The happy couple was still riding high after winning the $100,000 grand prize and securing the majority of America’s vote on Wednesday’s season 2 finale when they hopped on Zoom to talk to ET’s Ash Crossan about their big life-changing moment.
“Super pumped! Really excited. It’s not hit yet,” Justine, 27, admitted. “Like, we’re still in shock!”
“We are on top of the world, but it’s still crazy because we still don’t know what’s going on outside of the villa,” Caleb, 24, confessed. “We still don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.”
The pair were a little stunned to hear that they’ve received universal praise and adoration from the Love Island fans for their mature, respectful romance. Upon hearing that, Caleb humbly quipped, not knowing how to take the newfound attention coming his way, “Oh, that’s scary!”
One of the biggest positives that’s come out of Justine and Caleb’s relationship on Love Island is the portrayal of healthy Black love, a rarity on reality television.
“I can’t speak from a dark-skinned complexion perspective but I can speak from a man of color perspective and being a Black man. It’s really awesome to see that not only were we able to display healthy love for the viewers at home and it’s awesome that the people watching who related to us, seeing that healthy love can also look like that,” Caleb said. “That is really exciting to hear that our relationship is impacting people on more than just a ‘weeknight, gotta get their fix away from reality [level].’ For us, for our love be a high point is really awesome.”
“I love the skin I’m in. I love the way God made me. But I feel like a lot of those insecurities are because a lot of the Black girls haven’t had a lot of success on this kind of platform,” Justine reflected. “To have those doubts be brought out early on, it was definitely hard but it turned out alright.”
Justine and Caleb professed their love for each other on their final date, but their connection wasn’t immediate. For Justine, her Love Island experience started off a little shaky with the boys in the villa opting not to pick her. Caleb, meanwhile, began his time in the villa coupled up with another islander. It took the couple a while to find solid footing with each other and to be on the same page.
“I was just happy that things were starting to look up. From there, it was just so easy. I came in wanting it so bad and wanting something real so that when I got coupled up with Caleb, I wanted it to be genuine. I wanted everything real. I wanted to do everything right so we could possibly have something on the outside,” Justine said of their connection. “That was most of our success in our relationship because we didn’t have that pressure on us of trying to rush things or trying to force things. It was just focused on us.”
“I came in there optimistic I could find a connection, but at times I was doubtful. I did have this guard, I did put a wall up. There was a conversation that her and I had after a week or so together, where she told me, ‘What are you in this for?’ And I could see in that conversation that she was 100 percent in this for love and to know that nothing else going on around us was influencing her decisions as far as how to act, because she wanted true, genuine, authentic love,” Caleb recalled. “I was already starting to like her at that point and I was like, ‘OK, I don’t want to break her precious heart.’ So I need to really be all invested in our relationship and it has totally paid off.”
Justine and Caleb, who live in New Jersey and Los Angeles, respectively, are “very serious” about their future together. They believe that because they played by their own rules and followed their own pace, they’re ready to take on the real world.
“That was the whole point of us giving each other a real try. We wanted to see if we could foster a real connection and we were able to do that. She really respected that I was sometimes a little bit more patient than other people around us. I was not trying to rush into things just because we were on this reality show. And I loved that about her, that she continued to be like, ‘Yeah, do your thing because I want us to work out,'” Caleb marveled. “I think we’re primed and ready to rock and roll when we get out of the villa and starting a life together outside of here because we took our time in here. We’re going to be able to handle whatever stuff [comes].”
“We’re still taking our time out here as well. We didn’t let winning and making it to the end change anything between us, which is why we were able to share how we felt about each other but still not rush to put a title on things even though I think we are there,” Justine said of why they’re not officially boyfriend and girlfriend just yet. “I get impulsive sometimes because I think most girls are. ‘I really like this guy, I’m going to move to you!’ What I love about him is that he’s so realistic and he’s like, ‘We gotta go home, get our s**t together, figure out our jobs and make those right moves when the time is right.’ I appreciate that about him.”
While long-distance relationships are possible, Justine and Caleb are already planning to fly out and see other when their Love Island duties are over.
“The second we get our phones back, we’re talking about flights,” Caleb promised. “We’ll probably see each other in a couple of weeks. We’ll probably keep seeing each together, so we can figure out a way to be in the same place — or at least the same vicinity.”
“Right now the plan is hopefully for me to be in L.A.,” Justine added.
When asked if they planned on watching back the season at some point, they seemed to bristle at the thought of reliving their highest and lowest villa moments.
“I think not for a really long time,” Justine admitted. “I just can’t, especially because we were just in it. It’s so fresh. We still have these memories and everything is so fresh in our mind. I almost feel like we don’t need to. I just feel like it’s cringe watching myself on a screen! I don’t even like hearing my voice on the phone!”
Even though her Love Island journey was a roller-coaster, Justine said she wouldn’t change it for anything.
“There’s not a thing for me. I think that if you had asked me earlier on, I think the answer would have been way different,” she said. “I think every single decision that was made, every tear that was shed was for a reason. At the end of it, I found that reason why.”
So, how will Justine and Caleb spend their $50,000? For Caleb, the answer is easy.
“I’ve been saying that I have a really fancy helicopter date that I have to top so I feel like I may just ball out on one really crazy date,” Caleb said.
“He’s going to take me to the moon,” Justine chimed in.
“Yeah, I was thinking about taking her to the moon. Maybe a submarine ride, I don’t know. Something low-key,” he responded. Awww, young love.
And one last thing, with the couple joking about weddings and babies in the villa, should fans expect to be invited to a Jaleb wedding in the future?
“Everybody’s invited! We’ll live stream the wedding,” Caleb joked.
The first two seasons of Love Island are streaming now on CBS All Access.
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