Love Island 2021 episode one review: toe-sucking, friend-zoning chaos

From toe-sucking antics to golden girl Kaz, read our review of episode one

Good morning! It’s set to rain all week, Taylor Swift still hasn’t released her Red re-records and we’re all suffering an existential crisis following a tres dramatique year, but none of that matters anymore because Love Island is back. All of our worries ascended from our bodies the moment we heard Iain Stirling’s narration and that quirky drum and bass beat. Pfizer might be protecting our bodies, but Love Island is finally here to cure our minds. 

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WATCH: Meet the cast of Love Island 2021

And who am I? That’s a secret I’ll never tell. Only kidding, my name is Emmy and I’m HELLO!’s digital TV editor. Follow me on Insta, friends. 

Although I am now the haggard age of 30, and watched the opening episode in my pajamas while eating popcorn coated with melted Lurpak, I will be giving my straight-up opinion about these extremely hot and young islanders over the next few weeks like I even deserve one. So without further ado, here are my biggest takeaways from Love Island 2021, episode one. 

MORE: See the Love Island 2021 stars' Instagram accounts

Jake’s toe fetish

There was something so haunting about watching Liberty (adorable, friendly) enthusiastically chat about her coupled-up situation with Jake, saying that he’s “a bit of me” when actually we all know that he just wants a bit of her. More specifically, he wants HER TOES. Much like Cassandra in the Iliad, we the viewers are cursed with this knowledge yet powerless to do anything about it.

Toe-sucking MILF-loving type on paper

As if asking her if her mum is a MILF wasn’t enough, he then went ahead and filmed the toe-sucking challenge as his fellow islanders laughed and we watched through our fingers. Speaking of which, these producers are already trying to stress me out. We all know you wanted Jake to select that one, you fiends. But at least he has the filmed evidence that he can playback whenever he likes *shudders*. 

Liberty, you in danger girl

Kaz, our ray of sunshine 

In the words of Love Island’s “only solo winner” Amber Gill, we are “girl’s girls” here at HELLO! and will not be giving any of the lovely ladies of the show a hard time. But we also have an instant secret favourite. Okay, not secret. It's Kaz. 

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Kaz has that girl’s team vibe, as shown by her blossoming new friendship with Liberty, and we love and respect her for it. After being picked last in the couple's line-up, she also seems to have instantly won over Toby by being funny and gorgeous. 

Who allowed her to be this beautiful 

I know people want better things for her, but I’m already quite invested in the ‘forced to share and bed and end up falling in love’ romantic trope I can see happening between these two. Plus their tour of the house was the best banter we’ve seen from any of the couples. Much better than Brad and Faye’s bonding time when he spoke in tongues and she struggled to stay awake. 

Shannon and the friendship zone 

Not going to lie, Shannon gently putting Aaron in his place was one of the silkiest friend zonings I’ve ever witnessed. That was expert level, and I’m very impressed. As for Aaron, I don’t feel sorry for you. Two girls stepped forward for you and you ignored them both because you thought you knew better. I’d run out of that villa to find new girl Chloe if I was you. 

Aaron, I'd go see what Chloe is up to if I were you...

The voice note that launched a thousand cringes 

Poor, poor Chloe. Having to do that sexy voice note inviting the boys to join her must have had her hiding under a rabbit-shaped table with the sheer awkwardness of it all. Much like Tobey Maguire dancing down the street in Spider-Man 3 or any scene in Once Upon a Time’s history, sometimes the cringe is too much to bear, and she did an excellent job under the circumstances. 

Argh Chloe! Chloe no!


• I saw Shannon with hair for days look into the cameras at least five times throughout the episode. Shannon, this is not Saved By the Bell and you are not Zack Morris. This breaking of the Fourth Wall is highly stressful as when your eyes locked with mine, I was licking butter off my hand like Winnie the Pooh with a jar of honey and felt exposed and reminded of just exactly what I am doing with my life. Producers, either make the cameras Spy Kids-grade tiny or tell her to stop it.

Shannon, breaker of the Fourth Wall and seer of souls

• Sharon didn’t do much this episode, but she did describe herself as “full of surprises” after telling Hugo a fact he very much seemed not to care about. I instantly scoffed as I feel like describing yourself this way is akin to referring to yourself in the third person or telling people you are “authentic”. However, Sharon is clearly a confident, self-possessed woman who knows her worth, and for that, we should be applauding her. In the meantime, I shall be reexamining my gender bias.

• Mr Hammond PE is the new Dr Alex MD, that's all. 

How does Sharon gets her short hair curls to stay so perfect though?

• Boys, learn the girls’ names. It shouldn’t be that hard. Fair play to Faye for picking out a bikini that brings all the boys to the yard, but my god, ‘girl number five?’ ‘the girl in blue'? Have some decorum! EDITOR’S NOTE: My editor would like to chime in and disagree with this point, as she thinks it’s a very nerve-wracking experience and anyone would forget names. Okay Oprah. 

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• There’s something so comforting about how, in every season of the show, a couple will say they have “good banter” then you’ll watch it and it’ll just be them high-fiving one another because they’re both from Essex. 

Faye did not wear that bikini for you to forget her name 

That's it from me, but join me for the next review as we meet Chloe, Toby falls deeper in love with Kaz, and Jake gets kicked out of the villa for stealing everyone's socks. Kidding. 

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