Love Island Lesson 6: Perfection Is Not Enough #Ovie

in 2019 Series 5/Love Island

Shortly before Ovie Soko headed off to Love Island he was quoted in The Radio Times as saying the following:

“I’m confident I bring enough to the table.”

It seemed like a fair assumption…

Not only is the 28 year old professional basketball player already successful in his own right – but at 6ft 7 tall Ovie is also the towering embodiment of chiselled perfection.

Viewers swooned when his torso first shimmied across our screens.

And he seemed to be the full package.

Here was a man who would wake up in the mornings and dance around in his dressing gown.

For no reason at all.

He could cook. He was funny.

What wasn’t to love…?

Well, quite a bit, apparently. For Ovie was a romance-free zone for much of his time in the villa.

Ever found yourself curiously invisible to those you wish to attract?

Fear not – you’re now in excellent company!

For the story of Ovie brings us to Love Island Love Lesson number 6: Perfection Is Not Enough.

Yes, being stupendously good looking, high profile and successful will garner you much attention – but it will have little impact on your ability to find love.

And that’s a good thing.

Bear with me, I can explain…

Let’s take a closer look at Ovie’s time in the villa:

Our chilled out hero arrives in Casa Amor, one of a crop of new guys thrown into the Love Island mix. He immediately sets his sights on Anna Vakili, allegedly known as “the British Kardashian.”

Although Anna had been coupled up with Jordan Hames, it was early days for the pair and she took the decision to couple up with Ovie instead.

At first, she found much to admire: “Obviously, you’re handsome, you’re like – you know – good looking, you’re tall. You’re hard working, you’re older, you’re mature, like you’re caring. There’s so many things about you, it’s just actually wow!” she laughs in delight.

All good points, Anna.

Here’s another one. Ovie’s loyal:

“I’m not here to shoot my shot in ten different baskets and see which one I make. Nah!” he tells Anna with quiet passion. “I want to shoot a one basket….and I’m going to make or not going to make it. And I’m willing to live with that – I can live with that.”

And live with that Ovie certainly has to…

For upon her return to the Love Island villa, Anna is torn by the “undeniable chemistry” that still flows between herself and Jordan.

Ovie reflects on the matter and decides that he will not attempt to undermine his love rival.

“I tried to keep Jordan out of it as much as possible because I’m not in the game of throwing salt on that guy’s name,” he explains. “I want you to like me just because you like me.”

Jordan’s approach is a little different. As the 24 year old puts it to Anna:

“I’m not being funny but there’s no way in hell that you have better chemistry with him than you do with me.”

Anna weighs up each of their positives:

“I feel like when I’m around Jordan I’m like excited and giggly and it’s fun and like – ooh I want to grab him. But at the same time I look at Ovie and I think – oh my god, I do like him as well. He’s kind. He’s mature.”

But hang on a minute, this is a strange statement for viewers to hear.

Yes, Ovie is mature but did Anna somehow miss his enormous capacity for goofing around?

When he isn’t addressing the cameras, Ovie’s breaking Love Island protocol by responding to texts by drawling “Message!” instead of “Got a text!”

BTW, have you noticed that all the cast are using those glorious Galaxy S10+ phones? (Amazon affiliate link.)

In short, Ovie is what people like to refer to as “a character.”

An interesting part of the situation is the fact that Anna is labouring under the impression that Jordan loyally waited for her while she was away in Casa Amor.

In reality, he jumped into bed with Jourdan Riane on the very first night. Nothing happened between the pair and Jordan was well within his rights; he and Anna had not promised each other exclusivity.

Still, Jordan had shown enough interest in Jourdan for Danny to ask him if it was okay for him to crack on with her himself.

And Anna was presumably unaware of Jordan’s decision to share a bed with Jourdan – and so perhaps set too much store on Jordan’s apparent loyalty to her.

Here’s how Anna explained her situation to an ever-patient Ovie:

“The guy’s just waited for me this whole time. Like, I don’t want to disrespect him by hugging and kissing you In front of him. It’s rude!”

As time passes our respect for Ovie only increases. He is calm, he is clear and he is honest:

“I’m not happy,” he tells Anna as the days pass. “I genuinely am not happy, I’m not going to lie to you about that. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do right now in the situation.”

He is also brave enough to admit to his vulnerabilities:

“I got a lot of pride as a man too, you know what I mean? I’m a very, very, very proud man. And being a proud man, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Because it’s clear that as long as Jordan’s around we can only progress so far.”

It doesn’t matter that he’s gorgeous. It doesn’t matter that we all assumed that the non-famous non-6ft 7 Jordan would be no love rival at all to Ovie.

In reality, like Marvin Brooks and George Rains, Ovie and his attractive comrades are just not what the women in their lives are looking for.

Ovie sums it up:

“I’ve come back to the villa and I understand that the first thing that’s been on her mind is (the) Michael and Amber situation,” he says. “You don’t want Jordan to be uncomfortable – that’s second. Third is Amy and Curtis’ situation. Next is trying to get along with the other girls in the villa. And then it’s like me.”

Fortunately, another type of love beckons for Ovie – friendship.

Amber Gill is another attractive individual who is also finding out, (courtesy of former partner, Michael Griffiths), that not everyone will love you back….

In Ovie,  the straightforward Amber quickly finds a kindred spirit.

For Ovie is someone who listens to her. Someone she can confide in. Someone who stands up for her.

A man who is his own person – one who doesn’t automatically side with the villa boys.

And since the pair are both honest to a fault they can trust each other in any scenario:

“Since coming back to the normal villa I’ve just had the sh*ttest time,” admits Amber, “and I feel like you have been a huge part of just making us feel like it’s okay to be there. And I know that you’ve got my back and I know that you’ll say real things to the people that need to hear it.”

Ovie is visibly touched by the kind words. So he cracks a joke and puts on a funny voice.

Yes, this confident man is shy about taking compliments.

Like most of us, Ovie is a mass of contradictions.

As their friendship blossomed, many a meme was created of the pair, all expressing a hope that the two would couple up. Here’s ours…

Love island meme of Ovie and Amber by An Idol Mind.

There was no romance between the pair – the real love affair was between us, the audience, and Amber and Ovie as people.

Our affection stems from the enormous strength of character each have shown throughout their time on Love Island, despite being repeatedly tested.

For example, Ovie proves scrupulously fair when talking of his situation with Anna:

“Jordan’s laying out his cards on the table and I feel like that’s the right thing to do,” he admits. “And she’s sort of being open with him – she’s assessing, she’s analysing. Which is absolutely normal.”

But the truth is that behind the funny voices and that easy smile, Ovie was unhappy.

It is after the party hosted by Craig David that he and Anna sit on sun loungers and talk about the evening – and each other.

We see him hesitate.

We see how open his face is as he turns to Anna.

And we hear the crack in his voice when he opens up to her:

“I…I really do like you. I really like you.” he says simply, adding: “I do have a lot of pride which …isn’t always the best…when you really like someone else…”

It is hard for anyone to gracefully accept that their happiness is the cause of another person’s unhappiness.

Perhaps that’s why Anna seems defensive.

She mentions that he’s said that he also likes fellow islander, Joanna Chimonides.

This is an inconsequential point since Ovie only mentioned this to Amber under duress – and with the proviso that it was understood that going for two girls was “just not how I move.”

But he admires Joanna because she has a similar approach to himself:

“She’s come in here and she’s shot her shot at one person,” he explains, “She’s not juggling anyone.”

Anna decides to get philosophical. She thinks it is unfair that Ovie is judging her purely on the basis of his own experience with her.

A baffled Ovie explains: “because this is all I have to go on.”

Anna points out that she hasn’t always been juggling.

But is this the point?

However much Anna may have known her own mind in the past, she has been unsure of which man to pick for the entire duration of her time with Ovie.

As Anna repeatedly brings up Joanna,  Ovie – who had never pursued Joanna – looks visibly confused:

“Why are you comparing yourself to her?” he asks in surprise.

In Anna’s defence, she is a spirited, fiery woman and what felt to her like an energetic conversation just proved too much for the King of Chill.

“Can we just talk?” he says quietly.

He takes off his glasses: “I’m not hear to raise my voice with you,” he tells her. He sounds tired.

But the compliment Ovie has just paid Joanna has rankled with Anna who thinks his position is “ridiculous.”

Ovie struggles to make his point to his impassioned partner who simply talks over him.

A frustrated Ovie decides to depart from the situation:

“If you’re going to cut me off then the conversation is dead,” he points out.

He walks away but is evidently upset.

Anna seems genuinely surprised. She tells him that he is “ridiculous” as he walks away.

He tells her to relax.

She repeats that he is ridiculous.

Finally Ovie retaliates “You’re a joke!” he says in exasperation.

He walks over to Jordan:

“Jordan – go get your missus,” he says to his love rival. But there is nothing playful about his drawn face.

“I’m tired. I’m tired. You can have her, bro.” he tells Jordan.

“She was mine anyway,” Jordan tells the girls, with evident satisfaction, as he takes his place next to Anna.


(Interestingly, he does not make this comment within earshot of Ovie.)

Amber immediately comes to Ovie’s aid. At first, he is too upset to talk but Amber shows the gentler, kinder side that she reserves for those who have won her trust.

She persists in setting him straight, like a true friend will, when something needs to be said for your own good.

She takes Ovie away from all the drama, sits him down and gives him some tough love.

Although her voice and face is full of empathy – she acknowledges that Anna is “hard to handle” – she also has some firm words for Ovie:

“I know you’re annoyed and I know you’re upset but don’t be saying things that you’ll regret.” She says.

Ovie initially attempts to protest but he quickly sees sense:

“You’re right, you know – you’re absolutely right – because I’m not that low.”

Life carries on in the villa, but wounds take time to heal – it isn’t until India’s arrival that Ovie puts himself out there again.

This time he is competing with fellow funny man, Chris Taylor, to win a woman’s attentions.

Model and vegan chef, India Reynolds, is a sparky, smiley, laidback 28 year old from Reading.

Chris quickly realises he’s in a losing battle, groaning: “I’ve been Ovie’d!”

He playfully admits to feeling outclassed by his competitor “Look at him!” exclaims the loveable class clown.

Ovie’s good looks have not served him well up until this point, however here was a woman who saw what Love Island fans had been observing for weeks:

“I mean obviously you’re very good looking. Body of a god. You’ve got the height. And you’re funny – that’s the main thing!” India tells him.

“I’ll take it!” laughs Ovie.

For their first date together, Ovie is decked out in a loud shirt, a pair of sunglasses (perhaps to protect his eyes from the brightness of that shirt) and a straw hat – to hide whatever was left of him.

It’s a small miracle that India even recognises who she is on a date with.

One suspects that Ovie is a lot shyer than he lets on, hiding himself behind funny voices and flamboyant clothes.

Revealingly, the super cool Ovie spends the date leaning forward over the table to better connect with India.

The feeling turns out to be mutual and for a while things seem to be going Ovie’s way.

However, like all Love Island couples, India and Ovie are to be tested…

Perhaps Jordan is an admirer of Ovie’s taste in women –  for he decides that he likes Ovie’s partner more than he likes Anna and promptly expresses his feelings to a baffled India.

Naturally, all hell breaks loose.

A hurt and humiliated Anna marches over, demanding an explanation from Jordan who blithely says that he is not doing…precisely what he is doing.

Here, a graceful Ovie is an education on the art of self-possession.

He doesn’t say one word. He simply assesses the toxic situation, walks over to the unfolding drama, and calmly leads India away from a situation that has nothing to do with her.

The next day, it is to Ovie that his wannabe love rival admits:

“Looking back on it, I should have gone straight to Anna and talked to her about it…”

The pair remain friendly because Ovie is gracious in his victory and does not stoop to giving Jordan a hard time – he seems to understand:

“…I obviously see a lot of reasons why every guy in here would like her,” he says of India.

When Jordan says he needs to apologise to Anna, Ovie has some handy advice: “Just keep it calm,” he tells him.

For, perhaps unlike a professional ballroom dancer (#Curtis), Ovie is good at giving advice.

In fact, when Curtis is weighing up whether he should be with Maura Higgins or Francesca Allen, Ovie reminds him of the dangers of juggling people:

“You’re trying to juggle two eggs! If you drop both of them you’re going to splatter them, instead of just putting one egg down.  You can put one down and both eggs will be fine!”

If you’re looking for drama, you won’t find it with Ovie and India because the couple really do “keep it calm.”

Even when a task sees them looking after a continually crying plastic baby, it’s a breeze for the chilled out pair:

“We could do this all the time! We’re pro’s!” says a jubilant India.

Ovie may be perfect “on paper” but that won’t be the reason why India is falling for him.

It’s the little details about a person that actually hook us in:

“Do you know what my favourite thing about you is?” India tells Ovie on their final Love Island date. “When we’re in the villa, every time if I’m ever like stressed or nervous or even If I’m just normal and happy – if I glance In your direction you’re always looking and checking that I’m okay, give me a little wink or a nod…”

It’s lovely that by the end of the show Ovie had finally found romance in the villa.

But as viewers we were wrong to assume that a stallion of a man like Ovie would come into the villa and sweep the women off their feet.

There are people who don’t fancy Tom Hardy. There are those who would yawn at Megan Fox in a negligee.

And I am willing to bet that those who do have relationships with such gorgeous individuals actually fall in love with them for their tiny kindnesses and unexpected quirks.

The way they are always steady in a crisis. Or perhaps how cute they are when they’re feeling shy.

Looks and status command attention – not affection.

As with everyone, Ovie’s quirky, shy, flamboyant, funny, competitive, chilled out self was not to all tastes.

And would we really want to live in a world where the best people “on paper” mop up all the love?

The world – and Ovie – can admire India’s beauty, but it’s more significant that he remarks at how “calm” she is and that he has finally met someone “on the same wavelength.”

Still waters run deep – although it has been easy for viewers to enjoy Ovie, it hasn’t always been easy for Ovie to enjoy himself – as he admits:

“At one point, it was sort of looking like I wasn’t going to be in a romantic couple at all. I sort of felt like I might have had the role of guardian angel over Amber the entire time. And literally, when I was sort of at breaking point, India…India popped up.”

And he smiles at India from across the table at their last Love Island date.

Ovie and India’s relationship hasn’t had the high drama that other couples have experienced.

For some, their connection has barely left an impression.

But Ovie once said about love: “It should be something that’s fun and effortless.”

So, in Ovie’s terms, he has shot for the stars and scored one of the biggest wins of his life.

But what about you? Tired of watching celebrities lounge around in the sun, having all the fun?

Fancy flying to your own getaway?

It’s not too late to grab a fantastic package holiday deal at Jet2Holidays – the official travel partner of Love Island. (Affiliate link.)

Crack on!

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Love Island Lesson 5: No More Mr Nice Guy #Curtis #Michael

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