Michael's aggressive, defensive, gaslighting behaviour aside, Amber shouldn't couple up with Michael because he's trash she had it won with man like Ovie.
There is something very strange happening on Love Island, something I'm not quite sure has ever happened before (I've been watching for the past four seasons). There is not a single couple in the villa, I or the rest of 3.3 million viewers want to win.
Last year, within less than a week, it was obvious that Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer had the contest in the bag. The previous year, Camilla and Jamie, Kem and Amber and Chris and Olivia all seemed to have a decent shot at taking home the trophy, with Kember ultimately emerging victorious. But this season? there's not a single couple the public is rooting for.
When the series first kicked off over 6 weeks ago, the islanders were in no rush to "fall in love." That said, there was one couple that was slowly but surely beginning to gain winning potential: Amber and Michael. Their relationship began like most modern romances; boy meets girl, boy flirts with girl, boy makes move on girl, girl pies boy but later changes her mind and they live happily ever after.
But as this season has proven, things in the Love Island villa can change in the blink of an eye, and while Amber and Michael were going from strength-to-strength, Casa Amor conveniently happened. The devil works hard but the producers work harder. There, Michael "discovered" that he "wasn't being himself", he "wasn't happy" and it was apparently all Amber's fault. His head was inevitably turned for 22-year-old, Joanna Chimonides - who he chose to couple up with over the girl he claimed he was "obviously into".
From gaslighting Amber to only being able to talk to Joanna about Amber, Michael began to show his true colours. But then came Ovie. When Love Island’s producers sent 28-year-old basketball player Ovie Soko into the Casa Amor two weeks ago, they probably assumed he’d shake things up by laying it on factor 50 with Anna, consequently persuading her to leave Jordan, which would then trigger some kind of trouble in ITV’s fairy-lit paradise. Granted, this did happen, but the drama was squashed quickly when Anna’s indecisiveness led her back to Jordan and Ovie reacted by enjoying an ice pop in the garden, utterly unbothered. He then coupled up with Amber as friends and the pair were stanned so hard it felt as though the two could be the show's first-ever friend-zoned couple winner.
“This isn’t Friend Island” is the disclaimer many Love Island contestants use just before and after doing something bad to one of their friends, like necking on with their partner or throwing them under the bus during a scrap. It’s the raunchy, reality TV version of “no offence, but...”, an empty attempt to cover up the fact that you're about to do or say something completely immoral. But ever since Ovie entered the villa and began to disrupt the status quo with his cool indifference and his obscure film reference that now chases every “I’ve got a text!” with a booming “Message!”, I’ve realised that, actually, I, the viewing public and Amber would be far happier viewing Friend Island.
Amber and Ovie have a big-brother-little-sister relationship, quite easily evidenced by the lack of “so where’s your head at?” chat when they’re together and his support for her feelings towards Michael. Watching the pair hang out, be silly and just have a laugh is entertaining enough on its own, so why do we need to see them become romantically involved? If we can learn anything from the public’s response to Ovie’s villa antics – from his dancing to the sound of the kettle boiling to his facial expressions when faced with drama – it’s that Love Island viewers don’t really want to watch people fall in “love” at all, we just want to watch funny, attractive people go on the summer holiday we can’t afford. The occasional argument helps to make sure things don’t get repetitive, but romance? Take a minute to consider the amount of airtime Tommy and Molly-Mae - the only long-term couple - have been given since they officially became boyfriend and girlfriend last week and then tell me what kind of content we all prefer.
But then, as we were all enjoying Friend Island, the Love Island producers blinked and everything changed - for the worse. Joanna left the villa, Michael was sad for approx. 0.3 seconds, new islander Greg came in and told Amber straight-up that he liked her, and then, coincidently, Michael swooped in and told her he also was interested again. Et voila: another Love Island triangle.
Now Amber finds herself in the difficult position as tonight she has to pick which boy she'd rather couple up - and I pray she chooses neither because let’s be honest here: there is something slightly icky about the forced nature of the romantic exchanges on Love Island. If Amber and Michael have found that famous yet elusive connection in the villa, then good for them, but I don't buy it. And even if Greg does genuinely like Amber, I can't help but see it as a desperate flit for the public's favourite single girl in an attempt to save himself from being dumped from the island.
We live in a relatively progressive society, so why are we still judging people’s worth by their relationship statuses? Ovie and Amber need to stay coupled up as friends so that they can have a shot at winning and prove they don’t need to find romantic partners in order to leave the villa victorious and be happy. Yes, finding love might be the aim of the game, but it’s 2019 and the rules are changing.
Main image by ITV
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