Yes, he should’ve apologised straight away.
Yes, of course, he could have handled the Amber/Joanna recoupling situation better. And yes, a million times yes, he’s made his mistakes under the Love Island microscope.
But is he inherently bad? And does he deserve to be public enemy number one? I don’t think he does.
I absolutely don’t believe Amber is completely at fault either, and I’ll admit to not being her number one fan. But I do think the way she’s behaving is, in fact, childish and pathetic, as Michael is at pains to point out (constantly - we get it, M).
She talked trash about Joanna with no provocation, she laughed condescendingly (and not out of nerves, like I think many people believe) at Michael when she came back to the villa, a move which I recognise as having happened me in the past. I, like Michael, was instantly annoyed and on the defensive.
Michael has been trying to have calm, rational chats with Amber over the course of their time together and invariably, she’d storm off, ‘go to the toilet’, drag him rather than let his point be made. I think he just got to the end of his tether with her.
As I said before, of course, he could’ve handled it better. But to say he’s gaslighting, I think, is a stretch.
I don’t think he was deliberately lying about her to make her appear ‘crazy’ or any of those old tropes. I think he was, perhaps misguidedly, trying to proffer a defence for his recoupling choice.
While it certainly makes for excellent television to pit two halves of a doomed couple against each other, it forces us, the viewing public, to pick a team. Once you’ve chosen, unlike with the recoupling, there’s no going back.
You’re #TeamAmber or #TeamMichael.
That definitive side-picking leaves very little room for a grey area, unfortunately. And I would argue there are least fifty shades going on in this particular situation.
Main image by @mac_griffiths_
READ MORE: In Defence Of Amber Gill