Love Island 2021 review: Danny’s exit has lifted a weight off the villa

Watching Kaz thrive while Chloe and Toby flounder feels like poetic justice

Isobel Lewis
Thursday 22 July 2021 14:38
Love Island: AJ and Danny dumped

The day that Danny entered the Love Island villa, I wrote that the emergence of an Instagram post of his using the N-word had soured the show. As he and AJ were inevitably voted off in the opening minutes of Wednesday night’s episode, it did feel like that fog is beginning to lift. As legacies go, a racism scandal and a statement from Women’s Aid condemning you for gaslighting in five days has to be one of the show’s worst, but I don’t think viewers will be quick to forget ITV’s arguably questionable handling of it either. It’s a relief watching Danny disappear into the sunset with a repeated echo of “it is what it is”, but you do have to feel for AJ, whose time on the show was massively overshadowed by him.

With them gone, we were able to focus on the show’s more stable couples. Despite their criminally low amount of airtime, Millie and Liam have somehow risen the ranks and might just be my favourite pair. Even Liam’s saccharine comment that he was “only thinking about my Millie-Moo” didn’t make me gag! Over in Jiberty land, our sweet angel kicked things off by accidentally dropping the L-bomb, prompting an excitable child’s response from Jake while Liberty curled up in a ball like a blushing armadillo. She later insisted it was more of a “love ya” than a “love you”, but there was something a tad uncomfortable about the way Jake relished her appearing to like him more than he liked her. I really, really want to be proven wrong about Jake, but with the looming spectre of Casa Amor, it feels like he’s going to be majorly tested in the coming weeks.

With two islanders gone, Hugo quickly received a text announcing the arrival of three newbies: Abigail, Georgia and Tyler. “Tyler’s a girl’s name,” Faye shouted (to be fair, we have had a Tyla before). “Well, I need Tyler to be a f***ing man,” Kaz replied. For her and Hugo, the arrival of new contestants felt like a last chance and one Kaz wasn’t going to mess up. Arriving with the intention to “f*** s*** up” (Abigail’s words), these bombshells were here to cause some much-needed drama.

Fortunately for Kaz, 6ft 6in man mountain Tyler (watching him and Liam going back-to-back was an episode highlight) only appeared to have eyes for her. With Liberty laying the groundwork and bigging her mate up – it may not be “Friend Island”, but I’d vote for Kaz and Liberty to win if I could – the blogger was able to swoop in. Yes, Kaz laid it on fairly thick, but with Tyler comparing the flirty banter between the pair “to ping pong”, things are looking up – especially if that kiss in the preview is anything to by.

On the other side of the villa, Hugo seemed happy to cruise by. In a bold move, Georgia declared her interest in him from the outset, with the PE teacher semi-ironically telling the boys: “I don’t want to sound like a player and have options, but I’m a player and I’ve got options.” I’ve previously shrugged off comparisons of Hugo to Dr Alex as overly simple, but this episode was the first time I really saw it. Hugo’s realised that he’s popular enough with the public on his own and now seems to think he’s some kind of baller who can play Georgia and Abigail off against each other. Obviously, he doesn’t have to fancy Georgia just because she’s into him but watching him audibly groan and compare him to his ex for being a “horse person” feels unkind, honestly. This strategy didn’t work out for Dr Alex – we’ll see if Hugo fares differently.

Final bombshell Abigail seems the one most likely to inject some drama into this series. The bad vibes that left with Danny briefly threatened to return when she said her celebrity crush was rapper Chris Brown (in 2021?!), but generally she seems fun. She also has her eye on Toby, revealing that she’d dated three footballers and could just be “looking for her fourth”. The comments rattled Chloe, with the couple at this point looking like one of the weakest in the villa. They’re clearly both affected by their low polling with the public and as they argued this time around, Chloe echoed the point about Toby’s immaturity that she seems to save for fights. Her comment of “maybe it’s an age thing” made him sulk even more and it’s hard not to feel a sense of poetic justice watching these two bicker while Kaz thrives. After all she’s been through (let alone Toby saying he didn’t regret his behaviour), it’s what she deserves.

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