News, Culture & Society

You can’t tell the British public who to like – or vote for on Love Island, by JIM SHELLEY

Love Island forgot one of the golden rules of television, and life in fact.

Never tell the British public who to like – who they should like or even who they do like – and certainly not who to vote for.

Theresa May and David Cameron found that out when they assumed they could, and actually had done in the latter’s case – even on the night of the Brexit referendum.

Poor Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae! Never tell the British public who to like – who they should like or even who they do like – and certainly not who to vote for

And various Reality TV programmes have taken their audience’s complicity and suggestibility for granted by editing or producing the show(s) to favour a certain contestant or act.

The likes of Big Brother, Strictly, and the Great British Bake Off have all wasted an entire series making their bias pretty clear – by giving their preference more airtime, kinder judgments, or the best slot in the running order (usually the end).

Only to be scuppered in the final by the public vote.

Why do you think Alan Sugar has never let us decided the winner of The Apprentice? Because he has to go into business with them…

A couple of weeks I’d even reminded ITV about the perils of trusting us in a piece warning the powers behind Love Island not to make the same mistake as Simon Cowell with Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent.

The BGT final back in 2009 was meant to be a coronation for Cowell’s cash cow, only for viewers to wreck her/his big marketing opportunity by voting for Diversity, a bloody dance troupe of all things (far less lucrative).

Amber Gill & Greg O’Shea are basically Diversity to Tommy Fury & Molly-Mae Hague’s Susan Boyle: a protest vote, a gesture of rebellion and independence.

Cooler choice: Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea are basically Diversity to Tommy Fury & Molly-Mae Hague’s Susan Boyle

Cooler choice: Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea are basically Diversity to Tommy Fury & Molly-Mae Hague’s Susan Boyle

Anyone who thinks ITV2 didn’t want, and hadn’t anointed, Tommy & Molly as the show’s winners-in-waiting hasn’t been watching – closely or at all.

Like most things to do with Love Island, the bias wasn’t subtle.

From the beginning, Tommy was clearly this year’s Dani Dyer: the relative of someone genuinely famous: the brother of heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury in his case.

Molly-Mae meanwhile was perfect potential D-list celebrity material: a girl with a huge Instagram following, who’d dated Premier League footballer James Maddison.

As far as ITV was concerned, Tommy & Molly becoming the winning couple was a no-brainer (literally)….

They just had to make it look good and not blow it.

Of course the show’s producers couldn’t help trying to guarantee it (which was probably their mistake).

For a start, every time there was any sign of a couple emerging to challenge them their chances were snuffed out. Joe & Lucie were not just likable but so clearly well suited/marketable they had their own sobriquet (‘Jucie’) but somehow found themselves being split up and eliminated – on the grounds (ironically) they were ‘one of the least compatible couples.’

Unfortunate: Maura Higgins never had a hope of winning with Curtis Pritchard, even though the way she’s carried this series she’s going to need years of physio

Unfortunate: Maura Higgins never had a hope of winning with Curtis Pritchard, even though the way she’s carried this series she’s going to need years of physio

Curtis & Amy’s demise was even more unexpected, given how ‘settled’ they seemed (even to Amy).

Ovie & Amber were so appealing as people the fact they were together didn’t stop their popularity gaining momentum (on Twitter etc). Immediately they were paired up with two fairly dull, unconvincing, newcomers (India & Greg) and their chances – together or separately – ended.

Maura Higgins never had a hope of winning, even though the way she’s carried this series she’s going to need years of physio.

Maura & Tommy as a couple would have been exciting – dynamite television – but Maura is probably her own worst enemy in this regard: just too exciting, and too much of a livewire, for ITV2’s liking.

Tommy Fury obviously couldn’t handle her and if he couldn’t the others had no chance. Maura said as much herself: ‘I don’t get turned on by a guy finding me intimidating!’ she raged about one wet lettuce. ‘I want to be intimidated!’

Proof if it were needed that her ‘relationship’ with Curtis was baloney.

In fact Curtis loves Tommy more than he ever did Maura. Maybe even more than Molly-Mae loves Tommy…

It looked as if this year’s series was over as a contest after June 16th’s show when Tommy Fury chose Molly-Mae over Maura.

Missing out: Ovie & Amber were so appealing as people the fact they weren't together didn’t stop their popularity gaining momentum (on Twitter etc)

Missing out: Ovie & Amber were so appealing as people the fact they weren’t together didn’t stop their popularity gaining momentum (on Twitter etc)

After that, despite all the serious electricity and flirting that had gone on between him and Maura, Tommy never even looked at her again.

‘I know what I want,’ the boxer had told her during their ‘date’ when she arrived in the villa. ‘I’m genuinely looking for someone.’

‘Do you want me?’ Maura purred back, quick as a flash.

‘Gift-wrapped!’ Tommy beamed.

‘Why can I hear Tommy laughing like an absolute gimp?!’ Molly complained, eavesdropping.

Similarly, and suspiciously, Maura never made a single attempt to win Tommy back, despite making his head turn ‘560 degrees’ (as he put it).

‘The things I would do to that man,’ Maura had lusted watching him work out. ‘Oh Tommy, Tommy, Tommy. I can imagine screaming his name!’

Instead, poor Maura ended up being paired with first Tom and then Curtis who she was openly contemptuous of.

As for Tommy & Molly, there were early rumblings on Twitter about the way they had ‘disappeared’ from the show – perhaps because they weren’t getting on or (even worse) were just too boring.

Final four couples: The couples’ dates had become progressively more epic and in true X Factor style, theirs was the last of the four – the climax reflecting Tommy & Molly’s status as the winners-in-waiting

Final four couples: The couples’ dates had become progressively more epic and in true X Factor style, theirs was the last of the four – the climax reflecting Tommy & Molly’s status as the winners-in-waiting

Molly-Mae was quite funny – even about Tommy – but certainly unrecognizable from when she arrived in the villa and hit on virtually every other girl’s partner. So much so that Yewande did an impression of Molly, mocking: ‘he’s my type, he’s just so tall…Everyone here is f**king tall! So is everyone here your type?’

A few days later Molly-Mae was with Tommy having what the programme made out was the romance of the century.

Tommy & Molly-Mae were actually quite sweet together but, as the viewers who voted for Greg & Amber clearly decided, just weren’t good television.

They never had even a single hitch, or argument, and their speeches about one another became increasingly, sickeningly, soppy.

‘I don’t know what that means darling! In my whole life I’ve never heard of that. So please speak to me in old English!’ he chastised Molly-Mae, when she had the audacity to suggest he’d been equally to blame for them losing so many challenges.

It became increasingly obvious that Love Island’s deck was loaded in Tommy & Molly’s favour.

I suspect the final straw was their ‘date’ on the Friday night before Monday’s final.

The couples’ dates had become progressively more epic and in true X Factor style, theirs was the last of the four – the climax reflecting Tommy & Molly’s status as the winners-in-waiting.

With only three fairly unconvincing, hollow, couples to beat in Amber & Greg, Ovie & India, and Maura & Curtis, the hallowed duo didn’t have to do much, but it was certainly the most overtly ‘romantic’, or soppiest: practically an ersatz wedding.

For the public it was also seemingly the last straw.

Runners-up: It became increasingly obvious that Love Island’s deck was loaded in Tommy & Molly’s favour... but the public disagreed

Runners-up: It became increasingly obvious that Love Island’s deck was loaded in Tommy & Molly’s favour… but the public disagreed

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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