Love Island: Our highs and lows from this year's villa 

As the controversial show comes to an end, we look back at the highs and lows of season 8 
Love Island: Our highs and lows from this year's villa 

Despite the criticism, millions still tune in to Love Island every night.

After eight long weeks, and over 50 hours of telly (and that's not counting Aftersun, Unseen Bits and the numerous videos the Islanders do for the show's brand partners like Boots), Love Island is finally coming to an end this Monday. 

The popular dating reality show is never far from the headlines, and this year has been no different. There have been allegations of misogyny and gaslighting lodged at some of the villa's male contestants, ableist remarks about the show's first deaf contestant flooding social media, and two Islanders have left the villa of their own accord, citing mental health difficulties and issues with producers as their reasoning. 

But, despite the criticism, millions still tune in every night.

Here, we round up our highs and lows from the show's latest instalment — and ask you, what was yours?

THE HIGHS

Davide’s one-liners

The Italian stallion is one of the most popular men in the villa this year, with his fiery one-liners, mostly directed toward friends-turned-lovers-turned-enemies-turned-lovers partner Ekin-Su leaving viewers in stitches. A personal favourite was his response when fellow Islander Tasha called her on-again-off-again partner Andrew a liar: 'That's my line Natasha!'

 

Deji

Ah, Deji. The one non-problematic guy this season. The accounts manager from Bedford was brought back to the villa by Indiyah (who's relationship with Dubliner Dami was on ice), and while he didn't appear to find love during his time in the villa, he did provide us with a lot of laughs. His reactions on movie night were pure gold.

 

The pre-loved fits

Love Island contestants and brand sponsorships with fast-fashion retailers like Pretty Little Thing, Boohoo and Missguided usually go hand-in-hand, so it was interesting to see that the show made a (small) move towards sustainability this year by embracing pre-loved fashion and partnering with eBay. Will this affect the Love Island to fast-fashion brand ambassador pipeline? Stay tuned..

The show's first deaf contestant 

We love to see it. The show featured its first deaf contestant in Tasha Ghouri, with the model and dancer opening up about her 'superpower' (her cochlear implant) on her first night in the villa.

Ekin-Su

Ekin-Su has emerged as a favourite
Ekin-Su has emerged as a favourite

It's probably safe to say the Turkish actress, singer, model and television personality has emerged as this year's most-loved contestant, if social media commentary is anything to go by. She's also the first Islander to reach, and quickly surpass, the elusive 1M followers mark on Instagram (Gemma Owen's account has also now hit the 1M mark). As one of the older contestants, we love how she's supported and hyped up the other girls in the villa, and stood her ground when Davide questioned her trustworthiness. 

The boys during the baby challenge

It's always a favourite episode, and this year's baby challenge proved no different. Stand-out daddys? Dubliner Dami and our Italian hunk Davide, for sure.

Andrew and Tasha winning the public over

Who would have thought we'd have this in our best-of moments a few short weeks ago? While Andrew and Tasha have had their ups and downs in the villa, they seem to have finally won the public over, standing strong amidst push-back from other Islanders and regularly finding themselves in the bottom during vote-offs. We wonder will they last in 'real life'?

The final dates

Always a highlight. Davide and Ekin-Su's nearly had us in tears, and Dami finally asked Indiyah to be his girlfriend, like, for real. 

THE I-DONT-KNOWS

A high or a low? You decide.

Indiyah's talent show performance

I mean, it was awful, but it's probably about as well as we'd do so, we can't judge.

"I licked her tit or whatever"

Andrew's forced-confession to Tasha about what went on with Coco while she was in Casa Amor will live on our memory... as will Tasha's reaction. 

THE LOWS 

Misogynistic and controlling behaviour 

The show has come under increased scrutiny this year with some of the men in the villa, including Luca and Jacques, who left the villa of his own accord, being accused of exhibiting controlling and misogynistic behaviour. Luca, who is in a couple with Gemma, has repeatedly been called out for showing signs of controlling behaviour towards the international dressage rider — to the extent that his own family issued a statement to say they did not condone his behaviour. Last week, Women's Aid shared that they were "in conversation" with ITV following complaints about misogyny and controlling behaviour.

Adam Collard’s return

The former personal trainer was one of the first contestants on the hit show back in 2018, where he coupled up with Kendall and Rosie, before moving on to Zara and Darylle. The 26-year-old was accused of gaslighting, among other things, the last time he was on the show, with viewers left shocked when he smirked as Rosie cried following their split. His return to the show was seen by some as a sign that Love Island were not listening to criticism, and allowing misogynistic and abusive behaviour to run rife. 

Gemma and Luca 

Who is still voting to save Gemma and Luca?
Who is still voting to save Gemma and Luca?

Who, and I mean who, is voting to save these too? Between Luca's controlling behaviour, and the fact they never seem to share a laugh, we're at a loss. 

Bullying of Tasha 

It was hard to watch a number of the male islanders ganging up on fellow-contestant Tasha and over 2,000 viewers reaching out to British regulator OfCom to complain. Things reached fever-pitch when the deaf contestant was targeted during a Snog, Marry, Pie challenge, with the regulator receiving 1,509 complaints about the alledged 'bullying.' The 23-year-old also received a barge of abuse online, some of which related to her voice and has been deemed ableist by campaigners.

Jack Keating

Jack Keating's time in the villa was short lived 
Jack Keating's time in the villa was short lived 

It was a short appearance for Ronan Keating’s son, who got very little airtime on the show and wasn't chosen by any of the girls. We’ll never forget Ekin-Su's parting words to the 23-year-old: “Life is a rollercoaster.”

The complete lack of diversity

The fact that we're watching a dating show in 2022 where there is absolutely no diversity in terms of bodies or sexualities is simply wild.

What did you think?

As always, we'd love to hear from our readers. What were your highs and lows? And what changes would you like to see to the show next year. Let us know below.

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