Love Island's first ever Longford representative is only going up in our estimations.
Oh, Maura Higgins, where do we even start?
As an avid Love Island watcher (this will be my 4th consecutive series, judge me as you will), I can honestly say I've never looked up to any of the female contestants.
Sure, last summer, Laura handled her repeat rejections with class and in season 3, Camilla proved that even reserved, shy girls can excel on reality tv, but collectively, role models the women on Love Island are not.
That was until, the producers of this year's show looked to cast Maura Higgins, the 28-year old model and ring girl from County Longford, Ireland.
On her late entry to the Love Island villa – all of 10 days ago – it was clear from the outset that pleasing the masses wasn't high on her agenda, nor was sparing the emotions of already 'coupled up' housemates who got in her way.
Petite and undeniably beautiful, she showed off her alliteration prowess in a manner no English teacher would approve of, while the Internet watched agasp at her candour and confidence. Switching up preconceived gender roles straight away, she missed no opportunity to make her blatant and flirtatious (we're being kind here) intentions known, and for a while, it looked as though she was going to get all that she wanted in the villa.
Sadly, as he so often tends to do, Cupid shot his arrows in directions other than Maura's, and it seemed the masses were tiring of her sex-positivity, with every mention of the 'FFs'. Somehow, a woman making the first move – albeit a bold one – totally threw we people. Some deemed her a 'sexual predator' and called on producers to axe her from the show.
But in the episodes since, Maura has proved that she's much more than 'all mouth'.
More than 'all mouth'
Firstly, despite laying ALL, and I mean all, of her cards on the table in a bid to claim housemate Tommy Furey as her own, she took his decision to 'recouple' with rival Molly-Mae on the chin and there's been zero animosity between with love triangle since. Rejection, we're all familiar with; rejection in front of 480,000 spectators, not so much.
Then, when a newbie called Tom (I know, it's confusing), came into the house and it looked as though things were coming up Maura, she overheard her new love interest indulging in what could only be described as a real-life 'lad's chat', ahead of their night alone together in the Hideaway. Grinning like he was guaranteed to get lucky later, Tom - goaded on by his fellow male housemates -wondered whether sexually-assured Maura was “all mouth or not”.
Standing downwind of their immature conversation, it'd be safe to say Maura had none of Tom from that comment on. She called him out on his misogyny immediately, telling him that just because she's open about sex, did not mean she was a sure thing that night. Tom slept in the dog house rather than the Hideaway.
The following morning, tempers had abated a little, and while Maura seemed over all the drama, she made certain Tom didn't know that. In true alpha-female form, she treated him as her veritable slave for the day, running him around the villa at her beck and call. As in, there's actual footage of him running to get her hairbrush.
Be More Maura
But tonight's Love Island, I think, will really cement Maura's status as the villa's guilty feminist.
During last night's episode, love-rat Tom confided in Jordan that he wasn't really sure if he and Maura were going to work, claiming he wasn't a fan of her "loud, attention-seeking behaviour" and that she was "a bit cringe".
Long reality tv-story short, this news comes to Maura's attention tonight and she's less-than-pleased.
"Why is he asking Jordan for advice on that when it’s such early days, we are still getting to know each other," she asks Anna.
"Obviously he is writing it off before we get to know each other. It’s the fact that he’s not once ever said it to me.”
And as we've learned that it's not in her nature to let something slide, Maura plans to have it out with Tom tonight.
"To be honest with you, I don’t want to be sharing a bed with someone that might have talked rubbish about me. Something bad has been said, I know that for a fact and I’m going to find out."
Watch Love Island tonight at 9pm on Virgin Media Two.