Love Island fans cringe as Gemma's famous dad breaks silence during sexy 'Heart Rate Challenge'

The Islander is the daughter of soccer player Michael Owen, who appeared to awkwardly react during the show's racy episode...

Love Island's Gemma Owen
(Image credit: ITV)

The latest episode of Love Island 2022 was certainly an eventful one for Gemma Owen. It began with the pro dressage rider fighting with Jacques O'Neill, who as well as being a fellow Islander also happens to be her real-life ex-boyfriend. She wasn't at all happy that he had given an unfavorable insight into their relationship to her current love interest Luca Bish. 

However, things really got heated during the subsequent 'Heart Rate Challenge' which, for the uninitiated, sees the contestants team up into girls and boys groups to give—to varying degrees of success—sexy lapdances on one another in the hope of spiking heart rates. It was soon Gemma's turn to put on a racy performance for the seven male Islanders.

As the 19-year-old strutted across the villa and towards the iconic firepit in a black bodysuit and suspenders, those watching at home (want to get in on the action? Here's how to watch Love Island UK) couldn't help but hope that her famous former pro soccer player dad Michael Owen sat at home was taking a night off watching TV. Referencing the challenge, one person joked: "Has anyone checked Michael Owen's heart rate?" Another wrote: "Michael Owen I feel for you—can't imagine anything worse."

To their surprise, the ex-sports star appeared to suggest that he was cringing along with everyone else. He broke his silence on Twitter (opens in new tab), around the time of his eldest child's appearance, by simply sharing the emoji of a face with eyes peeking through hands. The post that has been 'liked' more than 52,000 times and many commented with messages of sympathy for how awkward it had got.

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Gemma and Michael Owen

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Love Island's Gemma Owen

(Image credit: ITV)

Love Island's Jacques O'Neill

(Image credit: ITV)

However, things got even more uncomfortable when the results of the challenge were read out to the Islanders. It seemed Gemma had spiked the heart rate the most of numerous of the men—including, shockingly, her ex Jacques. This didn't go down well with his love interest Paige Thorne, who questioned him about whether he might still harbor feelings. Viewers were shocked when the 23-year-old pro rugby star proceeded to tell her that the performance of his former girlfriend—with whom he had split a year and a half ago after eight months—had brought up some steamy memories. One social media user added: "Flashbacks? I really feel for Michael Owen."

Elsewhere, in the latest installment of Love Island season eight, there was romance as well as rifts in the air. This included Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu's subtle hint to Davide Sanclimenti—who she had raised the heart rate of most during the challenge with a rather passionate kiss—that she still held a flame for him. Meanwhile, Natasha Ghouri was left upset when Andrew Le Page's heart rate soared highest for Danica Taylor, who had earlier in the episode revealed that she fancied him. Tonight's show ended with a teaser for a recoupling tomorrow, and thanks to this evening's challenge, it's likely to be a fiery one...

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Lauren Clark

Lauren is a freelance writer and editor with more than six years of digital and magazine experience. Most recently, she has been the Acting Commissioning Editor of Women's Health—where she co-produced the Going For Goal podcast—and has previously also written news and features for titles including The Telegraph, Grazia, Stylist, Dazed, The Sun's Fabulous, Yahoo Style UK and Get The Gloss. She covers all aspects of lifestyle, specializing in health, beauty, and travel. Can't live without: oat milk lattes, new podcast episodes, long walks, and great skincare.