If, like me, you’ve inadvertently become accidentally a little obsessed with Love Island this year (said in an “I’m obsessed!” voice like Chloe’s) then you’ll have cancelled all plans for tonight to watch the final. But you didn’t have to. In fact, you don’t even need to watch it at all. Why? Because we already know who’s won. Hear me out.
This year’s finalists may have been announced as Liam and Millie (we await their Gavin and Stacey spin-off, sans James Corden, hopefully); Kaz and Tyler (proof that gods walk among us in human form); Faye and Teddy (couple most likely to stay together, despite the fact they’ll still be bickering in their 80s); and Chloe and Toby (the people’s favourite). But the real winners? The girls. Or, to be specific, Kaz and Liberty (RIP – a tragic loss from the Island’s shores).
If you’re a true Love Island fan, which I can now call myself for the first time in my life (why did I wait so long?), then you’ll know that the objective of the show – as well as to forge an illustrious career as an influencer, touting ath-leisure wear and alcopops with names that sound like brands of suncream – is to find love. And is there a more crystal clear example of true love than the relationship between Kaz and Liberty? I think not.
Before she left the island, Liberty Poole – who has been branded a “queen” and is likely to be one of the most successful contestants of all time, with more than a million Instagram followers before she even embarks on the mandatory next steps of self-promotion – and Kaz Kamwi gave us the perfect example of what we are all searching for: selfless, giving, reciprocal love.
The duo may not have been a proper couple, but they had the four key pillars of any relationship in spades: care, chemistry, communication and intimacy. They also had enough (platonic) romance to move those watching to tears.
On the show on Friday night, we saw Liberty, who’s 21, talking emotionally of her break-up with fellow islander Jake. She told Kaz: “I might not have found love, or the love that I thought I had at first. But I’ve found self-love and you can’t fall in love with someone until you love yourself inside and out – and I feel like Love Island has been that for me.”
Kaz, 26, then responded: “You’re literally one of the strongest, most beautiful people I have ever met in my entire life. You may not have felt like you’ve found love – but I’ve found love with you.”
As one Twitter user put it: “I’m glad they’re dedicating so much time to this Kaz and Liberty scene because forget about the final dates, this is the most intimate scene of the series and the greatest depiction of love.” Another said: “Their friendship is truly beautiful. The most genuine relationship on the show this year.” Someone else added: “Shows the importance of friendship”.
In my eyes, what this beautiful display of female solidarity really shows is that true friendship can be achingly romantic without ever being sexual. It can be the stuff of fairytales: flowers, poems, daily reminders of each other’s worth – “I love you’s”, nicknames and affectionate teasing. A message from one of my closest friends that says, “I’m thinking about you” is a rare and precious gift – and makes me feel as loved as any romantic relationship I’ve ever had.
Schmaltzy it may be, but isn’t that why some of us watch Love Island in the first place? Because it gets you in the feels – and makes you appreciate the power of what true love should be all about: friendship. Regardless of who takes home the £50,000 prize tonight, the real winners are – and will forever be – Kaz and Liberty.