“He Literally Looked Like An Angel”: Tyra Spills On Her Swoony Recoupling With Kale In Love Island Australia
Spoilers ahead. First, they captured Australia thanks to their authentic, wholesome, and cute-as-a-button relationship. Now, they've managed to be crowned the winners of Love Island Australia 2023. There's only one couple on Love Island Australia that can make us believe in true love — and you best believe that's Tyra and Kale.
Ahead, Refinery29 Australia's interview with Tyra Johannes, where she talks about her controversial recoupling with Kale, her friendship with Nakia, and her fear of judgement from the other Islanders.
Story originally published 23rd November, 2023.
Ever had to debut your new boyfriend in front of his ex — who happens to be your best friend? No? Well, count your lucky stars, because that's exactly what Love Island Australia's Tyra Johannes had to do.
It's safe to say that Thursday might just have gifted us with the most juicy episode of Love Island Australia that we've seen so far this season. It involved: one fan-favourite tattoo-clad Islander returning, one butterfly-inducing love rekindled, and one very, very strained friendship.
ICYMI: Everyone's favourite man in the Villa, Kale Roberts, was shockingly eliminated this week after Nakia Pires was picked by a Bombshell, officially dumping him from the Villa in the process. Tears were shed. Group chats were set alight. Love Island fan groups went rabid. However, one of the season's biggest twists unfolded on Thursday night as Kale was revealed to be returning to the Villa to rekindle his relationship — not with Nakia, but with Tyra Johannes.
Speaking to Refinery29 Australia, Johannes says that she had no idea that it would be Kale walking down the stairs when she was taken on a mystery date. "I knew I was going on a date with a mystery man, and something about it told us that we knew of this person... but I never thought it would be Kale."
"When I saw his face, he literally looked like an angel."
"When I saw his face, he literally looked like an angel. I don't know if it was the bleach buzzcut, but he was just glowing. I just welled up with tears. I was like, 'Oh my god', like in pure shock. It was a crazy, crazy feeling," she says.
If we were all simultaneously shocked when Roberts walked down those stairs, then by the time he got up to finally kiss her, we were all collectively screaming. Unsurprisingly, Johannes shares that she was having a similar reaction behind the scenes. "I'm actually so glad they only [aired] some bits because I feel like the whole day I was going, 'Oh my god, oh my god, what is going on? What is happening?' I was just in such shock."
The fact that Roberts was partnered up with Pires, her best friend in the Villa, is not lost on her. In fact, it's why she couldn't believe that he returned to Love Island Australia this season just for her. "He's been with my best friend for the past two weeks. I didn't think I was even a thought in his mind at all. And the fact that he came back for me, putting everything on the line — I think I was very overwhelmed. I couldn't believe it."
It wasn't the first time Johannes and Roberts had gelled. After he came in as a new bombshell, Roberts was stuck between the two women, eventually choosing Pires despite his close emotional relationship with Johannes. But Pires seemingly unceremoniously dumped him from the Villa, and he confessed that he wish he'd spent more time with Tyra. "I wish I spent more time with Tyra on the inside," he told 9Entertainment. "I only had eyes for two girls really and I probably should've given her more time of day."
But after only just coupling up, the new couple were forced to debut their new relationship in front of all the Islanders, including Pires — Roberts' ex and Johannes' best friend. For Johannes, this was anxiety-inducing.
"It's such an unnatural thing to be doing," Johannes says. "You'd never experience that in real life. But before we walked back into the villa, both Kale and I were literally shaking — just shaking with anxiety, [wondering] 'What are they going to think?'."
Playing out on screen, we see that when Johannes walks in, it's clear that she's incredibly nervous. A quick pan over to Pires reveals a similar story. Johannes says that one of her biggest concerns was what her best friend's reaction would be, as well as how the situation made her feel.
"I had an insane amount of guilt," she says. "I didn't know what Nakia's reaction was going to be. I hadn't spoken to her. All I was sort of going off was her actions and the way she was when Kale left. So I was thinking that's kind of a green light, I guess."
"I was extremely nervous to walk back in there. You can see I'm sort of just staring at the ground. I almost didn't want to see people's reactions. I knew that I was making a decision that was right for me. But I was just so scared of what everyone else was going to think."
For Johannes, nothing about the Love Island Australia dynamic is normal or natural. The show almost hinges on the idea of switching and sharing partners, something that clearly impacts the relationships and friendships in the house. "A kiss in that place is like a high five," she laughs. "Everyone's kissing everyone. It's just a weird concept."
Johannes maintains that this is not something she's remotely used to in her real life. "In my normal life, I'm never talking to two people at once or talking to the same guy as my best friend, like, that is not happening."
But as for whether she thinks the friendship can be repaired, Johannes gives us some hints about what we can expect in next week's episodes. "I wanted to clear the air straight away. So as soon as we left that fire pit, I was like, 'Nakia, can we have a chat please?'. Very tense chats..."
You can catch new episodes of Love Island Australia at 6pm Monday to Thursday on 9Now.