Love Island

7 Burning Questions I Have About Love Island One Week In

Victoria Sanusi reflects on Gen Z grafting, Black Love, and why Davide is so hard to say.

Indiyah and Tasha in 'Love Island' 2022
ITV

Love Island is back – and that means cutout bikinis, fire pit chats, slow-mo dancing, and crocs taking over telly. Last week, the “revamped” Love Island got off to a rocky (read: sleepy) start. Then bombshells Ekin-Su and Afia walked in and really turned it up a notch. (Ekin-Su more so, but more on that later.) For the next nine weeks, the nation (3 million viewers tuned in on the opening night alone!) will settle into the regular 9 p.m. viewing; one eye on ITV, one eye on Fiat 500 and Black Twitter’s even more entertaining analysis. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you right here on a weekly basis, too. But without further ado, let’s recap what we have learnt this past week, shall we?

Is Davide Really So Difficult To Pronounce?

ITV

I’ve never seen a contestant have where they are from be their entire brand, but given Davide’s success, perhaps I should try it. This fella didn’t even tell us his job… or did he? I physically recoiled when he referred to himself as an “Italian Snack” on Day One. Don’t even get me started on his “more than a perfect body” comment at the re-coupling. That aside, his name has turned out to be quite... complicated. As one Twitter user said: “Just know people (Black people) will say Davido instead of Davide.” (I can’t lie I was one of them.) A week into the show and none of the Islanders can get his name right, either.

Have We Finally Learnt Self Love?

For me, Liam’s exit reminds us once more how important self love is. I genuinely wouldn’t be able to exist in a space where you are supposed to match with people and no one really wants you. What he did takes guts, because really and truly, he could have stayed and become this season’s Hugo or Doctor Alex. And we all remember how that went for them…

Will This Be The Year For Black Love?

ITV

A switch up in that much maligned “stepping forward” process has created #BlackLove by force. When Ikenna and Indiyah were paired up by the public, she didn’t even force a smile their first “couples” shot. Yes, he decided to recouple with her, but there is zero chemistry between them still. Slowly, it appears Ikenna & Indyia’s relationship is a clear and direct representation of what the Black British dating scene is: vibes and no direction. Ikenna’s “I’m going to treat you like one of my boys first” and Indiyah’s crash course on Ekin-Su-style flirting has got them nowhere, fast. This isn’t “friendship island”! What has me even more confused was Dami saying they are his favourite couple on Aftersun. Maybe we aren’t seeing the full story there…

Why Does Gen-Z Graft Like That?

Maybe I’m getting old, or maybe I’ve been watching the show for too long, but this year I am acutely aware that I’m watching Gen Z live. As one Twitter user put it “A Love Island contestant this year was born in 2003. I feel sick.” Honestly, same. The way they talk and even flirt (more mind-reading than grafting) makes me feel old, too. Ekin-Su’s laying it on thick, yes, but if anything her more intense flirting skills just go to show the stark difference when it comes to Millennial Wooing vs. Gen Z Courtship. At least Gemma’s now coupled up with Luca and that Davide coupling was short-lived. I won’t lie, the very real potential of a 19-year-old and 27-year-old coupling up like that did make me feel deeply uneasy.

Will Ekin-Su & Davide Make It?

Without a doubt, Ekin-Su is the woman of the hour. If she leaves next week, I’ll stop watching. (I’m joking, of course. I love this show too much to do such a thing. But the sentiment remains.) I’ve not seen a contestant come with this much smoke and energy since Maura Higgins and her fanny flutters. What’s remarkable and cringey about Ekin-Su is her ability to actually flirt so successfully. The way newbie Jax followed her like a puppy: it was exceptional to watch. She has that villa eating out of the palm of her hand, and by extension, us too.

Back to talking about Davide again… While many see him as a dreamboat, crafted like a Roman God, in my eyes he is one (very small) move away from becoming this year’s supervillain. We did all hear him saying he slept with his bestfriend’s girlfriend, right? I know who I will be voting out if we get given the chance…

Is Bro-Code/Girl-Code Still A Thing?

Bro-code was thrown straight out of the villa quicker than you can say “I got a text” when Andrew lied about Luca’s “top three” in an attempt to shoot his shot with Tasha. Am I shocked that an estate agent is lying? No. Seeing him backtrack on his words was far more triggering, though. You have to ask: who would lie on national TV like that? But, new day, new drama. The next bro-code dilemma to watch: Luca and Jacques “Jax” O’Neill.

Which brings me nicely onto girl-code. Would you date someone’s ex right in front of them? Will any of the girls actually crack on with the newcomer ? I can already see Gemma losing her cool with Paige

Is Gemma The New Dani?

ITV

Every year we have a contestant with a celebrity link – think Paige (who dated Lewis Capaldi), Sophie Humes (sister of Rochelle Humes), Marcel from Blazin’ Squad. But with Gemma, the Love Island producers seem to be trying to replicate the Dani Dyer effect. So far, only we (loyal viewers) know her as “Michael Owen’s daughter.” She’s managed to keep her famous footballer father under her hat, but for how much longer? Surely time is ticking on that truth bomb with the introduction of her ex. My prediction is that her entire narrative will change in the coming days, making her a total fan favourite. Cue tweets about how much she’s grown up in the villa. Just you watch.

I’ll be back next week – hopefully with at least two surprise eliminations under our belt by then – but until then, you can follow me on @victoriasanusi.