There is a type of contestant you expect to see on Love Island, and the majority of this year’s intake precisely fit the mould.
The guys are proper lads’ lads – all muscles, bravado and tattoos – while the girls are glamour models and dancers. There’s pumped up lips and boobs and inflated links to TOWIE stars and footballers.
Yet amongst the 11 confirmed contestants so far, one stands out. Camilla Thurlow is far from your regular Love Islander, and after a few days in the villa she’s already struggling to find her feet.
Despite initially stepping forward for Sam, things are now hotting up between him and Olivia. With Sam now openly admitting that he “100%” wants to recouple with Olivia, Camilla is set to be made single.
On Wednesday night’s episode of the show, Camilla also admits to the other girls that she fancies none of the boys currently in the house. Which really, isn’t that much of a surprise.
When we met Camilla we were left scratching our heads. Just why is she doing this show?
The 27-year-old from Dumfries has a privileged background and a cut-glass accent. She was a former Miss Edinburgh, was privately educated at Fettes College (the same institution attended by Tony Blair) and has an incredibly prestigious and difficult job in humanitarian explosive ordinance disposal. Essentially, her work focuses on mine clearance.
In short, you wouldn’t catch Camilla stumbling out of Faces after too many Jagers on a Saturday night.
Owing to her former links with Prince Harry, Camilla has found herself on Love Island after being approached by producers to apply for the programme.
They’re hoping that she will spill the beans on their past, but any mention Camilla makes about former flames will surely stoke the tabloids to spuriously link whatever she’s saying to the Royal.
In short, she could generate lots of headlines for the show.
“When I first got asked about it I was like ‘gosh, am I the person? Would I be able to do this?’ But I had a couple of meetings and everyone I met was so friendly and helpful,” she told RadioTimes.com and other press about signing up. “And I have sort of neglected my personal life a bit for the last few years so it just seemed like a great opportunity. I loved the show last year so it was exciting.”
Unlike some of the other contestants this year, she simply doesn’t move in reality TV circles. When asked if she’s ever been scouted for Made in Chelsea, she says no. “I’ve never lived in Chelsea…I’d have to get the Tube up from Tooting.
“I’d definitely not considered reality TV before,” she confirms. “I have no idea how they found me…”
Unlike many of the other contestants, Camilla isn’t going into Love Island expecting a reality TV career on the other side.
“The thing with the type of work I do is that any time you’re not doing it you have these really strong feelings of guilt,” she explains. “Even though sometimes you know you need to take a break because it’s the best way you can serve the people that you want to help.
“I don’t think I could ever in the long term really walk away from that sector in general and charity work will always be a part of my life.”
Camilla is thoroughly lovely, and when we meet her seems very genuine. Although she has a sweet exterior, we imagine that her job – which has taken her to some of the most extreme places in the world like Cambodia and Afghanistan to remove remnants of war for civilians – will mean she’s far, far tougher than she looks.
That said, we can’t quite figure out how she’s going to fit in on the show. Quite how the other girls will react to her is anyone’s guess. They may well make an (unfair) snap judgement and alienate her.
Likewise after we met all of the boys heading into the villa, we can’t quite mentally pair up any of them with Camilla. Opposites can attract, but with so much talk of shagging and boozing amongst the lads, we can’t see her finding much common ground with the likes of groundsman and bodybuilder Harley or Geordie oil rig worker (and friend of Holly Hagan) Sam.
“I know it seems very, very different – and it is,” says Camilla of going on the show. “But also I’m always the one of my friends who has to be extreme in some way. So this is like the new extreme.”
Clearly up for any new challenge and experience, there is more to Camilla than meets the eye. Job aside, she also has a cheeky Rihanna-inspired tattoo on her torso and says she really enjoyed watching the show last year, which means she definitely knows what she’s getting herself into.
“I am definitely going hoping to meet someone,” she says. “I have put that all on the backburner and I am at the age now where I’m coming back for holidays or breaks and my friends are settling down. The wedding invitations are starting to stack up on the mantelpiece.”
We can’t see any of the boys being her Prince Charming, but maybe newbies Chris Hughes and Jonny Mitchell might be more her type? Perhaps they’ll be the more wholesome chaps to sweep Camilla off her well-heeled feet.
Love Island airs at 9pm on ITV2