It was disheartening – well, actually infuriating – to hear allegations that Love Island star Amber Gill was replaced on the upcoming Dancing On Ice line-up with Maura Higgins.
Amber, 22, and partner Greg O’Shea beat all the odds to win this year’s series of ITV’s Love Island over couples like Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague, and Maura and Curtis Pritchard.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that those so-called golden couples appear to have enjoyed more success than this year’s winners, with brand deals seemingly coming left, right and centre and copious amounts of personal appearances booked.
Many on social media have wondered why Amber doesn’t appear to be as ‘booked and busy’ as some of her fellow Love Island stars.
When it was announced that Molly-Mae, 20, had landed a staggering deal with clothing brand PrettyLittleThing for £500,000, there were comments floating around that she was the ‘true winner of Love Island’.
In other words, not Amber.
The thing is, we do want Amber to be successful and secure the bag as much as everyone else but her glory shouldn’t be diminished or sized up against anyone else.
It’s possible she is working on lucrative projects behind the scenes and is waiting to announce (slow and steady wins the race) or, perhaps the unthinkable, would rather live somewhat of a normal life without the full-throttle celebrity lifestyle that often comes with signing deals and becoming the face of a brand.
And that’s not to judge Molly-Mae for signing on the dotted line with PrettyLittleThing either.
We are so used to Love Island contestants going on to land reality TV shows, endorsing online clothing stores and turning up to any showbiz event every night of the week that Amber’s seemingly pared back lifestyle so far is a shock to our system.
Maybe Amber is trying to find her feet in the celebrity world and choosing to wait for the brand deal that is right for her. Which frankly, would be a wise choice.
In fact, she’s quite literally told us she is working on exciting things behind the scenes.
Responding to the controversy surrounding her former co-stars deals, Amber tweeted: ‘Sis please don’t tell me you think I’m out here doing nothing? I always do the most. Be patient!’
Ultimately, multi-million pound brand deals aren’t everything.
Sure, they can make your life comfortable but there are certainly more important things to worry about – like making sure your mental health comes first.
Didn’t we learn a lesson from recent tragedies associated with Love Island, that contestants can often struggle to adjust to becoming virtual overnight celebrities?
And being compared and pitted against their co-stars and friends probably isn’t great for their self-esteem.
If Amber is struggling to book work after Love Island based on race, which is widely the assumption on social media, then that is a problem that should be addressed.
But it serves no purpose to measure her success against Molly-Mae’s based on how quickly she secured her PLT deal. Molly-Mae’s deal did, of course, happen quickly but it doesn’t make Amber’s success so far any less than.
When approached about the claims she has been replaced by Maura on Dancing On Ice, ITV told Metro.co.uk: ‘We don’t comment on speculation around the Dancing on Ice 2020 line up. This will be announced in due course.’
An insider added: ‘At no point has Amber been booked or replaced on Dancing on Ice.’ And it’s true there was no official announcement that Amber had signed up for the skating competition.
Days after Amber left Love Island, she revealed her hopes to continue working in the beauty industry by franchising her aunt’s salon.
Speaking to Closer magazine in August, the beauty technician said: ‘I’ll definitely keep working with my auntie. We’ll still have the salon, and I’ll build from that – the goal would be opening a few more salons together.
‘That was the idea before Love Island, so hopefully we’ll see what we can do.’
Both she and Greg also expressed their plans to ‘invest’ the £50,000 prize money, which they won and split from the show. Frankly, they’re both a breath of fresh air to the Love Island family and are certainly the most low-key winners we’ve had.
And perhaps the biggest underdogs.
Not only is Amber the first person of colour to win the series, she had also only been dating Greg for two weeks.
But there’s no doubt that Amber was the most deserved winner after being left heartbroken by Michael Griffiths ditching her for Joanna Chimonides. Aside from her romantic woes, she also won us over with her personal growth going from a bristly sceptic to a relatable softy deep down.
Amber and Greg’s surprised reaction at winning Love Island was perhaps the most genuine moment of the series.
And when looking at this summer’s Love Island line-up, they are actually probably the most down-to-earth (on paper).
Greg, 24, is a rugby player training to become a lawyer while Amber had marginal reach on social media with a relatively small Instagram following, unlike some of the other Love Island contestants.
From what we’ve seen so far, Greg doesn’t seem to be chasing life in the spotlight and perhaps Amber will be the same.
If she manages to secure a £500,000 deal with a popular brand, then we’ll applaud and crack open the champagne for her.
But it’s not a measure of her success.
Sometimes just being a genuine person is enough.
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