Bored with the slow-mo denouement of Boris Johnson, millions of Brits instead turn to the slow-mo decolletage of bikini babes (and ‘roided-up muscle bros) on Love Island, now entering its eight season.
On cue, out come the trolls.
While cashed-up horsey girl Gemma Owen (daughter of UK football star Michael Owen) definitely gets more than her share of early attention, the ‘oops!’ accidental introduction of a former boyfriend explains why.
Faux drama. Just one example of the cruelties inflicted upon the players.
First aired in 2015, Love Island is the most popular reality series in the UK, with millions of viewers. A surefire springboard to social media superstardom, Love Island is a clear instance of be careful what you wish for.
It’s said that more people apply to be contestants on the show than apply for entry to Cambridge and Oxford combined.
That’s a bad comparison, because if we rate the Islanders by their “geometric” aptitude, there aren’t any scholars here, are there Tash.
The players are much cleverer at guessing who’s had a naughty foursome (naughty Paige) than where you’d find Snowdonia (don’t ask the Welsh bloke) or the Lake District.
No surprise that the one thing missing from the villa is a book.
So — confine a dozen pretties to a metaphorical island, expose them to a million lux of neon-powered illuminance every second of the day, stalk them with hidden cameras and microphones, and focus their already-fixated mouse-brains upon their looks, their looks, and nothing but their looks.
This must be an experiment.
Ruthless social Darwinism posing as entertainment.
Because in the villa, only popularity matters. There isn’t an ounce of strategy, neither skill nor smarts to who wins the pool race — what counts is who wins the slow-mo wet bikini exiting the pool shot. A drooling, anonymous audience cast their vote.
Be careful what you wish for.
Sophie Gradon, crowned Miss Great Britain 2009, was picked as a contestant on Love Island in 2016 despite being medicated for depression since 2013. With more than 400,000 followers, in June 2018 she messaged a friend to say, “If I could escape I would” then hung herself.
Gradon’s boyfriend later also killed himself.
Mike Thalassitis, a former footballer who appeared on Love Island in 2017, took a lethal cocktail of pills, drugs and alcohol and committed suicide in March 2019.
Caroline Flack hosted Love Island from 2015 until 2019 before her life unraveled. Awaiting trial for assault, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. An attention-whore who described herself as a “storm in a C-cup” Flack committed suicide by hanging in February 2020.
Watch out Davide. How soon before bombshell becomes bombed-out? How quickly the tide shifts from adulation to scorn. Getting handsy with Slut #3 will haunt you forever, and trolls neither forgive nor forget.
Unfortunately, for every fifty failures there’s one Molly-Mae Hague.
MMH (as she calls herself) converted her 2019 appearance on Love Island to 6.4 million followers, a net worth in the multiple millions, and now commands £10,000 per IG post. She’s the first hit of cocaine for all wannabe Love Islanders.
Maybe there’s a book hidden in there after all?
But what do I care.
The human race is richer for every influencer who dies a slow death on social media. While their hunger to avoid real jobs makes for dull sport, watching them fail under neon is always fun.
If I can’t find anything else to watch, bring on season nine!