One of the Love Island stock characters is Likeable Guy from Essex, and Jack would be the archetype, if only he wasn't from Kent. Either way, he's the banter nucleus because of his impressions and villa vocabulary (Primark will almost definitely print a range of fluorescent T-shirts bearing the slogan "PENG SORT" before the month is out). Also, he's getting some highly favourable editing because the producers have cottoned onto the fact that viewers love nothing more than to see him gazing at Dani like she's the Turin Shroud and calling her "a sort, mate", so frequently as to sound like a sort of religious incantation. He’s still entirely at Dani’s mercy, mind you.
Even though she got dumped from the island I couldn’t bear to put her last. Sorry, but it’s my ranking! I literally make the rules!
Hayley. My savage Liverpudlian queen. Who will look at men as if they have shit in her hands for suggesting that she might ask them a question about themselves now? Did I ever love until now? If the producers don’t find a way to bring her back I will never forgive them.
NB: I would also like to say in Hayley’s defence that, though she was presented as A Bit of a Cow – not necessarily untrue, and also a resolutely positive thing, because how else would we have resurrected "WEIRDO" as an insult? – she was also basically the only contestant who maintained a sense of Actual Time, rather than working on Island Time, and ended up being demonised because she didn’t particularly want to snog a dull lad with no eyebrows who she’d known for four days.
The worm, nay, the Big Oily Snake, has turned. Having been put in his place, for most of the week, the villa's own Patrick Bateman submitted to Rosie – who, quite simply, is better at arguing than him. However, this quiet period will not last long: there are new girls in the villa now, and Adam is probably looking directly into Zara’s eyes, mouth breathing, "Yeah, I'll PT ya, yeah" at her as I type. He's the villa's Alpha Male, yes, but as soon as there's another public vote he might be in trouble.
This week, Eyal cemented himself as that dude who corners you at a party and speaks to you about India (he has quite a lot to say for someone who has never been) for 30 minutes, and then when you leave he DMs you saying how much it hurt his feelings that you "abandoned" him like that. It is impossible to respect him.
Alex and Samira
Poor old Doctor Cuck got cucked again (Eyal snogging his much-desired Megan right in front of him), Samira’s dream man has yet to walk onto the decking, and as a pair they were up for elimination this week. Though they clawed back some power via their public popularity, their positions are, at the moment, precarious. I’m not sure my nerves and general capacity for embarrassment can take another week of Alex wearing shirts which exactly match his complexion and stammering, "Well, you look gorgeous tonight, obviously," to another woman (perhaps Ellie?), and honestly at this point Samira is probably best getting out and becoming a TV presenter because she’s wasted on these losers.