'Love Island' Sends 4 Packing -- Mackenzie Says She Hopes Connor Comes Out Single!
By Jennifer Drysdale
Four Islanders were eliminated on Thursday's episode of Love Island-- including one girl from day one. Host Arielle Vandenberg interrupted the group's toga party to deliver the news that America has been voting for their favorite couple. Based on those votes, the top four couples would be safe, while the bottom three couples would be at risk for elimination.
Moira and Connor were the first couple announced to be safe, followed by Justine and Caleb and Kierstan and Calvin and Cely and Johnny. That left Laurel, Sher and Mackenzie up for elimination for the girls, and Aaron, Jalen and Carrington at risk of being sent home from the boys.
As Arielle revealed, the islanders could decide on just one boy and one girl to offer a lifeline to.
"We've decided to save this girl because ever since she has walked in here, she has shown nothing but honesty and her real, 100 percent self," Johnny said. "She's brought a great, sweet energy, and we believe she has found something real in the villa. So, the girl we'd like to save is... Laurel."
Kierstan spoke up for the women, declaring, "We've decided to save this boy because... Even though a lot of things have happened in this villa, we truly believe that he has found a genuine connection. And he's been nothing but honest in what he believes is right for himself. And with that being said, the guy that we would like to save is... Carrington."
Aaron, Jalen, Sher and Mackenzie were thus given just 30 minutes to pack up and exit the villa. It was especially bittersweet for Mackenzie, who had been there since the start of season two.
"I can honestly say I'm leaving here with no regrets, and I'm so thankful for all of you, so, so much. I'll be waiting for you all on the outside," Mackenzie said, as the remaining women mourned the loss of their villa friends.
As for whether Mackenzie and Connor will keep their spark alive -- it seems doubtful. "You were my Love Island experience, and I wouldn't want it any other way," she told him on her way out. He admitted it "sucks" to see her go, but told the camera he was still hopeful to find love.
"You just have to have faith that things happen this way for a reason. And, you know, if we're meant to be, then we will be. I wish I could have spent more time with you. I wish I could have finished this with you, but it just wasn't in the cards for us," Mackenzie continued.
ET's Ash Crossan spoke with Mackenzie following her exit via Zoom where she expressed an interest in seeing Connor in the real world.
"I definitely think if Connor comes out single then I would love to get his phone number and to talk and to really see if we have a real shot at this. At least I just miss my best friend," she admits. "Do I hope he'll come out single? Yeah. But I also just want what's best for him and whatever makes him happy."
Despite things not working out with Connor in the villa, Mackenzie feels content with how her time on the show came to an end.
"I feel like even though I didn't make it to the end, I feel like I had a very full, very exciting, very emotional Love Island experience," she says. "I definitely feel like I left with no regrets and I feel really good right now, honestly. I miss everybody but I do feel good about how I left and when I left."
Jalen and Sher, meanwhile, expressed hope that they could potentially continue their romance outside the villa. "Had we had more time in the villa, I think we absolutely would have been America's favorite couple."
"I'm so grateful to have met Jalen, so there's definitely opportunity there," Sher added. "Who knows what happens after?"
Jalen also explains to ET why things didn't work out between him and Mackenzie, saying, "I was very interested to get to know Mackenzie, but I felt myself kind of going way too fast and from what I walked into the villa understanding, it seemed like Mackenzie, when you got in a relationship with her it was all or nothing... I think that's kind of what broke us apart was my desire to be a little more open in the relationship and her not wanting that."
As for Aaron, he remains at peace with being voted out of the villa.
"The situation I was in it was not as strong as Laurel and Carrington's so I feel like they deserved to stay on the island, I think they made the right decision," he tells ET. "The cards that I got dealt weren't the best and unfortunately I didn't find what I was looking for there. But I think I handled everything the way I would have in real life."
Love Island airs nightly at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS with highlight episodes airing Saturdays.