Love Island viewers cruelly slate Chloe’s high voice but expert says it’s nerves

As far as bombshells go, Chloe Burrows certainly made a big first impression on her arrival into the Love Island villa.

After opening her voice note inviting the boys on a date, Jake Cornish said excitedly: "She's got a sexy voice!"

Viewers were surprised then when her speech sounded much higher and squeakier, drawing out her words as she greeted the dates.

Some went as far as cruelly comparing it to "nails down a blackboard" and accused the stunning blonde of putting it on.

So is the high-pitched tone for the boys an act?

Expert vocal coach Kate Lee doesn't think so, and puts her higher pitch down to good-old-fashioned nerves: "No, it will be subconscious."

Kate explains: "When she first meets the boys outside of the villa, she instantly goes into the higher vocal register and flicks her hair, all to appear non-threatening."

A lot of it comes down to biology and the physical make-up of women compared to men: "Because their vocal folds are much thinner than men's, when a woman's voice has any tension in it, it causes the folds to vibrate massively.

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"It's like when you tighten a rubber band, you get that ping, and the voice goes really high. It was as soon as the boys arrived she became nervous."

Many viewers noticed how different Chloe sounds between the voice note and in person.

"The voice that we hear in the voice note and when she's alone talking to camera, I think is actually her real voice, or close to it," suspects Kate.

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"When she's alone talking to camera, nobody is watching her. When we relax, the throat opens, air comes in more easily, and the voice drops."

She said Jake reacted positively to it, calling it a sexy voice because of this: "He was hearing that relaxation, and we associate that with sexiness. It tends to be a lower tone."

Kate points: "Chloe is a professional woman with a good career, she'll be used to communicating for work and this confident speech to camera by herself is probably how she usually sounds.

"I suspect she's really quite efficient and organised, and when she's alone with the camera she doesn't have to worry about feeling nervous around the boys, so she sounds more in control."

One trait that viewers picked up on was Chloe drawing out her words, and going up at the end of her phrases.

Kate says it's a classic sign of wanting to be liked: "When she says 'youuuuuu' and holds on to any open vowel, it's a classic lack of assertion. She's not saying anything as a statement, but as a question.

"All of her speaking mannerisms when she was with the boys was giving the message of 'like me, like me, I'm nice, and I'm fun' – but none of it will be deliberate."

Changing our speech is something most of us are guilty of, says Kate: "We all do it, to make other people feel okay and comfortable around us.

"Chloe is also doing it subconsciously to reassure herself, without knowing it she was working hard at making the lads feel interesting and desirable as well."

Another mannerism Chloe shows is one made popular by the Kardashians, where the voice goes croaky and breathy, called vocal fry.

"It's incredibly fashionable," says Kate. "Speech is something we copy, one or two of the other girls also use this vocal fry. It's where you're not using enough breath to get your words out fully."

It's something that's probably been picked up from American TV, says Kate: "There's an association with vocal fry that it means you're successful, that it's beautiful.

"It's also another way of being non-confrontational, if you're talking like that it sounds like you're not going to offend anybody."

Kate also noticed a difference between Chloe and one of the other girls: "Faye speaks in a lower tone, and in statements. She tends to go down at the end when she speaks, which is the opposite of Chloe."

It feels like the Love Island girls can't win, with viewers hating Chloe's high pitched uncertainty, and many also disapproving of Faye's assertiveness.

Many noticed it was mostly women criticising Chloe's voice on social media.

Kate says there's a primal reason why: "When the voice is very high pitched and a bit squealy, we associate it with babies crying and a problem. It sets off a response that something's wrong in some way.

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"It makes us feel edgy. What the women were commenting on in actual fact was them picking up on the fact that she's not relaxed, so it was making them uncomfortable too."

It ultimately comes down to one thing, says Kate: "Everyone just wants to be liked. Chloe is keeping it nice, and light, as deep down she wants the boys to like her, which is the whole point."

Maybe as Chloe settles in and couples up, her natural relaxed voice will come out properly.

Love Island nightly at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub, and episodes are available the next day on Brit Box

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