There is an internet adage that applies to this week of Love Island 2021 more than any other week: “everything happens so much.” In this short space of time, we have seen: the reunion of Chloe and Toby, the slightly slower reunion of Millie and Liam, the first bump in the road for Liberty and Jake, and the reunion and later dissolution of Teddy and Faye, all punctuated by Mabel coming to perform in front of a huge LED Spotify advert, which, if anything, just added to the fever dream quality of proceedings. As we begin to consider potential winners, the power has shifted significantly. Here’s how it’s looking right now:
After breaking things off with Kaz in a speech shorter than the amount of time it takes to blow your nose, Matt has effectively released himself from the emotional architecture of the villa. Big Ovie energy from him during the second half of this week as he kicked back to enjoy the sights and sounds of Spain, munched popcorn throughout the horrors of “film night” while everyone shat themselves around him, and then had his ass saved by the public for being such a calm and self-respecting king. May his words of wisdom – “yeah we’re done” – be turned into one of them neon signs and hung above the fire pit next summer.
What a competition they have had: a stunning U-turn from their previous status as ‘most annoying people on the school bus’ to ‘couple you would actually vote for as prom king and queen because he is nice to you in Maths and she brought two bottles of vodka that she’s sharing out if you go over to her table.’ With some of the previous favourites (Teddy and Faye, Jake and Liberty) going off track, don’t discount Chloby as your possible Love Island 2021 winners. The banter result is all we deserve this year.
MILLIE AND LIAM
Mum and dad are back together! Sorry to the haters!! As easy as it would have been for Millie to issue Liam a one-way ticket to Friend Island, she has graciously given the big man a chance to prove his commitment – first by spending a few days looking sadder than the little boy that Santa Claus forgot, and then by carrying her up the stairs like an Oddbox delivery. Fair play to her, I say. Millie and Liam are as close as we currently have to a couple that legitimately like each other and are also well suited, so the romantic in me is chalking this one up as a win for true love.
Besides, considering the half-life of relationships between people in their early-20s (which is, categorically: Not Very Long) and how much time there is left on the show, I, too, would probably manage to suck it up and snog a simply gorgeous man in the celestial glow of a 50k light at the end of the tunnel.
LIBERTY AND TEDDY
Two extremely lovely people whose mums must be very sad but very, very proud of them at the moment. I group them together because their plights are similar: they are both really emotionally intelligent and have handled conflict calmly and with understanding, they are both clearly besotted with people who… do not do this, and seeing either of them sad makes me feel like The Rock is squeezing my heart in between his massive hands.
Even in the last few days, with all of its unnecessary producer meddling, has knocked them, I think that both Liberty and Teddy will leave the villa to huge outpourings of public adoration because they’ve both just come off so well. Liberty is the friend that your entire family makes no bones about liking more than you; Teddy is the boyfriend who brings in the shopping for your mum and whose politeness makes her do that weird high laugh. Realistically they should be put on an open top bus so we can line the streets and applaud them, like when football teams win the FA Cup.
She came, she coupled up with Hugo, she gave us a number of extremely strong memes in her short time in the villa, and in that sense, she did kind of conquer.
THE WAY IN WHICH A ‘PARTY’ IS GENERALLY ONLY EVER AN EXCUSE FOR THE SHOW TO DO SOMETHING SINISTER
Going on Love Island is a form of labour. The militantly hot people of Britain and Ireland take upon themselves the duty of performing emotional turmoil for our entertainment, in exchange for 15 minutes of fame and the hope of one day becoming the face of a national STI campaign. As such, the laws of deception that govern the workplace are also present in Mallorca. No delicious pint of lager or performance by an artist scraped from Radio 1’s Big Weekend line-up comes without a price, and that price is usually: your entire life being turned upside down. When Laura Whitmore shows up on a boat called the “Vibes Club” like the ITV equivalent to a lobby full of free pizza at a new media company, you know something stressful is about to happen.
After a month and a half holding it down for the small but very real community of ‘extremely picky straight men who only fancy specific looking women they have managed to win over, rather than extremely hot women who fancy him of their own accord,’ Hugo is finally gone. A few intense speeches here, a few careless comments there, and at last he topped it all off by calling his search for love “tragic” in his exit interview in front of the very girl he was still coupled up with. Godspeed, Mr. Hammond!
We all know that he is going home tonight and the islanders will never mention him again because new people are coming in. But it’s important to appreciate just how much Dale gave us in the short period of time he was there.
He cut hair, friend-zoned Chloe, apparently hugged and kissed Mary too much but most importantly: breakdanced for Jake when Mabel came to perform. For that, you will always be remembered, Dale.
I think anyone who watched even a couple of minutes of Friday night’s episode would agree that Faye went too far (to be honest it would be more accurate to say that she actually went careering past ‘too far’) after the clips from Casa Amor were shown to the Islanders. She behaved awfully towards Teddy, a person who has shown her Christ-like reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding, and whose only crime seems to have been ‘finding someone else attractive and telling them so because you have to do that as a contestant on this programme.’
In the past when women on Love Island have blown up at men it’s generally been due to instances of fairly palpable disrespect – see: Maura retaliating after Tom’s “all mouth” comment; Anna’s response to Jordan when he cracked on to someone else after asking her to be his girlfriend – and the audience has been on the side of their rightful rage. It may well be that Faye feels Teddy has transgressed in a similar way, but as viewers, we know that’s not really the case (I will say, it wouldn’t be nice to hear the person you like telling someone else that they find them sexually attractive, but unfortunately some things are not nice and the fact is that there are other people in the world, and some of them are as hot as Clarisse), and so even though the producers were possibly going for one of their patented ‘woman scorned’ moments, it didn’t land because most people just felt really, really shit for Teddy, and the whole thing just became deeply sad and difficult to look at, rather than in any way entertaining or cathartic.
It’s down to Faye whether she finds Teddy’s stated attraction to Clarisse too difficult to swallow – and it’s possible that she reacted as she did because she was looking for a way out of their situation, considering the doubts she voiced earlier on Friday’s episode. Even if she does, it’s far from an excuse for her treatment of him, which was wall-to-wall shocking, and has probably set her up to be on the business end of a public vote sometime soon. But context, as usual, is important, and the show itself is not innocent here, in its continued, unneeded prodding at all the couples, and in particular Teddy and Faye (who have already taken more than their fair share – remember that Teddy was the only guy whose actions at Casa Amor were properly misrepresented by the producers). Clearly, Love Island is angling for ‘must see’ moments after a slow start, but to be honest, Friday night’s show made for nothing but a grubby episode that I still felt shit about watching the next day.
It was a toss up between the bottom two but ultimately ‘hats’ had the worse showing.