This is why we can’t have nice things
I still remember the feeling; that sinking in the pit of my stomach. My heart was in my mouth and I hardly dared take a breath as the results were announced.
I had taken my chance and had my say, but I knew thousands of others around the country had done the same and now the outcome of this decision was in our hands. Had we got it right? What was “right”? Had we thought it through properly? This decision would have consequences and repercussions.
In my front room there was barely a breath to be heard. The television camera panned across concerned faces. Some fighting back tears, others with a pessimistic resignation written all over them. A few had a glimmer of hope. As the result got closer, the magnitude of it appeared to weigh heavier and heavier.
Then it was announced. My heart plunged.
I knew it was possible, but I had never thought it would actually happen. If I am honest, I don’t think I really believed it was a serious option. Surely we couldn’t collectively have made this choice.
But we had.
Frankie has been evicted from Love Island.
For those of you in that very small subsection of people who both don’t watch Love Island and reached the denouement of that intro and still read on, let me get you caught up. Love Island, as I presume you are vaguely aware, is an ITV show which sees a group of 20-somethings thrust into a villa on a sunny Spanish island, where they strut around in swimwear and couple up with the aim of becoming the viewing public’s favourite duo and walking away with £50k.
Along the way people get kicked off the show if they are not chosen to couple up with anyone and every once in a while the viewers are allowed to vote for who they like. In the latter situation, those with the fewest votes are unceremoniously dumped.
Now to explain last night’s dramas, meet Samira.
She is an actress and dancer who has been in the show since day one. And she hasn’t had the best luck. She wasn’t picked by anyone in the initial round of couplings and for the first few weeks of the show she was coupled with the equally unlucky in love – and rather awkward – Dr Alex. But a week or so ago that all changed. After weeks of being bumped around and overlooked for every other girl in the villa, Samira met Frankie. And they hit it off. They were happy. For the first time in more than a month on TV, Samira was relaxing with her beau and enjoying herself.
Until last night. When we decided, the viewing public, decided we liked him least and booted him off.
Why? Goodness knows. Maybe he wasn’t exciting enough. In truth, you are asked to vote for your favourites and Frankie hasn’t been given the chance to create stellar tele.
But that is sort of the point in Love Island. We are seeing what the producers decide to show us. We are being asked to make a decision on which we cannot possibly have all the facts. So what does one do in that situation?
The simple answer at first is “our best”. Make a decision as best you can. But do it with two things very clear in your mind: it will have repercussions and you have to back it once you’ve made it.
S and I plan out our votes for Love Island. We figure out who we want to vote to keep in and who we want to make sure isn’t voted out. But we didn’t think of Frankie. We are part of the problem. The floods of tears are on our shoulders. Sure they’re on the shoulders of producers and everyone else who voted, or didn’t vote too. But they are on us.
Moments after the vote Twitter lit up with fury at the treatment of Samira. There were claims from cruelty to racism bandied about. In a few cases those might stick. But by and large it is not the case. People just didn’t think it would happen so they didn’t allow for it.
If we are being given the power to make decisions, then we are required to do so properly. If you want the authority then take the responsibility. Think about all the parameters, what other people might do, what it could mean and what you actually want from this vote – and then make your decision.
Or do it with a tunnel vision on what you want. But either way, the result and fallout are on us.