What it was like to witness ITV2’s walking gap year in his past life as a lame school-touring pop singer.
Just as your dropped toast will always land jam-side down, and just as your housemate’s parents will always visit the day you’re so hungover that you have to run pantsless to the toilet to sick up green bile, there is always one person on Love Island with a bad-to-middling musical career in their past. Last year it was Blazin’ Squad’s Marcel Somerville, AKA Rocky B (an appearance which prompted us to look fondly upon the group’s back catalogue and show an entire roundtable’s worth of respect for lost butt-stuff anthem “Flip Reverse”). This year it is Eyal Booker, previously a member of the much less impressive co-ed pop group Everyoung. Observe:
Formed of four students from London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School (RE: which I would just like to say – you can absolutely tell that Eyal was an insufferable drama child because he enunciates too much and when he’s gazing into women’s eyes on Love Island there’s an overwhelming I-learned-to-be-sincere-playing-an-urchin-in-a-production-of-' Oliver!' vibe), EverYoung was Jack Morlen, Cherelle Williams, Hollie McKinlay, and, of course, everyone’s favourite walking gap year and Love Island member, Eyal. Their most significant accomplishment, aside from a few singles and music videos – which, for the record, are just like, slightly off? As if they’re the work of a fictional pop group called something like Wow Gang from a kids’ TV show rather than that of an actual, real world band?? – was their ‘schools tour.’ This took them up and down the UK, playing school assemblies in order to learn their craft, at the behest of Sylvia Young herself.
EverYoung travelled around the country essentially learning to be pop stars via the noble art of singing to Year 9s who were only there because the other option was double Biology. They were also the guinea pigs for Sylvia Young's, erm, record label (?) Seymour Place Music, which had been planned as a vehicle for talented students at her school looking to pursue a music career. Its YouTube channel, however, is populated exclusively by EverYoung uploads and literally nothing else – though according to Companies House it still exists, so fingers crossed we'll get an EverYoung comeback once Eyal's out of the villa.
At the time, Sylvia Young commented, “I thought, 'we’ve got all this talent, what can we do to help them?' And EverYoung are very talented and very nice kids. They are fresh, fun and feelgood," sounding more like a lovely nan than a record mogul. And in the same way that a lovely nan (i.e. not someone with a great idea about the modern music industry, no offence to nans) might, Sylvia packed EverYoung off to 175 schools around the UK to learn the ropes and establish a fanbase. It’s not a traditional route to fame, and, clearly, it also isn’t one that works, but it’s what they did, and now, somehow, despite these wholesome beginnings, Eyal is now acting a prick, nightly, on the least wholesome show on television. Don’t they grow up quick? :’)
Of course, because I am: a) a person who cancels plans to watch Love Island and; b) nosy, I was very intrigued to find out more, so I hit up Jess, Charlotte, and Jordan, three fairly unimpressed teens, all of whom were graced with EverYoung’s presence in their school halls. It’s important to record history, you know?
Jess, 17: "They gave a sort of mushy speech about making the best of your life"
Noisey: Hey Jess. Tell me about your Everyoung ~experience.
Jess: I was in about Year 9 when they came – I’m in Year 12 now for reference. We all got called to assembly and EverYoung all gave a sort of speech about ~making the best of your life~ and all that mush, then they performed two of their songs. They were running up the stairs and singing to people, so it was quite entertaining.
Blimey. Were you a fan?
Most of us thought it was just a bit of a laugh really, it wasn’t great and they were giving out signed posters and stuff trying to promote their new song. All the girls were saying they fancied Eyal.
Interesting – does that mean you fancy his chances on the Island?
It was a shock to see Eyal on Love Island - he looks absolutely nothing like he did when I saw him at my school! I think if a girl with more than two brain cells enters the villa he should get on better than he is now with the current girls.
Charlotte, 18: "I thought it was meh"
Noisey: What’s up Charlotte? Tell me all about witnessing Eyal and EverYoung in the flesh, please.
Charlotte: I was in Year 9 at an all-girls school, and we had an assembly in the sports hall when they came.
You don’t sound too jazzed. What did you reckon?
I thought it was meh; they signed things for us. I didn’t keep mine but a load of girls went crazy for Eyal and the other dude.
Any thoughts on him in the villa?
I didn’t know he was from EverYoung until my friend pointed it out. I think his chances are fine because he’s good-looking. He seems a bit fake deep for me – like, who actually says they’re deep as a characteristic? No. But he seems sweet so he’ll probably get some.
Very astute, thanks Charlotte.
Jordan, 18: "I'm pretty sure most of the girls fancied Eyal"
Noisey: Hi Jordan, what was it like to see now completely unknown pop group EverYoung at your school?
Jordan: It was actually quite good! I really enjoyed it. I was in Year 9 and we had a special assembly. We had to leave lessons for it – it was basically a promotion for their concert the day after at our local Villa Marina. I can remember we were all standing up and screaming for a long time because I'm pretty sure most of the girls fancied Eyal. We all kind of acted like it was a normal concert because we were all stood up dancing and videoing on Snapchat especially when they walked into the crowd. We didn't get to meet them because they were only doing meet and greets at their concert the next day, which I didn't attend.
What was your overall impression?
I did think it was good but I wasn't the greatest fan. It was just an excuse to get out of lessons really.
Can’t say fairer than that. Thank you all.
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