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Image / Living / Culture

‘Love Island’ is finally love islanding and last night’s episode was full of drama


by Sarah Finnan
23rd Jul 2021

From Lifted Entertainment

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Things are heating up in the 'Love Island' villa with this week bringing all of the drama that viewers have been asking for and then some.

Are we all still reeling from last night’s Love Island episode? Because I haven’t quite digested it yet, so much happened… in fact, it was probably the most dramatic night so far. Which admittedly isn’t saying much by this year’s standards, I know.

The boys on this year’s season have been quite a topic of contention amongst fans and the past few days haven’t done much to redeem them in my eyes. Between the extremely problematic conversation between Danny and Lucinda, to Toby’s treatment of Chloe… there’s a lot to unpack, so let’s delve right in, shall we? 

Red flags 

To quote the memes, Love Island is finally love islanding. We asked for drama and drama we most certainly got. At least in last night’s episode, which left us with Hugo’s mic drop moment. But I may be getting slightly ahead of myself as lots happened in the run-up to Mr Hammond’s speech. 

Two new boys and two new girls entered the villa for one. We’ll get to Georgia, Abigail and Tyler later on, but first, we need to talk about Danny. Much as I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, the Wigan plumber was waving red flags before he could even say “my type on paper”. In fact, he’s probably one of this season’s most controversial islanders so far.

As is usually the case when new bombshells are added to the lineup, fans went straight to his social media to suss him out. Safe to say that didn’t end well for Danny boy and he immediately came under fire for an old comment he made on Instagram – one in which he used a racial slur in response to a friend. Forced to apologise for the comment, his entry into the villa was already tainted… producers playing a certain Jay-Z/Kanye West song didn’t do much to help the situation either. 

Over 1,500 Ofcom complaints flowed in during his two-day stint on the show (more than double the previous week’s count) and while there’s no way of attributing those complaints specifically to Danny, 1,081 of those were made on the day following his arrival… so it’s most likely that they were about him. Going on two dates  – one with Kaz, the other with Sharon – Danny ultimately set his sights on Lucinda but many of his tactics were questionable, to say the least. Admitting that his worst fear would be for her to “mug” him off, Danny’s tone was a little threatening and it only went further downhill from there, lest we forget his lamborghini comparison. 

Both deciding not to pursue things between them, Danny told Lucinda that he kissed AJ in the challenge to see if it would make her jealous (red flag) before comparing her to a matte black Lamborghini (his favourite car) that doesn’t work. A bizarre conversation to say the least and one that only drew attention to Danny’s toxic dating traits. According to a statement released by Women’s Aid during the week, they were “increasingly concerned” by his behaviour towards Lucinda, accusing him of “gaslighting, possessiveness, and manipulation” with the organisation urging Love Island to “recognise coercive control when it’s happening on the show”.  

The age-old debate

Danny soon departed from the villa alongside new love interest AJ, but there was plenty of action still to happen – much of it perpetrated by Toby who is another contestant that has continuously set tongues wagging this season. First for how he handled the love triangle between him, Chloe and Kaz, more recently for his behaviour once he learned that new girl Abigail was interested in him. 

Giving every impression that he and Chloe were in a good place, it quickly transpired that the duo was definitely not on the same page after Toby entertained advances from Abi. However, the real problem isn’t with him getting to know other people but rather with how he chose to communicate this to both parties. Pretty much giving Abigail the green light to continue testing the waters, Toby was less than clear with Chloe who left their first conversation thinking that he was going to nip things in the bud with the new arrival. Telling Abigail one thing and Chloe another, he gives the impression of wanting to have his cake and eat it too (as Chloe rightly pointed out).  

Which begs the question of whether he’s just too young and inexperienced/immature to be on the show? Almost four years Chloe’s junior, she already had reservations about the age gap but was willing to put that aside given how well the two got on. Fast forward a few episodes and the topic of age has been thrown in the ring once again. Already admitting that he doesn’t know how to process his emotions (uh oh), Toby seems to really need things to be spelled out for him before he understands why other people often feel hurt by his actions.

Not only did he say that he had no regrets about how he handled his breakup with Kaz, but she literally had to break down exactly why his behaviour was disrespectful… and even then, it was hard to tell if he was apologising because he truly saw where she was coming from or because he felt that was what he had to do. 

 

At 22 years old, Toby isn’t even the youngest contestant on the show and past seasons will tell you that age isn’t necessarily all that important a factor (Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague were just 20 when they were on the show and they’re still going strong two years later). Here’s the thing though, as most people will tell you, maturity comes with age. Sure, this is also dependent on each individual (Liam is one year younger than Toby but his behaviour would suggest otherwise), but as a whole boys need time to grow into men. 

Much of this season’s women are over the age of 25. They’re strong, independent and know what they want… which is essentially exactly what each of the male islanders said they’re looking for. But that’s not the reality when it comes down to it. Toby is extremely sensitive to criticism (as portrayed by his reaction to being one of the public’s least favourite couples), and having openly said that he’s still learning how to talk to women, I think there’s a definite argument that he just wasn’t ready for Love Island. “I’m learning, I’ve never been in a relationship, I don’t know what to do,” he told Liberty. Fine when he uses it as an excuse, not so fine when Chloe does.  

People’s feelings being hurt could have been avoided had Toby had an honest conversation in which he laid all his cards on the table though, but he seems to be thriving off the drama instead. 

Honesty, honesty 

As is Hugo, who really stole the show with his impassioned speech last night. Left to choose between new girl Georgia and his good pal Chloe, it was fairly obvious who he was going to couple up with. Already telling Georgia that he didn’t feel there was a spark between them, everyone already knew that he’d back Chloe… but they probably weren’t expecting just how much he’d have to say on the matter. Previously telling Chloe that he felt she deserved better when discussing Toby’s behaviour, Hugo really didn’t hold back and he definitely made a statement at the fire pit. 

 

Often compared to Dr Alex, one of the series’ most-loved islanders, Hugo gives the impression that he’s a friend to all. He’s this year’s Curtis, wanting to make everyone coffee in the morning, acting as a confidante when things go awry. He’s an all-round nice guy and though he hasn’t managed to find love this far, he has many new friendships in lieu of that. His fierce protectiveness over Chloe has divided the internet though. On one hand, people have commended him for speaking out on her behalf and not just letting Toby get away with things because he’s his friend. On the other, views have pointed out that he wasn’t so brave when it was Kaz that was being disrespected. 

Obviously, fans were shocked by Hugo’s sudden outburst, but islanders were even more so judging by their facial reactions which did little to hide their surprise. According to Twitter, “we don’t like Hugo because he only spoke up to impress Chloe. He didn’t have the same energy for Kaz when Toby disrespected her and his speech was really distasteful with Georgia there. We still don’t like Toby.”

So, is his speech only because he feels he may have something to gain? His type is leggy blonde after all and Chloe definitely fits the bill. Describing her as “out of this world bootiful”, the more cynical amongst us would say that his comments might make her see him in a new light (he finished with “stranger things have happened”… a comment on him and Chloe getting together romantically?) Maybe he is just being a decent person and sticking up for a friend though, only time will tell. 

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