Eight weeks of toned teens, full-on flirting, and harrowing heartbreaks graced our screens this summer thanks to what has become ITV2’s most watched reality show of all time.
Love Island 2019- which saw 36 hopeful islanders enter the Majorcan-based villa- became a huge hit for its 16-24-year-old audience for a fifth time since the series began in 2015.
But apart from body insecurities, relationship anxiety, and social media addiction, it is hard to spotlight exactly what the show’s 4.2 million viewers took away from the programme.
49 episodes- and 49 hours later- here’s five useful lessons we CAN take away from this year’s nail-biter of a series.
- First Love heartbreaks suck.
27-year-old flight attendant from West Sussex, Amy Hart, shocked her fellow islanders when revealing that she had never had a boyfriend before. One week later, Amy found herself falling head over heels for ballroom dancer Curtis who she later became ‘half-girlfriend’ to following an intimate date in the villa’s ‘hide-away’ hot tub. Fast forward three weeks, and the too-good-to-be-true twinkle toes has pirouetted his way out of love with Amy and is no longer interested.
This painful-to-watch love timeline left fans of the show furious with Curtis for misleading Amy and completely disregarding all feelings he had confessed to her in week two. And even worse, following Curtis’ shocking post- Casa Amor recoupling speech, the islander told Amy he “couldn’t promise” he wouldn’t be attracted to someone else; crushing all self-esteem Amy had left.
What did we learn from this? Yes, heartbreak- especially those from your first relationship- SUCK, but the outcome can do a lot more for your mental health than being in the relationship all together. Following Amy’s courageous, self-elected exit from the villa, she completely revamped her look and attitude to life and came out shining the other side, meanwhile setting an enormously positive example for teenagers across the country.
- Relationship games are not ones to be enjoyed over a beer.
This year’s series featured numerous love triangles, kissing games, and an usual salmon jumping contest. But the biggest game of all was definitely that played by Michael Griffiths. The 27-year old firefighter from Liverpool scored highly with viewers when he tackled his biggest blaze yet- fiery 21-year-old Amber Gill- but was left clutching at straws following the show’s renowned love test, Casa Amor.
Michael- who had been predicted to win the show with Amber- was immediately blown away by islander Joanna Chimonides at Casa Amor and- following a sour, coldhearted recoupling speech- chose to be paired with Joanna over Amber. He then persisted to knock the beauty therapist down with harsh comments and a bitter attitude when she least needed it.
Like Curtis’ rejection of Amy, this equally uncomfortable split left viewers hateful of Michael and increasingly supportive of Amber; a strong woman who became victim to Michael’s mind games in return for confessing her emotions. And- if it wasn’t for Greg O’Shea- who led her to win the biggest game of all- Amber might have given into Michael when he once again confessed his feelings for her.
Lesson learnt? Don’t let someone victimise you for something that they have done wrong. And NEVER doubt your ability to overcome a setback.
- Some people will keep trying to knock you down, no matter how good you are.
This year’s Love Island sweethearts- Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury- stole the hearts of the nation with their impossible to break bond and cuddly companion Ellie Belly. But although their relationship involved no cheating, lying, or outright bitching- the couple still managed to receive some abuse on social media.
This became evident during the show’s popular twitter game which required the contestants to fill the gaps of tweets about their fellow islanders from the public. And Molly-Mae seemed to be affected the most by some of the comments aimed at her. In particular, the 20-year-old was called out for having a solely monetary objective on the show, a supposed lack of interest in partner Tommy, and being “much less suited” to Tommy than islander Lucie Donlan. These comments- even if not voiced by other islanders- appeared hugely hurtful to Molly.
However, this amount of digital abuse did not shatter the London influencer’s chances of winning. She went on to secure second place with Tommy as well as walking out as his girlfriend.
- Sometimes boys just don’t make sense.
After the Curtis and Michael episodes, it seemed that this year’s series had already scooped the prize for most drama. But thanks to 24-year-old model Jordan Hames, the tension was only getting started.
Melt-your-heart Jordan began the show as islander Anna Vakili’s knight in shining armor- a glimpse of hope for the pharmacist which lessened her risk of being dumped from the island. 10 days later Anna made a risky move at Casa Amor and chose to couple up with six-foot basketball player Ovie Soko, leaving Jordan single. Nonetheless, Jordan’s charm and obsession for Anna was enough to tempt the 29-year-old back to him and the two were soon on the road to romance and becoming an official couple.
However, just days after asking Anna to be his girlfriend, Jordan- helped by love guru Curtis’ nifty advice- approached newbie India Reynolds to confess his new-found liking for her. Two minutes later, viewers were witnessing their biggest feud of the series and a complete bafflement about the male species.
Lesson learnt? Unfortunately, I can’t explain to you how the male brain works, but I can say keep your eyes pealed for the bad guys and surround yourselves with good friends who know how to pick you up.
- Good comes to those who wait.
Despite the speed that this year’s series went at, there was much waiting around for some of the contestants. Anton, who waited 26 days for someone to take a love interest in him, Yewande, who waited 2 weeks to tell Danny she fancied him, and Maura, who above all “fanny flutters” refrained from doing the deed on live TV.
Likewise, regardless of the fiery, hard-to-defeat persona that Maura Higgins gave off, the 28-year-old model found her love by waiting for Curtis Pritchard to move on. If she’d lived up to her social media criticisms, she might have pushed love-up Amy aside and got to work straight away, but the Irish contender sat back and waited for her green light.
All images from ITV.