Love Island review: New girl Ekin-Su is bringing the drama as she clashes with Gemma

·3-min read

At some point in every series of Love Island, a contestant will sassily point out that this is a show about finding romance, not friendship. I imagine that “Friend Island”, the alternative reality TV show they refer to, would actually be quite fun. But as new girls Afia and Ekin-Su arrive in the villa, just four days into this year’s series, they make it clear that friendship is dead in the water. “I’m sorry, I’m not here to make seasonal girlfriends, I’m here to find the love of my life,” Ekin-Su says. The other girls, it’s safe to say, are rattled.

First, both girls head out on a date with Liam, voted for by the public I assume partly because they like him, and partly to annoy Gemma. There’s something incredibly endearing about this series’ himbo king, especially when Afia tells him that she’s from south-east London and he replies: “Is that like Chelsea?” He clearly has a better connection with both girls than he does with Gemma, who‘s having some bone-dry conversation with Davide back at the villa.

The trio return, Liam sandwiched between them and beaming from ear to ear. Indiyah immediately necks her drink (a girl out of my own heart) while the boys eye the newbies up in wonder. They’re asked to list their “top three”s (this series’ “type on paper”) and both girls go for Andrew. Afia has her eye on Ikenna, which Indiyah later admits is making her feel territorial.

Ekin-Su, meanwhile, is into both Davide and Luca. You can see Gemma’s hackles raise and she seethes even more when Ekin-Su patronises her by saying Gemma could be her little sister. The age thing is clearly starting to become as big a deal for the dressage rider as it is for the public, leading her and Davide to reassure each other that they usually date older/younger, again. Still, Ekin-Su is unfazed. “I don’t think a 19-year-old is your competition,” Afia tells her. Oof!

Liam re-entering the villa with Afia and Ekin-Su (ITV)
Liam re-entering the villa with Afia and Ekin-Su (ITV)

The drama Ekin-Su has brought to the villa is much needed – but jeez, does it have to be so cringe? She’s blowing kisses to the boys in the dark and describing herself as “wife material”. In one traumatic moment, she launches into a bizarre “Somerset” “accent” and sings the Spongebob Squarepants theme tune while flirting with Andrew. He ignores it, while I draft a formal complaint to Ofcom on behalf of my west country compatriots.

Things culminate in a game of beer pong which brings about some surprise revelations. Andrew and Paige are asked to snog the person they see as girlfriend/boyfriend material and, despite seemingly being happy in their current couples, go for each other. Luca then pulls Gemma for a chat and says he wants to get to know her too. The ball, once again, is in Gemma’s court. Or should that be pitch?

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