We’re just over a week into Love Island’s 2019 run – but the ITV2 reality goliath may have already hit a bump in the road.
Sherif Lanre has left the show after just nine days in the villa for “rule-breaking”, with the rugby-playing chef now set to disappear from our screens without further explanation.
The 20-year-old said in a statement, “In a case of poor judgement, I broke the villa rules and as a result agreed with the producers that it was best for me to leave the villa.
“I regret that I didn’t conduct myself in the right way and, as a 20-year-old guy, it’s something I know I will take on board and learn from.
“I really enjoyed my time in the villa and look forward to catching up with everyone on the outside.”
Sherif’s departure leaves 12 Islanders looking for love – six girls and six boys – with Sherif’s villa partner, Anna Vakili, now single and at risk of leaving.
Insiders have teased that producers are “scrambling” to get the show back on track.
“There was due to be another recoupling this week but they are not sure what to do because they are back to an equal number of girls and boys,” a source told The Sun.
“They’ve decided that Anna will stay on the show as single and given the chance to find love in the next recoupling.”
A recoupling usually requires there to be more girls than boys or vice versa, resulting in whoever is not picked being dumped from the villa.
So what’s going to happen come the next recoupling, or between now and then? We have a few theories…
There’s another recoupling… where no-one is dumped
With Sherif’s departure, we’re now back to equal numbers of girls and boys (six each), after new boy Danny Williams entered the villa at the start of the week – meaning we could see another recoupling where no-one is dumped.
Anna could couple up with Danny, but she faces stiff competition from Yewande Biala and Molly-Mae Hague, who are also interested in the newcomer.
Danny Williams (ITV)
Anna could also partner perpetually pied Anton Danyluk, who previously tried to graft her while she was dating Sherif. Or, who knows, there could be an unexpected shake-up of several couples (but not Curtis and Amy, never Curtis and Amy).
Another brand new bombshell enters the villa
It’s no secret that the Love Island producers have a pool of sexy singletons on standby to dive into the villa when necessary – so we could be seeing a brand new boy or girl coming in to stir things up.
This seems the most likely option, particularly after ITV executive Angela Jain was open about the fact that producers often tweak the format and make last-minute changes based on the events in the villa.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other journalists out in Majorca, she explained, “We are often reacting to the narrative in the villa, so we try and be entirely flexible about that.”
“We don’t really have a rulebook,” added creative director Richard Cowles. “It is so reactionary, the show. It’s a plan for the first week but that will probably go out the window by Tuesday. Because nothing goes to plan.”
There’s a new, more imaginative way to dump an Islander
Being in a couple doesn’t necessarily make you safe on Love Island, with the show having previously asked fans to vote for their favourite Islander, leading to the least popular being dump, and couples being torn asunder – Jess Shears and Dom Lever were parted in 2017 when Jess was voted out of the villa, while Adam Collard was forced to split with Zara McDermott after Islanders were asked who they wanted to leave.
Could another twist see a separate singleton given the boot?
Love Island continues weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV