Love Island is a TV show you either watch or say you don't watch but actually very much watch. This means everyone in the UK is either sworn to it like a religion now or tutting at it in dissent. If you are the one person who has somehow not seen Love Island , maybe you've just come back from a particularly rugged gap year, here's the deal: 12 people with perfect bodies compete to see who can fuck the most and fall in love the most convincingly, and as their prize each of them shall receive a two-year flutter of fame that will allow them to sell booty tea on Instagram and do their own line of gym tracksuits.
There is also an actual, £50,000 cash prize, awarded to the most popular and convincing couple in the villa, and that's where we come in. Viewers are constantly assessing the validity of each pairing just as contestants do their best to convince the public, and each-other, of their "genuine" feelings. In Love Island lingo, this is known as "playing the game".
Since viewers are all in turmoil deciding, we got two leading relationship experts, James Preece and Jo Barnett, to analyse each couple in the house.
Amber and Kem
James Preece: They're both emotionally immature [and] Kem can't handle the relationship. He's not been in a serious relationship before and doesn't know what to do. Amber is very needy and she likes the attention of other guys as it feeds her ego a bit, so the trouble is they clash in that sense because he sees that as disrespect to him. What they're trying to do is make each other jealous; he brought another person back into the house to make her jealous and see what happens [and] she chose the tallest guy that she could to make him jealous.
They're both really young and don't know what love is, but love the idea of being in love. They're in lust with each other rather than love, they want all the intimacy. They're not really in love yet but that could grow. I think if they both worked really, really hard on the relationship they've got a chance, but they need to grow up a little first.
Jo Barnett: In a way they're quite well suited, they look great together. They've got a real attraction which is very strong. She's trouble, she's going to keep him on his toes, he's going to be constantly chasing after her. There's going to be a lot drama and it will probably be on-off, on-off, until one of them grows up. She may well grow up in the relationship and stop behaving like a spoiled child and he may outgrow her and say "I can't do this anymore," but who knows?
I'm a bit suspicious [about them declaring their love for each other]. It could be that they know they've got a couple more weeks on the show and they know the best couple wins. It just seems very convenient, and a big gesture, to go to from being split up to "we love each other". I think they're all feeling the pressure now seeing the couples around them.
Montana and Alex
James Preece: She's completely controlling him. He's very much laidback and happy to go with the flow and do what he's told, but she's taking the lead and that's not going to be a long lasting thing. She likes men who take control of women and make them feel comfortable, but she's telling him every step of the way, "do you want to kiss me now?" "Do you want to go to bed?" She's telling him what's going to happen and he goes along with it. I don't see much spark, there's not a whole lot of chemistry. She's very intelligent and I think she's going to get bored of him as it's not all about looks. That's the trouble there, but I like them as a couple as I think she's really witty and deserves to meet somebody, but she might get bored of him once the honeymoon period is over. Maybe not now but maybe in the real world.
Jo Barnett: Yeah I think they'll be together until the end but she's a little bit unpredictable. She can also get upset very quickly and fly off the handle. Physically they look fantastic together, I think sexually they're on the same level, they've both got a good personality. There's more to them, for example, than some of the others. She's obviously a bright girl and she should be proud of herself, she's waited to find someone she really fancied and she's got her guy. Luckily he feels the same about her so I think they could be up there til the end. They're quite a strong couple and I think they've both got that likability factor.
Olivia and Chris
James Preece: They are both very vain people; they like the fact they're both attracted to each-other. They're not the sharpest knives in the drawer so they get on on that level. They just bicker, they're like a long term couple who bicker but they do like each other. I think that might fizzle out when they get into the real world, when they start getting attention from other people it'll make them realise [that] they're good together, but not as strong together [so] they'll be tempted. I like them both, I really like him I think he's really funny. They don't do things like a normal couple. They do things a certain way.
Jo Barnett: That's quite another vain relationship. She's gorgeous and he feels quite lucky that he's got her, I think she feels the same about him so that's another relationship built on attraction – that's probably the main pull.
"I don't see either of them being particularly faithful if they see someone bigger and better come along ."
I don't think there's any respect, there's very little respect on both parts. Do I see it lasting? No, I don't see either of them being particularly faithful if they see someone bigger and better come along. She's pretty disrespectful to him and he takes it. That's not an ideal relationship, it's not somewhere where they'll be able to grow or become nice people. He's not a strong enough man for her, he's a little boy and she's getting away with murder. She's not behaving very nicely, she's not behaving very respectfully. He's not enough of a challenge for her.
Gabby and Marcel
James Preece: Gabby is very sweet but she's also deeply insecure herself, even though she seems very strong. She's insecure about her body even though she's a personal trainer; she needs reassurance from him.
They're the most intelligent and they're willing to work on it and they're willing to do things. People won't vote for them as they think other people will, they take a backseat almost. They've not had a journey so much, there's a journey for Amber and Kem, there's a journey for Olivia and Chris. People like the journey of these things even though in real life often there isn't a journey, people meet and then they get together.
"I see them getting married. People who meet in these environments find it very bonding ."
Jo Barnett I mean they're the favourite couple because he's just so gorgeous, inside and out, and she's probably the most genuine on the show in terms of the girls. I think people have to be careful and keep voting for them as otherwise they're a done deal. Watch this space, I see them getting married. People who meet in these environments find it very bonding, they've been through an experience together and they tick each other's boxes, so why not?
Tyla and Jonny
James Preece: She wants a bit of comfort, she's just there to play the game, she's there for a bit of fun, not to necessarily meet someone long term. She's been watching Camilla with one eye and concerned about her getting jealous. Johnny's talking to her like a builder trying to seduce her, I don't know what's going on there. She seems very young, that's what I think about her, she's too young to be there compared to the others who are like crocodiles to get her attention, but I do like Tyla. Easily led though, easily manipulated.
Jo Barnett: They're really well matched, neither of them are going to be the most inspiring couple, they're very sweet, they're very into each other, they're very attractive and I think he's got what he wanted and didn't have with Camilla. She's much easier, she's very sweet, she's very open, she's not very complex. Jonny isn't a complex character and he doesn't need someone complicated. I think they're very basic, fun individuals. They've got as good a shot as anyone to be honest. I'm not sure there's much to him and with all due respect, she's a gorgeous looking girl, she's up for fun, but I don't think she wants to be the next brain surgeon either. She's happy having a nice time and being with a guy she fancies
Camilla and (Craig/Jonny)
NB: We know Craig is history now but this was written before he was voted out. Time in the villa moves too fast for the world of online content.
James Preece: Craig is too intense. He [was] too focused on her which is why it's come off very creepy. If you asked me does he like her? Yeah I do think he likes her, but he's gone about it the wrong way, he's tried to reassure her and jump in but it's scared her off too quickly. Had he taken his time to get to know her, she heard the good things but she'd had her fingers burned with Jonny and turned around completely. But I did not see the attraction of Jonny at all, he's as thick as two short planks, and he's got a blinking problem. It's very, very strange, I'm sure the other guys don't like him that much and when he was falling out with Camilla they saw how nasty he was.
Jonny and her weren't particularly intimate anyway, they didn't do much. They didn't have long chats, all they did was cuddle and his problem with her was that she wasn't reciprocating or doing anything to encourage it. They didn't have any sort of connection in the first place. I think she's lovely but she's in the wrong place to find love. She needs to go on the Bachelor in America, that's the show for her.
Jo Barnett: I'm quite surprised she went for Craig in the first place because she's so posh and he's covered in tattoos. He just charmed her and I think that was very appealing after being with Johnny. He gave her tonnes of reassurance, I'm not sure how they went from being really enamoured with each other to over, so yeah she does blow a bit hot and cold. She's not very developed in her emotions, she's very good at pushing people away at the first hurdle which she's done. Do we really know him? He seemed genuine, he seemed genuinely upset when she called it a day and it's not like he's running off to the next girl now.
In conclusion – who would you pick as best?
James Preece: Marcel and Gabby- they're my favourite.
Jo Barnett: I'd say Gabby and Marcel.
So there we have it, the experts weighed in and apparently most of the couples are a mess but Gabby and Marcel have a chance of actually working.