Love Island's Nadjha Reveals What Really Happened With Jeff And More - Exclusive Interview

When watching any reality TV dating show, it can be easy to think that we know everything about the players we see on screen. Take "The Bachelorette" for instance — the virgin, the villain, the favorite, and the runner-up follow the tune of a production script so closely it feels as though audiences know who these people are from the inside out. Lengthy, 24-hour days are condensed into 10-minute snippets, showing obsessed audiences exactly what they want to see, all in the name of entertainment. Of course, contestants and fans know exactly what it is they're signing on to participate in and watch — but it can be incredibly simple to associate on-screen chaos and the realities of dating on camera.

While "Love Island" USA is certainly a less produced, far more authentic representation of love unfolding in a gorgeous villa, audiences really only see a small portion of the day in, day out scenarios that really take place between established couples, flings, and friends. As far as Nadjha Day and Jeff Christian were concerned, this established pair — who stayed together for the majority of their time in the villa — saw all the positives, negatives, and neutrality of each other, their time together culminating in a blow-up on Jeff's part, all of which was caught on camera. Heading into the finale, Jeff and Nadjha knew that their time together was coming to a close, and the couple selflessly decided to exit the villa ahead of the final episode (and take themselves out of the running for the $100,000 prize). 

After her time in the villa came to an end, Nadjha sat down with us for an exclusive interview, where she revealed what really happened with Jeff behind the scenes, how she came to the decision to call it quits on her "Love Island" experience, and more.

Nadjha reflects on the support she's received since the show

I want to start with an update as to where you are, life since leaving the villa, and then we'll get into what happened there towards the end.

Leaving the villa, it's been a lot. I'm getting so many questions. Everyone wants to know what's going on. It's been a lot, but I was so lucky to have such a huge support system back home with my friends and my family. Everyone's rooting behind me. My entire neighborhood at my parents' house, they all are like, "We've been rooting for you." So it's been really good. It's been nice being back. 

I'm sure that it felt really phenomenal having so many people in your corner.

Yeah, it was. It was really phenomenal, and I didn't expect that type of support. Getting back and seeing that was really, really amazing, and I think it spoke volumes.

What really happened between Nadjha and Jeff

I want to get into what happened with Jeff. We all saw him overreact. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but take me back to that interaction. Walk me through what happened and what you perceived at the time and how you feel now looking back on it.

The whole thing stemmed from us discussing who we thought needed to leave. We both felt very strongly. It was not me instigating anything. We both felt strongly about the same thing. He didn't think that Jesse [Bray] and Deb [Chubb] should stay. I felt like it sucked that Phoebe [Siegel] and Chad [Robinson], because they were new, were getting voted off, even though I don't know what's shown, but they had a really good connection in there. They reminded me of [myself] and Jeff to begin with — just friends and it evolved into something. So the blow-up happens. The buddy-buddy comment gets made. Everyone gets upset. I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of the guy that I care so much about, I'm coupled up with him, and then everyone else is upset by the comment, especially Zeta [Morrison] and Timmy [Pandolfi].

It sucks. It puts me in a really uncomfortable position, and it was never like I wasn't siding with Jeff. I agreed with what he said. I didn't agree with the delivery of what was said. Then I apologized to Phoebe for her moment being stolen, and then we're going to say bye to them, and he asked why I comforted Timmy and didn't comfort him. I didn't have time to talk to Jeff. It's not [that] this happened, this happened, this happened. No. A lot of stuff happened in between there. He had to calm down. Timmy had to calm down. We're helping Phoebe pack up her stuff.

It wasn't as cut and dry as it looked. There's a lot going on. And when Jeff reacts in this way, I know that he sometimes needs his space to cool down, so that's what I was giving him. And at that moment, Timmy was walking by me, so I said, "I'm sorry about ..." I was. I felt bad for everything that had happened and how it went down. So I apologized to him, and that's when Jeff's reaction was just explosive. He says all that stuff and then walks by me and says something very degrading. I didn't appreciate that. It was my last straw, and that's why I made the decision I made. I thought it was very disrespectful.

Jeff did say that he had his guard up, and you were very clear that his reaction as a whole was a pretty big red flag. I would think that a lot of viewers agreed with that sentiment.

It wasn't [the] first time that he had reacted that way, and it had brought up red flags in the past. That's why at times I think people saw that I wasn't as expressive with my feelings, but everyone didn't see the other things that happened and why I had the reservations I had in our relationship. I cared about Jeff very dearly, and everything good that was shown was good. We had great moments and he's a great human being, and I love and support him, but I did have to think about myself [when making] that decision. I couldn't sit there and know that somebody was talking to me this way and that I was going to put up with it any longer.

Nadjha reflects on her decision to self-eliminate

I think a lot of fans were really touched that you chose to leave before the finale. You knew your connection was coming to a close. How do you feel about that call, now that you've had a little bit of time outside the villa for the dust to settle?

I don't regret my decision at all. I was never there for the money or for the clout. I don't care about that. I don't even like Instagram. Before coming into the show, I wasn't some micro-influencer at all. I had no following. That wasn't what I was there for. I was there for the experience, possibly finding love, and I thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I probably wasn't going to get again. That's why I went and I made a connection, and realistically, there were a lot of ups and downs and a lot of things that I didn't agree with. I made my decision to leave because I thought that's what I needed to do for myself.

I'm glad I did, and I'm glad everything was shown the way it was at the end, even if it might have not been earlier, because I felt so empowered. I feel as though it left such a good message to everyone watching, to any girl that's ever been in a situation such as that. It felt awesome, if I'm being honest. I don't regret it. Of course, I hate how everything went down because we did have something so special and I care about him so much. I don't regret anything. I'm glad I made the decision I made.

Would you ever consider reconciling with Jeff in the future, or are you happy to put that connection to rest?

I actually don't know. It's actually not like I'm going to be like, "No, I'll never speak to him again," because we did speak. We spoke as soon as we got our phones back, and we have been in slight contact — not anything crazy, but he apologized. I also apologized for how it ended, because it did suck. He told me how much he cared about me. We discussed the fact that everything that went on in there was so real. There are so many real feelings and emotions. It's not as easy as saying, "You disrespected me and this is done and over with." There's a lot of conversations that need to be had. I think he needs to work on himself and I need to work on myself, and maybe one day after that, we can come together. But at this very moment, I want him to do some self-reflecting, and I want to do some self-reflecting and focus on ourselves and see what could be in store for the future.

I've spoken to every Islander as they've left the villa, and the overwhelming sentiment is that it's such a unique environment. You don't have your phones. You don't have access to the world around you. That must be such a crash [course] in seeing how you react and guide yourself through a romantic relationship. I'm sure it's not easy.

No, it is not easy. It's so weird and so unique. It's nothing like you'll ever experience out in the real world. You're put in situations that you're never going to be put in. It's very unique and it's hard. It's not easy. It is not for the weak-minded. I could tell you that because my first few days I was struggling in there.

Nadjha dishes about what's next for her and the Love Island reunion

What would you say your biggest takeaway is from this experience? [Do] you have any regrets from your time on the show?

I don't think I have any regrets. I think the biggest takeaway, and I told everyone this is my biggest takeaway, is self-love, self-worth, putting yourself first, and being able to walk away from a situation when it's not right. Even if everything in your heart is saying "stay," if somebody shows you red flags, do what's best for you. Don't worry about what anybody else is going to think. Just do what's in your heart and love yourself and know that you're a bad b***h and can walk away from anything at any given point.

What's your reaction to the finale? Zeta and Timmy took first place. What did you think of the show as it concluded on Sunday?

I think it is amazing that Zeta and Timmy won. They deserved it. They are so genuine and real. You felt it in the villa — two of the best people there together, come on. They deserved it. I am so happy that they won. The show as a whole, everyone's great. I don't think I could find anything truly negative to say about anyone. The experience was unreal, and I'm sad that it's over, but I'm so happy that I got to experience it. Everything was amazing. I can't wait to actually go back and watch it. Actually, I can wait because I'm literally terrified, but I'm excited to see it when I decide that it's my time to watch it.

We've got the reunion coming up. Any nerves, any butterflies, excitement about that?

For sure. It's exciting. I can't wait for people to see everything.

I've gotten the chance to speak to so many Islanders, and it does really seem, as you said, everyone has seemed so genuine and lovely and really there to find love. It's such a unique way to do it. But as far as your personal life now is concerned, moving forward, what are your plans professionally, personally? What's next?

I guess I'm going to try and figure out this Instagram world. I don't know what the heck I'm doing. I'm getting DMs. I'm getting emails. I'm going to have to find someone to help me manage it all because as I said, I really did not do this before all of this. So I think I'm going to try and do some social media stuff, figure that out. Who knows? Maybe I'll move out to LA. You never know.

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

This interview has been edited for clarity.