Lei-Yen Rapp's time in the Love Island Villa was, unfortunately, short-lived. While she entered the house with two other bombshells — Roxy Ahmed and Florita Diaz — she was ultimately sent home on Friday night's episode after she was not chosen during the re-coupling. Still, she left her mark before her departure, as she was beginning to form a connection with Melvin "Cinco" Holland Jr. Cinco ended up choosing Trina Njoroge during the re-coupling, which meant that Lei-Yen was left single and consequently dumped from the island. After her exit, Lei-Yen spoke with PopCulture.com about her time on Love Island and one major part about her journey that she wants to clarify for fans.
Lei-Yen had nothing but positive things to say about Cinco following her time on Love Island. She even said that if he had chosen her during the re-coupling, she would have pursued something with him. But, it seems like the timing just didn't work out in their favor. "I definitely would have pursued something with Cinco because Cinco is a sweetheart. I know they make it like he was just this player and it was two girls," she said. She explained that because Cinco had just gotten out of a different love triangle with Cashay Proudfoot and Trina, he was hesitant about heading into a love "square" of sorts.
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"I think he told me straight up, if the timing was different, he would have definitely wanted to get to know me more," Lei-Yen continued. "It just was right after the moment where he made a decision between Cash and Trina, here comes this other girl's trying to get him. And it was just like putting him back where he was and that wasn't a good mindset for him to have." Even though she was interested in Cinco, Lei-Yen was also interested in becoming friends with Cashay, who was chatting with him early on in the season. Naturally, this situation was a bit "awkward." However, their bond transcended any possible relationship drama, as Lei-Yen even said that she was inspired by Cashay's brave and confident nature in the Villa.
"Honestly, Cashay was the one that before you go in the Villa as a bombshell, you get to watch a little bit. I immediately pointed to her and I was like, we're going to be friends in the Villa," Lei-Yen said. "And it made me feel so awkward because once I heard Cash was with Cinco, that's the last thing I heard. I was like, I'm going to have to explain to a girl that I want to be friends with, that I like the guy that she's with and this is going to be awkward, but I want to be honest with her because this is a friendship I do want to build from and seeing her do her, like take her wig off. And it made me have my, my wig off the second day in the Villa, it was so empowering between us and we were just given off clean energy to each other."
Lei-Yen went on to say that Cashay made her feel "so much better" in the Villa when it came to her appearance. She noted that she felt more confident to showcase her natural look after Cashay did the same. "I bought four wigs. I didn't even care about putting them on my head. I just kept switching it up. Natural hair ponytails, a little bit more fluff. You know, she made me want to, she's a hero. Like, all I got to say is Cashay is a hero in there and I can't wait for her to get out so we can build on that."
While she formed a tight friendship with Cashay, some fans thought that they could detect some weirdness between her and Trina due to all of the Cinco relationship drama. Lei-Yen wants viewers to know that there's no bad blood at all between the two, despite what they may have thought. She said that some viewers believed she "ignored" Trina when she came into the Villa, but they actually got to chat before she left the show.
"I actually touched base with her [Trina] on that before I left, I am somebody who tries to stay as unfake as possible," Lei-Yen said. "I thought it would have been faker of me to be like laughing with her and being in her face and then pulling Cinco aside all the time and kissing on him. So, I just let her know it was no bad blood."
Love Island airs Tuesdays through Fridays at 9 p.m. ET, and Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. All episodes are currently streaming on Paramount+. Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by ViacomCBS Streaming, a division of ViacomCBS.