Love Island review: New bunch of contestants are just as dull as last year's

The most unreal of 'reality' TV shows returns with all the superficial trappings of glamour

Sean O'Grady
Tuesday 04 June 2019 12:12 BST
Love Island 2019: Anton admits his mum 'shaves his bum' for him

Love Island is the most unreal of “reality” television, a place where body hair is unknown, bunions are anathema, and, god forbid, haemorrhoids constitute a capital offence. Like the Conservative party, a kind of Hate Island, it is something that has long since outlived any usefulness that it might once have had.

Then I met this year’s young, vibrant, perfect physical specimens all teeth and tanned limbs (not the Tory leadership contenders – well, apart from the ripped Dom Raab and the swim-suited Penny Mordaunt, and Boris the Bantz, that is. Boom, boom).

On first impressions, this bunch will be just as dull as last year’s, the only discernible difference now being that, in the words of the producers’ Tweet: “Attention zombies! There’s some brains dropping into the villa! Scientist Yewande, aircraft engineer Callum and pharmacist Anna are testing the formula for love this summer.” Not exactly the Bloomsbury Group, but there you go. By the way, who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? She, as you might recall, got off with Wes the personal trainer from east London in series two. It all fell apart when Gavin refused to reject bourgeois habits.

So. Five boys, five girls, marooned on an island, all happily consenting to cop with each other and have semi-public sex. They are competing for a cash prize of £50,000, everlasting love (no cash alternative) and the honour of the title of Winner of Love Island 2019. A viewers’ vote after eight gruelling weeks will select the victims, sorry, victors. Unlike that other election, their views on the Irish backstop will be irrelevant.

They were very fussy, the girls, during the “coupling up” sessions, two of the blokes ending up on the “subs bench”, Darwinian dead ends waiting for extinction Michael (Scouse firefighter, tats) and Sherif (chef, London), who were pretty wet, even before they jumped in the pool. Two newcomers (Tommy Fury, boxer, brother of Tyson, and Curtis Pritchard, dancer) arrive at the end as male predators, presumably to maim the wimps.

Anton Danyluk, a gym owner from Aidrie did, though, get picked, by Amy. Funnily enough, in their introductory spiels I distinctly heard Amy rule out “bevs” who have a “wandering eye”, shortly followed by Anton, oddly, confessing to “never having been loyal “There’s a medical condition that I have… a wandering eye!”

Wandering eye? Coincidence?

I think not…

Still, Amy might be more challenged by caring for Anton’s dolphin-like glabrescence. Anton prefers – like all the Islanders – to be completely shaven, but, at 24, still delegates the task of depilating his arse to his dear old mum, a nice treat for her. I presume, though, he reserves the special pleasure of shaving his ball bag to himself.

Anyway, now Anton says that Amy can maintain that lovely bald botty of his. For life. Even when he’s old and decrepit, and his gym’s gone bust and his whole backside area it’s all wrinkly and grey, and she has to dodge the Klingons and his raw chalfonts*; even then it’ll still be her duty-bound chore.

Love Island has all the superficial trappings of glamour – fancy villa, cocktails, Range Rover Evoque convertibles – but I’ve seen more class on Canvey Island. Or a traffic island.

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The most pitiful specimen was Joe Garratt the chirpy Londoner. At 22 years of age, he describes himself as a “catering shop owner”, which makes himself sound like a rather more commercially successful version of Jamie Oliver, or maybe a protégé of Colonel Sanders. But turns out, he’s got a sandwich van. Like a baguette based caricature of Donald Trump he declares that he is offering his prospective wife “a slice of my business”. What a Tuna Melt!

It’s vulgar, vulgar, vulgar. Obviously. The bright yellow décor. The lazing around doing sod all. There are no books. But they’re not there for reading. As the neon sign in the dormitory indicates, they are there for the “banging”. Amy’s worst fear is waking up “with my tits out”. Sorry, that’s not good enough. Presenter Caroline Flack has suggested that they’d quite like to see a threesome on the show.

Why stop there? How about a spot of pegging? Maybe, if the conceited Anton doesn’t dump her for surfer Lucie (21, Newquay), we can enjoy Amy scraping a Gillette Blue II across Anton’s buttocks. The best a man can get, for sure; but far from the best a woman can get.

*Chalfont St Giles = piles

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