“If you build it, they will come,” contrary to popular myth, is not actually what Kevin Costner hears in his sleep in Field of Dreams (1989), but, friends, it is close enough to serve the purpose I need it to at the minute – which is to describe what was almost certainly the mood in the room of TV execs who dreamed up a winter edition of Love Island, little money bags gambolling around behind their blissed-out eyes.
If you asked most Love Island fans, our initial reaction would probably be that we don’t actually want a winter Love Island but that if it is there, we will have no choice but to watch it, because we are pathetic creatures crushed under the dark and freezing heel of the hated month "January."
But then, the more you think about it, the more a January Love Island begins to make a lot of sense. Why wouldn’t we want to offset the misery of a five-week month and having to sneak to put the heating on when the traffic warden of a SpareRoom housemate you’ve ended up with is out by zoning out for an hour a day with our beloved hot people programme, the greatest pride of our rapidly crumbling nation?
There is nothing else for it, then, but to enter into full Love Island rules: home by 9PM daily, malnutrition by way of nuggets in front of the telly, losing ~ten Twitter followers a day. And if this is to be our lives for the next six weeks, we must start as we mean to go on. By judging the contestants by their press photos, and judging who is going to win the show based only on these images and the promotional VT they do before the show starts, as is tradition. Amen.
From watching Leanne for 20 seconds in the VT, I have decided to become her biggest fan. I do not care about who she couples up with (we are past the point of pretending that this is what Love Island is about now, surely?) but hope she forms a lifelong bond with Shaughna, the other most charismatic person in the group, perhaps with a view to an ITV2 spin off where they empower women to dump their terrible boyfriends, like Queer Eye but even more heartwarming. Also, I’m looking forward to smashing the like when Leanne launches her range of vinyl eventwear.
Siânnise’s last name is Fudge which makes her sound like the lady who owns the sweet shop on Balamory or something. No further comments at this time.
PAIGE / EVE AND JESS
Maybe winter Love Island will actually turn into a heartwarming tale whereby a pair of twins meet their long lost triplet who also happens to be Lewis Capaldi’s ex-girlfriend??? I’d like to volunteer myself to write the screenplay when this is made into a film, cheers.
It is very rare that someone on Love Island seems actually sound but Nas is that guy, so I’ve got everything crossed that he stays in long enough to announce a collab with a brand to make a range of fun shirts like the one he’s got on in his VT.
The Love Island "Meet the Islanders" VT is basically a cheat sheet for the question "Who here is going to have a successful television career?” so I can firmly state that when Mike ends up on Celebs Go Dating, I will absolutely not have the humility not to say “I told you so.”
We know by now that Love Island casts types, and Connor has a Jack Fincham vibe about him which essentially means that a) he’s had his teeth done and talks about it a lot and b) he’s probably a laugh. Seems like the sort of person who would bump into you in town while you’re with your mum and go, “Is this your big sister then??” and then for the rest of your life and on her own deathbed, your mum would refer to him as “That lovely boy Connor,” despite the fact that he ghosted two of your friends.
My main feeling about Shaughna is that she really looks like Candice from Coronation Street, and my second feeling about her is that she’s been cast as the Jess-from-Jess-n-Dom–type babe this year. She’s stunning and I hope that she finds what her heart desires in the villa: an EasiLocks deal with a non-exclusivity clause.
Callums have not fared well on Love Island in recent times, but this one does have a sleeve so perhaps his luck will be better than his predecessor. Mind you, if he has a moment half as good as “yee haw, let’s have it,” he will go down forever in lore.
Sophie says she wants to find someone to be with for “the rest of my life” on the show so I can only come to the conclusion that she is somehow lost? While she looks like a supermodel (she’s the sister of Rochelle Humes off The Saturdays and This Morning) she has a strong “night in with this one” vibe. Previous purveyors of such a vibe (Amy Hart) have struggled, but hopefully the guarantee of a Boohoo ambassadorship (surely it’s locked in like, now?) is enough to keep her in there.
This guy apparently chats women up by telling them that he “owns a beach” and while I don’t mean to be rude, on the basis of this information I do have to say that I hope that they respond by informing him that they own pepper spray :)
WHO IS GOING TO WIN WINTER LOVE ISLAND?
At this point in Love Island history, this is actually quite an interesting question. While of course there are two winners in the sense that they are voted for to win the show’s prize money, the real winners are the people who achieve the greatest success outside the villa (2019’s real winners: Amber, Molly-Mae, Maura, Ovie, surely?). If we use this concept (which I will formally title The Pretty Little Thing Premise) to determine who the actual winners of the show will be, I would guess at Leanne, Shaughna and Mike having a good shot at doing well (there is also, unfortunately, no fucking WAY that Ollie won’t do a shift on Made in Chelsea), probably with a few latecomers also coming away alright. You come here for expert analysis; I am simply giving it to you.