It's been a banner week for all that is good about Love Island. Emotional growth! Shagging! Women pointing their stiletto falsies at men and telling them precisely how, when and where they fucked up! Everyone going on a mass date in the garden and saying shit like “this garlic bread represents me”!
After a long month-and-a-half, Love Island has finally picked up. And in one week, it will end! Great! A good and valuable use of time, I feel! So, as we enter the the final throes that will ultimately determine our King and Queen of 2021, here’s where we’re at:
Anyone who has lived in a shared house will tell you that you can’t hide a passing thought from women who have spent almost two consistent months together – listening, observing, gossiping. At a certain point on Love Island, the bond that initially establishes itself through being a ‘girl’s girl’ evolves into an almost spiritual connection. One that allows veterans and newcomers alike to gather around Liberty like a human salt circle and warn her that Jake is, potentially, having a crap of her. At this stage of the competition there is absolutely no hope for any man attempting to smuggle his way through emotional customs.
The Fool of Love Island, Toby’s role in the villa has been dynamic and ever-changing. Comic relief, distributor of wisdom and friend to all, he has come such a long way from "girl follower" to “Jake I’m not going to tell you who cast doubts on your feelings for Liberty because that’s not important, but I will sit loyally outside the toilet while you furiously remove your shirt".
‘NVQs’ – along with the boys’ vague and difficult to follow football metaphors – were this year’s code for ‘doing bits,’ otherwise known as ‘having sexual contact on television where your mum can see’. (This is an improvement on previous years when contestants have used references to breakfast foods to describe acts such as fingering, which is quite hellish when you think about it.)
This week, six Islanders “graduated” (read: had full sex) with flying colours, and to be honest I actually think it’s quite subversive and communist of them to agree to all shag on TV at the same time, even just so that the attention for doing so was spread across the group rather than focussed on one person. “Sex Comrade Island” sounds like a way better show than “Love Island”, I reckon.
Scores very highly solely for her exchange with Liberty, whereby Liberty said, “I bring a lot to the table.” Chloe responded: “Bruv, you are the table.”
THE SEXY DANCING CHALLENGE
The best Love Island challenge, as well as the most cringe, and this year it offered exactly what everyone actually wants. The dancing usually devolves into the contestants doing some general wiggling and then just snogging the person they’re coupled up with, but this year was generally better than we are used to: we had such delights as Faye literally just unzipping her top, Liberty’s Cowgirl Outfit And Rope (a cultural reset!), and Jake showcasing the apparent fruits of many years keenly studying Magic Mike, after he emerged from the villa looking like an extra from the Night’s Watch.
10/10 for both bewilderment and entertainment.
Earlier this week Amber Gill, first of her name, most hallowed Only Solo Winner of Love Island, revealed on Twitter that the producers select the costumes for the aforementioned Sexy Dance Challenge. Which begs the question: why have they done this to Mary? Has anyone ever been sexy in a skirt that looks this much like a nan’s bedroom curtains? How are you supposed to shake your arse for the heart rate monitors when you’ve effectively been stapled into a bit of fabric, as if you’re about to perform “Part of Your World” in a school production with an extremely low budget? This is the Love Island sexy dance challenge for fuck’s sake. If I were Mary I would be retaining legal counsel.
It’s hard to say what the criteria for scenes making into the actual Love Island edit are at the moment, but Unseen Bits is the perfect antidote where the actual show is just pain. We get to see their little personalities peek through. We had Mary’s face curling into visible disgust and saying “Boris Johnson? That’s a bit mental Priya, you know” after finding out that Boris Johnson is her ideal man. It also gave us Liam at his most animated – apart from when Millie told him what an aphrodisiac is and he tried to shovel whole asparagus into her mouth – when gushing over 10 Things I Hate About You with Kaz. Please give Kaz and Liam a cute little spin-off, I am on my knees.
PRIYA & BRETT
One runs hundreds of miles for fun and fancies Boris Johnson, the other is a bookish man who has never loved. Thanks to Priya complaining about being bored just ten minutes before a “compatibility” based-vote our newest couple are probably on their way out, unfortunately, but it’s very hard for those deployed during the last two weeks to make an impact anyway. We wish them well and thank them for their service of shaking up the energy of the villa at a critical moment, like whatever they had Joe Biden on during the last leg of the Presidential race.
DECLARATIONS OF COMMITMENT
Between Tyler utilising Liam, Jake and a few bits of kitchen roll to re-enact that wildly inappropriate scene from Love Actually by way of asking Kaz to be “exclusive”, to Jake finally dropping the L-bomb and causing the villa equivalent to an international incident, it’s been a stressful week for men trying to express their feelings.
Despite his proficiency in stripping (genuinely impressive – you really can’t take it away from him), I think Jake’s game in general has been unravelling a bit this week. It feels fairly obvious that he had a plan going into the villa (have a back tattoo about the war > get on ‘Love Island’ > couple up > secure a partner > bracelet girlfriend ritual > say “I love you” > win £50,000 > 50-date nightclub tour of the UK), and that he possibly didn’t think anyone would clock said plan, but when even Liberty is raising her eyebrows about what is and is not for the cameras, my man has a problem.
I think the win has been out of Jake’s grasp for a few weeks now, just because other couples feel a bit more natural and have had a more “complete”-feeling trajectory on the show, but if he doesn’t watch himself, he could end up letting Liberty slip through his fingers as well.