'Love Island': Casa Amor Shake-Up Ends With Shocking Recoupling and a Lot of Crying
By Zach Seemayer
Everything in the Love Island villa is different now. This season's Casa Amor twist was meant to be a test of the couples' bond, and Sunday's new episode showed how powerful a test it really was.
For those who missed the greatest reality TV shake-up ever, a few days ago the five couples that had formed were, without warning, separated and introduced to five new guys and five new girls, who would challenge their fidelity.
On Sunday, the most important recoupling yet commenced, when the ladies -- who were still at the Villa -- had to choose whether or not to pair with one of the new guys they just met, or stay true to the relationships they were already in.
Once they made their choice, their counterpart would walk out, revealing whether or not he'd stuck by them, or recoupled with another woman at Casa Amor.
While everyone was expecting a few surprises, the aftermath of the recoupling changed everything for everyone.
First, here's how the recoupling played out: Moira was up first, and when given the choice between sticking with her previous partner, Calvin, or giving romance a chance with a new guy, Aaron; Moira decided to couple up with Aaron.
This proved to be fortuitous, because Calvin came out holding hands with Sher, having found a connection during their days together. While it seemed like this would be good news for all around, Moira seemed really unhappy that Calvin had chosen someone else, even though she had done the same.
The couple that was voted by America to be the "most compatible" -- Justine and Caleb -- proved America right. They both decided to forgo picking a new partner and stayed true to one another. It was a super sweet moment.
One of the most baffling decisions came when it was time for Kierstan to pick her man. She and Carrington had both agreed that they didn't work together before Casa Amor, so she was essentially single. Still, she chose to try and make things work with Carrington.
Carrington, on the other hand, had no idea that was her plan and ended up choosing Laurel, and seemingly breaking Kierstan's heart.
Next up was Cely. There was no question that Cely was going to stick with Johnny. She loves Johnny. The only question was whether or not Johnny was going to come back solo, or with Mercedes -- whom he spent quite a deal of time kissing and cuddling with at Casa Amor.
He ended up coming back solo, which brought Cely to tears of joy and gave Johnny an opportunity to explain how much she meant to him.
"This experience has been eye-opening for me," he shared. "It's made me realize how deep my feelings are for Cely. The connection we have is very deep.... The way I feel about you comes from so much that we experienced here and the foundation that we built."
It wasn't long, however, before Cely was crying normal, sad, angry tears after Johnny told her (vaguely) about all the kissing he and Mercedes did during their time apart. He then spent the rest of the episode trying to get himself forgiven.
Of course, the show saved the most dramatic recoupling for last. Mackenzie -- who has been in a very close and at times bizarre relationship with Conner -- decided to give up on all that and pick new guy Jalen.
So, when Conner strolled in without another woman, it left all of his guy friends pretty shocked and destabilized. He didn't come empty-handed though! Conner brought a gift teddy bear for Mackenzie, whom he assumed had decided to stick with him.
"I don't want to even look at her," Conner confessed to his fellow Islanders after the recoupling ceremony, giving them permission to finally tell him how they really feel about her.
"I think she's a manipulative liar, and I have little to no respect for her," Caleb shared, echoing the sentiments of most of the other guys in the Villa.
"If nothing else, this was complete validation for me that she is not the one for me," Conner admitted.
This recoupling also meant saying goodbye to the potential Casa Amor suitors who weren't chosen -- including Mercedes, Patrick, De'Andre, Mike, Gigi and Faith. Or rather, it meant never seeing them again, because they didn't get a chance to actually have a last word or make a final impression. They were just gone. Goodbye, Casa Amor denizens!
The rest of the episode was mostly spent on crying and paranoia.
Moira had a breakdown over not being able to find love -- even though she's coupled with Aaron -- and Cely was justifiably upset over Johnny kissing another woman when it wasn't part of the game.
Additionally, Kierstan and Jalen seemed to be getting close, which apparently started to really upset Mackenzie, who told her man essentially that she wants him focusing on her and no one else in the Villa.
Jalen later admitted that her behavior is a "red flag" for him, and it wasn't long before he talked with a few of the other Islanders and learns the extent of it. Now, only time will tell if Jalen falls for Kierstan or keeps things going with Mackenzie.
Love Island airs nightly at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS with highlight episodes airing Saturdays.