Despite a slower start to Love Island this year, season 8 has really picked up and is proving to be one of the most dramatic yet.
This year’s Casa Amor recoupling alone really shook the table, with 3.9 million viewers tuning in to watch as the Love Island 2022 line-up decided whether they wanted to stick with their original partner or twist and recouple with one of the Casa Amor 2022 cast members.
And we all didn’t know where to look when Mollie Salmon and Cheyanne Kerr exposed Davide Sanclimenti and Jacques O’Neill, who definitely thought they’d got away with their Casa Amor antics, as they decided to stay with their original partners.
But last night’s announcement that former contestant Adam Collard would be returning as the latest bombshell may just have topped it all. In a preview for Monday night’s show, the 26-year-old’s arrival in the villa was teased, causing fans everywhere to go crazy!
Collard famously took part in season 4 and was coupled up with Kendall Rae-Knight and Rosie Williams, before quickly moving onto Zara McDermott who he seemed very smitten with – that is, until she was dumped from the island and he decided to continue his journey on the show without her. He then headed to Casa Amor, where he recoupled once again, this time with Darylle Sargeant.
He was eventually voted out, after receiving some complaints from fans and Women’s Aid. The charity claimed that there were "clear warning signs in Adam's behaviour" and warned about "emotional abuse" after the way he’d treated Rosie.
Following his elimination, Adam revealed that he "didn't intentionally try to upset anyone" and he rekindled things with Zara. Things didn’t last, however, with Zara now in a relationship with Made In Chelsea’s Sam Thompson, and Adam still single, making it possible for him to return to the ITV2 dating show in a Love Island first.
As one of the original Love Island lotharios, Adam’s recasting is a brilliant move for the show. Forget the Tobys and Danny Williams of Love Island: Adam is definitely the Beyonce of Destiny’s Chaldish, making him the perfect candidate to return to the show.
There’s no doubt that he’s going to ruffle a lot of feathers on the show, with an exclusive clip already showing him grafting with Paige Thorne, Danica Taylor and Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, and he’s been there before so he knows just how to play the game.
His arrival did made us think, however, of all the other islanders over the years who we’d love to see back on the show.
From Megan Barton-Hanson to Ovie Soko, here’s a list of all the Love Island contestants who we’d happily welcome back.
1) Maura Higgins
Fearsome foe of any boys trying to get away with BS under the noses of their girls, Maura is a certifiable legend in the Love Island game.
Having gone toe-to-toe with many a F-boy back on the 2019 season, Maura could be trusted to put this year's infestation of toxic man-children in their places without wasting a single moment.
But you also just know she’d pour gasoline on the spark of Luca and Gemma's imminent implosion.
With Gem skirting close to what seems like the inevitable leap for safety out of the scrabbling arms of her current boy into those of ‘cheeky chappie’ Billy, it's possible the only thing which could reignite her interest in doomed, dull Luca would be jealousy-fuelled competition.
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Luca has admitted his crush on Ireland’s premier Love Island icon; Gemma has confessed herself to hating losing – see where I’m going with this? Two birds with one stone: reinvigorate the Luca and Gemma storyline and put The Fear in Dami, Jacques and Andrew. Win-win.
– Minnie Wright, News Editor
2) Megan Barton-Hanson
When it comes to brilliantly chaotic Love Island behaviour, it truly was Megan Barton-Hanson who walked so that Ekin-Su could run (or rather crawl across the villa balcony). The notorious MBH strutted into the villa as a bombshell in season 4’s second week and quickly established herself as one to watch, coupling up with Eyal Booker initially before moving on to Alex Miller during Casa Amor.
However just weeks away from the finale, the Essex-based model showed she wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted by going rogue and coupling up with Wes Nelson – who had been with Laura Anderson since the beginning. Adam Collard may be the season 4 contestant who’s returning to the villa but it should really be Megan, whose antics definitely helped make the 2018 series one of the best yet. With both Ekin-Su and Megan in the villa, we’d get to witness the type of absolute carnage that never goes amiss on Love Island.
– Lauren Morris, Entertainment and Factual writer
3) Ovie Soko
As Casa Amor bombshells go, Ovie Soko broke the mould with the basketball player returning to the Love Island villa with Anna Vakili and quickly becoming a fan favourite on season 5. The series may have been half way through when Ovie was introduced to the public but he made such a big impression, he landed a spot in the final with India Reynolds, coming in third place.
From dancing around the pool in his many hats and forming an adorable friendship with eventual winner Amber Gill to mixing things up with his catchphrase ‘Message!’, Ovie has secured his place in the Love Island Hall of Fame. The season 8 girls have been through enough when it comes to muggy behaviour – it’s time to send in the ultimate gentleman: Ovie Soko.
– Lauren Morris, Entertainment and Factual writer
4) Anna Vakili
If there’s one woman who took absolutely no nonsense from a man on Love Island, it was Anna Vakili. The former pharmaceutical worker entered in 2019 during season 5 as one of the OG cast and lasted an astonishing 52 days, sadly just missing out on the final.
After being initially coupled up with Sherif until he dramatically left the series, Anna found a connection with Jordan Hames that didn’t quite go to plan… Jordan started grafting on bombshell India, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Anna, who erupted in one of the fieriest moments in Love Island history.
What made Anna so great a contestant was that (like her fellow contestant Amber Gill) she stuck up for women. With some quite frankly appalling behaviour from the boys after Casa Amor, we reckon it would be high-time to give the girls a good pep talk from the OGs. And while there, we’d pay good money to see Anna take on Jacques and Dami after they had their heads turned in Casa.
– Helen Daly, Associate Editor
5) Georgia Steel
She’s loyal, babe. Georgia Steel lived up to her surname in the 2018 season of the ITV2 reality series as she composed herself in the face of heartbreak. Who can forget when Josh Denzel returned from Casa Amor paired with a new girl and left Georgia single and distraught? Her bravery was touching and endearing.
However, Georgia was also not without her fair share of chaos. The Yorkshire lass was certainly a source of drama when she initiated kisses with Jack Fowler, Laura Anderson’s new love interest, and then claimed it was mutual.
Regardless, fiery Georgia found a new love interest in Sam Bird before the pair’s time in the villa came to an explosive close as they were both dumped from the island.
Since Love Island, Steel has earned her reality TV credentials with appearances on Celebs Go Dating and Ex on the Beach to name a few.
If Georgia returned, she would likely continue to offer stubbornness, loudness, banter, and the confidence to match.
– Lewis Knight, Trends Editor
6) Amber Gill
Just like Anna Vakili, Amber always had her girls’ interests at heart. The Geordie beauty had her fair share of drama at the hands of Michael “Destiny’s Chaldish” Griffiths, who recoupled with Joanna Chimonides in one of the first epic Casa Amor twists. Amber took no prisoners and kicked her man to the curb, no questions asked. She went on to form a glorious friendship with Ovie Soko before eventually winning her series with Greg O’Shea.
Just like Anna, Amber could teach some of the girls in there a lesson in self-worth. With Paige, Indiyah and Tasha all showing signs of going back to their partners who all had their heads well and truly turned at Casa Amor, we think they could do with a good talk (and some home truths) from the queen herself.
– Helen Daly, Associate Editor
Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub. Episodes are available the following morning on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial.
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