Love Island star Wes Nelson has denied claims of “tension” between his Love Islanders band mates ahead of their debut on The X Factor: Celebrity.
The new band, made up of contestants from the 2018 series of the ITV2 dating show, will perform for judges Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger in a bid to secure a record deal.
Wes is joined by Zara McDermott, Eyal Booker and Samira Mighty, while it’s also been revealed that other islanders had auditioned for the show.
It was reported this week that Wes wasn’t happy with the band name, and that there was “tension” between the group – something he has spoken out over.
Speaking to Mirror Online and other publications at the press launch for the series, Wes decided to set the record straight.
He said of claims about his dislike of the name: “I have been absolutely slated for that. We were joking around.”
Eyal confirmed this, adding: “We were having banter from an interviewer and we thought it would translate into the write up and it didn’t translate, it was like, Wes hates it. We don’t hate it.”
The group did not pick the name themselves, with Eyal telling us: “No but it’s something that sums up who we are.”
On further claims that the star was embarrassed by his Love Island roots, Wes again claimed this was false.
He said: “And I’ve got to stress this, I am not ashamed to be from Love Island, whoever wrote that.”
While they have no issue with the band name, the gang went on to confess it could be something that is changed further down the line.
Wes said: “The main focus for us isn’t on the name right now. It’s something that identifies us and it’s quite good to be identified as that, as people are going to watch the show who haven’t watched Love Island, and wont know who we are.
“That just introduces and translates where we’ve come from. So it’s not our main focus now, we’re focusing on a camaraderie and coming together and sounding good.
“Whether that name changes in the future, we don’t know. We’ve been brainstorming and we have thought about it but it’s not where all our energy is going at the moment.”
Zara added: “As you grow and develop as a group, our dynamic will change.
“The name could potentially change and we’re open to that, but right now, our focus is on being the best.”
The X Factor: Celebrity launches Saturday at 8:35pm on ITV.