Love Island's torture of Alex goes on, but the tragic end could be in sight

Tom Peck

When, on Wednesday night, Eyal was stretched out under the stars, outlining his “beliefs” to Adam and Charlie, moments after the former had asked whether the north star was the “one that shines over Newcastle” and the latter wanted to know which one was “Ryan’s belt”, precious little of Eyal’s actual worldview made the final cut.

So it was kind of the Love Island producers to atone for that grave error 24 hours later, by giving the villa's self-appointed Philosopher King a real chance to fully develop the deep thinking that has led to his emergence, at the age of just 22, as the most widely disliked contestant on the most morally bankrupt show in British TV history.

And that worldview, by the way, turns out to be a surprising combination of a 1980s neoliberal and an actual feudal knight.

Once Eyal was concerned with the “energy and aura” around people, but things have got serious now and suddenly life’s about who’s prepared to work the hardest.

And Eyal, as he pointed out to Alex shortly before the midpoint of his 24 hour sense of humour failure, has “worked hard to get the outcome I’ve got with Megan.” And so Alex should just accept that Megan, who I’m sure at some point or other has definitely been a sentient being free to make her own choices in life, in fact represents the profit’s on Eyal’s labour and as such belongs to him.

Alex, meanwhile, appears to be of the view that in fact Megan could and should be redistributed, and actually appears ready to instigate violent revolution to make it so.

But, beneath the layers of Factor 50, the cracks in Alex are starting to show. As if it wasn’t already obvious that his night time raid on Megan’s affections had taken him so so far out of his comfort zone that he may still be suffering altitude sickness, later on he would confess to not just apologising to Eyal but to “ironing his shirt for him”, an act so far removed from alpha maledom that there are not enough letters in the Greek alphabet to classify it.

If Alex is still wondering why his quest for love seems forever fruitless, he may have been interested to discover that it has been a deliberate production decision all along. In Thursday’s Daily Challenge, the girls had to put the boys in rank order of Most Compatible to Least Compatible, according to a survey they had taken before the series began, the Least Compatible having to stand on the end with a big crying emoji hung around his neck.

If Alex knew, as he spent all afternoon topless in the baking sun, quite literally wearing a badge of dreadful humiliation, that his role in the challenge mimicked one of the most notorious torture treatments practised in Japanese POW camps in the Second World War, he nevertheless styled it out with the customary good grace only he has been forced into learning.

But on to the big news. By this time tomorrow, it could very well be Alex and his keeper Samira who are on the plane home, if the public generously decide to put him out of his misery and save Hayley and Charlie.

If it is to be Hayley who leaves, the timing will be unfortunate, as news of the shock “Least Compatible Couple” vote revealed in her previously unseen depths. Unseen depths of stupidity, that is.

The news that the couples would be forced to vote for the least compatible couple, and one of the two least compatible couples would be voted out by the public on Friday night, was something of a shock to everyone.

But it was a shock the other six couples recovered from in time to work out that, as they retreated to disparate corners of the garden for hushed deliberations over which couples had and hadn’t been getting on very well, this was definitely not the time to engineer a nineteen decibel row.

It is a pity that Hayley is in such clear and present danger. Jeopardy now has a proven habit of swinging open a trap door in the Hayley psyche, revealing previously unknown layers of brainlessness, like the vast root system of a petrified tree.

If she stays in the villa long enough to reveal the full unexplored depths of her unceasing stupefaction don’t be surprised to see a marine biologist glide past in one of those submersible pods chasing after a vampire squid.

Increasingly Hayley comes to resemble some kind of Picture of Dorian Gray remake, in which out in the real world there is another Hayley, imbued with the gift of infinite knowledge. But every great scientific breakthrough she makes renders the other Hayley, trapped in a villa in Mallorca taking part in a very low rent reality TV show even stupider, until eventually, in the middle of a challenge involving a greased up space hopper and a water pistol full of whipped cream she finds she no longer knows how to breathe, keels over and dies.

My prediction? Hayley and Charlie to go, but as Leon Jackson, Matt Cardle and Theresa May amply show, there is no accounting for the tastes of the Great British public.