Create your new WhatsApp groups and dig out your personalised water bottles, because
is almost here. Last year, the reality show became a huge cultural phenomenon, as the nation tuned in to watch every row, dramatic re-coupling, and loved-up moment among the islanders. And now, I'm ready to do it all over again with a fresh bunch of singletons. Love Island 2018
Exact details of this year's series will remain closely guarded until the first episode on June 4, but fans do know that due to last year's success, the show
has been extended from its usual seven-week run by an additional seven days, according to Radio Times. This gives contestants an extra week to find love, and more importantly for us viewers, another week of top-notch entertainment. Unlike previous years, which included contestants like TOWIE stars Jon Clark and Georgia Harrison, The Sun has reported that Love Island producers have banned people who are in the public eye for the upcoming series, asserting that they want contestants who are "genuinely looking for love rather than fame."
As the summer approaches and fans try to contain their excitement for the new season (update: I'm failing miserably), many can't help but wonder if the new islanders will live up to the standards of last year's cast and become 100 percent our type on paper. For that to happen, here are eight things fans need to see more (or less) of in the 2018 villa.
1 Another Epic Cameo From Stormzy
A major highlight from last year’s season — and a moment that earned the show
a BAFTA nomination (yes, really) — was a brief yet hilarious cameo from the nation’s golden boy, Stormzy.
chart-topping grime artist appeared on the show via a Skype call to offer some invaluable advice to contestants Chris Hughes, Kem Cetinay, and Marcel Somerville (who also happened to be one of his biggest fans) ahead of their performance for the villa’s talent show. Oh, and then there was that awkward moment where Chris’ girlfriend Olivia Attwood confronted the star about his "muggy" tweet, which stated that Chris was "too good for her" — yep, TV gold. Although I'm hoping ITV ups its game and actually flies Stormzy out for a real-life cameo this year. Fingers crossed. 2 Fewer Double Standards Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Love Island may be the most entertaining show on British television right now, but it isn’t all fun and games — especially if you’re a woman. Last year, islander Olivia Attwood was on the receiving end of criticism on social media throughout the series, and although she did upset viewers when she ditched Chris for Muggy Mike, the criticism did come off as sexist. How was it any different to the behaviour of her male counterparts? Yes, I'm looking at you in your first week, Chris. Yet unlike Olivia, they seemed to be let off more lightly by the public.
Speaking to press at the
Love Island finale about the double standards in an interview after the show, Olivia said: “Reality TV show girls get a harder time than boys full stop. They are always first to go, they come the lowest in polls. Some of the things that girls did, if a boy did it or said it, he would be cheeky or funny or a player, but if a girl does it then she’s ... conniving."
This year, I hope social media commentary about the show reflects the empowering year 2018 has been for women
so far, and dismantles double standards altogether. 3 New Additions To Our Vocabulary
Say what you want about
Love Island but if there’s one thing the show does, it's educate. Last year’s series taught us that the show has a language of its own , with contestants throwing around phrases that most of us had never heard of, but quickly adopted into our daily vocabulary. While it would be a bit "extra" of us to list them all, I do want to point out that one of my favourites was Olivia's cheeky go-to term to describe the experience of falling for a guy. Apparently, it’s involuntary and once you’re attracted, there’s no going back. Hence the reason she was being so "muggy" with Chris when Mike entered the villa and "stuck it on her."
While there’ll no doubt be more "grafting," "melty" moments, and serious cases of "the ick," I'm sure the future islanders have a whole new set of terms to teach us this summer.
4 A Pivotal Feminist Moment
It may come as a surprise but there is always a memorable feminist moment on
Love Island. Remember in 2016 when contestant Sophie Gradon gave a kickass speech about female strength and independence? Or perhaps more recently in last year’s season, when Camilla and Jonny's different views on equality made them clash? To refresh your memory, the discussion kicked-off when Johnny stated that he liked to pay for women on dates, to which Camilla responded that she would much rather "go halves" before launching into a debate about the issue on a wider scale. That’s when Jonny argued that "real feminists believe in a slope towards men" before saying that women "almost had more opportunities than men." Yikes. Naturally, Camilla shut him down with an ever-so polite and intelligent response.
the episode made headlines for Jonny’s controversial stance, it also created debate around attitudes to feminism among men, which is something. Hopefully, there will be more of this in the upcoming season. 5 A New Bromance
There was only one coupling that truly
stole the hearts of the nation last year, and that was the bromance between Chris and Kem. The duo were joined at the hip throughout the entire season, spending every waking moment in the villa laughing together, writing rap songs, snuggling up, and even sulking in bed alongside one another. It was true brotherly love, and arguably the strongest bond in Love Island history. Though no one could replace our beloved Chem, I'm rooting for yet another adorable friendship. 6 A 2018 Version Of "A Little Bit Leave It"
Chris and Kem’s bromance not only set new heights of friendship goals but it also gave us a new chart-topping summer anthem. After penning their villa hit
"A Little Bit Leave It" for the Love Island talent show with the help of Marcel, who by the way was in the Blazin' Squad, the boys managed to bag themselves a record deal with Sony after they left the villa.
Despite their questionable rapping skills, Chris and Kem embarked on a new journey as a music duo, all of which was filmed for a spinoff ITV2 series called
. Chris and Kem: Straight Outta Love Island After consulting some of the biggest names in UK grime, they put on a sold-out show and " A Little Bit Leave It" hit number 15 on the official UK charts. Safe to say the new of islanders have pretty big shoes to fill. 7 A Lot More Diversity
One of the main critiques
Love Island has received is the obvious lack of diversity among the show’s contestants. In the past three seasons, there has been little representation of ethnic minorities and LGBTQ+ people on the show, which seems very odd considering the multicultural country we live in. When asked about this at the 2018 TV BAFTAs, Richard Cowles, one of the show’s producers, told Digital Spy that they were in talks of creating an entirely separate LGBTQ+ , saying: "We’ve had bisexual people in the show — for a dating show, you need everyone to fancy everyone. If you have gay and heterosexual contestants in the same place, they’re not going to fancy each other. So we’d have to dedicate a show [to that]." Love Island
He then suggested in the same interview
that ITV should air the two shows within the same year, which is something fans could absolutely get on-board with. In the meantime, I’m hoping to see a more diverse range of islanders in Season 4. 8 Heartwarming Moments
Marcel won the boyfriend of the year award in last year’s series when he delivered what can only be described as the
perfect speech to help boost his girlfriend Gabby’s confidence. After noticing that she never got chosen for dates by new arrivals, Gabby explained that although she adored Marcel and wanted to be with him, she couldn’t help but think the lack of attention she was receiving from the newbies meant she was less attractive than the other girls in the villa.
In one of the most heartwarming moments of the series,
Marcel reassured Gabby, telling her: "I love you just the way you are. No one's better than you in there, it’s a fact." The scene will go down in British TV history and while Gabby and Marcel have now sadly split, I hope to see equally cute moments among this year's couples.
With all that being said, bring on the new islanders, because fans couldn't be any more ready for our annual return to sunny Majorca.