Who is Joey Essex Love Islands First Celebrity Bombshell

Who is Joey Essex Love Islands First Celebrity Bombshell

Joey Essex has made a splash as the first celebrity bombshell on Love Island, igniting a mix of excitement and controversy among fans. The 33-year-old reality TV veteran entered the villa in a dramatic cliffhanger during the show’s premiere episode, marking a significant shift for the ITV dating series, which traditionally features non-celebrity contestants.

Joey, known for his stint on The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) where he popularized the term “reem,” has a long history in reality TV. His resume includes appearances on Dancing on Ice, Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! His entry into Love Island has divided viewers, with some celebrating the move as iconic, while others argue that the show should remain a platform for “normal people.”

In an interview with The Sun, Joey revealed that he applied to be on Love Island of his own volition, rather than being approached by the producers. This revelation has added an interesting twist to his participation, as many assumed he was invited due to his celebrity status. Major betting firms have already pegged him as a favorite to win the series, which will unfold over the next eight weeks.

Joey’s journey in reality TV began in 2011 with TOWIE, where he became a household name. His catchphrase “reem” and his often surprising lack of general knowledge made him a memorable character. Over the years, he has appeared on various reality shows, including Celebrity Ex on the Beach and Celebs Go Dating. In 2021, he also made a poignant documentary for the BBC, exploring grief and the impact of his mother’s suicide when he was just 10 years old.

Romantically, Joey has been linked to several high-profile figures, including Rita Ora and former Love Islander Maura Higgins. He was also engaged twice to TOWIE co-star Sam Faiers. Despite these past relationships, Joey told The Sun that he is “extremely single” and ready to find love in the villa.

As he walked into the Mallorca villa, Joey declared himself the “king of Essex” and expressed his readiness to find his “queen.” His confident entrance included a warning to the other male contestants: “Boys, you better watch out – I’m coming for your girls.”

The eleventh series of Love Island kicked off with a new twist in how couples were matched. Instead of choosing based on initial attraction, contestants ranked each other on who they thought was the most boyfriend or girlfriend material. This new format added an extra layer of intrigue to the show, which has seen a decline in viewership since its peak years from 2017 to 2019. However, Monday’s opener drew about 2 million viewers, the best ratings in two years.

A social media ban has been reinstated for this series, meaning islanders’ friends and family cannot post on their behalf while they are in the villa. This rule applies to Joey as well, despite his substantial following of 1.8 million on Instagram and nearly 3 million on X (formerly Twitter).

Former Love Island contestants have had mixed reactions to Joey’s arrival. Kai Fagan, the winner of last year’s winter edition, called it “madness,” while Joshua Ritchie, a 2015 contestant, suggested the other lads in the villa had “zero chance” against Joey. Tasha Ghouri from series eight, however, found the bombshell announcement “iconic.”

Joey’s entry wasn’t the only surprise of the new series. Producers also changed how couples were matched, adding a fresh dynamic to the show. Instead of choosing based on attraction, contestants ranked each other on who they thought was the most suitable relationship material. This new approach led to some interesting pairings and set the stage for a season full of unexpected twists.

The first episode was also broadcast on ITV1, a first for the main summer edition of the show. However, subsequent episodes will return to ITV2 and ITVX, while ITV1 hosts other programming.

Joey’s participation in Love Island has certainly shaken things up, bringing a new level of excitement and controversy to the series. As the show progresses, it will be interesting to see how his presence impacts the dynamics in the villa and whether he can indeed find his “queen” among the contestants.

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