Love Island, as always, is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s enough drama on the show already (especially this year), but this week’s gossip is actually from the production side of things. One of the contestants, Sherif Lanre, left the competition after reportedly breaking one of Love Island’s many strictly enforced rules. Sorry. He and the producers “mutually agreed” that he would leave the Love Island villa. Read: Dude was kicked out faster than he could say “it is what it is.”
Disclaimer: If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you’ll know about the Sun’s reputation for gossip. I reference the Sun a few times in this article, because they are one of the main outlets covering this story. It’s important to take all these articles with a grain of salt while we go down this gossip adventure together.
This is only the second time that Love Island has kicked someone out before. The first was back in Series 2 when Malia Arkian was kicked out for getting physically aggressive with Kady McDermott. Love Island contestants are also allowed to leave whenever they want, but in this particular case, both a spokesperson for Love Island as well as Sherif himself acknowledged that he broke the rules.
What are the rules you ask? Cosmo breaks some of the rules down:
1. Smoking only in designated areas outside the villa
2. No personal phones or prohibited items (not specified what’s prohibited)
3. No nudity (yes even in the shower)
4. No masturbating - this is basic reality show production: put a group of beautiful people together and build up sexual tension
5. No inappropriate language or behaviour (eg. Fighting or offensive remarks)
6. No excessive drinking
7. Consensual, safe sex only (I strongly approve of this one, especially after what happened with Bachelor in Paradise)
Obviously at this point, I’m asking the same question as everyone else: what rule did Sherif break? The producers of the show are remaining tight-lipped about the whole affair, which means that everyone and their grandmother are coming up with various theories and explanations. The Sun has reported that he took really long in the shower (ie. the crime of wanking), that he got off in a jacuzzi (later proven false), and that he fought with Anton over Anna (also proven false).
Here’s what I don’t get – whenever you have a secret, and people know you have a secret, but you don’t tell them what it is, the theories and the guesses end up being way worse than the secret itself. So, for gossip enthusiasts like us, the real question we should be asking is why are they keeping a lid on this information?
The Sun has also reported that ITV has placed 24 hr security on Sherif, reportedly because “they want to make sure he’s being looked after and they’re keen to protect him from fans and trolls.” There’s an argument for the need for security, especially because the UK tabloids are running wild with this story, and because this is a lot of fame and attention for a non-celebrity like Sherif. ITV is being extra careful now, since the deaths of previous contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. But also, hiring 24 hr security is a great way to keep an eye on what’s going on, potentially monitoring whether Sherif is speaking to the press.
There are a few potential reasons for the coverup. The first could be just to create buzz. The show has enough drama however, so I’m going to say that this theory is unlikely. The second reason could be to protect Sherif. Perhaps what he did was embarrassing or stupid, and they want to avoid the trolling and tarnished reputation that might follow him. If that’s their goal, it’s not going very well because people are already thinking the worst. Plus, apparently Sherif wants to get the issue off his chest anyway. That leaves us with option three: the truth is either so big or damaging that their only option is to contain it. Intrigued? So am I!
Let’s think this out. To be kicked off Love Island, as swiftly as Sherif was, happens because of something major, and as discussed above, something big. I think wanking off in various bodies of water, while against the rules, doesn’t seem like a big enough reason. The Mirror reports that his behaviour wasn’t criminal, so thankfully it doesn’t seem to be assault-y in nature either. What’s left? Contract issues? Unknown criminal record? Prohibited item? There’s a chance we might never know. Or we might even have a RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 4 repeat and find out 8 years later when all the NDAs expire. Maybe Leslie Jones can come to our rescue once again.
We’ll just have to keep our eyes and ears open and enjoy the drama onscreen in the meantime. Personally, I’m rooting for Curtis and Tommy as a couple. What about that “gluteus massage”? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?