New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Culture
23 July 2019

Love Island week 7: A hot mess

2019 Love Island is delivering twists and turns like no season before it.

By Indra Warnes

What a week; what a series. Love Island 2019 does not follow the Love Island norms. I should be bored by now. We should all be bored; fed up of watching five convincingly loved-up couples lounge around on daybeds, repeatedly professing how much they like one another. We should be wishing the season would just end already, because we’ve all known who was going to win since about Week Two, and it’s not even interesting enough to pretend otherwise anymore.

Not this year. 2019 is delivering twists and turns like no season before it. And to be honest, I’m here for it. 

A modest proposal

Love Island convention – to be clear, this is not a rule; the islanders have forced this upon themselves – requires that once you have been dating for long enough (read: two weeks), one of you must ask the other to be their boyfriend/girlfriend.

You cannot do as you would on the outside world, when you might one day just wake up and suddenly realise that you haven’t even thought to look at your ex’s Instagram in months, and that, now you mention it, half your clothes are at this new person’s house and, yeah, you have stopped making an effort to look nice when you meet up with them actually; so maybe you are in a relationship now. No. In the villa, you must formally ask one another, as though it is, like, the Victorian times, or Year Nine.

Worse still, you cannot just *ask*. A mere proposal does not good TV make. You are required to think of the most romantic, original proposal possible, and you must do so with the limited props available in the villa.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Previous seasons have seen treasure hunts round the villa and raps written and performed, and so far this season we’ve watched Curtis and Tommy come together to totally ruin Molly’s eyeliner by using it – in lieu of any pens in the villa – to scrawl a love note/proposal on what I think was a bit of loo roll, taped to her cuddly toy.  

So what did Jordan do when it came to “proposing” to Anna? He took her for a walk. To all the places that had been “special” to them in the villa. Which is, really, just all the places you can sit down. It’s not that big a villa, they’ve pretty much had a conversation/”moment” anywhere you can do so. One of the places on this personal guided tour wasn’t even the scene of a happy memory; it was the firepit, where Anna recoupled with Ovie.

And to make Love Island’s least romantic propsal even worse, he literally told her he was going to do it before it started. Anna, if the inevitable happens tonight with Jordan, you deserved better anyway. 

All’s well that ends well

We, the public, have triumphed. After two weeks of incensed tweeting and voting him into the bottom two; Michael has been defeated.

Predictably, it only took new boy Greg to show an interest in Amber to send Michael crawling back to her. There he was, lying about how he had actually always liked her; conveniently forgetting that time that he defensively screamed that she was “CHALDISH”, or when he shouted at her to “sit down” as though she were a dog, not to mention the several instances that he sat stone-facedly watching her cry. And most definitely forgotten was him repeatedly telling Joanna that she was everything he’d been looking for.

It is fair to say that, over the last few weeks, the nation has watched some frankly astonishing displays of fragile masculinity, and we could take it no more. So as is in all good children’s films, we have come together to ensure the villain of the hour has been vanquished. Good has triumphed over evil; the villagers can rejoice and get on with their lives, free from the stress of shouting at their TVs six nights a week. Etc, etc, etc.

For a while we feared Amber would fall prey to Michael’s lies and choose to recouple with him again. But we should have known Amber is better than that; and as such she was lounging on a daybed with a seemingly very nice young Irish chap while Michael squirmed next to Joanna on the Aftersun sofa.  

The ultimate power play

Speaking of the seemingly very nice young Irish chap; Greg has achieved the greatest power play of Love Island 2019.

Greg decided that he was going to call Michael “Mike”. I know, right? It’s so simple, so easy, so perfect. Nobody else in the villa calls Michael “Mike”. Maybe nobody else in the world calls Michael “Mike”, because that is not his name.

But Greg did. Not only did he recouple with Amber, embarrassing Michael and leading to his final demise, but he also took it upon himself to persistently call him Mike.

And Michael/Mike couldn’t say anything. He couldn’t have a go at Greg for calling him Mike, because, hey, Greg’s just being friendly, right? Michael/Mike would look childish, as though he was just picking a fight with Greg because he was upset over Amber. So Michael/Mike was forced to just sit quietly, and try not to show any sudden flash of annoyance anytime Greg said his name.

The only way it could have been any better is if he’d chosen Mikey.

Pour one out for Fran, a real one

by Sarah Manavis

We need to take a moment to give it up for Fran. Francesca Allen, a late arrival coming in on Day 37, was dumped on Sunday night after a poorly timed coupling with Michael just a day before. Francesca’s time in the villa was ill-fated – beyond her coupling with Michael, she got stuck in a love triangle with Curtis and Maura and failed to save Marvin, her only other real romantic option. With this year’s chaos so late on in the season (things would be getting boring and settled at this point in any other), she was unlucky in her options.

But that didn’t keep her from being an absolute real one in the short time she did have. She had the best outfits bar Ovie, was actually self-effacing and funny after getting rejected by the world’s most sexless man, and gave the best recoupling speech of all time – brutally owning Michael who could not have deserved it more. While she will likely make little impact on the viewers – her Insta-following of 100K is well-below average for an ex-islander – she will be remembered for years to come by mega-fans for being the most likeable person to ever grace the villa.

Content from our partners
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty – with British Gas Energy Trust