Where are grey skies and heartbreak, hope chewed up and spat out like a rancid, still-wet ball of gum, and the tears of the nation’s most beloved 19-year-old broadcast for all to see, there is one thing that beats on against the current of the national mood.
There could be an alien invasion in the UK and I’d wager Love Island would still somehow manage to continue, airing aggressively chirpy montages with kissing noises turned up extremely loud in the mix, and fascinating our new celestial overlords with the intricate fastenings of the bikinis. As such, we take our responsibilities towards bringing you semi-novelty content about it very seriously, so here we are, up and at ‘em, ready to talk about Week Two.
In general this has been rather a shitshow of audacious behaviour (see: Chloe, The Boys In General, Millie and Liam repeating the word “knickers” to each other back and forth): stressful enough in itself, but also exacerbated by the fact that at this point there are usually some couples to root for. So far, it has to be said, it’s a bit of a desert out here, with every couple falling apart at the seams every two days, as if they are in Year 7 and decided to “go out” while standing by some lockers. Hoping for a better week next week as a recoupling looms, and we get closer and closer to the Casa Amor halfway point, when, with any luck, ITV will contract a post-Euros Jack Grealish to come in as a bombshell, in order to heal the hearts of a nation.
MRS GREALISH 69
Speaking of, get this woman in and all. The injection of sheer “on the strip in Marbella” sexual energy the ITV 10PM slot desperately needed last night.
THE NAUGHTY TRIO
What is Love Island without a self-named group of friends? Where season four gave us Wes Nelson forming the Do Bits Society for those who had, you’ve guessed it, “done bits”, season seven has given us Chloe’s baby-voiced introduction of “The Naughty Trio”.
Made up of Chloe and new arrivals: Lucinda and Millie, the requirements are simple: be blonde. The trio meet up for their debriefs on the sun beds, separate from the other women on the terrace, to discuss: “mischief”, which so far has just been: “kissing.”
The name is undoubtedly shit but whether you agree with it or their raison d’être or not, you cannot deny that they are wielding an unreasonable amount of power in The Villa right now. If the first week has taught us anything, it is that the men on Love Island have an eerie fixation on blonde women and every single man would apparently couple up with Chloe if they could.
Although, they haven’t been that “naughty” yet – when you’re used to the sexual prowess of Our Lady of Naughtiness, Megan Barton-Hanson – they have simply embodied the energy of girls in secondary school who have watched Mean Girls for the first time ever.
The trajectory of men from South Wales on Love Island is usually: show up, get on with everyone by being really likeable and normal in a Head Of Sixth Form Who Is Popular But Nice To The Goths As Well kind of way, fail to make much of an impression for those very same reasons, leave after 5-10 days and summarise the experience as “immense”.
When Liam arrived, I instantly thought he would go the way of Callum and Connagh, because they are in many ways the same man: relaxed kings who graft by telling girls they would “sort of… like to get to know you a bit, haha” and tell jokes in their regular speaking voice. It’s a charm often mistaken for dullness, which has sadly seen previous contestants dumped from the island too soon. And to be fair, all Liam has done so far is go about being really tall. However, he has been given a rare window of opportunity.
As a Valleys girl myself I can say with confidence that Welsh people are good at two things: drinking and shagging. And in this way Millie, a uniquely horny woman, has offered Liam a chance to shine. From the minute she started eyeballing his chest sweat with the intensity of a one-woman pack of wolves, to the many sofa chats where she says something erotic and Liam simply repeats it back to her, these two seem perfectly matched. Like, they’ll either destroy the hideaway and then repel each other like magnets, or they’ll make it to the end and take on the world at large, constantly one stray hand away from being arrested for public indecency.
Either way Liam knocking about in a fleece, summarising a night spent sharing a bed with Millie under the Mediterranean stars as “I FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN FUCKIN’ CAMPIN’ IN A SHITHOLE” and calling people sexy with three syllables (“sec-see-uh”) is finally bringing some true Merthyr representation to the villa.
KAZ AND LIBERTY
The “Naughty Trio” (see: above) may hold slightly more cards within the villa as things stand but I still think Kaz and Liberty are emerging as the fan faves among the girls, which is the important part when there are brand collaborations with the symbol “X” in the advertising campaigns up for grabs. Immaculate vibes, immaculate girl’s girl politics, immaculate dress sense (Where Were You When Kaz Was Wearing the Red Dress etc. etc.) The only trouble with this pair is that no man is good enough for either of them.
Finally getting the mainstream reassessment they deserve.
Whether his future in The Villa is bright remains to be seen but, within 15 minutes – before the first spoken word Boohoo advert had a chance to rear its head – Teddy had walked in and flustered multiple women. A feat no other has managed.
Usually on Love Island there are two personality types around whom the entire show revolves: the first is “funny man” (previously Jack Fincham, Chris Hughes, Kem Cetinay etc.), but for 2021, this person is yet to enter the villa. ITV are trying to sell us Toby and Jake in this vein, but I will not be patronised into thinking that ‘farting while kissing someone’ is all we deserve, when we have reached the heights of “What time’s your flight?” in years past.
The second type is “gobby woman,” however, and happily, this is a mantle – the mantle of Maura Higgins, of Anna Vakili, of Olivia Thee Attwood – which has been taken up this year. Even if just for the fragile balance of the show: thank fuck for Faye.
Over the last week, Faye has emerged as the walking inter-villa embodiment of the audience’s exasperation with the men of the show, a reliably funny presence, and someone who doesn’t mind screeching at Chloe to “stop being nosy and stay over there in your vibe,” whatever the fuck that means, with a wine next to her. “Would lamp a man outside All Bar One on behalf of someone she met in the toilet 15 minutes ago” energy is basically the glue that holds Love Island together so I’m glad that at least one person has brought it in spades, although she hits low on this list because there is a question mark over her longevity in the villa, with tonight’s recoupling taken into account.
There must be something in the tap water this season because I have never seen men on this show or indeed anywhere behave in this way. The white hot, borderline genuinely frightening obsession with “blondes”; the deeply ironic use of the phrase “red flag” to describe the feelings a woman you have known for under a fortnight has about bearing children; the weaponisation of the phrase “I just don’t want to rip her clothes off”: it is all of it violence. I am only hoping that Teddy’s willingness to full-throatedly say the word “orgasm” within mere minutes of entering the villa snaps these young men out of whatever fever dream they have been living in, wherein women who look like – and in some cases are – Instagram models are not enough for them.