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Image / Editorial

What Love Island and teenage Gaeltacht summers have in common


by Louise Bruton
27th Jun 2019

Yewande from Love Island 2019

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Yewande from Love Island 2019

Within the frames of ‘Love Island’, there is a spin-off in the making – how friend groups develop or splinter when faced with hostility or unexpected drama


“I fucking love you!”

These are  £50,000 words that every Love Island contestant wants to hear but this week, these words were uttered by Amber who was saying goodbye to Yewande who was just voted out of the villa. You learn a lot during an eviction.

You can tell the difference between the real tears and the crocodile tears.

The men immediately formed a U-11 football team loyalty, always cheering each other on and giving pep talks in the bedroom before a date.”

As Anna and Amber sobbed through Yewande’s exit, you could tell that their friendship was real,  even if the show doesn’t always let us in on that subplot. 

The relationships created on Love Island are hyper versions of reality.

The Gaeltacht

The only thing they can compare to are the intense relationships you develop in the Gaeltacht as a teenager, the ladies toilets on a night out or a weekend at a music festival when love (and booze) is all around you.

Related: Female friendship is a treasure

The way that Anna and Amber reacted to Danny choosing Arabella over their BFF Yewande proves that there’s a more interesting TV show working within the frames of Love Island – how friend groups develop or splinter when faced with hostility or unexpected drama. 

This year, the men on Love Island immediately formed a U-11 football team loyalty, always cheering each other on and giving pep talks in the bedroom before a date but the gals took a little longer to get to that point. Rather than steadfast loyalty, there’s steadfast rivalry a-brewing at every turn.

Longford Leader

Amy and Lucie bashed heads when they both fell into official couples with their respective fellas and Amy felt her thunder was being stolen as this was her first (half) boyfriend ever and how dare anyone else get a fella when that’s the main objective of the show.

Molly-Mae and Maura, the true Longford Leader, laid out the confusing rules of girl code, wherein it’s okay when I  step in on your fella without asking but it’s not okay when you do it. 

Related: I’m a Love Island virgin

For the sake of an entertaining hour-long show each evening, the day’s activities are condensed to standout lines, hardcore shifting and cross-garden stare-offs so a lot of the fun is left on the cutting room floor. Because daggers are considered better reality telly than silliness,  we don’t always follow the timeline of friendships accurately in Love Island until trouble whacks into this neon-lined paradise like a massive spray-tanned wrecking ball.

While the lads have a strange and juvenile camaraderie, they’ve got a knack for hashing out any issues.”

This week’s grand throwdown came when Yewande let her lukewarm feelings towards Danny pave the way for Arabella to slink in, much to the utter disgust of Amber and Anna, whose devotion to their pal  shone through but it came with a mean girl edge. 

Hollywood babes

It’s hard to imagine the psychological torture that is going into a house full of chiselled and Hollywood waxed babes, only to compete with them all in the quest for love.

Driven wild with hormones –  fuelled by the strict no masturbation rule – and falling into the trap of a false fancy, you can easily convince yourself that the thing you’re experiencing right now is real love, forgetting that the real prize is £50, 000 and not a partner for life.

So when Danny gave up on trying to win the affections of Yewande, who broadcast very loudly one night that she doesn’t want to be touched by him,  the reaction from her fellow musketeers was vitriolic and they were digging at Danny to say something he’d regret.

Related: Love Island and your self esteem


Amber and Anna found strength in each other so they didn’t back down in their playground tactics, even though they were fighting  a pointless battle.

The Love Island house has its own ecosystem and teams form quite easily but as much as the under the duvet actions are exemplified, the venom and the in-house fighting becomes toxic rather quickly. While the lads have a strange and juvenile camaraderie, they’ve got a knack for hashing out any issues – like Anton always taking rejection like a champ when the new girls inevitably choose the only other single man over him – and then moving on. 

They should all remember that they’ve actually found love in Yewande and each other and put some fun back into this game.” 

Even though none of the contestants will actually admit that they’re playing a game, it feels like the gals are permanently on edge. As drama seems to be bubbling between Lucie and Molly-Mae over that jughead Tommy and Amy continues to play the princess, we need Anna and Amber to redistribute the loyalty and  team spirit that they’re so capable of. 

Instead of worrying where the lols are between Danny and Arabella, maybe they should remember that they’ve actually found love in Yewande and each other and put some fun back into this game that they signed up for. 

As much as she’s pulling a blinder so far, Maura can’t continue fly the flag for fun (and feminism) alone. 


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