Love Island U.K.
Week 7 of Love Island U.K. is available to stream now in the United Kingdom on ITV2; it will be available in the U.S. on Hulu starting the week of August 23. This recap does not cover Episode 41: “Unseen Bits.”
If I had to pick a theme for this week, it would be maturation. We’re one week out from the finale, and couples are finally solidifying their place in this series, either by becoming exclusive, breaking their Ikea beds, or saying they’re sorry for cursing the other out on national television. The producers, of course, try to take one last swing by half-heartedly sending in a few new sexy singles; but alas, we’ve reached the honeymoon stage of the villa where the contestants are content with a hot partner and a free vacation. Of course, there’s some trouble in paradise: Part of maturing is growing up and seeing the flaws in people, just as Liberty finally does with Jake. But Love Island Summer Romance Boot Camp has surely formed a few fully fledged couples, ready to be sent out into the world, do long-distance for a while, then either break up or move to London together. Ah, the circle of life.
Let’s Get Grafting
In case you forgot, we’re still processing the aftershocks of what I will be dubbing Moviegate. Liberty’s still upset about the fact that Jake didn’t find her attractive when they first got together, and Jake reminds her that she’s his girlfriend, idiot! (No, that wasn’t a joke. He actually calls her an idiot.) They kiss and make up, while Faye decides that she and Teddy will not kiss and make up after he looked at one other woman wrong during Casa Amor. Over this week, both of these situations will reverse course, so just forget everything I said, honestly.
The next day, the contestants get an invite to something called the Island Vibes Club, which is not not a front for the Majorcan mafia. They all jump around in excitement and put on their best high-heel/sarong combos, and I don’t know why they’re so pumped because nothing good ever happens at the Island Vibes Club. After some obligatory slow-motion dancing, Laura walks in to tell them that the three most unpopular boys are Dale, Tyler, and Jake, and their unlikable female counterparts are Kaz, Mary, and Abi. The remaining islanders have to dump one boy and one girl, and they select Dale and Abi, the two kindest, sweetest, most tattooed contestants this villa has ever seen. Who will give the other boys haircuts now? At least we only have a week left, so hopefully they won’t get too shaggy.
Now that two beds are open, the producers send in two new islanders in one last attempt to break up a couple before all this is over. Mary gets sent on a date with Aaron, whom she hopes is “not a fucking footballer,” but is, of course, a fucking footballer. Toby has some competition now — Aaron plays in the fifth tier of English football, while Toby, as I will remind you at every possible moment, plays for a team called “Hashtag United.” Meanwhile, Teddy has a drink with Priya, a med student who rivals Abi in terms of pure goodness. Aaron selects Chloe for his second date while Priya chooses Matt, and they all drink some wine in front of what seems to be prop cheese. But the producers’ mission fails: Chloe sticks by Toby and Teddy remains with Faye despite her Level 7 nuclear blow-up last week, leaving Matt to crack on with Priya and Mary to get with Aaron. The latter is solidified later in the week when Aaron makes Mary a “sweet treats brunch” complete with candy, fruit, and — you guessed it — hummus!
In the midst of all this nonsense, Toby and Chloe have somehow become both the frontrunners and one of my favorite couples. Let me explain: after weeks of cracking on with every woman in sight, we’ve now seen Toby mature into someone who does things like encourage healthy conversation between Kaz and Matt, uplift friends like Teddy, and genuinely care for Chloe. In short: We’ve seen him mature into a man. For a 22-year-old guy, these are developing life skills that have surely been interrupted after a year of on-again, off-again lockdown, and we’ve seen them grow over the emotional crash course that is the Love Island villa. As for Chloe, we’ve seen her forgive Toby’s growing pains and find someone who truly embraces her quirks and bubbly personality (just as I, too, have learned to embrace them since my early aversion to her). And this is a couple who Twitter was determined to vote out in Week 2. That’s the beauty of Love Island, I guess: we, the viewers, are privy to the maturations of a real-life group of twenty-somethings looking for love. It’s like Friends, but with more boob jobs.
Another couple doing extremely well is Milliam (I’ve moved away from their former couple nickname, Lillie — ’nuff said). At the Island Vibes Club, they become exclusive, and later in the week, they admit they’re falling for each other. They also win both hottest and most genuine couple in the public polling challenge, and is that an exclusive Millie Moo x Asos deal I’m smelling? All the Casa stuff seems to be forgotten, and I have to admit, even I’m falling under the spell. There’s just something about an extremely tall man being obsessed with his beautiful, fashionable girlfriend that just screams 50,000-pound check.
With all this love in the air, Faye decides she’s punished Teddy enough and it’s time to apologize. She tells him there’s no excuse for the way she spoke to him (right), that she’s not done with him (right), and she’s still hurt from Casa Amor (wrong), but they kiss and make up. To complete the apology, Faye wears sexy lingerie to bed and makes him a coffee in the morning. I’m still wary of her, but, much like Toby, I’m proud of Faye for growing up a little.
While the islanders are at a challenge involving sexy Greek god outfits, pull-ups, and a vat of fake lava that Jake gets stuck in, a sexy Ph.D. student named Brett enters the villa. He’s interested in a quick study session with med student Priya, and he chooses her for a date in which they find out they have a variety of things in common, like running. Now, keep in mind, to Brett, this means a light jog. Meanwhile, Priya has just completed an ultramarathon, a 100-kilometer race that I literally had to Google to find out what it was. Either way, Priya’s now torn between Brett and Matt; ultimately, she chooses Brett at the re-coupling, sending Matt (and his many white fedoras) home.
Liberty, Faye, Millie, and Chloe decide they’ve studied enough and make a joint pact to graduate from their NVQs. That night, the sheets move quicker than Jake will when he gets out of this villa. The next morning, Priya, ever the academic, hosts a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 to certify that, yes, all four women have had sex on national television. Chloe notes that this was the easiest exam she’s ever taken. I feel truly proud of all these ladies. Who says this show isn’t educational?
With one week left in the villa, Tyler decides it’s his turn to step up to the plate. He recruits Liam, Jake, and Liberty to create a custom scavenger hunt (patent pending: Luke T) and spell out “Shall We Be Exclusive?” on hand towels. Afterwards, they’re invited for a night in the Hideaway and Tyler emerges the next morning with a hickey on his neck. Also, this has nothing to do with Tyler, but Kaz had yet another killer fashion week, so a round of applause.
Time for a classic Love Island challenge: a sexy striptease where they’re all strapped to heart monitors. Kaz does an incredible dance, Mary is dressed as The Little Mermaid while wearing a truly horrible wig, and a “Wellerman” sea shanty remix plays while Teddy sticks his nuts in Faye’s face. Sexy Sailor Teddy raised the girls’ heart rates the most, while Military-Industrial Complex Millie won the boys over. Personally, I’m hoping for the Twitter challenge next, but that might actually be the final nail in the Jake/Liberty coffin. Good thing there’s room outside in the graveyard now that Hugo left!
Jake and Liberty have had a hard week. Both of them have done things they probably regret: Liberty briefly lost her magnetic bracelet, while Jake revealed he once found Lib unattractive, kept her from hugging Kaz during a big moment, and was generally accused of playing up their relationship for the cameras. Tit for tat, right? In the public polling challenge, they win first prize for most one-sided relationship and most likely to split up first after they leave the villa. This sends the girls into a flutter: finally, the public has agreed that Jake’s a showman, which means they’re allowed to talk about it on-camera. Liberty confronts Jake about all of this, especially the fact that he hasn’t said “I love you” back to her, and suddenly, he does love her! Huge shock! The girls aren’t going to let him win that easily, though: the preview for Sunday night’s episode shows them unionizing against Jake. Let’s go, girls! Bring him to the red table!
With only one more week left, I have zero faith that Jake and Liberty will win this show — it’s gonna be another Molly Mae/Tommy vs. Amber/who was that? Greg? situation (except this time, I actually believe Jake is playing a game, whereas last time, I think you lot were just jealous of Molly Mae). With the villa’s mom and dad out of the picture, who’ll get the prize? Sexy, tall Milliam? Breaking the bed Chloby? Hideaway hand towel Kyler? We’ll have to see next week when Laura comes out of government-issued quarantine one more time to crown the U.K.’s Next Top Influencer Couple.
• Liberty, ever the wingwoman, throws condoms on all the beds the night before graduation.
• As Matt packs up to go home, all the boys wear white fedoras in a tribute to him.
• Toby had a week of shenanigans. He broke the bed with Chloe while having sex, pretended to knight Tyler after the Greek gods challenge, and successfully changed into “Love Island Man” during the strip teases. He really is growing on me.
• Millie fixed the broken bed during the night.
• Liberty’s middle name is “Amor,” which shows she was really just made to go on this show.
• I’ve watched this clip from Unseen Bits about seven times now.