My Celebrity Life

Cheesy punchlines on Factor 50 and a flat plot twist but we’re not swiping left on Love Island just yet

Love Island is back to take over our summer (Picture: ITV)

Love Island is back and oh, how we’ve missed the sound of texts pinging, Iain Stirling’s dad jokes that are actually brilliantly witty, and hearing questionable statements from the islanders, such as: ‘For 20 years, I thought it was Elt and John’ – Liam Llewellyn, 2022, ladies and gentlemen. 

The ITV2 dating programme burst back onto screens last night for its eighth series featuring a brand new villa, a new batch of contestants and a new twist that promised to switch up the game we’ve known for seven years.

Instead of the guys coming in and taking their pick of the five ladies, it was the viewers who took control and decided which islanders to couple up together. After much criticism about why the men always get to choose first, and the annual inevitability of the Black girls being chosen last, it’s understandable that Love Island bosses were keen to avoid an inclusivity row following heated debates last year.

However, while something did need to change, the launch shake-up seemed to detract from the savagery of the first coupling up. We can easily gauge which couples the public would like to see together by scrolling through our relentless Twitter timelines, so surely it’s more interesting to know who fancies who among the islanders themselves in the original format?

Admittedly, it did stir a chuckle watching the completely unimpressed facial expressions on Gemma Owens, Indiyah Polack and Amber Beckford’s faces as they were coupled up with Liam, Ikenna Ekwonna and Dami Hope respectively.

Fortunately, while the format may have been given a revamp, the old school bombshell trick is still in place and gave the launch episode a much-needed boost of energy just as it began to flag amid the typical mundane getting-to-know-you chatter we often see in episode one.

Enter the ‘Italian snake’ – his words, not ours – aka first bombshell of the series Davide Sanclimente and all his BDE that gave the entire villa fanny flutters – men included.

Davide may just be one of the most charming islanders we’ve had to enter the villa, at least initially, and the hold he has on the women promises to bring all the drama we crave.

He’s already threatening to cause tension among the girls with Gemma fishing out her competition to see who else is thinking of pulling him for a chat. This is where Love Island finds its strength; the rivalry coming out between the group, the guys being thrown off their comfortable axis and the villains showing themselves.

Gemma is less thrilled than she looks to be coupled up with Liam (Picture: ITV)
We’re here for all of Indiyah’s sass (Picture: ITV)
Davide and his BDE stormed right into that villa (Picture: ITV)

So far, Gemma is undeniably a frontrunner for the latter thanks to her blunt questions and retorts at Liam and even other islanders, such as telling Luca that his surname Bish isn’t up to par. Poor guy.

However, whether she’s rude or just young at 19 years old is currently the topic up for debate with some viewers feeling that Michael Owen’s daughter (if she’s not going to namedrop yet, we’ll do it for her), lacks maturity for the brutal game.

That remains to be seen but at the moment while she edges closer to the villain crown, Indiyah and all her sass emerged as one of the most likeable and exciting islanders.

It was a busy launch episode with a mix of old and new elements but even the shiny new villa – which honestly looks exactly the same – wasn’t enough to completely set this series apart from the rest – yet.

If we can get past the cringe-worthy catchphrases we fear will become the new thing – ‘bunda’ will haunt us all summer – we’re willing to give this new series a shot.

Love Island airs nightly at 9pm on ITV2.

Credit: Source

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