Love Island 2023: Maya Jama has fans all saying the same thing

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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

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

‘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

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'

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

 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

Incredible: Maya stunned fans as she appeared at the end of Monday night’s episode in a little black dress

Looking good: Maya strutted her stuff in the figure hugging number as she walked into the South African villa in a classic slow-mo clip

Looking good: Maya strutted her stuff in the figure hugging number as she walked into the South African villa in a classic slow-mo clip  

As if viewers hadn’t gone wild enough, the TV presenter 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

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

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'

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.’ 

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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)

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

Chats: Maya was first seen on screen as she chatted to the new islanders

Adding a further feather to her cap, Maya even related to the new singletons as she joked about her own relationship struggles on the first episode. 

The beauty, who has previously dated hitmaker rapper Stormzy, brought up her past as she addressed the new islands.  

She quipped: ‘Don’t forget, finding your perfect match is never that simple – trust me, I know.’

Maya and Stormzy dated for four years from 2015 to 2019 and while it’s been rumoured they had rekindled their romance, she insisted she’s ‘really, really single’.

'Trust me, I know': Love Island host Maya Jama related to the new singletons as she joked about her own relationship struggles on the first episode on Monday evening

‘Trust me, I know’: Love Island host Maya Jama related to the new singletons as she joked about her own relationship struggles on the first episode on Monday evening

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

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

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

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

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 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

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’. 

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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’.

LOVE ISLAND 2023: MEET THE CONTESTANTS

Tanya Manhenga 

Name: Tanya Manhenga

Age: 22

Location: Liverpool

Occupation: Student and model

Something not many people know about her: ‘I have Vitiligo, which is a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it.’

‘It’s on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it’s quite cute.’

‘I don’t care about covering it up all the time, I think it’s a vibe.’

Lana Jenkins 

Name: Lana Jenkins

Age: 25

Location: Luton

Occupation: Makeup artist

Something not many people know about her: ‘In my work as a makeup artist I’ve worked with lots of celebrities.

‘Also, when I was 6-years-old I used to live in Spain and I was in an episode of Benidorm as an extra.’

Anna-May Robey

Anna-May Robey 

Name: Anna-May Robey

Age: 20

Location: Swansea

Occupation: Payroll assistant

Something not many people know about her: ‘I went on a date once and I never saw him again.’

‘We went for food and shared a bottle of wine. As I was speaking to him he fell asleep!’

‘I had to clink his wine glass to wake him up.’

Tanyel Revan

Tanyel Revan

Name: Tanyel Revan

Age: 26

 Location: North London

Occupation: Hair stylist

Something not many people know about her: ‘My celebrity crush is Channing Tatum – I don’t like pretty boys, they give me the ‘ick’ because they always have a crap personality.’

‘Channing Tatum is handsome but not too pretty. He’s manly and he can dance.’

‘If a man can dance I’m in love with him straight away.’

Olivia Hawkins

Olivia Hawkins

Name: Olivia Hawkins

Age: 27

 Location: Brighton

Occupation: Ring girl and actress

Something not many people know about her: ‘I did a film with Jason Statham and had a nice 10-minute convo about life.’

‘I’ve been a ring girl for KSI, I played a waitress in James Bond with Daniel Craig and I’ve also been a body double for Michelle Keegan and Emma Watson.’

Kai Fagan 

 Name: Kai Fagan

Age: 24

Location: Manchester

Occupation: Science and PE teacher

Something not many people know about him: ‘I’m a Jamaican citizen. Because of that I played rugby 7s for Jamaica.’

‘I play semi-professional rugby now for Burnage RFC.’

‘I’ve technically got three different degrees and went to three different unis.’

Ron Hall

Ron Hall

 Name: Ron Hall

Age: 25

Location: Essex

Occupation: Financial advisor 

Something not many people know about him: ‘On meeting me, you’d never know I am blind in one eye.’

‘It was the result of a football injury when I was 8. I’ve got two different coloured eyes, one blue and one green.’

Will Young

Will Young

 Name: Will Young

Age: 23

Location: Buckinghamshire

Occupation: Farmer

Something not many people know about him: ‘Every night I light a candle and meditate for 20-25 minutes.’

‘A girl I was seeing told me to meditate, I tried it and loved it. I stopped seeing her and carried on meditating!

‘It’s a nice way to self reflect.’ 

Shaq Muhammad

Shaq Muhammad

Name: Shaq Muhammad

Age: 24

 Location: London

Occupation: Airport security officer

Something not many people know about her: ‘I’m a very emotional person. It can be a blessing and a curse.’  

‘Every time I watch Dear John I cry. 

That’s my favourite film. Any time I’m with someone and they say, ‘Let’s watch a romantic film’, I’m like, ‘How about Dear John, how does that sound?’

Haris Namani

Haris Namani

Name: Haris Namani

Age: 21

 Location: Doncaster

Occupation: TV salesman

Something not many people know about her: ‘I’ve never found love. I think this is the show that can help me.’

‘It’s the best opportunity for me to find the girl and find the right one. I’ve obviously not found the right one myself.’

Awkward: Fellow islander Will Young also fared badly, with viewers quickly picking up on some similarities with old contestants - in particular, Hugo Hammond

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'

Will was also compared to other contestants as a viewer suggested: 'Will walking in the footsteps of Dr. Alex and Hugo'

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 the first episode of Love Island 2023, viewers were quick to claim that there is 'zero chemistry between farmer Will and Olivia Hawkins

Despite it being the first episode of Love Island 2023, viewers were quick to claim that there is ‘zero chemistry between farmer Will and Olivia Hawkins

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. 

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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.’

Head turned: 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, (pictured)

Head turned: 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, (pictured)

'Cringe!': Taking to Twitter, viewers penned: 'Olivia does not fancy that guy, she just can't stand Will already and is trying to pivot lol!

‘Cringe!’: Taking to Twitter, viewers penned: ‘Olivia does not fancy that guy, she just can’t stand Will already and is trying to pivot lol!

'We would be really good friends': Olivia (far right) spoke around the fire pit to her a few of her fellow islanders where she admitted that the farmer 'is not my type'

‘We would be really good friends’: Olivia (far right) spoke around the fire pit to her a few of her fellow islanders where she admitted that the farmer ‘is not my type’

The reality star’s head looks like it might have already turned to boxer Haris after the pair had a cheeky chat by the fire pit. The pair, who have similar careers, couldn’t contain their smiles as they joked together. 

Haris reassured the ring girl that his age wouldn’t be an issue as they pinky promised not to mention it again.

Speaking to makeup artist Lana Jenkins, 25, the brunette beauty admitted Haris ‘is really cute’ and that they are a ‘match made in heaven’ because of their similar jobs. 

'Match made in heaven': The reality stars head looks like it might have already turned to boxer Haris after the pair had a cheeky chat by the fire pit

‘Match made in heaven’: The reality stars head looks like it might have already turned to boxer Haris after the pair had a cheeky chat by the fire pit

Striking resemblance: On Monday night, Love Island viewers were left convinced that newcomer Tanyel Revan, 26, is Turkish actress Ekin-Su Culculoglu's long lost sister

Striking resemblance: On Monday night, Love Island viewers were left convinced that newcomer Tanyel Revan, 26, is Turkish actress Ekin-Su Culculoglu’s long lost sister

OMG! Viewers insisted that the north Londoner is a double for last summer's Love Island winner Ekin-Su, with her caramel highlighted locks and olive complexion

OMG! Viewers insisted that the north Londoner is a double for last summer’s Love Island winner Ekin-Su, with her caramel highlighted locks and olive complexion

Viewers were later convinced that newcomer Tanyel is Turkish actress Ekin-Su Culculoglu’s long lost sister, as they pointed out their striking resemblance.

Taking to Twitter during the hairstylist’s first few minutes on the ITV2 show, fans noted that she could be the former winner’s twin, adding that producers did a ‘copy and paste’ job.

Viewers insisted that the north Londoner is a double for last summer’s Love Island winner Ekin-Su, with her caramel highlighted locks and olive complexion. 

One person tweeted:’ Tanyel is Ekin-Su’s long lost sister IM TELLING YOU!! #LoveIsland,’ with another asking: ‘Is Tanyel ekin-su’s long lost sister?? #LoveIsland.’

‘Love island really said let’s Copy and Paste Ekin-Su for Tanyel #loveisland,’ added a third person while someone else insisted: ‘Tanyel was copied and pasted from Ekin-su #LoveIsland.’ 

One fan of the show noted: ‘Tanyel is literally an Ekin-Su clone bro #LoveIsland,’ as another tweeted: ‘Tanyel is literally Ekin-Su’s twin #LoveIsland.’ 

Fan reaction: Taking to Twitter during the hairstylist's first few minutes on the show, fans noted that she could be the former winner's twin, adding that producers did a 'copy and paste' job

Fan reaction: Taking to Twitter during the hairstylist’s first few minutes on the show, fans noted that she could be the former winner’s twin, adding that producers did a ‘copy and paste’ job

Bombshell! Confusion quickly turned to shock as semi-pro footballer Tom Clare walked through the villa doors as a new bombshell on Monday night

Bombshell! Confusion quickly turned to shock as semi-pro footballer Tom Clare walked through the villa doors as a new bombshell on Monday night

The Love Island villa was later stunned after a new bombshell was introduced at the end of the first episode.

Islanders were visibly confused when Maya strutted through the villa, ready to announce a new addition to the house. But confusion quickly turned to shock as semi-pro footballer Tom Clare walked through the villa doors.

The ITV2 show announced last Thursday that for the first time ever they were giving the public the chance to choose the first male or female bombshell to enter the Villa.

The public had the chance to choose between Ellie Spencer, 25, a Business Development Executive at a law firm from Norwich and Tom Clare, 23, a semi-pro footballer from Barnsley. Since Tom entered the villa, Ellie will now be introduced at a later date.

Contestants had only just coupled up by the time Tom made his entrance – clearly shaking things up. 

Love Island continues on ITV2, Tuesday January 17 at 9:00pm.  

New addition: The ITV2 show announced last Thursday that for the first time ever they were giving the public the chance to choose the first male or female bombshell to enter the Villa

New addition: The ITV2 show announced last Thursday that for the first time ever they were giving the public the chance to choose the first male or female bombshell to enter the Villa

Surprise! Contestants had only just coupled up by the time Tom made his entrance - clearly shaking things up

Surprise! Contestants had only just coupled up by the time Tom made his entrance – clearly shaking things up

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