Love Island 2021 review: To root for Faye and Teddy or not, that is the question

Priya and Aaron are doing their best, but it’s hard to care about anyone other than the OG couples at this stage

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 11 August 2021 20:20 BST
Love Island: Faye apologises to Teddy

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


If you’ve made it this far into Love Island 2021, then congratulations: the end is nearly in sight. Yep, after we’ve invested six and a half weeks of our summer in this show, things feel like they’re winding up. So where does that leave the new bombshells? With viewers naturally rooting for the couples who’ve been together longest (regardless of whether they’re actually suited to each other), any newcomers are given the mammoth task of attempting to prise apart the OGs, or simply make us care about them at all.

Case in point: newbies Aaron and Priya, who have clearly been brought in for remaining singletons Mary and Matthew. Priya and Matthew ticked off the checklist of Love Island mating rituals as they flirted – he brought her an iced coffee, they did push-ups together, he wore a fedora. Priya said she was taking things “slow and steady”, which made sense as they literally met 24 hours ago, but their relationship feels so inconsequential to the rest of the villa that it’s hard to care about them either way.

At least Aaron kept things spicy by sticking to his guns and continuing to flirt with Chloe and Mary. Chloe may not be being swayed from Toby anytime soon, but if there’s two things she loves, it’s A) a good ol’ flirt and B) making Toby squirm. Mary and Aaron, on the other hand, do actually seem well matched, if your idea of flirting is trading insults and giggling (which fortunately for me, it is). Aaron made her a romantic lunch of sweets in a bowl and hummus with carrot sticks, the latter of which Priya compared to a birthday cake with all the “tell me you’re a medical student without telling me you’re a medical student” energy she could muster. Luckily for him, Mary was easily impressed and said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her, prompting a deliciously savage “surely not” from Millie.

But as much as the episode wanted us to focus on these budding romances, it all felt like a distraction from what we’re really interested in… Teddy and Faye. In all likelihood prompted by producers, Faye had realised she was in the wrong during her horrible past arguments and let down her walls to say sorry – a word that she admitted “rarely leaves my lips”. Tears falling from her eyes while the rest of her face remained characteristically frozen, this more vulnerable Faye prompted an apology from Teddy too, who was no longer on the defensive either. It’s hard to know at this point whether I’m rooting for this couple against my better judgement, but the pair shared a bedroom once more, reuniting to a chorus of chants by the boys and the mysterious sound of “clapping cheeks”.

Because yes – things have gone to sexy new levels in the villa. For all its big talk, this series has so far been a little all mouth, no trousers – but shagging (or something like it) is finally happening! The boys and girls huddled up the next morning for the daily debrief, a tradition that looks more and more like a performance of “Summer Nights” from Grease with every episode. Millie and Liam/Toby and Chloe seem like the most likely culprits, but their whole NVQ code for talking about sex makes the conversation pretty impenetrable – which, I guess, is the point.

Then there was yet another challenge, which truly feel like episode fillers at this point. It doesn’t help that every game is virtually the same: boys do sexy dance, take part in messy task, rescue their “damsels in distress”. Littered with terrible Gladiator puns and Liam comparing himself to Tom Jones while “Sex Bomb” played (because, y’know, Welsh), this one at least provided us with the sight of Jake getting stuck in a paddling pool of “lava”. The team returned, but who was that lurking on the day bed? Yes, it’s PHD-student-cum-model Brett, whose “ahem” prompted shrieks from Priya and Chloe as they spotted him. Will he spell trouble and switch things up? Or is he joining too late to actually form any kind of connection in the villa or with the viewers? My money, sadly, is on the latter.

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