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16 July 2019

Love Island Week 6: Where do we go from here?

Michael's fury, Amy's departure, and Ovie's egg dance were the few highlights in a relatively dull week. But six weeks in and so few serious couples has us asking: what happens now? 

By Sarah Manavis

This week was a slightly boring one in the villa, with things really only kicking off on Sunday night. However, after the fallout of Casa Amor, it’s perhaps best to have given stress dreams and heart palpitations a week off. This season of Love Island has been undoubtedly exciting, and arguably the most drama-filled season to date. But, with Week Six ticked off the list and few front-runners in the mix, we at the New Statesman ask: where do we go from here?

Hell hath no fury like a Michael scorned

Michael’s ability to one-up himself is impressive, upending the public thinking that he couldn’t sink lower than his antics around Casa Amor. But last night, Michael showed us a new level of low, snarking at Joanna when she told him to leave with her and telling Amber “sit down” before once again humiliating her to protect his ego.

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While Michael is the posterboy for “CHALDISH” behaviour in this year’s villa, we’ve seen a lot of the men this year conducting themselves in an astonishing way (this even in contrast to the historically sexist and inappropriate actions of the men on Love Island). We saw Curtis fool Amy into a sense of security only to whip it away, we saw Danny do the same to Yewande and then Arabella, and this week we saw Anton – after giving his number to a shopkeeper and kissing Anna, having called her “the best kisser” in the villa – tell Belle that she, in fact, had embarrassed him by not brushing off his degrading behaviour.

If there’s one thing to say about these men, it’s that they allow no one to stand in the way of further inflating their gargantuan sense of self. Even if what’s standing in the way is a sponsorship deal and £50K.

With all my Hart

We can’t get through a review of this week’s Love Island without giving it up for Amy, the nervous and vulnerable victim of this season’s male bullshit, who left the villa of her own accord halfway through last week. Amy drew a lot of criticism from the public over the last six weeks, from myself included, but handled herself near-flawlessly after the fallout of Curtis dumping her so he could keep making everyone coffee in the morning.

For those who have not watched every season of Love Island, it’s important to emphasise that what Amy did is rare – almost no one has ever left the villa without being dumped from it and no one has ever left the show after being heartbroken to go heal on their own. What Amy did was huge, and it was a brave, challenging move to protect herself, and only herself.

It is also worth noting what Amy has revealed since leaving the villa. In an interview with OK! Magazine, Amy said that Curtis told her being in the bottom two couples made him realise how much he liked her, and that Arabella “led me to believe that I was absolutely hated” by the public.

So this is to say: mad respect to Amy. Few could do what she did, and none ever have. Despite her pain, she put herself first, and I, for one, look forward to her Pretty Little Thing inspirational clothing line.

This is Friend Island

Love Island has always made a thing of friendships – be it Season 3’s Chris and Kem, the second iteration between Wes, Josh, and Jack Fowler in Season 4, or the best friendship turned sour between Olivia and Cara in Season 2. However, without being a hamfisted attempt at mimicking those friendships, this season is delivering us the most authentic version of real friendship the show has ever seen.

Anna and Amber’s friendship has long been the greatest example (with an honourable mention for Yewande), and this week has been no exception. We saw Amber cheekily peck Jordan while shouting to Anna “cuz he’s cute!” while they both giggled at Jordan’s expense, check-in with Anna before taking Ovie on a date, and the two of them in tears as Amber chose to save Anna from being dumped last night. But even beyond that, we have Maura dishing good advice (with a side of chaos), Anton being  genuinely cut-up over losing one of his best friends last night, and Ovie and Amber included in the public’s top three favourite couples despite being entirely platonic. Only the seemingly forced friendship between Tommy and Curtis is failing to win hearts, and even then, on Tommy’s side, it’s likely very genuine.

Tommy Fury was wrong when he was whispering with Molly last night. This isn’t Love Island, this is Friend Island, and it’s clear from the public response that we’re all absolutely here for it.

Ovie spin-off show when

This week has been a largely boring one in the villa, with challenges, the Curtis love triangle (bring death to me), and Tommy’s girlfriend-proposal being used to fill the drama-free gaps. However, the one member of the villa who has actually brought interesting content is professional basketball player Ovie Soko, entirely by doing his own thing.

Let’s get one thing straight: Ovie doesn’t need to be there. He surely makes decent money with his incredibly impressive day job, is 6’7” and likely has little trouble romantically, and has the personality and sartorial choices of the most lovable man in a modern romcom. He does not need Love Island, but Love Island needs him.

Where would this dry week have been without Ovie and his 5,000 hats? That pink, tropical co-ord? And his song and dance about eggs? All I ask you, reader, is a simple “Ovie spin-off show: when?” The public demands – nay, needs – it.

What happens now?

We’re heading into Week Seven in the villa, meaning that we likely have, at best, three more weeks to go. At this stage in past Love Islands, we’d usually have hit the boring point of little drama; rife with cringe “will you be my girlfriend?” proposals, droppings of “the L-bomb”, and the couples who have been together since Week One doing boredom-induced bickering over villa minutiae. By now, we’d have a clear winner lined-up, but with at least three or four other couples clearly in a close second. So what, in this villa holding roughly three real couples, two of which are shaky at best, happens now?

Molly and Tommy are our near inevitable winners, but essentially by default. Jordan and Anna, and Anton and Belle are far from their level of solidity, with the latter possibly not even weathering the next few weeks. The rest are so up in the air, it’s hard to say with whom they could even couple up, let alone become a seriously romantic pair. This is a first for Love Island, and it’s hard to say whether or not it will result in a satisfying, admired season – and with the extreme spikes of drama that this environment has delivered us, I’m not sure our collective blood pressure can take it.

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