This year’s Love Island undoubtedly belongs to the loveable ‘villain’ Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu.
The 27-year-old actress has been working overtime to bring us nothing but Bafta-worthy television since she entered the Majorcan villa earlier this month as a new bombshell alongside Afia Tonkmor, and for that, we have to give her her dues.
While many fans have branded Ekin-Su the series villain, I think she deserves a little more credit because let’s face it, she’s actually one of the best and most chaotic contestants in the history of the ITV2 show. Heck, she’s so good lots of us are convinced she’s been planted there by producers.
Since Ekin-Su’s arrival, Love Island audiences have seen her get on her hands and knees and crawl on the floor to sneak secret kisses with Jay Younger behind her then-partner partner Davide Sanclimenti’s back.
More recently, she clashed with dumped islander Amber Beckford after being called out for game playing and ‘loving the drama’.
And she also came to blows with Gemma Owen for repeating back a private conversation that implied Gemma was open to getting to know new boys despite being in a couple with Luca Bish.
Oh, and then she revealed that she’s not quite over Davide even though they had the biggest bust-up on the series to date.
Yes, Ekin-Su really is carrying series eight on her back (no wonder she had to crawl).
Previous Love Island series have been packed with ‘villains’. Remember Jake Cornish from series seven who dumped Liberty Poole shortly after he told the boys he didn’t want to rip her clothes off?
Or Jonny Mitchell from season three, who was branded the villain after breaking Camilla Thurlow’s heart before then being dubbed ‘possessive’ by a women’s charity for his behaviour towards Theo Campbell as he vied for Tyla Carr’s affections?
These guys are a different breed of baddie compared to Ekin-Su, who in the grand scheme of things is actually pretty harmless and totally loved by the audience.
That’s because, without Ekin-Su, there wouldn’t be much to talk about at all. Yes, we’re loving Indiyah Polack’s and Dami Hope’s blossoming romance, but what viewers really want is vim. They want Iain Stirling’s ‘tomorrow night’ teaser to reveal Ekin-Su on her hands and knees or her admitting that she’s still got feelings for Davide.
Ekin-Su is even more loveable having shown her sensitive side when she wept in the Beach Hut in previous scenes when Davide stopped making her coffee in the morning. Pretty ridiculous, but we’ve all been there, right? This endearing moment gave audiences this sense of relatability. Ekin-Su wears her heart on her sleeve, isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and is giving us high-quality entertainment (for better or worse) night after night.
It’s because of Ekin-Su’s antics that we keep tuning back in for more. Who is she going to wind up on the sun beds tonight? Will she try her luck with Davide once again?
And without her in the villa, I need not remind you that Love Island would quickly revert back to Gemma Owen show. And remember how painstaking that was? Even Susanna Reid was unimpressed.
‘Is it Love Island or Gemma Owen Island?’ she vented on Good Morning Britain viewers. ‘She’s at the heart of every story so far.’
So, let’s not forget the impact of Ekin-Su’s wickedly wonderful ways.
Everyone is living for Ekin-Su’s loveable villain energy, and there would be no show without her. This year’s Love Island belongs to her and her only.
Love Island airs tonight at 9pm on ITV2.