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Peacock Blog Love Island USA

Exclusive Interview: Checking in with Love Island Games Winner Justine Ndiba

The fan-favorite Islander dishes on life in the villa, challenges, and moments that were left on the cutting room floor.

By Aliza Small
Love Island Games winners Justine Ndiba and Jack Fowler celebrate their win

Ah, February. Love is in the air — and on your screens. Love Island: All Stars is cracking on, Couple to Throuple is gloriously chaotic, and the love between Alan Cumming and his jaunty hats is on full display in the current season of The Traitors.  

With Valentine’s Day approaching and Love Island Games lounging in the Soul Ties balcony of our hearts, we thought it was the perfect time to bring you a little treat. Namely, an exclusive interview with the queen herself. Read on for our email chat with the one and only Justine Ndiba, diving into villa life, challenges, and who she thinks should be getting a text on future seasons. 


How did the villa experience differ from Love Island to Love Island Games? 

The Love Island Games villa definitely brought a new and exciting element to the whole experience. Being that the show wasn't fully "love" focused, I think it made things more intense because the openness of whether you're there for love or games played so much into so much of the decision making. As someone who went in strictly for the games aspect but was open to embracing the full experience, I found that that made the connection that I found more organic and genuine. It was interesting to see how everyone tried to balance the love aspect as well as the game aspect. At times, it definitely proved to be difficult but I think that's what really made the show exciting to be a part of. There was rarely a moment where nothing was going on. There were twists and turns and surprises almost every day that kept all of us islanders on our toes. There was truly never a dull moment.  

What surprised you most about the experience? 

I would say how unpredictable the games turned out to be. As a competitor and Challenger, I expected most games to be physically challenging but the social aspect of the game — which played a huge part — came into play in most of the games. Having to work together with other alliances in games, as well as votes, was so crucial and I definitely was not expecting that. I loved that Love Island Games challenged all of us physically, socially, and romantically. 

What moment from a challenge are you most proud of? 

I would say the "Getting Tired" Challenge when Jack and I were able to secure our spot in the Final because that was a pivotal point for us. After seeing how the decision of what other team would join us in the final was being made, I was so glad we had won because the ex-islanders would have definitely sent us home. I was also really proud of our entire performance in the Mega Duel.  

If you could design a challenge, what would it be? 

I would design a challenge much like the ones you see on Survivor. I enjoy watching those and would love to try them. 

What were your favorite and least favorite challenges? 

Favorite challenges were the mermaid and tire challenges. Those two really took a team effort where both couples were equally involved and having to show their strength in communicating and strength as a couple. I also personally love the more physically challenging ones.  

My least favorite would be the spitting challenge, not even because of the exchanging of fluids in our mouths but because other couples figured out that working together would be effective and your place in that challenge could have been out of your control. 

How did you prepare for challenges together? Was there a pre-challenge ritual? 

Jack and I prepared for challenges by just spending time together lol. We both knew we were solid with our physical skills so we just spent most of our time getting to know each other and building a bond that ensured great communication throughout the whole experience.  

What was a funny “unseen bit” that didn’t make it into the show?  

A few moments. One where our boys put on a whole performance for us unprovoked but I was able to capture that moment on my villa phone. I would also say the moment the boys couldn't hear us getting dressed upstairs and thought we left for Casa Amor so Jack came running up the stairs screaming my name.  

Which previous Islanders do you think would make great Love Island Games competitors? 

Off the top of my head, Olivia Kaiser, Kaz Crossley, Priscilla, Shannon Saint, and Cinco would make great competitors. I've either competed with them before or watched them compete and they would kill it! 

What advice would you give future Love Island Games competitors? 

I would say it's easy to focus on the physical part of the game — but don't sleep on the social game as well — and most of all just have fun because it's such a different experience that you get something so different out of and I'm truly grateful.  

What was your favorite way to spend down time in the villa? 

My favorite was all the ways Cely and I would communicate in code about random things we couldn't talk about when we were mic'd up but wanted to laugh about. Also just spending time with Jack before we had to be separated for meals. Those were the more difficult times for us towards the end lol. 

Stream Love Island Games only on Peacock.