Love Island 2021 review: Why are Faye and Aaron burning bridges this close to the end?

Never have a group of islanders seemed more determined not to win £50,000

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 18 August 2021 09:46
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Love Island: Faye lets rip at Jake at fire pit

Say what you like about the cast of Love Island 2021, but my god, they are not giving each other an easy ride. Usually, with less than a week to go, the couples are settled and determined not to rock the boat, with any drama feeling like it’s being eked out to fill valuable minutes of screentime. It may not be, y’know, interesting, but an entire episode wasted on Priya and Brett talking about brie only for them to be dumped anyway is the sort of mundanity we’ve come to expect. But this series is different. Never have a group of islanders seemed more determined not to win £50,000 and burn all their bridges before they go. They say it shows they’re real, but when the fights feel so inconsequential, it’s hard not to roll your eyes.

The episode opened (and somehow stuck with for an entire hour) on the fall-out from the recent vote over which couples were the least compatible. Liberty and Jake took their votes in their stride (this is the closest you’ll get to me complimenting Jake all series), but Faye and Teddy and – for some reason – Mary and Aaron took it reeeeally personally. Now, it can’t be nice knowing your friends had to vote for you, but any normal human put in that situation would have an acceptance that it’s part of the game. I voted for someone, you voted for someone, we all had to vote for someone, no?

We forget that these are not real people – at least in that way. They have lived their lives as the sparkling, enigmatic main characters and the thought that someone would list them negatively is unfathomable. Faye and Teddy went on the warpath, figuring out exactly who voted for them and then going in. It’s difficult because Liberty, Kaz and Millie are Faye’s closest friends and she felt they should have told her if they had a problem with their relationship. But as the girls kept insisting, ranking someone second highest on a list doesn’t have to mean you actually think they’re incompatible, just within the frame of everyone else. But you can’t argue with Faye – if she really thinks Kaz and Tyler have been through exactly the same hardships as her and Teddy after the last few weeks, that’s on her.

Far more baffling, however, was Aaron and Mary’s anger at ending up in the bottom four. Sorry, it’s not that deep, you’re just the second most recent couple in. Kaz and Tyler ended up bearing the brunt again because they didn’t pick Priya and Brett, despite Priya entering on exactly the same day as Aaron. “You’re telling me genuinely that you look around this villa and you thought their connection was stronger than mine and Mary’s?” Aaron asked, before telling Kaz she “must be blind”. Kaz – a woman who has bodied every tongue that dared to rise against her in the villa – explained her points calmly and succinctly without every backing down. There was a clear winner and Aaron skulked away, only to try and have a go at her for talking about him in a conversation he’d just left. The determination to destroy your legacy this close to the end? I know it’s been an intense year, but sheesh.

The (intended) light relief at the end of the episode came in the form of the talent show, a moment I would usually watch on mute were it not for this review. If you can’t handle cringe, this was the scene to look away from as we were subjected to horrible dancing, horrible singing and Faye being horrible to everyone in roast form. However, my heart unexpectedly soared at the sight of Millie plonking out what was apparently an Ed Sheeran song on a wobbly keyboard. I’m still not won over by Millie and Liam again, but if that’s the thing that makes him admit he loves her, fair play.

It’s the show’s final week and I have honestly never felt so unsure about a group of contestants – or what on earth is going on. It feels like drama is being stretched out to fill these final episodes, but not by the producers. It’s the contestants who cannot let a single thing go. Maybe it’s proof that they’re really not in it for the money (because let’s be clear, this is not the kind of behaviour that endears you to the public). Maybe they just like shouting a lot. At this point, either makes sense.

Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2

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