Love Island 2021 review: Maybe Hugo is a good guy after all

By respectfully asking Chloe how she felt, Hugo provided her with the space to articulate her feelings without being forced into an uncomfortable conversation

Elise Bell
Monday 26 July 2021 18:24
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Aaron and Lucinda are being dumped from 'Love Island' after public vote

We all know the “Nice Guy”. The Nice Guy will open your doors, will offer to buy your drinks but not be upset if you suggest going halves, will always be your best friend – right up until the moment they expect more. Those other guys? They’re not Nice Guys, but he is, and as such is owed your attention. Quite often, the Nice Guy is the villain in this story. A misogynist in sheep’s clothing. So where does Hugo fit in all of this?

After ~the speech~ on Thursday night, it was evident that things might not be so clear cut between Hugo and Chloe. Yes, they’re friends, and yes, Toby did mug Chloe off, but something had shifted in the atmosphere. With new girl Georgia primed and ready to leap onto Hugo’s face, his swift rebuttal added to the speculation over what could be the glowing embers of unrequited love. Did Hugo have Chloe’s best interests at heart, or was the ~the speech~ a performative act, a gesture of showmanship in an attempt to become Chloe’s knight in shining armour?

Thanks to Aaron (RIP, your showmance with Lucinda will not be forgotten) and his not-so-subtle hint to make a move, it was time for Hugo to take the plunge, especially after a public vote that saw Lucinda and Aaron dumped from the villa. Here was Chloe, his gorgeous best friend, newly single and “indebted” in gratitude thanks to Hugo saving her skin. If this sounds like the plotline to a problematic John Green novel, you’re not wrong.

If you, like me, watch Love Island with your face directly connected to your phone screen, you will also have seen the near-miss kiss between Hugo and Chloe as the results of the public vote were revealed. The ecstasy of hope, followed by the agony of humiliation, can be witnessed in that half a second exchange, as Hugo’s head turns towards Chloe’s face, only to be met by an enthusiastic hug and a swift lips-to-cheek move. With nothing left in the arsenal other than to ask: “Do You Like Me?”, Hugo’s final chance had all the hallmarks of a Nice Guy. Would a kind refusal from Chloe be met with a sullen stare or accusations of being led on? Would Chloe have to watch as their friendship crumbled in the face of one-sided romantic affection?

For the Hugo fans out there (yes, there are some of you), you’ll be relieved to know that Chloe’s gentle reminder that they are just friends was welcomed as solid evidence of a thriving friendship. By respectfully asking Chloe how she felt, rather than launching into romantic confessions, Hugo provided her with the space she needed to articulate her feelings without being forced into an uncomfortable conversation. Though none of our hunks deserve brownie points for treating women with #Respect, rather than being a “Nice Guy”, maybe Hugo is a good guy after all. I only hope that he manages to wean himself off his crush and move on into the arms of a shiny new hottie.

But what’s that distant rumble on the horizon? The sound of rolling thunder stretching out across the Mallorcan plains, its darkening sky heralding woe, heartbreak and doom. Yes, it’s time for Casa Amor. Everyone grab your notepads, batch cook your meals, cancel all your plans. Things are about to get shaken up, and if there’s one thing this villa needs, it’s an injection of drama. With many of the islanders in newly established couples, there’s potential for a Skins-style cast reboot midway through the series. Which of our duos will stand the test of time, whose head will be turned and who will survive?

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