The controversial Welsh Love Islanders favourites to win and what some people don't understand about them

Nicole Samuel and Ciaran Davies, both from Wales on Love Island
-Credit: (Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

As a long-time Love Island fan, I thought my favourite couple of all time, Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt from series three, would remain unbeaten. But this year I have been proved wrong thanks to Welsh couple Nicole Samuel and Ciaran Davies whose blossoming relationship, in my opinion, has added a bit of spice that's been missing from the ITV2 show for years.

Despite some people finding them a tad controversial, saying they bicker too much, they seem to be thriving nonetheless as they have proven themselves to be one of the most loyal couples in the villa.

For anyone who's not familiar - or has lost track -Nicole, 24, is an accounts manager from Aberdare and Ciaran, 21 is a surveyor and rugby player from Pencoed. They coupled up right at the start of the series, and despite a few bumps on the way, have just survived Casa Amor, which is often described on the show as "the ultimate test."

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The same can't be said for their fellow islanders, but they have both "stayed loyal", and chosen to continue progressing with each other despite having had the opportunity to get to know lots of other new people.

Firstly, I must bring you a small disclaimer. Love Island is the ultimate guilty pleasure for anyone who loves to watch something fun and light-hearted to wind down. It also in many ways, with it's on-screen depiction of modern romance, is a product of everything that is wrong with the world, with superficiality at the core of most Love Islander's decisions. It's basically a real-life version of dating apps.

Many of them are in it to secure amazing brand deals and take on the title of the 'influencer' and then maybe if they are lucky, manage to move into presenter roles (I'm not bitter at all).

Yet 9pm hits, and I am glued - completely invested in the lives of these strangers on the telly. "I can't believe he's gone about it like that", I find myself saying. I feel my brain cells diminishing as Islanders take on tedious challenges, and use odd colloquialisms like; "muggy", or the recent term for a game they played; "Eggy Boff"- which I am yet to understand and refuse to Google the definition of- though I continue to follow their whirlwind love stories with avid interest.

But unusually, breaking the tradition of perfectly nice couples falling apart on screen as their heads turn elsewhere when new Islanders enter the villa, Nicole and Ciaran have been with each other since the start. They started off by coupling up after being in a brief love triangle with former contestant, Hayley.

Ciaran was initially torn between both girls, but then decided that his heart was with Nicole. Ever since then, the pair have admitted they have strong feelings towards each other, and they even dropped the L-bomb straight before Casa Amor- which is the section of the show where couples are forced to go no-contact for several days, and are not allowed to see each other, whilst living with a host of new Islanders which they are encouraged to get to know.

For this series, the girls were moved to the new villa to get to know some new boys, whilst their original matches were left behind in the main villa, where the new girls settled in. But despite being tested, the pair didn't find love elsewhere - despite one girl entering the villa who Ciaran had previously slid into the DMs of in the real world, the rugby player remained completely loyal.

Nicole Samuel and Ciaran Davies

The Welsh couple's reunion even reduced host Maya Jama to tears as she could see how much they had missed each other. Fast forward to now, and the pair have received some backlash for the recent Movie Night, with fans begging Ciaran to dump Nicole as she "continues to pick arguments", but there are definitely a range of opinions on social media on the couple.

But I feel like in the same breath, the pair have been on a bit of a journey, and despite their ups and downs have managed to win the hearts of lots of us, regardless. And according to the most recent predictions from William Hill, the odds are on the Welsh couple being crowned the winners of this year's series.

The betting company said on Monday, July 8: "Ciaran Davies and Nicole Samuel look well on their way to victory in the Love Island Villa, and the Welsh pair are as short as 1/2 w to be crowned as this year’s winning couple", with Sean Stone and Matilda Draper having the second highest chance of being crowned the winners.

As someone who lives in Wales, I have been absolutely loving all of the Welsh references in this year's Love Island series. Nicole also went from saying at the start of the series; "This is why I don't go for rugby boys any more" after Ciaran said the wrong thing, to noting that she wants to live in the valleys with him and settle down - so they seem to have come full circle, and having a Welsh couple come out of the show definitely feels like it would be a memorable moment for Love Island.

They definitely seem to have an old-school approach to finding love, so fingers crossed we will get to see their Welsh charm continue on screen right up until the very end.

Love Island continues nightly on ITV2 and ITVX at 9pm.