Love Island: Jay Younger reveals what happened with Paige and Chyna, and who he wants to win
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The grandson of Hibs legend Tommy Younger has opened up about his experience on one of the most talked about shows on television.
Jay, from Musselburgh, was dumped from the Love Island villa just last week after a public vote left him and his partner Chyna in the bottom four.
He was at the heart of some of the reality series’ most memorable moments – from crawling on the terrace with fellow islander Ekin-Su, to sparking one of this series’ most famous lines.
The 28-year-old has spoken exclusively with the Edinburgh Evening News about his Love Island experience.
‘If I had my time again with Paige maybe it would be different’
"Honestly I can’t believe the amount of positive support I have been given,” he said, “There’s really kind people out there in the world. I’m overwhelmed. It surprised me how much people are tuned in.
"I loved it. It was so fun. It was different to what I expected but it was so fun.”
Jay entered the villa in the series’ second week and immediately caught the eye of firecracker Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu. "I came in very fast with a good impact,” he said, “Ekin is a beautiful lady. She is such fun.”
Their secret kiss led to an explosive row between Ekin-Su and Davide Sanclimenti, which saw Davide shout the immortal words: “You are a liar! An actress!”
Ekin and Jay also had a dramatic break-up when Jay admitted he wanted to get to know Paige Thorne, who was at the time coupled up with Jacques O’Neill.
"I had a lot of conversations with her and got to know her a bit better and thought maybe I had a more genuine connection with her,” Jay said.
But it wasn’t to be, as Paige told Jay they were better off as friends. Reflecting on the situation, Jay said: "Unfortunately on the outside world if you start to progress with a girl and realise that’s not the one for you and try and disrupt another couple it’s not very easy to do.
"If I had my time again with Paige from the start maybe it would be different. It is what it is.”
‘The boys did surprise me in Casa Amor’
Then came Casa Amor – the infamous Love Island twist which sees the men and women separated into two villas and their relationships ‘tested’. Jay was the only single guy during this section, and quickly made a connection with bombshell Chyna Mills.
"The instant attraction was there,” says Jay, “You have to go with the person you think there could be a romantic connection with.”
Meanwhile, carnage was unfolding as many of the other men decided to “crack on” with Casa Amor girls.
“I won’t lie that did surprise me how quickly the boys had their [heads turned] in Casa," Jay said, “I wasn’t expecting it to happen on the first night.
“You think about the outside world, if you are dating someone and you really like them you probably wouldn’t be doing that. Maybe the connections weren’t strong enough.”
Meanwhile, Jay ultimately decided he was better off as friends with Chyna, saying he couldn’t “force” his feelings. But, he said this wasn’t connected to her having multiple three-way kisses with Dami Hope and Summer Botwe – “it’s all fun and games”.
‘Luca is being a bit protective over Gemma’
Love Island fans are currently reeling from film night, which saw the islanders gathered to watch what happened behind their backs during Casa Amor.
There was an online backlash against contestant Luca Bish for his reaction to a clip of another islander flirting with his partner Gemma Owen (Michael Owen’s daughter).
"It’s quite a crucial time,” says Jay, “Couples are really starting to develop now and having their growing pains.
"I think maybe Luca and Gemma may be having a wee wobble with Luca being a bit protective over Gemma. Luca has such a kind heart and I think he just wants the best for him and Gemma. I’m sure it’s a bit heightened in there.”
‘My favourite person in the villa? Davide’
Despite them both being interested in Ekin-Su at one stage, Jay says his favourite person in the villa is Davide.
"We had a really good friendship in there,” he says, “I think because maybe our age and we're at a similar stage in life. We share the same passion for fitness.”
Speaking of fitness, Jay – who trains at the capital’s CaveFit gym – stood out among a lineup of Adonises with his ridiculous abs. Before going into the villa, he would take part in fitness competitions and worked out around eight times a week.
Other friendships in the villa included the Casa Amor guys. He said: “We could sing to each other when the producers weren’t letting us talk about girls.”
They devised keywords to get around this, Jay said, including using T Pain when talking about Tasha Ghouri.
Does he think anyone is playing a game in there? “I think maybe some islanders have more of a safety net than others,” Jay says, "They always know they will have another islander there so maybe they won’t take the risk."
But who does he want to win Love Island? “I want Davide and Ekin to win and I think they will. I think they are strong enough. I think he needs to fully trust Ekin and as soon as he does it will be absolutely fine. I’m sure they will make it work.”
Jay, who studied economics at Heriot-Watt University, says his future plans include returning to work as an investment analyst and pursuing social media opportunities. "It’s an exciting time, it’s something I have never experienced. I’m so grateful,” he says.