If you’re not on Ben’s side in the I Kissed a Boy argument, you need to think again
‘There’s no meeting in the middle when it comes to intimacy’
It’s always a joy when a TV show lives up to the promise of the drama it teases on its end of show “NEXT TIME” teaser. Such was the case with the latest two episodes of BBC Three’s consistently excellent I Kissed a Boy. The show hasn’t been light on drama, chaos and mess so far, a key reason as to why the UK’s first gay dating show has so quickly become embraced by its audience as it refuses to sugar coat the drama and tribulations of trying to find a fella as a gay man in 2023 – but with the explosive dinner party episodes the cracks within the cast begin to show, divisions are formed and teams are made. But what annoyed me with these episodes is that unlike most debates and arguments, I truly don’t think one side of the argument has a leg to stand on. They were out of order, toxic and mean – and the aftermath of the I Kissed a Boy fight saw certain cast members begin to tread in murky territory.
The build up is as follows. At the kiss off, Ben chose to kiss Vitor. Newish Vitor has already barged into the masseria declaring his full-on nature and energy, and I think Ben was intrigued but also wary of this when they first started to get to know each other. Of everyone in the masseria, I genuinely believe that Vitor was the lad Ben was most into. As we’ve seen on Love Island, often couples choose the person they’re most vibing with even if there isn’t a romantic connection there.
Vitor seemed to take Ben’s decision as a marriage proposal. They’d known each other a day. Vitor was, it’s fair to say, intense. It made Ben uncomfortable and, in his own words, gave him the ick. To me, this is valid. These people have known each other a matter of days and owe each other nothing. To Ross and Kailum however, this was unacceptable. Ross and Kailum have decided they’re defending Vitor to the end of time, and decide to air their issue with Ben not giving Vitor enough time or affection during a big dinner party in front of everyone. Very mature. \
Is this ok?
To me, there are not two valid sides to this. Ross and Kailum said that Ben should have compromised and met Vitor in the middle, tried to be affectionate and not be unresponsive to Vitor’s moves of touchy feely behaviour. I actually would love to know what meeting in the middle consists of when you don’t want to be touched by someone. If Ben doesn’t want to move his bed near someone he’s known for a day or two, why should he? If Ben doesn’t want a hug, why should he have one?
As the great tweet above puts it, we’re getting into murky territory here. Nobody owes anyone anything, and Ben is entitled to simply not bother with Vitor any further if Vitor’s personality is putting Ben off. I saw a few people on Twitter say Ben went with Vitor just to prolong his stay on the show. Yes, and? That’s the whole point of the programme. Why would Ben quit if he wanted to stay? Surely, at the Kiss Off you’d just choose the lad you were most interested in for the sake of seeing where it goes. If Ben ended up leaving the masseria at the Kiss Off after, that’s just how the cookie crumbles. He doesn’t have to leave for the sake of it!
Why Kailum joined in this is beyond me, but why Ross was so invested to me clearly feels like a continuation of him getting rejected by Ben earlier in the season.
I also think it’s important with the I Kissed a Boy fight to empathise somewhat with Vitor, as someone who’s been there. I’ve been with guys who made me feel too affectionate, too touchy feely – and it’s horrible. You can’t help but sit there and think, what’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t this person want to kiss me or cuddle me? But you know how I reacted? I accepted it, accepted we’re different people and not suitable. I didn’t get bitter, and I didn’t endorse my friends piping up about it. Because as sad or as disappointed as I am, it’s just how it goes.
Thank god people spoke out
There was a moment where I thought Ben was going to be left to flounder, but thank god Mother Gareth was there to call it out. I also absolutely applaud Jake for not automatically siding with Kailum despite the two of them being an item in the masseria. It takes strength to do that, and I respect people who stand up for the right thing.
For me, the I Kissed a Boy fight is not one with two equal sides. I don’t think Ross and Kailum have particularly malicious intentions, I just think they don’t like Ben that much and wanted a reason to kick off with him. But this reason in particular was not one they’d thought hard enough about, and one that’s backfired on them in a big way. Perhaps it would be wise to next time just stay out of other people’s business.
I Kissed a Boy continues Sunday and Monday at 9pm on BBC Three and iPlayer.
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