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Recapping 'Love Island USA' Week 1 In Case You Didn't Have Time To Watch

As the timeless proverb says, let your haters be your motivators. That’s exactly what Love Island USA did with season 6. Doubtful viewers said it couldn’t possibly be worth watching and producers said “Hold my production budget.” Never forget Tom Sandoval once made fun of Ariana for lying around watching Love Island all day and now she’s the host. But unlike the cortisol-inducing injustices of season 11 of Vanderpump Rules, the first week of USA season 6 drama has been the light and fluffy stuff of our summery dreams. We’ve had some cutsie love connections, a very surprising dumping, and enough twerking to cause a Fijian mudslide. All while Ariana serves looks so fire I needed sunscreen watching from my couch at home. Keeping up with Love Island is admittedly a full-time job, so we’ve decided to lend a helping hand to our time-challenged brothers and sisters in need. Find a Villa-sized recap of all the drama from Love Island USA season 6, week 1 below.

The opening moments of season 6 are so High School Musical coded in the best way possible. Instead of the typical work-related skits, the Love Island newbies, along with their gracious host Ariana Madix, do a choreographed dance number across Fiji to “I Came Here For Love.” After their standalone intro packages, followed by some group small talk and champagne around the fire pit, Ariana inducts the Islanders into the game with a trial-by-fire approach AKA throwing a makeout challenge at them. With the amount of kissing and cuddling that goes on in this Villa, instigating a test run before matching up makes a lot of sense.

After the mini-challenge, the ladies select their first choice for a partner by standing next to them on a giant heart platform in the sand. If you’re thirsty for the full bios of each cast member, we’ve got you covered here.

Love Island USA Season 6 Week 1 Recap

The First Couples From Love Island USA Season 6

Love Island USA Season 6 Couples
Image Credit: Peacock

JaNa (the sweetheart from Hawaii with XL lashes) lands Coye (the 6’8″ humble-ish king) after three women stand on Coye’s heart to be his partner. Kordell (Odell Beckham Jr.’s himbo little brother) gets his wish of being matched up with smiley Serena after she originally tried to match with Coye. Kaylor (a bubbly small-town blonde, in case that wasn’t obvious from her name alone) only has eyes for her British Prince Eric Aaron. Leah is aggressively charmed by Rob, which tracks since he’s basically a snake charmer. Hannah, who also wanted to be matched with a tall king like Coye since serious height was her main requirement in a partner (lol maybe that’s why she’s single?), gets stuck with short and silly Kendall. Even though he wasn’t her first pick, Hannah quickly leans into her man, her man, her man. From where I was sitting it was obvious Kendall was in for a handful. Their meme-worthy, makeup-covered kiss proved me correct like 5 minutes later.


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It wouldn’t be Love Island if a bombshell didn’t come in to disturb the peace. Liv, the sassy straight shooter from Australia, steals Rob at the recoupling. Everyone, Leah included, is surprised she picked one of the two guys who are really locked in.

But the threat of Rob being whisked off to Australia quickly dissipates when Liv and Rob are driven apart by one unexpected man not even present on the island: Ed Sheeran. Liv loves him and is gagged Rob finds him “overrated”. In fact, they share virtually nothing in common, so Rob runs back to Leah to tell her as much. Leah’s happy but distrustful that Rob is giving her the whole truth.

At the same time, two male bombshells named Hakim and Connor rocket into the house to shake things up. Hakim (29) literally shakes Kaylor when he bench-presses her like a barbell to the OG guys’ disdain. Considering he’s a fitness coach from Miami, I didn’t expect anything less. 28-year-old Connor from Washington State is basically your all-American Mr. Nice Guy, which gets him a few wayward glances from Kaylor when Aaron isn’t looking. Kaylor even kisses Connor on the terrace, but later tells Aaron and the girls that’s exactly what she needed to confirm he isn’t the one.

Connor and Hakim enter the villa
Image Credit: Peacock

In a challenge designed to expose the Islanders’ dirty secrets about sex, ghosting, and cheating, some couples are torn apart while others are pushed closer together. JaNa and Coye are exposed for both previously lying to each other about their body count, and yet both still have the nerve to be pissed at the other. Make that make sense. Rob gets back on Leah’s good side by answering the “immature question” of his ideal body count for a partner as 500 because for him, that shouldn’t matter in a relationship (cheers to that). In response to a question about the most they’ve ever dropped on a man for a date, Aaron is thrilled to hear Kaylor has dropped thousands on a previous boyfriend while Hannah has spent no more than $20 (honestly, as much as Hannah is a mess, that little tidbit is kinda mother).

After that very sloppy game, Coye does not apologize to JaNa for his IDGAF attitude about how she feels. She pulls Connor for a second chat and their chemistry takes them both by surprise. This leaves JaNa in a difficult position by the time Ariana returns (in a sparkly midnight number that I need in my closet expeditiously) for the recoupling where she promises one person will be dumped tonight. Kaylor and Aaron, Serena and Kordell, and Hannah and Kendall all recouple. When Liv picks Hakim, she makes sure to shade Rob for allegedly never telling her Leah was still his first choice (even though he actually did verbatim in their first conversation if you roll the tapes). Hakim takes his opportunity to call Hannah out for telling him it was 50/50 between Hakim and Kendall, while implying it wasn’t even close in her recoupling speech. JaNa is last to choose and it’s a game-time decision: she decides she’s willing to risk seeing how it goes with Connor since she’s already unhappy with how it’s been with Coye.

JaNa recouples with Connor
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Coye takes his exit like a G, but Liv is still steaming that Rob should’ve told her sooner he wasn’t interested. IDK Liv, was him forgetting to talk to you for 24 hours not kind of a hint? Hannah has an overdramatic meltdown for being called out for her own literal words, and Kendall isn’t happy to learn he wasn’t her clear first choice either. The next day Hannah makes him breakfast to make up for it (avocado toast is the currency of love this season).

All that goodwill goes away during the “Island Vixen” challenge, however, where the girls have to do a lot of ass-shaking around a jungle gym before splashing water on two people they don’t like and making out with a guy they do under a waterfall. After Hannah’s apology breakfast to Kendall for overdoing it with Hakim, Hannah chooses to make out with Hakim instead of Kendall in front of everyone??? In fact, all of the girls confuse the men with the selections. Kaylor kisses Hakim instead of Aaron, Leah splashes Rob for being two-faced, and Liv punishes Rob and Leah (for some reason) by aggressively swilling them with a bucket full of water when everyone else was just tossing it on their pals’ asses like a rap music video. At least Serena tries forcing herself to give her partner Kordell a kiss under the waterfall. But when her spear doesn’t land on his face on the wheel of male Islanders (because pointing would be too easy), and she can’t convince herself to just kiss him outside of the challenge later that night, she finally has to admit that there isn’t a romantic spark growing between them as she’d hoped. Probably because of that conversation where Serena asked Kordell about the future and he low-key needed a translator to understand even though they were both speaking in The King’s English.

Love Island USA Island Vixen challenge Serena
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Episode 4 ends with a very dramatic argument between Kaylor and Aaron, who is sick of Kaylor kissing other guys for fun when all of his eggs have been in her basket from day dot. Kaylor cries off her bronzer while Aaron tells his BFF Rob that he needs to rethink giving Kaylor 100% of his attention. If only two bikini-clad women were headed to Fiji next episode to give him the opportunity to do just that…

Love Island USA Season 6, Week 1 Winner

For the first week of popping off in paradise, I’m going to crown Kaylor the winner. Even though she found someone she really likes, she’s still pushing herself to have the Love Island experience (whether Aaron wants her in wifey mode or not). She also basically sobbed on national television while still looking cute and her eyeliner didn’t budget one bit. Drop a link, sis.

Love Island USA Season 6, Week 1 Loser

Coye is dumped from Love Island USA season 6
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It has to be Coye, doesn’t it? At the very first coupling, Coye had multiple women barking like a dog for his attention on national television. A few days later he was sent home because he played it way too cool too soon. The fact that JaNa was over him shouldn’t have stopped one of his many other options from stepping up to swoop in and save him, had he played the game correctly.

Love Island USA Season 6 Couple To Watch

Kaylor and Aaron
Image Credit: Peacock

Based on what we’re seeing now, the lead couple to watch is Kaylor and Aaron. Sure they just had a big blow-up fight, and Aaron could try to pay Kaylor back for her extracurricular kisses with the incoming bombshells. But he also could rise above his own securities, and draw Kaylor to him with respectfully letting their connection reboot stronger than ever. Whether they go the Kassy and Leo route or pivot to a Hannah and Marco love story is essentially totally dependent on how Aaron navigates the next few days. I should mention Leah and Rob, but I’m convinced they only like each other because no one better has come yet.

Marissa Dow
Marissa Dow
MARISSA is a trending news writer at Betches. She's more than just another pop-culture-addicted-east-coaster-turned-LA-transplant...she's also an upcoming television writer and aspiring Real Housewife (whichever comes first). Live, laugh, balegdah.