Love Island 2021 review: Matt and Clarisse are collateral damage in Kaz and Tyler's chaotic relationship games

Casa Amor, Love Island

It has been a week since Casa Amor and it feels like finally, the dust has started to settle. New friendships have been formed, battle lines have been drawn and romance has been blossoming. Wait…rewind.

Despite initial promises of new couples blossoming like sweet, summer roses, Casa Amor has been more “casa” than “amor”. After such a short time in the villa, and their positioning as threats to the health, safety and commitment of their fellow islanders, the bombshells of Casa Amor always face a hard time once the villas reunite. The public don’t like them, their castmates don’t know them, and crucially the relationships they fought so hard to establish are immediately on the rocks.

Yet despite knowing all of this, I find that it’s hard to care. Does it really matter what happens to Team Casa when we’re still rooting for the OGs back home?

In an episode bursting with reunions and fresh beginnings, it was difficult to empathise with the new Islanders as they sulked in retaliation. With Toby having suddenly u-turned back into the arms of Chloe, it was up to Mary to solidify things with Mr Veneers (Dale) after Tuesday’s dramatic recoupling saw Abi accidentally sabotage their union.

With Teddy and Faye back on track, raising expectations for men and women everywhere (we stan an understanding king and his self-reflective queen), Sam has been marginalised into the corners, barely receiving airtime let alone female attention.

Finally, this leaves us with Kaz, Tyler and Clarisse. If there was ever a masterclass on “how to get your man back” surely we’d have to go by Kaz’s rulebook. Having had his head turned off the axis of his spine mere days ago, Tyler has been won over by Kaz’s unapologetic game plan; her quasi-relationship with Matt and faux-nonchalance towards Tyler forced him into her arms. Kaz may have picked Matt at the recoupling, but her wink in Tyler’s direction was proof enough that something was still there, the lingering build of sexual tension going into overdrive.

Unfortunately, all of this makes Clarisse and Matt the collateral damage to Kaz and Tyler’s chaotic relationship games. Whereas softly spoken Matt looks like a man who knows the role he has been dealt, for Clarisse, Tyler’s declaration that his interests lie with Kaz was the nail in the coffin to our babe’s resolve. It’s important to remember that there are people in this villa who have won the genetic lottery. “Unreciprocated” does not exist in their vocabulary. I only hope that if I too were as hot as Clarisse, I would also deal with a dumping as elegantly as she did: staring in disgust before removing my heels and simply walking away.

It always feels uniquely tragic when an Islander is picked last in a recoupling, or dumped in favour of someone else; the half smile and awkward distance between themselves and their coupled-up counterparts rehashes memories of awkward school parties and PE classes. This intense sense of tragedy is only amplified when you realise this is probably the only time people this hot have ever felt the ritual embarrassment of being the odd one out. It’s bad enough when you’re 10 – imagine facing that kind of humiliation as a fully formed adult on TV.

As the result of the public vote looms, it looks like Clarisse and Tyler, Mary and Sam, and [redacted] and Amy are all up for the chop. If you’re wondering why I have redacted [redacted]’s name, it is because I do not care to devote any more column inches to a man who has so steadfastly refused to conform to the one rule of Love Island: that is, to find love, on an island.

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With only one boy and one girl able to be saved, I have a sneaking suspicion that Hugo’s (oops) time in the villa might be running out, and after the generous plethora of hotties thrown his way, I can’t say I’m mad about it. Fingers crossed a population of 7.674 billion in the outside world might help him find what he is looking for.

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