Shaughna Phillips brands Love Island bombshell Ekin-Su as ‘the new Maura Higgins’

Hi everyone, it’s Shaughna Phillips, and I’m thrilled to announce I’m OK! ‘s exclusive columnist for this year’s series of Love Island.

Each week, I’ll be bringing you all the updates, spilling some show secrets and sharing my opinions on the Islanders.

I’m so excited the show is back – and what a brilliant first week in the villa it has been. I’m still recovering from last night’s episode! It was so juicy. The new bombshells, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Afia Tonkmor, really brought the drama.

I have one word for Ekin-Su – and that’s iconic. I’m obsessed with her. As a viewer, you need someone to bring the drama and keep everyone on their toes. She’s an actress, so she definitely knows what she’s doing. And I can imagine the other girls are feeling a little bit rattled by her. But what’s wrong with a bit of healthy competition?! I would have loved for her to come in when I was in the villa.

Former Love Island star Shaughna Phillips is teaming up with OK! to bring you all the updates from this year’s villa

Shaughna thinks "iconic" Ekin-Su will be the new Maura Higgins
Shaughna thinks “iconic” Ekin-Su will be the new Maura Higgins

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She actually reminds me a little bit of Maura Higgins. When Maura first entered the villa, a lot of people were unsure about her, but she quickly became the favourite. I definitely think she could be the new Maura this year.

I think Afia seems lovely. But let’s be honest, you could send anyone in there next to Ekin-Su and they would look like the Pope! Afia wasn’t as upfront and forward, but she definitely held her own. It looks like she has her eyes on Ikenna Ekwonna.

And although I absolutely adore Indiyah Polack, I don’t think Ikenna is for her. I think she needs someone who will take control and say: “You’re mine – I’m coming to claim you!” Ikenna just isn’t doing that.

I don’t know if it’s because he’s playing hard to get, or whether it’s just because he isn’t feeling it. But I saw a major red flag in him when he told her she should speak to other boys. If someone said that to me, I would run the other way!

Shaughna doesn't think Ikenna is right for Indiyah
Shaughna doesn’t think Ikenna is right for Indiyah

I was really happy that it was Liam Llewellyn who got to go on both dates with the bombshells. He is the cutest little soul I’ve ever seen in my life! It’s sad that Liam has had to leave the villa so early, I think he had a lot of potential. The circumstances are currently unclear, but I hope he’s OK.

I love how producers switched things up this season and let the public decide the initial couples. I think it was a dynamite move. Whoever came up with that idea is definitely getting a pay rise! It means that nobody has loyalty to anyone yet.

But saying that, I do think that when a bombshell comes in, they should be allowed to choose who they date, rather than it being a public vote. Just because I think that’s what causes the tension and friction between the islanders. But Ekin-Su has definitely got that covered for sure!

I think Ekin-Su is a good match for Davide Sanclimenti. I thought he was going to be a lot more obsessed with her, but I think actually, he’s too obsessed with himself to be obsessed with anyone else. Although I do not hold that against him. He is stunning and I could watch him all day long. I need a 24-hour Davide live stream – but without the sound!

Ekin-Su is a good match for Davide, reckons our columnist
Ekin-Su is a good match for Davide, reckons our columnist

Ekin-Su and Davide worked out together
Ekin-Su and Davide worked out together

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If I had to predict, I think Ekin-Su will choose Davide. But she isn’t predictable at all, so it could be anyone! Maybe even Luca Bish…

Moving on to Luca, I thought it was wild when he pulled Gemma Owen for a chat last night. What a shocker! He made such a big point about Andrew Le Page going against the boys, and then he did the exact same, but worse! Side note, I did find it very painful watching Andrew trying to apologise to Luca for telling Tasha Ghouri she wasn’t in his top three. I had the ick so hard…

I think Luca may feel the wrath of the Italian Stallion tonight. Luca should have had a conversation with Davide beforehand. I have a feeling Luca and Gemma could be the villains we love to love this year.

Luca may feel the wrath of Italian Stallion Davide
Luca may feel the wrath of Italian Stallion Davide

Andrew gives Shaughna the ick...
Andrew gives Shaughna the ick…

I also feel really sorry for Paige Thorne in the situation. I really like Paige, she’d definitely be someone I’d be drawn towards. My heart broke for her when Luca was telling her about his love triangle with Tasha. I was screaming at the telly: “Please stop speaking!” He just didn’t seem to get it!

When it comes to Gemma, we have to remember that she’s 19. When I was her age, I definitely thought I knew it all – and I still think I do now – even though I probably know nothing! But in terms of emotional maturity, her age does play a part in that.

Gemma is probably used to getting what she wants. She even said herself that 9 times out of 10 she gets her own way. I do think we need to give her a little bit of leeway. I think Gemma is going to be a grower.

The former Love Island star thinks Gemma will be a grower
The former Love Island star thinks Gemma will be a grower

Shaughna hopes Gemma will reveal all about her famous dad Michael
Shaughna hopes Gemma will reveal all about her famous dad Michael

I really just want her to tell everyone now who her dad is. Every time we watch them having football conversations, I just want to scream: “Michael Owen is her dad!”

If Michael Owen was my dad, I’d have it tattooed on my forehead! I think she needs to announce it in the most dramatic way possible. I want to see her gathering everyone around the firepit!

Speaking of firepit announcements, I thought it was great to see Tasha, the show’s first deaf contestant, telling the Islanders about her cochlear implant. It’s refreshing and I hope we see more from her.

Tasha is the show's first deaf contestant
Tasha is the show’s first deaf contestant

Shaughna thinks Dami and Amber are the strongest couple so far
Shaughna thinks Dami and Amber are the strongest couple so far

In Tasha’s VT, she said that she went on 6 to 10 dates in the space of a month. I mean, I don’t think I’ve been on that many dates in my life! So firstly, I’m very impressed. Secondly, I think she might be a bit of a flipper-flopper. She reminds me a bit of Toby Aromolaran from last year, who was obsessed with every girl who walked in. I think we might see a bit of that with Tasha. And I’m here for the messiness.

At the moment, I think the strongest couple seems to be Amber Beckford and Dami Hope, which has surprised me. It’ll be interesting to see how the next few days pan out for the Islanders. I’ve been in their shoes, and nobody wants to be the first to leave the villa. I’m sure they’ll all be feeling worried.

I’ll speak to you all next week, so let’s see what happens! Make sure you let me know your thoughts on all the latest goings on in the comments section below. Shaughna x

Love Island continues every night at 9pm on ITV2.

For the latest Love Island updates and to read Shaughna’s new weekly column, sign up to our daily OK! newsletter.


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