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8 July 2019

Love Island Week 5: the most dramatic week in the show’s history

Fights, tears, and a woman shaving the bum of a man she met not five days ago.

By Indra Warnes

What. A. Week. We started the season complaining of a complete lack of drama, so the Love Island producers delivered drama in bucket loads. So much drama, in fact, that we were all left wishing for a bit less; wanting to return to an easier time, when Love Island was nothing more than some stress-free light entertainment to fill the evening. 

This week, as the Islanders regrouped post-Casa Amor, tensions were high. After an uneasy recoupling, we watched fights, break-ups and tears. We shouted at our televisions as Michael’s true colours were revealed, and our hearts broke watching Amy experience her own first-ever heartbreak – something that should be confined to the tear-stained pages of your teenage diary – on national TV. 

Michael is an everyman. And every woman deserves better

Sarah Manavis

For weeks, viewers had watched Michael stick up for Yewande when Danny repeatedly lied to her; praise Amber for her no-bullshit personality and for speaking her mind; and display levels of emotional maturity 20-something men rarely show in real life, let alone on reality television. He was a refreshing character among the usual batch of men Love Island has to offer; not a cartoonish representation of masculine behaviour, but an actual, verifiable “good guy”.

Michael and Amber had just been voted among the public’s top three favourite couples, Michael was talking about how much his family would like her, and the two seemed on track to be this year’s Love Island winners, being in a genuine and caring relationship. 

But last week, show producers brought back the infamous “Casa Amor”, taking the women off to a new villa with a new set of men, and introducing a new set of women to the original villa. And after just three days of separation from Amber, Michael chose to recouple with a someone new, leaving fans to ask: “How the hell did this just happen?” 

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The lead up to this betrayal was uncomfortable to watch: Michael almost immediately set about “cracking on” with new girl Joanna the second she arrived. He jumped into bed with her after a single night away from Amber, kissed her after just two, and spent each day badmouthing Amber to anyone who would listen (for the exact qualities he’d praised her for just days before). All this while fans were watching a split-screen of Amber staying loyal to Michael, and wondering if he was doing the same.

But while the backlash to this decision was a screaming avalanche, what Michael did was not, really, that unthinkable – and, in fact, nearly every woman who’s ever dated a man will have seen it all before. Michael’s behaviour was the 101 of what women fear men will do behind their backs. And it’s the exact kind of thing young women are told they’re crazy for worrying about. 

You’d struggle to find a woman today who hasn’t met someone like Michael. The guy who has to be too good to be true but seems to be living up to what you secretly hope for: kind, caring, respectful of you and other women, loves his family, cares about his friends. Everything works out great for maybe a few weeks, maybe a few years; that is, until it doesn’t. Out of nowhere, this guy ghosts you, he dumps you, or gaslights you, acting like your perception of events  the reality  was not what actually occurred. Michael is the embodiment of many women’s most heart-breaking romantic experiences. And as it was with Michael, it can be impossible to see this sort of behaviour coming.

This is an excerpt from a piece entitled “Love Island’s Michael shocked the nation. But women have seen it all before” written by Sarah on Wednesday. You can read it in full here.

Love Island’s most savage recoupling yet

Recouplings, it is fair to say, rarely provide the drama they promise. They are typically dull, drawn-out affairs, with overly long, dramatic pauses preceding entirely predictable outcomes. We must sit, bored, as Islanders compete to give the most gushing, longwinded speech about how much they like a person that they met five days ago and, to be honest, know nothing about. Plus, Caroline Flack is there. It’s a testing time.

This week’s recoupling though, which marked the end of Casa Amor, went too far the other way. Far from dull, it was quite possibly the only recoupling in Love Island history that has been difficult to watch.

The boys had remained in the main villa and were thus doing the initial choosing. Curtis stood up and told his fellow Islanders how, and I’m only lightly paraphrasing here, having realised that the public was not buying the shambolic four-week relationship he’d built with Amy in the hope of recreating Dani-Jack levels of popularity solely through longevity, his head had been turned by the mere presence of Jourdan. Unfortunately for Curtis, Jourdan, a woman with whom he had spoken literally twice, was not interested in him. Shock. So he reluctantly coupled up with Amy again.

It was then over to Amy to enter, alone, obviously, having spent the past four days pining over Curtis. She ran over, saw Curtis standing alone, and clutched her chest, exhaling “oh, f**k. F**k”, visibly relieved that he had not picked somebody else.

“Curtis has decided to stay with you,” Caroline Flack told Amy, “how does that make you feel?”

“So good. I’ve literally thought about him every minute of every day for the last four days,” Amy gushed, beaming, unaware that literally everybody around her had just witnessed Curtis sounding the first death knell on their relationship. “I’ve missed him so much, the girls are sick of me because I’ve been that girl on the girls’ holiday being like, ‘I really miss him, I just want to see him’, laying in bed all day, moping around.”

The other Islanders looked awkwardly at one another. Maura’s eyes went really big.

“We need to talk,” said Curtis, forcing a smile.

Belle’s five minutes of fame (15 seconds of airtime)

Within the first half an hour of the first episode of Love Island 2019, Anton had revealed that his mum shaves his bum. I do not know if this is something that he feels compelled to immediately tell every single person he meets, but given the ease with which he announced it on national television, it seems unlikely that there is a single person in Anton’s Scottish town who has not been told about his odd Sunday-night regime with his mother. 

Fast-forward four lonely weeks of platonic couplings, and everything is coming up Anton. He has found a woman, Belle, who has not immediately felt the need to tell him what a good friend he is, and, yet more shockingly, even wants to share a bed with him.

In fact, the only downside, the only slight niggle playing on Anton’s mind, is that, without his mum around, his once smooth, hairless body is no more. Wait it out, he thinks, just a couple more days and then you can ask her. And so,  Anton holds off for several more days before finally, in an announcement that every woman wants to hear, telling Belle that it is time they take their relationship to the next level – and presenting her with his razor.

It is a testament as to just how much Belle wants to stay in the villa that she obliges. Cut to scenes of her, kneeling on the floor, face-to-face with Anton’s arse, almost definitely silently repeating to herself “Think of the Boohoo deal. Think of the Boohoo deal.”

Poor Belle has no idea that she and Anton have been given literally no airtime, and thus the general public will probably struggle to remember her name two weeks after she is dumped from the Island. Belle has made the greatest sacrifice of any Islander, for nothing.  

Amy wakes up and smells the coffee 

Two weeks ago I wrote in this column that Anton, having then had absolutely no luck with any of the women, had instead taken on the role of the villa’s tea lady – constantly dashing around asking everybody if he could get them anything.

It now transpires that I was wrong. Or at least that Curtis already had the early morning barista shift covered.

During one of several heart-breaking conversations in which Amy confronted Curtis with the sad but probably true fact that he had never actually liked her, she asking why he never wanted to lounge around in bed together as the other couples in the villa do.

“If someone likes you, they want to have a cuddle in bed with you in the morning”, she said. “I know,” he replied, looking annoyed that she was even questioning it. “But I also want to be the person that gets up and makes everybody a coffee, so that everybody’s ready for the morning.”

Horrible as it must have been for Amy, it was undeniably a moment of pure, unadulterated Love Island gold that will probably be lost amid all the drama of this week.

The briliance lies in the absolute conviction with which Curtis announced that he’d rather take it upon himself to make 15 coffees than have to spend a second longer in bed with his half-girlfriend, as though that is a normal thing to want to do. As though most couples don’t fight over who must get up first to make coffee for one other, let alone a dozen other people. As though Amy is obviously in the wrong. As though she is very clearly being selfish. As though she wants their fellow Islanders to sit parched, unable to function, too weak even to stumble towards the kettle.

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