Just as I thought we’d all turned a corner on the Love Island woman-hating by agreeing that we shouldn’t be mega-judgy of Megan Barton-Hansen (megan-judgy?) and her decisions to have surgery, it seems we’ve found a new woman to hate. Just as nature hates a vaccum, Reality TV watchers love to hate a woman – enter, Georgia Steel.
For once (and it’s rare at the moment) I decided to treat myself to having a life last night, went out and didn’t watch Love Island live – which means I didn’t watch Love Island with the ire of Twitter. I did, however, receive three WhatsApps along the lines of ‘Turns out…Georgia – not so loyal’ or ‘GEORGIA WHAT?!’ A quick flick of Twitter saw that LOYAL was trending and that most people were hating on her and praising all the other girls who had ‘seen through her’.
Primed to be scandalized, I sat up at a ridiculous hour to watch what unfolded on last night’s show. And maybe I was tired then and maybe I’m tired now, but I’m pretty annoyed at the flack she’s taken.
It’s important to state at this point, Georgia is probably quite irritating to live with. I hear you all. And I get why the LOYAL thing is winding everyone up. But I would say, in mitigation, WE ARE WATCHING A REALITY SHOW OF AN HOUR BASED ON A WHOLE DAY AND THEY SOMETIMES EDIT THINGS TO MAKE THINGS FUNNY. Ahem. Also, when new guy Paul Knops dropped the word ‘loyal’ into conversation to wind her up a bit, she laughed her head off, which to me was proof that the schtick is probably quite knowing and that actually the most irritating thing about it is that she’s purposefully cultivating it so she can release a line of loyal t-shirts when she leaves the villa.
And, ok, I’ll quickly address her kiss with NewJack. I still believe it’s this year’s Blue/Gold dress and it really isn’t as clear cut as it seems. I’ll leave you to go down your own wormhole and find the video I watched five times last week that shows the kiss was potentially filmed twice and at different angles – for now I just hope you’ll continue reading.
Because laying all that aside, I thought we’d got further than what happened last night – which to me was a lot of unequal evil-woman bashing.
If you haven’t seen last night’s episode, Georgia and Sam Bird were dumped from the show, with the twist being that they would be allowed back on if they agreed to return to the villa single, go on two dates and not recouple at the next fiery-pitted coupling. So, stay together but leave Britain’s biggest show. Or split up, and get to stay on telly.
Two amazing things happened. Firstly, on hearing that they had to make a choice, Georgia ‘struggled’ to contain her fury and Sam had to hold her back and tell her to chill out in a scene that replicated a drunk guy in a pub shouting ‘HOLD ME BACK’ while in no way being up for a fight. Then when Caroline asked them to come back and say if they were leaving, or staying, Georgia called her ‘babe’ and refused to do as she was told. It was hilarious and brilliant TV and if Love Island wins a BAFTA, that scene will have been key and I fully respect Georgia’s right to grab the microphone and shout, ‘Thanks to all my LOYAL fans’ and claim full credit in a John-Terry-esque moment.
It was quite unclear what happened in the negotiations between Sam and Georgia as they made their decision – except for G holding her forehead. A lot. Eventually – they opted to stay in the villa, thereby effectively splitting up. Georgia said: ‘At the end of the day I think we're very loyal human-beings and if it's meant to be, it will be. I've been brought up to never be a quitter and I will never quit unless I have been told to.' Sam confirmed for the confused: 'We will be splitting up.'
Except, they also agreed to
The couple were then sent on two dates each with new islanders, where they both seemed… fine?
The strangeness of the decision aside, it was one they both made – and the disparity between how Georgia was treated for ‘splitting’ and staying in the villa and how Sam was treated really wound me up… Georgia-style.
She and Sam both repeatedly said that the decision was both of theirs and he never contradicted her assertion that she wanted to leave initially and that it was his idea to stay. Still, Georgia got all the hate. She was ‘disloyal’ (I know) for ditching Sam – he, at best, was being strung along by a scarlet woman. Funny that.
Twitter went hard, and I felt particularly uncomfortable about the scene where all the men, bar Sam, sat around that bloody fire with the new guys and pulled Georgia apart. Josh, particularly, is seven years older than her and, let us not forget, cruelly ditched her a few weeks ago without a moment’s thought. He appeared to ring-lead the Georgia-hating, and darkly threatened to tell Sam about the jokes she’d flirtily made with newbie Josh Mair about them having kids.
Firstly, let he who is without the sin of declaring their door ‘ajar’ moments after leaving their girl of three weeks in the villa and jumping into bed with another girl cast the first stone, Josh. Secondly, I’d have thought this was all fair enough had Sam cried into the swim-up pool throughout his two dates with Laura Crane and Stephanie Lamb. Like Georgia, he too did mention the situation they’d come out of, but he also seemed pretty happy – especially when it came to Stephanie, whose body and bikini he complimented. Stephanie herself in a debrief with the girls admitted she was surprised how open Sam seemed on the date.
Hell, even if Sam had been gutted and Georgia had ‘cracked on’ are we really in 2018 going to go mad at a girl for entertaining other men in a show that actively encourages you to bed-swap until you make it? I know, I know, she says she’s loyal… I get it. But, maybe step back a bit, have a think about your 20-year-old self and wonder if she did anything
Still, Sam remains the poorly-done by party, and Georgia the evil woman, out to break his heart. While we’re on Sam, has anyone noticed how now and again everyone keeps mentioning how much he’s fancied and ‘chased’ Georgia for weeks now and they’re glad he finally got his girl? Wasn’t he with Samira and Jack’s ex, Ellie Bird for weeks? Funny how there’s been no judgement for his changes of affection.
As some more level-headed people pointed out last night, pre the whole loyal/kiss nightmare (the word is haunting my dreams now), Georgia has proven herself to be quite alright. She stayed faithful to Josh when he went to Casa Amor (something I think Dani might get a damehood for, if all the fangirling is believed), slept outside with Rosie when Adam was a nightmare and supported Laura through the Wes and Megan debacle.
Gentle reminder Georgia slept outside with Rosie when she was upset/alone, was the only one who followed Laura after the Wes/Meg situation and did respect her potential relationship with Josh when he was in Casa Amor! She does something stupid and everyone forgets smh #loveisland
So, repeatedly the most depressing thing about Love Island for me has been how the ‘lads’ stick together and encourage each other to crack on, endlessly and vomitously banging on about the Do-Bits-Society and giggling. Josh and Kaz are now arguably second favourite to win the show now – that’s a slick turnaround. And Wes in particular has become the guru of ‘having to give love a chance’ and seems to happily coach the boys through their various DISLOYALTIES (see NewJack tonight?) in a bid to prove he did the right thing. Meanwhile, depressingly, the girls seem to turn on each other every time there’s an issue amongst a couple – even moreso when it’s none of their business. To the boys, loyalty is sticking together blindly – for the girls, sadly, it’s picking a side and hitting out at another girl. See Ellie on Georgia/Jack/Laura and Dani last night on Georgia/Sam.
Which brings me onto Dani and Jack.
I expected the judginess from Megan and Laura. Laura’s eye-rolling and mutterings about ‘classic Georgia’ were irritating enough last night. She reminds me of being a teenager and telling a friend her boyfriend cheated on her – only for her to double-down on the guy and make you their mortal enemy. Whatever you think of the kiss (and Laura then blaming Georgia for drunkenly deciding to dump Newjack, that was weird, right?) it was sad to see Laura falling so obviously into the he-man-woman-haters club. And if last night’s end roll was anything to go by, putting full faith in ‘her man’ might backfire.
But the smug-married judgement of Dani and Jack was a step too far (I mean, it was pretty late by now, don’t forget). I’ve been team Dani Dyer from day one – and I do admire her for trying to talk to her friend and be honest about her feelings. But I can’t back her on this – and fear she was led astray by her boyfriend.
Dani and Jack repeatedly stated that if they wanted true love, Georgia and Sam should’ve gone outside of the villa to really get to know each other in the real world. Erm, what, like you’re doing guys? Love is the prize right guys? That’s what you’ve said on multiple occasions. Well, you’ve bagged it! So…? Jack (sorry, I still have my reservations – and yes it
As well as wanting to potentially meet someone better/seeing if the grass is greener (what I’m now calling Wes Theory), staying in the villa gives Georgia and Sam two weeks more luxury time in the sun, more air time (and hence more commercial power when they leave the show) and yes, the shot at winning £50,000. It’s quite clear why they wanted to stay in the show whether it works out with them or not. And even if they’re not yet being honest about those motivations, the idea that the other contestants – especially the cheating boys – sat there last night in mock astonishment at GEORGIA’S CHOICE (because, let’s not forget, this is all her fault) was a joke. And a pretty sexist one at that