Love Island Winners Zeta And Timmy On Their Relationship And More - Exclusive Interview

An integral aspect of any reality TV show is fan support — without it, a program or franchise can lose its sense of community, heart, and fandom inspiration. Take Bachelor Nation, for instance — the long-standing group of fans that tune in week after week to "The Bachelor," despite only one leading man marrying the woman he proposed to in the finale. Even stand-alone shows like "The Ultimatum" garnered huge online followings, with viewers weighing in on the bonkers scenario that the couples agreed to place their relationship into.


But few shows have the international reach that "Love Island" does, having prominent series in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and many more. The show's concept is rather simple — put gorgeous singles in a villa, cut them off from the outside world, bring in bombshell arrivals, and let the love (and drama) unfold. Viewers were treated to yet another standout season, crowning Zeta Morrison and Timmy Pandolfi the winners — and to say that "Zimmy" was a power couple from the start is an understatement.

Timmy and Zeta certainly did "Love Island" in their own way. Despite a hiccup with Bria Bryant, the two made it clear throughout their six weeks in the villa that they really only had eyes for each other. As time progressed, hopeful singles came and went, but Zeta and Timmy remained dedicated to one another, all the while not realizing that social media was absolutely in their corner. The adorable couple took home the $100,000 prize on Sunday, August 28, and we sat down with them the following day to learn all about their "Love Island" experience, what they learned, and what's coming next for these two.


Zeta and Timmy formed a special bond early on

First and foremost, congrats. You're both $50,000 richer this morning.

Zeta Morrison: Yes. Thank you. Well, like $33,000 after taxes, but yes, we are. [laughs]

You both have been such a solid couple from the beginning. Before we get into the season, your win, and everything that came with it, take me back to your initial connection. What was it about each other — maybe something that we didn't see on screen — that drew you to one another? You have seemed like magnets throughout this entire time.


Timmy Pandolfi: We've been talking about how we started. Since it happened, we've gained a lot of questions about it. When I'm hearing our answers, it sounds generic, but it really is what it is. It was a warm energy there. Obviously, the first line of defense is somebody's physical appearance, so I believe we both like how each other looks. That's where it started.

But from there, the more we got to know each other within that first week — even that first day — right before we actually sat down and had a conversation face-to-face, we were vibing. She was facing straight ahead, I was talking in her ear, and we were going back and forth having a great moment. It started off very quickly. It felt like we had the cheat code right away.


Zeta: It really did. I picked him, he's behind me, and he's saying so many little jokes.

Timmy: I don't even remember.

Zeta: I don't even know what he was saying. He kept saying little jokes behind me, and I was like, "Oh, my God, I'm going to get in trouble. I'm not supposed to be laughing." I saw people coming in, and I was from that moment like, "Wow. This boy is going to make me so comfortable here." I felt like, even if I don't end up with this boy, I already in my heart was like, "Oh, I've made a friend here." It started so comfortable.

I've gotten the chance to speak to all the islanders as they've left the villa. The overwhelming sentiment is that it is such a unique environment. I'm sure that even knowing that you had a friend in each other to lean on was comforting.

Zeta: Yeah.

Timmy: That played a huge role. It's a roller coaster ride, so having somebody to be there for you — let alone somebody you really like and enjoy being around — that means the world. That's what kept me on the tracks, for sure.

How did the couple overcome the 'Bria bump' in the road?

We all know that you experienced a little bit of a bump in the road with Bria [Bryant]. What ultimately allowed both of you to overcome that hurdle and have a smooth sail from there?

Timmy: I think it's that both of our characters, our traits, came to the forefront. We both had worked on ourselves before. We both were ready for an environment like "Love Island," where you don't have too much control and you have to have things play out. We're both confident people. That Bria situation was a bump in the road — it was a test — and it was a test that, ultimately, ended up with the answer being Zimmy. It worked out.


I love your couple nickname. It's really sweet.

Zeta: I know. I love it too. We actually started out as T&Z, like a play on TMZ. But then we realized ... People came in, and they were like "Zimmy! Zimmy!" We were like, "Oh, this must be what's going on now." Then we were like, "We love this."

As I've been chatting with people, it's always like Isaiah [Campbell] and Sydney [Paight], or Andy [Voyen] and Mady [McLanahan], and then it's Zimmy — you just become one.

Timmy: Those little things help the bigger picture stuff.

Zeta: They do.

Zeta and Timmy forged their own path while on the show

Islanders that we've spoken to have attested to your strong connection. You went through the "Love Island" experience in your own way, as you referenced in the finale. Tell me a little bit more about that and how your path set itself apart from the other islanders' experiences.


Zeta: Our communication is top-notch. I've never communicated with someone the way that I communicate with Timmy. I feel very safe with him to say whatever I want. I don't feel judged or criticized. I can go back on my word. I can take it back. I can literally say what I want, and then be like, "Oh, this isn't what I mean."

It's such a comfort zone with him, and he's such an honest boy. Having communication and then honesty on top of it, and then someone who doesn't judge you, is so special. You need that in any relationship — with a friendship, relationship with your family, with anyone.

That was maybe what separates us from the other couples. They're all strong in their own regards and in their own rights, but if you are asking what separates them, it would be that. I've always wanted a partner who truly was my best friend. Once the trust started coming between us, I would always go to Timmy about whatever I was feeling first. He knew before any of my villa mates knew anything.


Would you say that trust and communication ... Is that something that is unique to this relationship that either of you haven't particularly experienced with past relationships?

Timmy: I would say so, because there's a lot of conversations we didn't shy away from. We didn't. We spoke about it. We spoke about what love means to each other and saying, "I love you." We spoke about that. It wasn't something that we were avoiding.

Even what our commitment is, what our bond is ... There's a lot of things like what she's saying — communication — but also communicating about topics that some people might shy away from at times. That's the most distinct part of our relationship and how we handled everything. I haven't had this before.

It's such a unique experience, six weeks uninterrupted — no phones, no outside world. You probably feel like you're six months down the line, not six weeks down the line.

Zeta: Definitely. Day in and day out, you wake up with each other, you eat breakfast, you do those new challenges, chat, then you're back in bed with each other, day in and day out. It's very intense.

What does the future look like for the couple?

What does life look like for both of you now moving forward as a couple, $33,000 richer after tax? What does life look like now? Everyone wants to know all the details.

Timmy: Life looks really up from here. It does. It looks like we're going to be traveling a bit. She's bicontinental, so she's going to be in California and London. I have plans on going to London, seeing what it's looking like out there, and she's going to be in Cali, so we're going to be collabing. It's a collab of two worlds right now. We both have a lot of things going for ourselves individually. We're going to be seeing how it looks with everybody else. That's the excitement there.


You're now out in the real world. What dates do you want to go on? Do you want to have normal movie nights at home?

Zeta: I'm a huge cinephile, and Timmy doesn't know any shows; he doesn't know any movies.

Timmy: Clean slate — [I'm] a clean slate.

Zeta: It's nice, because he is very interested in getting to watch movies and stuff. Actually, the first thing he said to me was like, "When we get out of here, we'll go to the movies, and we'll eat dinner and recline and watch whatever movie you want to watch." I'm like, "Yes."

Speaking her love language, for sure.

Zeta: Exactly.

Zeta dishes on opening the $100,000 envelope and the season finale

I've got to ask about the finale itself. That moment where Sarah Hyland is announcing the winners, what's going through your minds? Zeta, you opened a $100,000 envelope — that must be a mind trip.

Zeta: It definitely was. Timmy and I have both said it was up in the air. We didn't feel like we had it in the bag. Sydney and Isaiah's relationship is also its own specific type of relationship that a lot of people can relate to and enjoy as well. We had no idea if it would be us or not. Hearing our names, I remember looking at Timmy, and he was absolutely shocked. He was gobsmacked. He was like, "What just happened?"


It was an amazing feeling. Obviously, seeing $100K was another amazing feeling. To feel like you've won love already, you feel so happy by the journey. Then you add money on top of that, and then you add the fact that you have support that has put you in that position. There's so much going on, but it was so special.

I know you said that you didn't have any idea if it was going to be you guys, but we did. Social media was off the charts with you guys. You've been such fan favorites from day one. I had no doubt it was going to be Zimmy at the end.

Zeta: Oh, thank you so much.

Timmy: Appreciate that.

The couple were thrilled that fans loved their authenticity

What's it like now, knowing that you've got so many fans and supporters in your corner? We all want to see where the relationship goes. That must be a wild thing to think about.

Timmy: It's overwhelming.


Zeta: I joke with him, like, "Babe. They said if we break up, they're done."

No, we won't believe in love ever again.

Zeta: I was like, "It's forever."

Timmy: It's a good feeling, though. We went about things real and genuine in our way. The fact that people are interested in what we have going on, that's amazing. That's the ultimate respect.

Zeta: It feels amazing. From winning, getting Hottest Couples, we were like, "Oh, I think people like us."

People loved you.

Zeta: We were like, "Okay." [It] gave us that confidence. Winning was amazing, but coming out to see what's happening with the supporters, it's madness. It's shocking. It's amazing, though ... We've talked about how it's been nice being our authentic selves, and that's been translating onto the telly. That's so nice.


That's what you hope for and you wish for, because even coming in, you know it's reality TV, or, "I don't know how things are being portrayed. I have no idea." For everyone to feel exactly what we are feeling and that translates, it's the biggest, best thing you can ask for.

Definitely. We've all seen your fandom grow gradually, but you guys didn't really get access to that.

Zeta: No.

Zeta and Timmy reflect on their biggest takeaways

Now that you're on the outside, you've won, you've had this amazing experience — what would you say you learned most about yourselves throughout this process? It must be such a unique way to find love.


Timmy: The biggest thing I pulled away was being in tune with my emotional progress and where I'm at, and then speaking on it. It's tough to always gauge where you're at, but I was put to the test for sure during this whole time at "Love Island." That's something that I feel very comfortable with moving forward, where I'm at emotionally, being okay with feeling all the feels, and then commenting on it in that present time and articulating how I feel. [It's] the simple thing, but that's what was touched on.

Zeta: I learned so many things, but something that's important for me was I've learned that I am becoming exactly who I've always wanted to be. Hearing all the feedback and the islanders saying how much Timmy and I helped them through things, or were there for them, I didn't even realize we were doing it. It's naturally who we are, and I find so much purpose in being that person. That's what I noticed then.


Timmy: That's true.

"Love Island" Season 4 concluded on August 28. The reunion episode will drop on September 1 at 9 p.m./6 p.m. ET/PT.

This interview was edited for clarity.