Love Island Lesson 2: Be your annoying self at all times #Amber

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“Pretend that you just woke up – that’ll throw her off! Be sleepy!”

“Yes! And grumpy!”

The above advice was given to Chandler Bing of Friends by Monica and Rachel to help him answer the phone in a way more likely to attract his love interest, Janice.

“Stop naming dwarves!” Chandler shouted – and promptly answered the phone as his flawed but loveable self.

He got the girl.

His approach is one that Love Island straight talker, Amber Gill, would doubtless approve of.

It’s week 2 of the nation’s favourite summer reality TV series and the controversial Geordie is becoming a surprise favourite with fans of the show.

Perhaps, it’s because the love lesson she is teaching the nation is the importance of being yourself…

Admittedly, it wasn’t the most auspicious of starts…

The 21 year old beauty therapist from Newcastle didn’t pull any punches: “I do like to get my own way most of the time,” she cheerfully told viewers.

Or “She seems like a bit of a feisty one!” as fellow Love Islander, Tommy Fury, put it.

Vivacious and fairly glowing with vitality, Amber has a mane of curly hair – but we also learn that she wears an invisible crown…

“The emoji that best describes me is the girl with the crown on because I’m a princess,” was just one of the comments that inspired many an unflattering tweet and meme about the newbie reality star.

That –  and her past catching up with her…

What viewers also found striking was the way she talked to the poor chap she was coupled up with for the first week.

When Amber told Callum Macleod, “I think that I can pull off any sunglasses – I’m not sure about you though,” or tells the 28 year old that he’s “old” a whole nation cringed and groaned.

Is it Northern bants?

Or perhaps Amber is simply saying exactly what she thinks.

You may be used to this kind of brutal honesty on social media but face to face it’s a novel experience – and one that “gentleman” Callum is not equipped to defend himself against.

But being fearlessly honest does have some huge advantages.

An outspoken person can call out anyone whom they suspect is being a little creative with the truth…

When Tommy’s dogged pursuit of surfer girl, Lucie Donlan, was rebutted, he immediately decided that “It was 50/50” between her and Amber in terms of his preferences:..

Amber carefully watched Tommy’s handsome face, her eyes screwed up – due to the sun or due to suspicion – as he waxed lyrical:

He began by complimenting her for being…straightforward.

“I’m straight to the point myself,” he claimed, adding: “Last night when we was on that bed, I don’t know what you said but it just felt like you was coming out more. It just hit me in a different direction.”

“Good or bad?” asks Amber; you notice that she leaves nothing to chance or possible misinterpretation when conversing with the opposite sex.

“Good.” says Tommy immediately, “Good – and to be honest with you I can swear now on my mum’s life – I’m not telling word of a lie – I would never tell a lie, its f*cking made me think twice.”

“Honestly, I’m not f*cking joking.”

Amber just keeps on looking at him. She doesn’t seem convinced…

“But that conversation was before you did it [Tommy chose Lucie to couple up with – not Amber] so what are you talking about?” she queries, matter-of-factly.

“I know,” says a flummoxed Tommy, He seems taken aback. “But literally that was like…you’ve got to understand when I was stood up there I was looking at you and I was looking at her split seconds in between…”

He trails off.

“So that shows me in a good way and then you went and chose her – so that doesn’t make any sense to me in my head.” Amber returns, unswayed by his rationale, “Can you help us get my head around it?”

Tommy finally explains that he doesn’t want to put all his eggs in one basket…
In short, he wants her as a potential option.

It’s less romantic but perhaps more honest and now Amber knows exactly where she stands.

“I’m not daft,” she tells us, and as viewers we’re starting to think that her self-assessment is more apt than it is arrogant.

It’s particularly funny when a flirty Tommy tries to extend the conversation by asking Amber to help him up. She simply strides off: “Nah. Get up yourself,” she says, refusing to be seduced by his efforts.

From this encounter we can all glean that Amber has “attitude.”

She does.

Is this a good thing? Not always – but who among us is composed solely of good things?

Danny Williams, who chooses Amber to join him for a date, may not have developed romantic feelings for her – but he was quick to recognise what makes Amber’s so-called flaws so palatable.

When she tells him he is looking for “Someone that can handle a bit of attitude,” he is taken aback:

“Do you throw attitude at people?” he asks in surprise.
“Yeah,” says Amber.

And that’s all she says.

No excuses. No rationalisations. No apologies.

“I like how you admit that,’ he says laughing, “I like the honesty.”

So do viewers.

In fact, at this point many of us are scratching our heads wondering why we’re suddenly starting to like Amber over “nicer” and politer contestants.

We start to wonder if Amber was ever rude at all or if, as she says, she doesn’t like to “take myself too seriously.”

But it’s the softer side of Amber that really changed our perception of her for good.

For when Amber received her date text from Danny we were shocked to find that she immediately became shy and nervous about meeting this stranger.

“Oh my god, you’re shaking,” observes Molly-Mae Hague.

Molly-Mae has some cheeky advice: “You need to be be chatty Amber. Be charismatic, chatty loving, caring kind Amber – all the things you’re not!”

They both laugh.

Did we mention that Amber is also a very loyal friend? It’s another winning quality and it has seen her easily befriend most of the housemates.

Because if someone teases Amber, she doesn’t get offended as is the norm. No, she enjoys it.

It’s banter.

She doesn’t take herself too seriously, remember?

We see the type of friend Amber is when Anton Danyluk hurts Anna Vakili’s feelings by comparing her to “his type” Molly-Mae.

“I absolutely love Anna and I have her back one thousand percent in here and I’m not about to let some stupid boy mess with her head.” Amber tells viewers at home, calmly but firmly.

The confrontation when Amber (and her crush, Michael Griffiths) tell off Anton also gives us one of that episode’s more entertaining moments.

A dazed and confused Anton sits there, munching on his crisps, saying in a bewildered tone of voice: “I thought our chat went well…”

Amber is happy to educate her friend: “You’re an idiot!” she tells him, not holding back.

But what is interesting is that Amber then goes into the diary room and talks about what a great guy Anton is and what good intentions he has, despite his error.

Because Amber can appreciate a decent human being, even when they get it wrong sometimes.

Something she’s perhaps teaching us all…

Made a stupid mistake? Said or done the wrong thing?

Amber’s not going to judge you.

But perhaps it was her romance with Michael that really removed the last of our defences.

There was something so sweet, real and real-life messy about their connection.

Amber liked Michael.
Michael liked Amber.

For Michael, who seemed calm as Amber was fiery, had worked her out beautifully:

“So, you’re straight up in a lot of ways but…” but in love, she is not, he observed.

For brave, proud, confident Amber…was too scared: “I can’t put all my cards on the table straight away or I’ll be Factor 50,” she told him.

“I’m so nervous, I don’t like it,” she said shyly, but she couldn’t stop smiling at him.

“Why are you so nervous around me?” asked Michael, and he can’t stop smiling at her either.

(He knows why!)

But who didn’t find it sweet that she was shy about admitting to her feelings?

Perhaps seeing her so human reminded us of our own humanity.

Why people were even saying nice things about her on Twitter.

Hilariously, when poor Michael tried to go in for a kiss a flustered Amber remembered that she’d been drinking coke and cannot go through with it, worried that her breath will smell.

Or “I was pie-d,” as Michael put it later – with a grin on his easygoing face. “I feel like Anton!” he laughed.

Happily, they later “regroup” for their kiss –  once Amber has administered some much-needed mouth wash.

Afterwards, Amber tells viewers that it’s a new beginning for her:

“My Love Island experience has literally started now. I feel a bit better because I’ve got someone that I know there’s a bit of a connection with and I’m just seeing where it goes because obviously, that’s what we’re here for.”

Unfortunately, her relationship with Michael ended in the most dramatic of recouplings as Michael revealed who he really was.

His behaviour also revealed who Amber really was…

We never really know who people are until they are tested.

The man Amber had fallen for had rejected and replaced her for Joanna Chimonides – a girl he’d known for just a few days.

On national TV.

Amber looked at him and saw someone she no longer recognised.

Someone we no longer recognised…

Worse still, Michael seemed to think that the breakup was wholly her fault.

Another type of person would have believed him.

Not Amber.

She held her head high even when she was dashing away a tear.

She also did a very rare thing; rather than using her misfortune as a reason to retreat into old habits, she just kept growing and growing as a person.

We watched in awe as the fiery Amber learnt the art of self-possession:

“I am not going to kick off, I am not going to kick off.” she repeated to herself through tears.

And then instead of putting her guard up in self-defence, she let it down even further…

This openness led to a beautiful friendship with the irrepressible Ovie Soko.

It also saw her begin her romance with (surprisingly poetic!) Greg O’Shea.

She may have been open but she kept her wits about her too.

When Michael suddenly decided that he wanted her back, Amber studied his face, asked questions (and laughed at his responses) – and then sensibly stayed with Greg.

No wonder then that Amber and Greg were our 2019 Love Island winners.

Yes, I’m sorry folks, but at this point the evidence is overwhelming:

Amber’s high opinion of herself is very, very well-deserved…

NEXT: Love Island Lesson 3: Don’t Squash Yourself or Anybody Else #Yewande

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