After an inevitable delay caused by the global spread of COVID-19, the brand new winter series of Love Island kicked off on Monday evening – but it wasn’t without its fair share of mishaps despite Maya Jama making a flawless debut as the show’s new host.
The TV and radio presenter, making her villa bow after replacing Laura Whitmore, won unanimous praise from viewers as she arrived in a sweeping gown with a plunging detail that enhanced her cleavage.
Maya, 28, looked like she’d been presenting the show for years as she oversaw the first group coupling, however viewers were unimpressed with her ITV2 paymasters after the channel went into meltdown within seconds of its return.
A series of technical glitches and screen freezes blighted the 90-minute launch, with Love Island returning to South Africa’s Cape Town after a three years absence.
Exciting: The brand new series of Love Island kicked off on Monday evening and new host Maya Jama made her incredible debut in a stunning green plunging maxi dress
Maya took a seat next to the new boys as they gathered around the firepit for the first time time ever as she asked how they were feeling and what they are looking for.
While the five new girls stood next to the pool of the new villa as they waited to see who would choose to couple up with them.
However, viewers were quick to compliment the host on Twitter, with one commenting: ‘Maya Jama outshining the female contestants, fancy going in and having to stand next to her’.
Others joked: ‘Step forward if you fancy Maya Jama’ as she stole the show next to the bikini clad singletons.
‘Maya Jama slaying as always,’ a third wrote.
Another added: ‘Maya Jama is the best so far… I can’t see this changing’.
‘Slaying’: The TV presenter, 28, strutted her stuff in the figure hugging number as she walked into the new South African villa in a sexy slow-mo clip
Dressed to impress: Speaking to the boys, she said: ‘Hello boys, you alright, shall we have a little chat?’ as they all gushed over how phenomenal she looked
Incredible: Viewers were quick to take to Twitter to say: ‘Maya Jama outshining the female contestants, fancy going in and having to stand next to her’
Others joked: ‘Step forward if you fancy Maya Jama’ as she stole the show next to the bikini clad singletons
Incredible: Maya stunned fans as she appeared at the end of Monday night’s episode in a little black dress
As if viewers hadn’t gone wild enough, the TV presenter, 28, then stunned fans as she appeared at the end of the episode in a little black dress.
Maya strutted her stuff in the figure hugging number as she walked into the South African villa in a classic slow-mo clip.
She made her way along the luxurious pool side to the fire pit where she greeted the new five sexy singletons and introduced the new bombshell.
Maya’s figure looked incredible as the dress was embellished with cut out details around her chest and stomach. She left little to the imagination as the dress reached her thigh – where it featured a slit going down her leg.
Taking to Twitter, one impressed viewer wrote: ‘Idk if I was on Love Island and Maya walked in, I’d step forward immediately.’
While a second quickly added: ‘No girl is gonna look better than Maya Jama on this season of Love Island.’
Evidently in agreement, a third quipped: ‘Can ITV please just let us see Maya Jama every day because that black dress alone should win.’
Stunning: Maya strutted her stuff in the figure hugging number as she walked into the South African villa in a classic slow-mo clip
Loving it: Fans were impressed with maya’s second outfit as she returned to the villa for the opening night climax on Monday
Concerned: Fans quickly took to Twitter to ask others if they had the same issue, with one writing that it ‘had them bugging for a minute’
Fans also claimed the new presenter has already been in the villa more times than former host Laura Whitmore, 37, did during an entire series.
Taking to Twitter, viewers noted the extra screen time, with one tweeting: ‘Maya Jama’s already had more airtime than Laura Whitmore did for a whole series of #LoveIsland.’
Someone else wrote: ‘I swear Maya Jama has already spent more time in the Villa than Laura Whitmore did for the whole of last season #loveisland.’
‘We’ve seen more of Maya Jama in one episode than we did of Laura whitmore in a whole series #LoveIsland,’ asserted a third viewer.
Another fan of the show tweeted: ‘Ive seen Maya Jama in this villa more then i saw Laura Whitmore the whole of last year #loveisland.’
In July 2022, it was reported that former host Laura appeared in just 14 minutes of Love Island by half way into the summer series despite earning a rumoured £600,000 to host the show.
A total of 1,610 minutes of footage – almost 27 hours – of villa action was broadcast last year at the halfway point, according to The Sun.
The presenter had appeared on 13 minutes and 26 seconds of the main show up until that point, meaning she was paid the equivalent of £744 a second.
Yikes: In July 2022, it was reported that former host Laura appeared in just 14 minutes of Love Island by half way into the summer series (pictured in the Love Island villa in February 2020)
Chats: Maya was first seen on screen as she chatted to the new islanders
Despite Maya’s popularity, the first show of the winter series sent fans into panic as during the premiere episode some viewers noticed their TV suffered a ‘glitch’.
Fans quickly took to Twitter to ask others if they had the same issue, with one writing that it ‘had them bugging for a minute’
‘WTF was that glitch had me bugging for a minute,’ one fan tweeted, while another wrote: ‘Was I the only one with a TV glitch?’
Awkward! Sky made an embarrassing blunder on Monday night as the TV channel used a picture of Laura Whitmore to promote the new Love Island
Oops! The television presenter, 37, stepped away from the ITV2 dating show last year, a role which she took on in 2020
The technical issue couldn’t prevent new contestant Kai Fagan, 24, from being mocked by viewers for using the term ‘wifey for lifey’ before switching between three single ladies during the first coupling of the series.
The semi-pro rugby claimed to new host Maya that he has entered the South African villa on the hunt for the real deal, but fans of the show were quick to call him out for using the ‘cringeworthy’ slogan.
Taking to Twitter, viewers did not hold back, with one writing: ‘“Wifey for lifey” the way I GAGGED #LoveIsland,’ while another admitted: ‘“Wifey for lifey” I just threw up my dinner thanks babe x #LoveIsland.’
‘Looking for wifey on Love Island? Stop lyingggggg through your pearly veneers mate,’ pleaded someone else, as another person insisted: ‘sorry but the lads are soooo dry on love island, a grown man saying “wifey for lifey”.
Err? Love Island’s Kai Fagan, 24, was mocked by viewers for using the term ‘wifey for lifey’ before switching between three single ladies during the first coupling of the series
What? The semi-pro rugby claimed to new host Maya Jama that he has entered the South African villa on the hunt for the real deal, but fans of the show were quick to call him out
‘This “wifey 4 lifey” thing better not the slogan for this series. I will not tolerate 8 weeks of grown men talking like teenage boys. #LoveIsland,’ fumed one viewer.
Someone else tweeted: ‘”I just wanna try all the flavours and see which one is a wifey for lifey” go home right now #LoveIsland.’
After insisting to Maya Jama that he was in Love Island to find ‘the one’, Kai then stepped forward for, and was matched with Anna-May Robey.
He quickly recoupled with ring girl Olivia Hawkins, when she ‘stole’ him while making her selection, despite Kai not having stepped forward for her.
Kai then ditched Olivia by stepping forward for Tanyel Revan, who selected him out of all the men in the villa.
Unimpressed: Taking to Twitter, viewers did not hold back during Monday evening’s episode of Love Island
Fellow islander Will Young also fared badly, with viewers quickly picking up on some similarities with old contestants – in particular, Hugo Hammond.
The 23-year-old’s debut did not go as planned after he did not get picked by any of the girls during the first coupling of the series.
The farmer repeatedly stepped forward for the single ladies, but he remained unselected to couple up with and viewers have since claimed the islander is the new ‘Hugo 2.0’.
One user wrote: ‘I feel SICK watching the Hugo 2.0 show’, while another said, ‘the more I watch the more Will is giving Hugo Hammond vibes’.
Will was also compared to other contestants as a viewer suggested: ‘Will walking in the footsteps of Dr. Alex and Hugo’.
Another agreed: ‘Will, Andrew and Hugo are the same people just in different bodies’.
Viewers also picked up on Will’s compliments, saying: ‘Will dished out his 5th compliment in 4 minutes and still hasn’t been picked. Not another Hugo’.
Awkward: Fellow islander Will Young also fared badly, with viewers quickly picking up on some similarities with old contestants – in particular, Hugo Hammond
Comparisons: One user wrote: ‘I feel SICK watching the Hugo 2.0 show’, while another said, ‘the more I watch the more Will is giving Hugo Hammond vibes’
Despite it being their first meeting, viewers were quick to claim that there is ‘zero chemistry between farmer Will , and Olivia Hawkins, 27, after they coupled up during the opening episode.
Fans might not be far off as later in the show ring girl Olivia admitted to already ‘friendzoning’ Will as she has her head turned for Haris Namani, 21.
Taking to Twitter, viewers penned: ‘Olivia does not fancy that guy, she just can’t stand Will already and is trying to pivot lol!’.
Another added: ‘This is cringe,’ while a third wrote: ‘In what world would Olivia and Will EVER suit???’
Olivia spoke around the fire pit to her a few of her fellow islanders where she admitted that the farmer ‘is not my type’.
She said: ‘He’s so lovely but he’s just not my type. We would be really good friends. I don’t want to friendzone him already but in my head I have.’
Speaking to the camera, she added: ‘With Will I’m already thinking friendship but I’m going to go in with an open mind and get to know everyone else.’
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