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Love Island Australia’s Callum Hole is back to compete in Love Island Games (Photo: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
Love Island Australia’s Callum Hole is back to compete in Love Island Games (Photo: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Pop CultureNovember 6, 2023

What happens in the ‘brutal’ Love Island Games? A real-life Love Islander explains 

Love Island Australia’s Callum Hole is back to compete in Love Island Games (Photo: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)
Love Island Australia’s Callum Hole is back to compete in Love Island Games (Photo: TVNZ / Design: Archi Banal)

Love Island Australia star Callum Hole is back full sauce for some different gravy in Love Island Games. He explains what that all means to Tara Ward.

Callum Hole knows more about life on Love Island than almost anyone else in the world. Hole was the runner up on last year’s season of Love Island: Australia, and the Welshman jumped at the opportunity to return the villa for the first ever season of Love Island Games. This is the Love Island spinoff that sees Love Island alumni from around the world couple up to win $100,000, and Hole told The Spinoff he couldn’t get back on the Island quick enough. 

“I never take anything for granted, I just make every moment count,” Hole says of waking up in the Love Island villa again – this time, a beachfront mansion in tropical Fiji. “I know it’s only a short amount of time and I just keep it full sauce every single day, innit.”

We pulled Hole for a chat to find out exactly what the new season of the reality TV juggernaut has in store – and do our best to translate his many unique Love Island-isms. 

What is Love Island Games?

Hosted by Love Island UK’s Maya Jama and narrated by voice of a reality TV generation Iain Stirling,Love Island Games sees an all-star, international cast of former contestants compete in a variety of wacky challenges in the hope of winning $100,000 – oh, and true love, of course. But this season, finding a romantic connection isn’t the only thing the Islanders have to consider. 

“You have to be with somebody that’s going to be athletic and good at challenges, otherwise, your hopes of staying in that villa are zero,” Hole explains, having seen firsthand what happens when an Islander doesn’t play strategically. “They went in there with their heart, or their bits and bobs, thinking ‘that’s one for me’. Then all of a sudden, you’ve only been there for two days, but you both shit the challenges together, do you know what I mean?” 

The slang is different gravy

Over the years, Love Island added phrases like “the ick”, “pied” and “it is what it is” into the lexicon, and it seems Hole is determined to add “different gravy” and “techie” (meaning technical, awkward) to the list. But even this Welsh wordsmith struggled with certain Love Island slang, admitting it was indeed different gravy to live with a variety of cultures. 

“I thought I had lingo, but in the villa, I had no idea what some of these Americans were saying,” he says. “Holy crap, I remember my first ever conversation with an American girl, she said to me, ‘Oh, you bad’. I was like ‘Bad at what?’ But by the end of it, I was full American, cruising along, having a hell of a laugh.”

The games are also different gravy

Each episode features a challenge, from a mix of games like Truth and Dare and Tug of War to physical tests that look like Love Island entered the hideaway and had a secret child with The Krypton Factor. According to Hole, some of the challenges are brutal. 

“We thought it was just gonna be a bit of a laugh, a bit of a run around, a couple of kisses, job done, innit,” he says. “But oh my god, my body was in bits. I was actually getting beaten up by these games. They were so intense.” He also broke his wrist “a little bit” doing a cartwheel and tore his bicep in the villa. “That’s just me being me, innit, but it is what it is.”

Host Maya Jama and the cast of Love Island Games (Photo: TVNZ)

There’s a new Love Island villain

Hole assures us there are plenty of interesting characters this season, as well as a couple of villains. “We’ll see who it is when it unfolds,” he says mysteriously. “By all means, I don’t think he’s a villain at all. But due to the past relationships he had with other islanders outside the villa, it just got a little bit too techie for him.” Who could Hole be talking about? Did someone call Eyal Booker “hun” again, or did Curtis Prichard give one too many dance lessons?!?   

There’s a magical snack drawer

Breaking news from the villa: there’s a mysterious snack drawer, and Hole still can’t stop thinking about it. “It’s like magic. There’s a massive drawer full of snacks, and I would literally go in there and just hammer the snacks, right? Then I go for a quick walk, come back, and all of a sudden it’s full – and we haven’t seen anyone fill it. It is madness.”  

Other than “the beautiful women cruising around”, those snacks were what got Hole through the competition. He recalls the never-ending supply of biscuits, chips and lollies (“Fiji specific ones”) came in big box tubs, and he’d have a whole tub to himself every day. “They were my meals. Time is precious in there. I ain’t got time to make a three course meal, because I need a quick snack and get on to the next bird.”

Mostly, prepare yourselves for… carnage

Put on your floaties and prepare to ride the choppy waves of Love Island Games. “I obviously cause carnage from day one,” Hole warns. “I thought I was gonna cause like a couple of waves, but I literally went in there and it was like a tsunami. It was fucked. The whole villa was wiped out.” What does any of that actually mean? We’ll have to watch and see. 

Love Island Games screens on Duke at 8.35pm and streams on TVNZ+, with new episodes Monday-Saturday. 

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