Love Island’s first deaf contestant has spoken openly about wearing a cochlear implant during the first episode of the show’s eighth series.
Model and dancer Tasha Ghouri, from Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has been deaf since birth and wears a cochlear implant to allow her to hear.
During the first episode of the ITV2 dating show on Monday night, Tasha, 23, gathered her fellows islanders around the firepit to reveal her “superpower”.
Speaking about her deafness, she said: “I wanted to get everyone together, I wanted to find the right time to do this and this is perfect timing, but basically I was born completely deaf and I wear a cochlear implant in my right ear.
“It’s just something cool that I’ve got about myself, it doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of who I am.”
She added: “I call it my superpower.”
After sharing her story Tasha’s fellow islanders responded positively.
Luca Bish, a fishmonger from Brighton, said: “Literally, I would not have had a clue, and to say it in front of a bunch of people who you’ve never kind of even met or know… credit to her.”
While Indiyah Polack spoke about the touching moment, saying: “She was so open about it, and I could see in her face that was a big thing for her.
“So I just honestly wanted to give her a big hug because I just wanted her to know that she’s not alone and we’re all here to support her no matter what she’s going through and we all love her.”
After opening up to the contestants, Tasha expressed her delight at their positive reactions.
“I love this,” she said.
Adding: “I’m just so happy that all the girls and the guys really supported that.”
As the eighth series kicked off, Love Island host Laura Whitmore revealed to the islanders that their couples had been chosen by the British public.
The coupling kicked off with microbiologist Dami Hope and nanny Amber Beckford.
Liam Llewellyn, a 22-year-old student from Newport, found himself matched with Gemma Owen, daughter of former England footballer Michael Owen.
While Tasha coupled up with estate agent Andrew Le Page, Ikenna Ekwonna partnered with Indiyah and paramedic Paige Thorne coupled up with Luca.
During the episode the first bombshell of the series also entered the villa.
Business owner Davide Sanclimenti, who is from Rome but lives in Manchester, shocked the islanders as he walked into the villa’s garden and asked “did anyone order an Italian snack?”
Davide, 27, quickly caught the eye of some of the female islanders and later shared a kiss with Gemma, 19, during a game of dares in which she was asked to kiss the person she would most like to share a bed with.
Despite being coupled up with Liam, Gemma said: “With Liam I do feel like there is something missing, I’m not going to lie.
“And Davide is the guy I’m most attracted to… It’s still early days I guess.”
Liam appeared to sense Gemma’s reservations about him, saying: “I sort of saw it coming a little bit.”
Speaking about the competition with Davide, he said: “I mean, look at him. And I’ve got to compete with that. He’s a good looking lad.”
Love Island airs on ITV2.