For all the potential the 'Love Island' reunion had, we felt like ITV just got it all wrong this year. From filming and airing it less than a week after the finale to the silly cameos and lack of gossip, we felt like producers could've done more with this reunion. And we're not alone in that.
Based on the reaction to the 'Love Island' reunion online, it seems like the consensus is this: boo. People thought it was a bit of a snooze slash cringe-fest. And we totally agree. We didn't sign away 90 minutes of our lives to hear about Joel Corry's 'Love Island' experience as a DJ on a terrible episode nor was it the time or place for hair-eographed skits. No. Absolutely not.
'Love Island' got some bad press about halfway through the season and in places, we'd argue rightfully so. But beyond even the bad press, viewers criticised it for being boring. Rather than remedy any of that, everybody sang a One Direction song instead. Seriously.
In the mere few days since the finale, you'd think ITV could've whipped up some of that delectable week two to three drama that at this reunion they seemed to want to clean their hands of and point at someone else for. It felt like 90 percent of it was cooing at Indiyah playing the recorder badly and damn all else.
But there are places to go to get 'Real Housewives: The Reunion' level scandal. Places only few of us know about. Places with gossip that would make this 'Love Island' reunion look like a children's picnic. Come closer. We're whispering now. Follow us...
Or rather, follow him. Seriously, follow Murad Merali on socials or find him on YouTube. He's the presenter we need to get in there. Stat! For those unfamiliar with Merali's work, here's a reading list rundown of the insider tea he's given us this year.
On his podcast (that also has a video version on YouTube), Merali spoke to ex-islanders Jazmine and Molly about how Coco was "playing a big game in that villa", he chatted with Coco about what really happened between her and Andrew, and Chyna spilled that she had a connection with Dami beyond three way kissing that went unaired.
Once the islanders assimilate to life outside the neon walls, we're hoping Merali gets them on his podcast since he's not afraid to ask the hard questions and call out poor behaviour. Moreover, we're certain that the finalists have more to say about their experience beyond how often the 'salon' has been open since returning home. Barf. Give us the goss.
The hard-hitting questions like the issues of misogyny on the show went not only unanswered but also unasked, creating a tension bubble willing itself to be popped — the contestants were surely totally aware of the questions viewers wanted answered, but they didn't get the chance to speak. Instead, it's as though producers chose to pin their fingers in their ears and go "la, la, la, I can't hear you" and gracelessly side-step the elephant in the room.
Merali gets comfortable with the islanders, giving them an hour each give or take, unfiltered and comfortable. He's a skilful communicator, affording everyone a chance despite what we see on TV because he knows that what we see on TV is just an hour out of the day — not true reality. But he'll hit them with the jugular questions, but fairly and with a hearty helping of understanding.
Check out Murad Merali's YouTube channel for Love Island goss.