It’s meant to be the big ending, the celebration, the send-off, the goodbye.
The producers clearly pull out all the stops to make it the biggest spectacle of the season, from the huge and impossibly tacky neon hearts plopped around the villa, to the live filming, to the fancy new suits and dresses and the overdone slow-mo.
Then why does it always feel like such a sour note to end the series on? Well, here are a few possible reasons why:
1. Caroline Flack
No one watches Love Island for Caroline Flack. Let’s face it, she has never been the most popular of show hosts. Relegating her to Love Island: Aftersun and the odd three minutes on the main program was the best decision the producers could have made. Every time she does a slow-mo walk into the villa to announce a dumping, there is a menagerie of tweets about how much everyone hates to watch those long, long seconds. When has Caroline Flack ever been that popular, actually?
Having to watch her for an hour and a half as she tries to feign something like charisma is rather painful. Show us someone naturally charismatic, for Christ sake, like this baller:
This guy had all the chat.
2. The Money Split
No one is going to steal that money. In fact, if they did, that would make this finale set-up a blinder, some of the best reality TV maybe ever. But they just aren’t. This formula of stealing or sharing was rehashed from the old Golden Balls final choice. And no one who watched and truly, truly enjoyed Golden Balls, a show for the middle aged and the depressed, is also going to be watching Love Island. The formula just doesn’t fit, it’s boring and predictable, bin it.
3. The Speeches
It’s a good bet that many of the Love Island contestants aren’t in this for love. They’re in it for cash, or for fame, or for brand deals. You can insert your own teeth whitener sponsorship joke here.
So when we have to listen to these pre-planned speeches, something in our stomach says that this is just, well, wrong. We know that the likelihood is that these words will mean nothing to some of the contestants. A part of you doesn’t want to listen to this now, and fall for it yourself, when you know that in 48 hours that person could be dumping their partner once they’re on the “outside.”
It’s so public, it’s so produced. And what happened to the good old whispering idiotic chat up lines to each other under the covers? That’s the real stuff.
4. The Interviews
The Islanders are not trained interviewees. Poor Tommy could barely get his words out. None of them are going to be on Question Time anytime soon.
The Islanders, usually smart and savvy but not exactly ‘intelligent’, let’s say, are at their best when they are comfortable. With each other, or in the beach hut, talking to a camera and a producer they have come to know well. That’s when the real lines of TV gold come out.
Seeing how the Islanders from previous series have fared on the likes of Good Morning Britain, at the hands of Piers Morgan, it is fair to say that not many of these guys are the best at Question and Answer.
5. The Abrupt Ending
Here’s your winning couple! Hugs all round! Woo! Here’s a useless bit about a load of cash we know you are going to split anyway! More hugs, now from your fellow finalists! Wooo! Aaand camera is swinging out, away from the villa, and cue credits.
That’s it. That was it. Okay. Guess I’ll see what Twitter has to say, then.
The Love Island Final is, I am sorry to report, a flop. It just feels like an episode of Aftersun someone threw a load of glitter at and hoped for the best. Let’s hope next year’s series, yes, that is plural, switch up the production a bit.
Images via ITV