Why Is Love Island’s Michael Obsessed With Vilifying Amber?

No Michael, Amber crying is not her attempt to 'win' the break-up

Amber and Michael

by Georgia Aspinall |

In last night’s episode of Love Island, a heart-breaking scene that saw Amber Gill in tears over her relationship with Michael showed the true extent to how hurt she is after the shocking Casa Amor recoupling. After days of hiding her emotions, she confessed ‘I still have feelings for Michael’, and despite trying to hide her tears, she quickly became a talking point for every other contestant in the villa.

Notably, Michael, who appeared to dismiss her tears with zero empathy and insinuated she was just playing a game. ‘I know that you’ve got a much stronger mind than to let that get to you,’ he told his new partner Joanna, who was clearly bothered that she has played a part in Amber’s heartbreak, ‘If you let it get to you too much then she wins.’

It was one of many occasions this season where Michael has attempted to twist Amber’s pain into some sort of manipulation, as if she is only crying to play the victim and, as he says, ‘win’ the break-up. And honestly, the levels to which this logic is delusional is terrifying. First, he completely fails to see that for Amber, crying in front of him would be the ultimate loss as he can then see how much power he has over her – that’s clear as day given how much she refuses to be vulnerable with someone she’s interested in.

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Amber tried to hide how upset she was when confessing her feelings to the girls

Amber tried to hide how upset she was when confessing her feelings to the girls
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CREDIT: ITV Pictures

Second, his lack of empathy is unbelievable. The fact that he can sit across from a woman he professed his feelings for day after day and attempted to ‘knock down walls’ she had built, look at her as she breaks down in tears because of how he has left her and have no emotional response is pretty abhorrent. Did he ever care about her even a little bit?

Essentially, it seems that he was himself playing a game this whole time, and is only out for his own reputation. As others have pointed out, his initial issue with Amber began after his alpha male reputation was tarnished by the tweets challenge that saw him dubbed ‘whipped’. Almost instantly, he began creating problems with Amber and implying she forces him to ‘bite his lip’. Then, when Joanna came along and he had no accountability towards Amber, he moved towards a woman that didn’t know him as well and so was more likely to be easy-going and not pull him on dodgy behaviour.

Since Amber returned to the villa alone, it seems he has been on damage control – constantly terrified for his own villain image and attempting to turn the tables on Amber and vilify her instead. It’s not worked, of course, because his defensive attitude is transparent. So transparent that, if anything, he's likely just lost fans.

But one impact of his response that has flown under the radar in terms of the real-world consequences is not just the way he dismisses Amber’s pain, but also the rivalry he attempts to form between her and Joanna. ‘I didn’t come here with Amber,’ he told her when she complained that she wants Amber to meet someone else, ‘I didn’t come here for Amber. I came here for myself, by myself and nobody’s wowed me like you have.’

Not only do his own words reveal his self-centeredness, but they also convey his need to compare the two women. Amber was hurt by Michael’s actions, Joanna was upset she played a role in that pain, that was it. And yet, Michael saw Joanna’s healthy response to implicitly causing another woman pain as an insecurity on her part, and attempted to ease her annoyance by saying she was better than Amber.

It’s the same as when he implied Joanna would somehow lose if she was upset by Amber crying, and in previous episodes when he lied to Joanna about cutting Amber off. Consistently, he tries to make Amber seem as if she’s out to get not just him, but Joanna too, as if the real problem is between the two women. And it’s only because they’re in Love Island his plan isn’t working.

Let’s be honest – on the outside world, using these tactics, Amber and Joanna would hate each other. They wouldn’t get together to hash out what was going on, they wouldn’t see how he was treating the other person, they wouldn’t be privy to conversations that enable them to call him out. It’s only because they’re forced to live together that they have attempted to form a friendship and view each other’s mindsets. In a villa where you have to be friends with your new guys ex, Michael’s tactics cannot work.

But for how many others have they? How many women likely hate each other because of this very strategy? To be honest, on the outside world Michael would probably still be flirting with Amber behind Joanna’s back – something you can see he clearly wants to do given the endless memes that catch him staring at her, and last night’s heartbeat challenge of course.

Essentially, Michael has gone from our star contestant, whom seemed an emotionally intelligent dream, to an insecure, toxic heartbreaker who's only out for himself. But we're watching and learning – so next time a real-world guy tries to pull a Michael on you, pull a Yewande on him and schedule a three-way meeting with every receipt in your arsenal. Clearly, these are the love lessons we should be taking from Love Island

Read more: The best Twitter reactions to Love Island 2019...

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Love Island 2019 Twitter reactions stacked

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