Scarlett Hutton & Riyah Collins,BBC Newsbeat

BBC/Twofour Lailah on I Kissed A Girl. Lailah has curly brown hair to her shoulders and wears a brown bandana. She has brown eyes and rests her chin on her hand while looking off camera. She's pictured outside at the Italian villa wearing a black bikini. BBC/Twofour

Lailah Muscat says she struggled having to date multiple women for the reality show

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

For hot, young singles looking for love, chances are there’s a reality dating show to help them in their search for the one.

ITV’s Love Island returns to our screens on Monday, just after an explosive finale drew BBC Three’s I Kissed A Girl to a close.

But for Lailah Muscat, it was only when the cameras stopped rolling that her relationship story could start.

During Sunday’s I Kissed a Girl reunion, she and fellow contestant Meg Homer revealed they started dating shortly after the show wrapped – even though no sparks between them were caught on camera.

“I don’t think reality dating is for me,” Lailah tells BBC Newsbeat.

“There’s so much pressure.

“You prepare for it because it’s not going to be like anything you’ve experienced in the real world, but once you’re in it, it can be so overwhelming.”

The 25-year-old from Cardiff left the show in episode seven after struggling with dating multiple people and having to move on quickly from couples.

“Especially for the girls that had lasting relationships, it can build up a lot,” she says.

“And I think then coming into the real world from that relationship, it’s a big shift.

“It’s really difficult and it’s not for everyone.”

‘Comfortable in who I am’

Swapping the Love Island villa for the Italian Masseria, I Kissed A Girl otherwise follows a similar format with a cast thrown together to face love triangles, budding romance and wandering eyes.

But there’s a key difference, as all the contestants are lesbian and bisexual women.

Lailah tells Newsbeat it was “a really wholesome experience”.

“It was such a positive experience for me, I’ve probably never felt so comfortable in who I am.”

And it introduced her to 24-year-old Meg, who confesses sliding into her DMs a day or two after filming stopped last summer.

BBC/Twofour Meg from I Kissed A Girl. Meg has long wavy blonde hair and blue eyes. She wears a strapless top, revealing her tattooed shoulders. She's pictured outside against a white background. BBC/Twofour

Meg says it’s been tough to watch the show back, after being rejected in the last episode

“I knew she wasn’t feeling herself in there,” Meg, from Goole, says.

“So I thought I’d drop her a little message, see how she was getting on.

“A few days after that I thought, ‘I’ll test the waters, do a little flirt’.”

Away from the pressures of filming a reality show, the couple say they were able to explore their relationship in a more authentic way.

“We’re both not the type of people to talk to three different people at the same time,” says Meg.

“So we could explore it in our own time and in our own way.”

Lailah says she and Meg “kind of liked each other in there but just nothing came of it because we were focusing on our own connections”.

“After the experience and coming back to reality, I started thinking, ‘Oh wait, maybe there was something there’.”

Their first date was more real life than reality TV too, meeting up in Manchester for “a cheeky Nando’s”.

They say they’ve been an official couple since December and have introduced each other to friends and family.

A still shot of Lailah and Meg, two women from the show I Kissed A Girl. They are holding each other's arms and looking into each other's eyes.

Lailah and Meg revealed their relationship in a reunion special show

Meg says it’s been “difficult” to watch the series back though.

“I don’t think anybody wants to watch a relationship back with someone in the past,” she says.

One of the major shocks in the finale was when Meg was stood up by fashion graduate Eva, who didn’t turn around to kiss her at the end.

“She completely blindsided me,” says Meg.

“It’s not nice to watch, but I wouldn’t have done anything different because I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Filming finished eight months ago and Meg and Lailah have been keeping their relationships under wraps to avoid spoiling the show.

But now the series has finished, “I can hold Lailah’s hand in public,” says Meg.

“It’s such a relief.”

The only other couple from the show to stay together are Lisha and Abbie, who matched during filming.

“Even though there aren’t winners of the show, it does kind of feel like we won,” Lailah says.

In May, the BBC confirmed it had renewed I Kissed a Boy – which follows single gay and bisexual men – for a second series.

A footer logo for BBC Newsbeat. It has the BBC logo and the word Newsbeat in white over a colorful background of violet, purple and orange shapes. At the bottom a black square reading "Listen on Sounds" is visible.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.



Source link