Tonight's Final Date schmoozerama (part one) was suitably epic. Even more so in light of Iain Stirling ripping the proverbial out of the production team last night for stapling grapefruit to bits of twine by way of decoration for the girls' Baby Day brunch.
Given the size of Paige and Adam's vessel, the sheer volume of musicians and dancers attending Dami and Indiyah's fiesta, and the number of candles required for Ekin and Davide's dinner (not to mention a personal appearance by Alfie Boe), it's kinda clear now where yesterday's brunch budget went.
Tomorrow night will see the final dates for Luca and Gemma (assuming they're still together), plus Tasha and Andrew. In the wake of Danica not choosing Deji, resulting in both of them getting the boot alongside their respective too-late-newbie-bombshells, viewers have been vying for another plausible couple to root for. On the upside, at least Danica is now free to shout motivational soundbites pitchside.
If Danica and Deji were a thing (apologies; I'll get over it at some point), the longest-standing couple in the Villa – that being Andrew and Tasha – could've easily been sidelined given how one note they appear on the surface. There is more going on, however, let us count the ways...
Firstly, the public coupled them up from the offset. They have been together from day one – apart from Andrew telling Coco he wanted to "ruin her" during an undercover session ("or whatever") when she first arrived at Casa Amor. One could judge him harshly based on that, but – in his defence – all the new Casa people who herded in led him to believe that Tasha had been stringing him along in case things didn't work out with any of the new bombshells that came in. Equally, to be fair to Tasha, of course, new bombshells wanted to get to know her – as pointed out by Ekin; Tasha is A MODEL.
While they each brought back fodder from Casa Amor (Billy and Coco), it was clearly because both were hedging their bets in case the other landed back with someone. And, for that reason alone, it worked out. Ever since their reunion, they have been solid. Even when Tasha heard Andrew had been feasting off Coco's appendages (for want of a better term), she played it cool.
There was a minor wobble, however, when the pair found themselves in the bottom two. Perhaps it was a cumulative effect, but that hit Tasha hard, especially as it wasn't the first time they've found themselves in that particular position. So, she cried. And that was her "overreacting". According to a large swathe of the (male) islanders, she should've been happy with the fact that she and Andrew had just become "official", and not cry at all.
Since then, things have actually been proper good. Why? Because Andrew finally stuck up for her after Snog, Marry, Pie. He saw the level at which Luca and Dami sank to – purportedly in Andrew's name – to make her feel generally worthless when, in the grand scheme of things, she was a saint comparably.
The number of pivots in the last week has been prolific. From Ekin and Tasha sharing a tear on the terrace to mark the last week in the Villa, to Andrew looking super chuffed for every other couple in the villa, and both of them being super thrilled with themselves looking after their plastic baby yesterday, all the feels are brimming over for this pair.
Will they be the Millie and Liam of last year and win? They truly could, especially as they're upgraded versions. Still vanilla, but with a saucy swirl of either raspberry coulis or salted fudge caramel lurking beneath the surface – complete with safe words and specialist masks. In the meantime, we have their date looming on the morrow.
Additionally, we have Gemma and Luca's date tomorrow, which is bound to be a barrel of laughs, especially as the 19-year-old really (doesn't) want him to father her future babies. And who could blame her.