As a certified Love Island aficionado, I've seen this time and time again: A strong couple will form in the first few weeks of the show. The toxic lovebirds become infatuated with each other, and the guy guarantees his gal that he only has eyes for her. We, the viewers, are skeptical (his red flags are always GLARING), but we still pray he'll stay true to his word. Cue Casa Amor.
In Casa Amor, the five original guys and five original girls are separated into two villas. Five new men arrive for the ladies, and five new women arrive for the dudes. Like flies on shit, the guys who claimed to be "booed up" a few minutes prior are suddenly all over the new islanders.
Meanwhile, in the girls' villa, there's some light flirting with the new guys, but for the most part, their hearts are still with the original men (minus a few baddies who know better than to trust those f-boys back home). During a dramatic recoupling a few days later, it's revealed whether the islanders decided to stick with their original partner or to couple up with one of the new "bombshells."
Whether or not the guy comes back with a new lady, it's always a tough watch to see the original girl's world come crashing down. But it's an even TOUGHER watch to see the guy successfully win her back after a few days of easy grafting (like setting up picnics and writing stupid poems). In the recent seasons of Love IslandUK, the extent of the "cheating" (some couples don't establish exclusivity before Casa Amor, despite telling each other they're falling in love 🤪) is usually a couple of kisses or some cuddles in bed. Perhaps this makes it a little easier to forgive their philandering. But on Love IslandUSA Season 5, shit got R-rated in Casa Amor. Meet Leo:
Leo is just as manipulative as he is hot (*sigh* why do those two qualities tend to go hand in hand?). At the start of his Love Island journey, he was coupled up with the beautiful Kassy:
Then he was like, "Wait...I think I like Anna more":
But that only lasted a few days before he came crawling back to Kassy (which ultimately led to Anna leaving the villa):
Kassy forgives him pretty quickly, and I don't blame her for doing so in the first couple of weeks — it's still ~early days~, after all. Leo is also very vocal about how much he likes Kassy and even tells her he sees a future with her and is falling for her. What girl doesn't want to hear that?! A girl who's love bomb–proof, I guess 😔. Anywho, Leo may as well have said, "Go fuck yourself" instead, because in Casa Amor he immediately hits it off with Johnnie, who he HAS SEX WITH on the second night. Here they are post-coitus:
At the recoupling, Leo and Kassy both bring someone back from Casa Amor. Kassy did nothing more than give her guy a couple of kisses, so she's obviously enraged when she realizes what went down between Leo and Johnnie.
I wish I could say she held her ground and never got back with him, but after a week of basically pretending to be over him, she forgives him and gets right back on the saddle. Let me also add that he tells her he LOVES HER in this process. *SCREAMS IN FEMALE RAGE.* Here's the thing: It's obviously Kassy's journey, and she has the right to date whomever she wants — but what kind of message are you sending to these guys if you allow this much betrayal and disrespect so early on? The message you're sending is that they can continue walking all over you because you'll always come back. It also has a negative impact on me, the audience (anyone else out there?), because I'm now subjected to Leo's smug-ass face after he YET AGAIN comes out on top 🙄.
I hate seeing pretty women cry over insecure men who let their penises control their brains.
Unfortunately, Kassy and Leo aren't the only toxic duo this season. I present to you, Keenan and Kay Kay:
Keenan and Kay Kay were together since Day 1, but throughout the season, Keenan used the fact that their relationship was "too good to be true" as an excuse to explore not one, not two, but THREE different connections. And the one time Kay Kay hinted that she might be open to getting to know someone, he became super possessive and hostile. In Casa Amor, Kay Kay receives a video of Keenan getting a HANDJOB from another girl (after she spent all three nights sleeping alone outside), and it feels as if she might actually be done with him.
But alas, after a day of trying to be angry with him, she folds and is obsessed with him again.
Then, when Keenan is voted off the island by viewers (that's how mad he was moving), Kay Kay opts to leave with him. And if I'm being honest, Keenan doesn't even look happy about it.
Keenan's mistreatment of Kay Kay was so glaring that Sarah Hyland even asks her if she's sure she wants to leave with him. When the host of Love Island is concerned, you know something's not right!
The point of all of this is not to shame these girls over their decisions. It's to highlight the fact that most men who behave like this won't change (MAYBE some of them when they enter their 40s), so ultimately, it's up to us as women to identify their red flags early on and steer clear for self-preservation. If your goal is to be in a monogamous relationship, you should never have to feel that your partner is always keeping an eye out for something "better."
If you want to scream at your TV too, stream Love IslandUSA on Peacock.