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After years of tears, it’s time for Love Island women to go absolutely feral in Casa Amor

Lana, I beg, do something outrageous


“I was coming back here to tell you I loved you,” will long be burned into our collective consciousness as the greatest post Casa Amor battle cry of all time. And when Amy Hart was heartbroken by Curtis Pritchard, she was just one of many women bruised and burned by Love Island’s most savage challenge. Andrew betrayed Tasha and sucked Coco’s tit (or whatever) in 2022. Liam ruthlessly swapped Millie for Lillie in 2021. There’s always betrayal. Mutiny. Tears for the women and forgiveness for the boys.

Well, not in Winter Love Island 2023. After Olivia, Tanya, Samie, Lana, Jessie and Claudia snuck off on their “girls’ holiday” Casey, Kai, Shaq, Tom, Ron, Will were left shrieking their names, listening to them party with new men in the adjacent villa all night long. They were left to stew, frustrated and furious, for 24 hours while their partners cracked on within ear shot: “The producers are really saying we’re sorry for all those toxic men last year,” one viewer Tweeted.

But, quickly, support for the girls turned into pity for the boys. Jessie was accused of “giving Jake [Cornish]” for “egging all of the girls on” to flirt outside of their couples by telling them “the boys aren’t here, follow your heart. Do whatever you want to do”.

Yet, just as Shaq started to look so sad that sympathy seemed the only option, the Casa bombshell girls arrived in the main villa and the OG boys proved all of our expectations right. Constant (metaphorical) dick swinging ensued and, within hours, Ron’s head was swivelling again. Will was snogging Layla.

Of course Jessie knows this game, she’s had her heart trampled on before.

Since Casa Amor was first introduced to Love Island in 2017, female contestants have been robbed of the joy of cracking on for fear of judgement by their partners and the public. The rule has been boys will be boys but girls will be women. Now, let’s support women’s rights and women’s wrongs. Let them crack on.

Fundamentally, Jessie is right. Nobody in this competition can be trusted, even slightly. It doesn’t matter how good their connection with their partner is, contestants are expected and encouraged to stir things up and snog newcomers. If everyone just enjoys themselves, they can deal with the drama later and nobody (no woman) is left feeling stupid and small for remaining loyal. No one is the fool.

It would be nice to think another Molly Mae and Tommy moment was just round the corner. But the Love Island where someone’s soul mate walks back into the villa holding their childhood toy is dead, sorry. All we have now is feral Island. Where the lower you go the better you feel. Here’s hoping Lana has that memo.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• ‘Women are on the back foot’: Female contestants on the eye-watering cost of going on Love Island

• Right, why exactly are all the Love Island boys wearing pearl necklaces this year?