Love Island’s first fresh set of couples have been decided after a twist-filled launch show.
Instead of the first 10 male and female contestants deciding who they want to pair up with as in previous series, the Monday night (06.06.22) episode of the eighth series saw fans choosing the castmates’ matches.
The show also ended with the first ‘bombshell’ entrant learning he would be coupling with a girl of his choice, awkwardly leaving one male Islander single and vulnerable.
Girls Gemma, Tasha, Amber, Paige and Indiyah joined host Laura Whitmore in the show’s Majorca villa expecting to see the boys walk out one-by-one.
Laura, 37, then announced this year’s set up would be a Love Island first and they wouldn’t be getting a say in their initial couplings.
The show had announced the shake-up on Twitter ahead of the launch, with the public told to make their decisions days before the show kicked off.
A tweet on the ITV2 series’ account said: “For the first time ever, you get to have your say on who couples up on Day 1! Head to the app to play matchmaker and pick which boy you think should couple up with each girl. The polls will close at 9am Saturday.”
The first show also saw another shake up when a bombshell arrival was announced in the form of 27-year-old ‘Italian stallion’ Davide Sanclimenti.
Model Tasha Ghouri said about the surprise entrant: “Straight away I was like, ‘Wow. Fit. Hot. Sexy. Hercules’”, while paramedic Paige Thorne added: “I’m done. I’m ready to get married. I’m ready to have babies.”
Indiyah Polack said about Davide, after she had been matched with Ikenna Ekwonna: “When I saw him I was very confused because I had no warning, but he is very good looking.”
Business owner and gym addict Davide said: “When I walked into the villa, I saw all the girls and I’m really impressed, I’m not going to lie.”
One of the show’s most high-profile entrants Gemma Owen, 19 – daughter of ex-footballer Michael Owen, 42 – was paired with 22-year-old Welsh personal trainer Liam Llewellyn.
The dressage rider said about the viewers’ choice: “He’s cute, I’m happy. I’m looking for a guy that is really family orientated, that is so important. Good morals.”
Masters student Liam said: “I’m a happy man, 100 per cent,” before adding in awe of Gemma’s life as the daughter of a multi-millionaire: “You have 12 horses? At home? You must have a big house. Well, horses are outside.”
Real estate agent Andrew Le Page, 27, said about being paired with deaf model Tasha, 23: “Good vibes. I can feel it already.”
Tasha, from North Yorkshire, said about the Jersey lad: “Good vibes. I can feel it already.”
She added he was “on onion” with layers who she hoped was a “good onion”.
Nanny Amber Beckford, 24, was paired with 26-year-old microbiologist Dami Hope, from Dublin.
The scientist exclaimed: “I’m happy!”, while Amber said: “I think I would have stepped forward for you.”
Fishmonger Luca Bish, 23, from Brighton, appeared happy with his match Paige Thorne, 24.
But she hinted Liam was more her type, confessing in the Beach Hut: “Me and Gemma might go after the same guy quite a lot.”
Waitress and model Indiyah, 23, said she was “gassed” bout being couple with AstraZeneca employee Ikenna Ekwonna, also 23.
She added her type is well-dressed as well as “tall, clean shaven… someone who has good banter and really takes good care of themselves”.
Indiyah also warned: “I take good care of myself so you need to do the same.”
The first episode also saw islanders play a game of dares, with Davide having to do a “strip tease”.
Gemma refused to perform a lap dance for Liam, and dared to kiss the Islander she wants to share a bed with, the teenager grabbed Davide for a brief kiss, leaving Liam stunned.
Gemma later admitted she felt there was “something missing” in Liam and said she was most “physically attracted” to Davide.
The Italian then got a cliffhanger text which said he will have to couple up with the girl of his choice 24 hours later.
Love Island continues tomorrow (07.06.22) at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub, with episodes available the following morning on BritBox.