TV

Body language expert reveals what Love Island contestants are actually thinking

Love Island first look: Zara and Olivia butt heads over Tom

Winter Love Island only returned to screens last week and there has already been a spat, new bombshells and brutal recouplings.

Well now, one body language expert has weighed in on the hotly anticipated ITV show.

Judi James is a body language expert and author of 26 published titles, who worked on Big Brother for 16 years before launching her body language series, Naked Celebrity.

While body language is not a precise science or an entirely accurate mind-reading trick, James described it as "the most basic form of communication for all animals and gives some strong clues and hints about someone’s emotions or feelings as they speak."

From some of the men's battle for power to islanders echoing Ekin Su's behaviour to win the show, Judi lifted the lid on the contestants' body language, while speaking with Paddy Power Bingo.

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There's a battle for power between Shaq and Haris

Following a spat between the pair, Judi suggested their battle power is far from over according to five key signs she picked up on:

  1. Haris’ strutting walk and hand-slap greeting: There were no lowering signals like a dipped head or self-diminished posture to suggest Haris had gone to see Shaq to apologise. He forced Shaq to stand to hug him, which would be the first stage in trying to establish power.
  2. The cold hug: Both guys performed a perfunctory greeting ritual that mimed a truncated hug, rather than showing any real desire to bond.
  3. Shaq’s verbal ‘slaps’ and Haris’s sucked-in lips: Shaq used verbal accelerants to stoke the situation rather than calm it. His words were ‘critical parent’ and went beyond the one behaviour to criticise Haris’s personality generally: ‘You don’t read the room’ ‘You’re the most immature here’ and ‘You never understand a situation’ all received body language responses of suppressed anger from Haris, like teeth-baring and a sucking in of the lips.
  4. Haris’s ‘stop’ gesture: He held his hand out to signal Shaq should stop talking and used the phrase ‘Stop trying to dad me’ to show he had stopped listening.
  5. Like many parent/teen arguments it ended with Shaq, who had been shifted from alpha male to ‘dad’ role, walking off in frustration.


Behaviours appear to be "more staged"

Judi suggested that some of the women's battles look as though they "are deliberately bringing the drama rather than having it break out spontaneously."

She also hinted at how last year's winner, Ekin Su, could be the catalyst, for demonstrating that contestants "can create scenes and trouble but still win the show."


Zara appears to be more focused on scoring points over Olivia than looking for love with Tom

Judi called Zara's body language "overly dramatic," suggesting "she’s into stealing scenes more than she is stealing men and more focused on scoring points over Olivia than getting romantic with Tom."

"Zara didn’t just pick Tom at the re-coupling, she then used emphatic, double-clinging, ownership displays to show him off as her trophy male, holding his arm with both her hands and smiling at Olivia like the cat that got the cream," she claimed.

Judi said Zara's body language suggested she's not "really into her trophy Tom."

She acknowledged how Tom had his hand on her bum before leaning his head against hers to "suggest he expected total reciprocation."

"The corners of her mouth drooped as he did so though and she performed two loud sighs that hinted at boredom more than pleasure," Judi said.

"After he did every signal in the book to show he expected a kiss she suddenly grabbed his face and went in for it herself. She also ended the kiss quickly like that bit of business was over, laughing and telling him ‘Took you long enough’ in a way that was both critical and dominant."


Tanyel is "being insincere" and "using Ron to antagonise her"

Judi said, "This battle is causing a more serious threat to the girls as these two referred to themselves as ‘best friends’ before Tanyel snaffled Ron in a jaw-dropping act of treachery."

She claimed it has "rocked the foundations of the girls' group as there is an " increase in touch rituals when they sit together."

"These let us know they are trying to restore feelings of trust and security when they are with each other in a group," Judi said.

"It’s normally the boys that are seen as the ‘muggers off’ threat to the girls but this kind of attack from within, from Tanyel to her ‘nice’ friend Lana will feel much more threatening."

Judi added: "Tanyel was icy cold when Lana spoke to her and now her ‘attacks’ are getting even more personal. The cackling and giggling in bed with Ron suggested she was using Ron to get at Lana. Her ‘I love you more’ when Lana said ‘I love you’ sounded genuinely chilling thanks to the flat delivery."


Kai "isn't really into Anna-May"

Judi branded Kai's "I'm happy" response to Anna-May as "totally incongruent" due to his flat-lined body language.

"He performed an eye-stutter as he said it, which is an accelerated blinking that often suggests concealment of the true feelings," she added, before using a "verbal swerve".

She also noted how "Kai then sat back on the bed, performing a full leg splay that filled the space, suggesting there would be no real room or welcome for her in his bed that night.

"He also rubbed one hand on the top of his head, hinting at confusion. Hopefully Anna-May isn’t too invested in this coupling."


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