With the final of Love Island upon us, panic is spreading across the country like an epidemic. What does life look like after Love Island? What will I do in the evenings? Is it even still summer? Unfortunately, fellow Island-addicts, these are not questions I can answer. I’m not even sure I remember how to have a conversation which isn’t about Love Island, and so this disease means that you, kind reader, will have to endure a second article of mine about Love Island in a single summer (in both senses). But consider yourself lucky.
This season has been a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Between Megan jumping between various boys, Laura getting dumped every five minutes and Georgia’s heart-breaking performance the Islanders have barely had a chance to enjoy their holiday. However, while it pains me to admit it, in my opinion this season was terrible. It was boring, it was predictable and I didn’t particularly like any of the contestants (Jack and Dani excluded, obviously). It wasn’t the quality of TV that has kept me hooked these last weeks, it was human curiosity. I learned so much from watching other people’s behaviours, interactions and decisions. For example, I learned about gas-lighting, both male and female manifestations of insecurity and loyalty, which apparently I had previously misunderstood.
With just the final few couples remaining, the conversation has switched to predicting the winner. Jack and Dani are perhaps the most obvious choice, having stayed fairly strong since the beginning. I have great praise for the couple after watching them overcome their various hurdles in such a respectful and yet emotional way. While they are not perfect, it is clear that they hold each-other in such high regard and are a symbol of the inevitable imperfection of love and relationships. Megan and Wes, however, have not had such a consistent history in the villa. While I happen to strongly dislike both of them, they are not without value. Aside from drama, they both brought things to the villa. Like Josh and Kaz, Megan instigating the romance with Wes, though undeniably sly, is a beaming light in a world shadowed by misogyny and testosterone. It was so refreshing to see a real-life version of a strong female lead in both Megan and Kaz, both of whom at certain points wore the trousers, so to speak.
Laura, miraculously, not only still remains in the villa but she remains standing tall with dignity and a handsome man (note man, not boy). Laura has her faults like anyone, but I admire her so enormously for her resilience and ability to consistently be the bigger person. Her occasional outbursts are always warranted and allow viewers to see a vulnerability often hidden in real life. Her presence in the villa is very much deserved and I am so grateful to see such a strong woman appear to finally have found her match.
Last but not least, Alex and Alex. Male Alex has, in my opinion, somehow managed to worm his way to the end through pure luck. Female Alex, however, is no less than a Queen. Her strength, her empowerment and her composure are inspiring, and while I may not love her I greatly respect her. She might have made it to the winners podium had this not been a competition for couples. As you may have realised by now, this article could easily become an essay. The point I am making here is that each couple, whether you like them or not, are valid winners and deserving of respect. While I may be praying for Dani and Jack to take the crown, I will happily applaud whichever couple wins.