This year’s Love Island winners, Ekin-Su and Davide.Photo: Lifted Entertainment

Will the love story ever end?

Gemma Good is lamenting the end of Love Island in her column this week and has a few observations on the most recent series...

With the Love Island Reunion behind us, it’s time to say goodbye to the series that had us running to the sofa every evening by 9pm. For the first time ever, I can say I have watched an entire series. I usually watch it religiously for the first two weeks, then the novelty wears off.

The contestants definitely made this season a memorable one, in particular the self-proclaimed ‘Turkish delight’ Ekin-Su. Despite the amount of times I rolled my eyes at her, she always put a smile on my face. She was a good entertainer for sure and brought the drama to this season, but then again she is an actress!

Davide was definitely my favourite contestant, his sense of humour was brilliant and he made me laugh the most. His standout moment for me was bringing the snacks over to Jacques and Ekin-Su when they were getting to know each other, even though Ekin-Su was coupled with him. There’s no denying that he’s easy on the eye but, as he pointed out himself several times, it’s not just about the perfect body.

Despite this, his Italian-English accent has been his real claim to fame with “you are a liar, actress, go the **** out” going viral on TikTok. I showed my Italian roommate and she believes his accent is definitely put-on. I’m in no position to argue, when I try to speak French here in shops or that, people just speak English back.

The producers of the show also upped their game this year, with new twists making the show less predictable. To be honest, it needed something. The first one being that the public decided who contestants initially were coupled with. I actually liked this change. I hated the idea of contestants stepping forward simply if they liked the look of someone. One - it promotes looks over personality - and two - there is always somebody not picked!

This year’s launch episode had five million views. It’s bad enough standing alone with the contestants’ judgemental glares assessing each muscle (or lack thereof), each piece of clothing (again or lack thereof), each feature etc without thinking of 10 million eyes at home in their sitting room. Then of course the actual number of people watching is much larger, I think watching Love Island has become a family affair as much as some people hate to admit it. The pressure of being a contestant on Love Island was highlighted by Liam and Jacques this year. Huge respect to both of them for putting their mental health first and leaving the show. Going in, I think everybody expects a certain degree of pressure but the pair were obviously shocked by how hard it was.

A contestant who pleasantly surprised me was Gemma Owen who showed me that age really is just a number. When I heard there was a 19 year old on the show, I thought she’d bring the drama and the childish behaviour. She was the complete opposite and was, not only the most mature this season, but possibly one of the most switched on contestants ever. She took other people’s opinions but didn’t let them get to her, she didn’t rush to make false affirmations of love, she stuck to her word and stood by all of her actions and, in moments of tension, she remained level headed and did not let others walk all over her. Honestly, I think she was a shining example for a LI contestant.

It is hard to comment on all the issues that were raised on this year’s show, for example the bullying Tasha received, Luca’s over-protectiveness, Davide’s comments, which were often a step too far, and of course the whole Casa Amor scenes. It is always in the back of my mind that we are not getting the full story and I think many others would do well to remember this.

Contestants and their families have continued to receive death threats upon leaving the villa this year, which is ridiculous. Let us not forget that this is reality TV and also that three people associated with the show have taken their own lives. No doubt the extensive media coverage and, in same cases online harassment, can’t have helped their mental health.

So the doting couples are out now, we can follow them on social media and see how they get on in the real world, but as always remember to think before you type!

Will the love affairs continue? We’ll have to wait and see!

* Gemma Good is from Killeshandra and a second year journalism student in University of Limerick.


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