Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (2024)

By Brett White@brettwhite

Published Aug. 29, 2023, 9:00 a.m. ET

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Love Island USA

  • Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (1)
  • Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (2)

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There are a lot of summertime hookup reality dating shows around, but you know you’re in the Love Island USA villa if you see one decor choice in particular: neon light signs spelling out signature catchphrases from the show. Season 5’s light-up phrases included “My Type on Paper,” “All the Feels,” “Spill the Tea,” and “Soul Ties” — although if those sayings make their way onto the walls of the Season 6 villa, that last one needs to have an edit. That last one needs to read “Soul Ties is Crazy,” because Season 5 taught us that Soul Ties is crazy.

The Islanders of Season 5 made a catchphrase out of a catchphrase, taking what the production designers probably intended to be an intimate outdoor bed where two 20-somethings could make a real soulful connection and exposing that corner of the villa for what it truly is: the most cursed place to pull someone for a chat in Love Island USA history.

Exactly how cursed was Soul Ties? It was so cursed that the show devoted not one, but two segments to the Soul Ties curse in “Unseen Bits” episodes (eps 30 and 36, if you’re curious). So, what led not only the Islanders but narrator Iain Stirling and the Love Island USA producers to all agree that this one spot in the villa was a Bermuda Triangle for feelings? Let us count some of the ways! Here are the 5 craziest “Soul Ties is crazy” moments in Love Island USA Season 5.

  1. Kassy’s Soul Ties monologue (5×16)

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (3)

    Consider this kind of an overture for the rest of the list —but just the fact that her worst Soul Ties experience traumatized Kassy so much that she had to give the kind of monologue that a horror movie’s final girl gives to the newbies in a sequel? That earns this all-encompassing moment a place on the list. Actors, start preparing your monologues:

    “It was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me. Where do I begin? Honestly. I went up there with… you know, he who shall not be named. And in a way we thought, ‘This is good.’ You go up there with somebody that you want to have a soul tie with. Keenan went up there — sh*t! That wasn’t good. There is no ‘soul ties.’ ‘Break you apart’ — that’s what it should be called. You come back down and it’s all chaos.”

    And for the record, the list of doomed relationships to come out of Soul Ties includes:

    • Leo and Anna (5×6)
    • Kassy and Keenan (5×6)
    • Bergie and Carmen (5×8)
    • Keenan and Imani (5×16)
    • Destiny and Mike (5×16, 5×18)
    • Jonah and Imani (5×16)
    • Bergie and Allie (5×20)
    • Keenan and Najah (5×21)
    • Destiny and Zay (5×29)
    • Kassy and Johnnie (5×31)

    RIP to those romances.

  2. Bergie and Carmen bond over… LEGO? (5×8)

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (4)

    Ah, the flirtation between Carmen and the villa’s resident nice guy Bergie — were we ever so young? This moment makes the list less for shock value and more for awww value — but it was still surprising. When it came to finding a partner, Bergie kept coming up last — until he hit things off with Carmen and took the chance to make out with her underneath a tiny, manmade waterfall in the Indiana Jones challenge. That caused Carmen to do a double take at the Bergmeister, even though she was coupled with Spanish wrestler Victor.

    In this Soul Ties chat, Bergie sealed the deal when he told Carmen what he would have said during the recoupling ceremony if he’d had the chance to pick her: “I would like to couple with this girl because from our first conversation, she opened up way more than I thought any girl ever would. She showed me her nerdy side and I really dig it because I can relate to it in so many ways. I feel like we’re running the same race at the same pace. I can’t wait to build our relationship like a LEGO set, one brick at a time.”

    Carmen’s response:

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (5)

    But Soul Ties being Soul Ties, this connection kicked up a sh*tstorm with Victor, put Bergie on the outs with the guys for a hot sec, got Victor eliminated, and left Carmen looking elsewhere for love. Sigh.

  3. Anna can’t help but eavesdrop on her “man” (5×9)

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (6)

    The fatal flaw with Soul Ties isn’t an ancient curse or, like, a flower with an aroma that amps up horniness. The fatal flaw is one of production design; unless someone is sitting across the way on the balcony in Spill the Tea, Soul Ties feels totally isolated — but it hella is not. Not only can people in the villa see into Soul Ties if they get enough distance from the house, but everyone in the kitchen below Soul Ties can hear what’s being said. Anna found this out the hard way while she was coupled up with Leo.

    Mind you, Leo and Anna had a good start in Soul Ties when they shared a kiss… while he was coupled with Kassy. At the recoupling immediately after that kiss, Leo swapped girls and went with Anna… but he still had his eyes on Kassy! That led to this incredibly awkward moment wherein Anna and Hannah could hear Kassy and Leo flirting up a storm.

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (7)

    Of course, Anna told everyone, including all the Islanders clear across the villa. Half of them sat and watched Leo profess feelings for a girl he was not coupled with while the rest of the guys tried to pull Leo for a chat and out of a spotlight that he didn’t even know was turned on. Nothing worked, everyone stayed either entertained or mortified, and thus began Leo and Kassy’s turbulent ride to the finale.

  4. Kassy and Johnnie make ‘Love Island USA’ history (5×31)

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (8)

    This looks like a happy Soul Ties moment! After both getting burned by Leo, Kassy and Johnnie realized that they actually had the hots for each other. What started as giggly flirting in a cabana led to — where else? —a one-on-one chat in Soul Ties. But this wasn’t just a preamble to a fling. Johnnie and Kassy talked about emotions and feelings — especially since Kassy was totally new to flirting with, and making advances towards, another woman. It was nice and sweet — and also it was two bikini-clad women making out in an exposed outdoor, second-story “hideaway” that was also clearly visible to all the men in the villa yard below. Who says a kiss can’t be both steamy and sweet?

    Naturally, since Kassy chose to address her feelings in Soul Ties, this near-coupling was doomed from the jump. Kassy ultimately chose to get back together with Leo.

  5. Kay Kay says it all: “Soul Ties is crazy” (5×16)

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (9)

    Kay Kay and Keenan were each other’s #1 from Day One. They coupled up and recoupled every time they could, immediately forging the strongest bond in the Villa. Then Imani entered the game on Day 13, living up to her role as a “bombshell.” She pulled men left and right, but she could never get time with Keenan —until she caught him hanging out with Destiny in Soul Ties. As soon as Imani sat down, Destiny knew that three was a crowd. That left Keenan and Imani alone in Soul Ties… and Kay Kay was not happy about it.

    From below and clear across the villa, Kay Kay and a group of Islanders could see that Keenan was up in Soul Ties —the Soul Ties —with a woman who was not Kay Kay. This made Kay Kay righteously annoyed because she knew that he knew that Soul Ties was special to them, and that the tucked-away nature of the balcony/bed made it the most intimate outdoor spot in the villa. How dare he?! Well, it’s not like Kay Kay was overreacted. She couldn’t hear them, but Keenan was talking about how he was open to getting to know Imani. Immediately after his Soul Ties chat, Keenan tried to talk to Kay Kay — and Kay Kay unleashed the catchphrase of the season:

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (10)

    This was instantly iconic, and immediately came to mean way more than just “taking this woman who you hardly know to the area of the villa that we call ‘Soul Ties’ due to a neon sign is crossing a line.” Later, when Kay Kay and Keenan were reunited after Casa Amor, with Kay Kay fully aware of Keenan’s indiscretions, she greeted him with…

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (11)

    Soon, everybody in the villa was using the phrase! It popped up in confessionals…

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (12)

    Kassy said it after her first time kissing a girl…

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (13)

    It even caught on with the Casa Amor boys, even though there was no Soul Ties section in the actual Casa Amor. Such is the power of “Soul Ties is crazy.”

    Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (14)

    All of these instances double as reasons why Love Island USA needs to order some neon letters that spell “Is Crazy” for the next villa. And just so no future couples are doomed, maybe put that sign somewhere far, far away from any spot where Islanders can canoodle. Soul Ties has already claimed enough victims.

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  • Love Island USA
  • Peaco*ck
  • romance
Soul Ties Is Crazy: 5 Times ‘Love Island USA’ Was Derailed by a Cursed Neon Sign (2024)
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