Love Island this week kicked off with the sexy dancing challenge, which I’m choosing to ignore because a) between Ekin-Su coming out in a full wedding dress and Jacques hollering “who’s been a naughty girl then” in a police hat it was so disturbing it deserves a power ranking of its own, and b) Charlie, god bless him, whose performance I cannot bear to think of again as long as I live.Casa Amor is happening now anyway, so almost everything that occurred before Friday is irrelevant. Week four, let’s go!
It’s not out of the ordinary for Love Island to chop a lot of banter from the final edit so they can prioritise stuff that feeds into a larger plot line – namely, petty emotional drama and someone’s 18th “so where’s your head at” conversation of the week – but this year they’re taking the piss. They have at least three supreme jesters in the villa this season – Dami, Davide and Ekin-Su – whose talents shine too brightly to be relegated to the graveyard of a Saturday evening.With all due respect to Tasha’s internal conflict between being a baddie and needing constant approval, give me Dami eating Indiyah’s boogers. Give me Davide cramming his size 12 trainer socks into a pair of pleasers and shouting “ANYONE EXPECTING A TAN BRUNETTE??” And, above all else, give me Ekin-Su upsetting Charlie with her Voldemort impression.
ROLE-REVERSED CASA AMOR
Traditionally, it’s the boys who are shipped off to Casa Amor in honour of the great British summer activity known as: “when a big group of 18-24 year old lads go to a Spanish resort in matching shirts that say SHAGALUF 69 on the back explicitly to binge drink bowls of Blue Lagoon, cheat on their girlfriends and agree to a collective vow of silence until it all comes out in an ugly pantomime of heterosexual misery three months later”.
This year, at long last, the tables were turned. The girls were smuggled off to a villa across the road, leaving the boys to lie forlornly in their beds, rest their cheeks on one hand and scroll through couples selfies like military wives pining for their lovers on the frontlines. There was also the matter of packing suitcases which, when left to the girls, would normally involve some discussion over which sexy bra or piece of jewellery most says “please don’t finger someone else :)”.When left to the lads, whose hardest decision each morning is deciding which plain t-shirt looks best with which pair of distressed jeans, the time was mostly spent holding up fistfuls of skimpy tops and trying to figure out what constitutes “an outfit”. I look forward to seeing Gemma spending the next week bowling about Casa Amor in a ruched bodycon dress and fish flops.
Nothing has brought the nation greater joy this week than seeing Davide and Ekin-Su jumping on grapes and enquiring about each other’s childhoods like divorced parents rekindling their connection. I fear Ekin-Su’s past behaviour will leave her vulnerable to the horny winds of Casa Amor, where Davide may be swept away by someone who wasn’t caught slithering around on the floor to kiss another man behind his back, but there’s clearly something between these two hot-blooded titans of entertainment that will rival anything new or easy. In the words of the legend herself: "You'll never ever get another Turkish delight like me".
THE NEW GIRLS
A powerful, powerful crop of Casa Amor bombshells this year. One described herself as a 10/10, another “a trolley dolly from Barnsley", and someone pulled right from the credits of Geordie Shore’s glory days said her best feature was "these boys" while pointing at her tits. They’ve been in there about 45 minutes and already treated the pot like an industrial cement mixer, telling Andrew he’s being taken for a ride and Luca that he’s hemming himself in. Stir, stir, girlies. Stir, stir.
Being a Casa Amor bombshell is like being an army reserve. You might be technically capable and do exactly the same work directly alongside the main force, but you will never be treated as equals. In order to cling on past your allotted five days, the environment has to be highly unstable and your personality incredibly memorable. All of this was in play when we first heard the phrase: “Hi I'm Billy and I pick up penguins at the zoo.”
BOYS’ NIGHT IN
When left to their own devices and with no chance of a shag on the horizon, boys will revert to a childlike state of playfulness and puzzle-solving. Marvel! As they spend five hours seeing if they can form a human pyramid or arguing about whether a hot dog is a sandwich. Or, as in the case of Love Island 2022, making a pillow fort, sitting in a row on little colourful mats and screaming. It was like a group of toddlers recreating that wolf pack scene in The Northman.
Paige was meant to receive a wholesome breakfast of poached egg and soldiers in return for guessing Billy’s birth month correctly during their first conversation. Unfortunately, someone had already mashed the one egg in Casa Amor into a piece of bread, so what she got instead was: dry toast with two syrupy hearts surrounded by five portions of berries. Another dark day for cuisine in the villa.
TASHA AND ANDREW
Some of the boys, most of the new girls and the whole voting public seem to have it in for Tasha and Andrew, and I feel quite bad because it’s making them question their connection, which seems as legit as it’s possible to get for two people who’ve known each other for three weeks.Every year there is a Love Island couple who can’t for the life of them figure out why they keep ending up in the bottom three every week and start pranging out that the viewers can “see” something they can’t. Sadly the truth, which must never be uttered on air lest the curtain of showbiz be lifted, is even harder to swallow.Which would you rather be told: that the person you’re dating seems sus, or that you’re the most boring person to watch on the reality entertainment show? If it were me, I’d say pass the red button so I can blow up my relationship instantly.
NEPO BABY ISLAND
A truth nobody likes to admit is that nepotism is fine as long as the babies themselves are genuinely fun, interesting or talented in some way. Without nepotism we would not have Nicolas Cage or Lost In Translation or Chet Hanks’s Instagram presence, so credit where credit’s due. As it stands, I’m not sure what Michael Owen’s daughter and Ronan Keating's son can offer us besides a comprehensive list of people they know who are good at riding horses.
THE FOOT AGENDA
This is really getting out of control now. I’ve seen more feet on ITV2 this past month than I have on Brighton beach during Pride, and while Ekin-Su washing the grape juice off Davide's feet like Mary Magdalene trying to absolve her sins makes for oddly compelling television, I think we all could have done without the sight of Luca housing Gemma's foot like a 12-inch Meatball Marinara.@emmaggarland