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It is terrifying to imagine the sheer number of biros a stationery salesman would have to shift to earn 50 grand’s commission but, as the s...

Love Island's Jack and Dani are the brightest star in the hashtag firmament. An Instagram star is born

It is terrifying to imagine the sheer number of biros a stationery salesman would have to shift to earn 50 grand’s commission but, as the sparkle in Jack’s eye finally rose to outshine the unrelenting glare of his teeth it made one thing clear.

This was love, right here on ITV2. Jack and Dani, Dani and Jack, Jani, whatever you want to call it. Under the Mallorcan night sky, an instagram star is born. A great new light shines in the hashtag firmament. It is a love that outshines even its £50,000 career earnings thus far; a love that does not yet appear even to have benchmarked itself the grand vista of paid-for social media endorsements that has now been spread under its feet like the cloths of heaven.

Love is, of course, not the reason Love Island’s audience returns each night in its millions like a dog to its own vomit. Jack and Dani have been, at best, a soft string note beneath the fearful, anxiety inducing, cacophonic symphony of lies and tears and rows and ruthless manipulation that is this rising reality TV behemoth and its familiar brutalising serenade.

It makes the final itself a curious spectacle. There is not much left for the junkie when the hard stuff has run out, but the last crescendo for double violin was just about worth the wait.

These, frankly, are not the moments to cherish. The final eight, all wearing school leavers’ dinner suits and 19 quid ballgowns available for purchase through the app, staring into one another’s eyes and reading out semi-literate proto wedding vows are not what it’s about.

The moments to cherish are Adam, way back in what felt like the mid-14th century, dumping Kendall and starting a new life with Rosie without so much as breaking stride on his way between the fire pit and the rattan swing chair. It would be Alex, claiming to have been “honest” with Alexandra at all times, where honesty in fact means stampeding with furious intensity towards the one slightly more middle class contestant as if he we were one shy short of victory in the final seconds of the Eton wall game, then returning again in defeat as if nothing had happened.

That would be Georgia, who even now still appears to believe that a person’s character can be created by reading out an arbitrary list of personality traits that person imagines themselves to have, at no point having any actual bearing on their behaviour. How we will miss “real” and “loyal” Georgia, who would have no qualms at all declaring herself to be vegetarian in the middle of a mouthful of T-bone steak.

The Love Island grand final asks as many questions as it answers. In the sonnets and the sad songs, love is so many things. But nowhere is it an air hostess moaning seemingly without pause for breath for six solid weeks, before finally settling into toe-curlingly awkward conversation with the world’s most boring man. And yet here were Laura and some bloke called Paul, the runners’ up, the great British public’s second favourites, for reasons that must be attributable solely to the well documented, nakedly tribal telephone poll instincts of the Scots.

Is the look of longevity to be found elsewhere? “What drew you together,” Caroline Flack enquired of Wes and Megan at one point, sounding never more like Mrs Merton interviewing Debbie McGee, and Wes did his best to offer an answer that did not involve pointing directly towards the 15 grand’s worth of Right Said Fred reunion emerging from beneath his new new love’s open halterneck dress.

The series, by the way, has been in a bit of trouble recently for advertising cosmetic surgery during the ad breaks. And yet, during the actual show, 20 consecutive seconds are never passed before some self-esteem shredding platonic ideal of a fake tit pokes its face out of the side of a bikini like a naked mole emerging into the daylight. But now is not the time to enter the moral maze of such matters.We have been appalled, transfixed, disgusted and delighted in equal measure by some truly low-rent television and, let’s face it, some crushingly abysmal people. But at its irreducible source has been the sight and sound of two first class human beings discovering in real time, beneath the glare of the public spotlight, that they are, probably, soulmates – and there is no higher art form out there that gives you anything quite like that.

Admittedly, there are no higher art forms selling Rimmel tattoo transfers, nine quid bikinis and cosmetic surgery off the back of it either. But it’s 2018 and the buffet of hate, cynicism, disgrace and outrage has never before been stacked so high and with so many choices, so why not just enjoy this one?

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