Victor Gonzalez was eliminated from Love Island USA Season 5 in Episode 10. While he tells TV Insider that he “was happy leaving,” what happened with Carmen Kocourek and Carsten “Bergie” Bergersen after his elimination confirmed his suspicions that Carmen is on the show for the wrong reasons.
“I [would’ve been] happier staying, keep living the experience,” he tells TV Insider after his exit, “but I was comfortable with both decisions.”
Victor was sent home in the season’s first fan-voted elimination. He and Carmen were up for elimination together following a bit of a dramatic fallout of the love triangle between them and Bergie. Carmen had stolen Victor as her partner earlier in a previous episode, and then she ended up pairing up with Bergie. In Episode 9, Bergie told Carmen that Victor was telling the men in the villa that Carmen only had platonic feelings for her new partner. Carmen, wanting to put the matter to rest, immediately pulled Victor aside to ask if this was true. What followed was a tense exchange that showed Victor confused and angry, and he ended up telling Bergie that he didn’t like him because of the ordeal.
The next morning, Victor indirectly urged Bergie by saying in front of the whole cast that he hoped someone would do the right thing and clear his name. Some in the villa were displeased that Victor was “coming for” Bergie, whom they all viewed as sweet and innocent. He also wishes Bergie would have taken it upon himself to explain why the fight with Carmen happened in the first place, as it was triggered by something Bergie said. Had he done that, Victor says, the issue would have been resolved much more easily.
Carmen, Victor, Destiny, and Harrison in ‘Love Island USA’ Season 5 Episode 9 (Credit: Sara Mally/PEACOCK)
“Maybe you tell me like, ‘Oh, man, I did this because of this. I felt that I wasn’t sure if he likes me or not, and I have to ask.’ I [would be] like, ‘Cool, perfect,’” Victor explains. “But if you don’t give me your point of view, if you don’t express yourself, it’s like self-restraining, like trying to talk with a wall. The next morning after everything, we all ended up in good terms. I thought that he should be the one telling the people what happened. Like, ‘Hey, I messed up. Everything that you have heard about Victor didn’t happen.”
“I think it should be his moment to man up and be like, ‘Guys, I f**ked up,’ the same way that I can say that I, too, have f**ked up. I should have had more patience with him,” he goes on. “But it’s hard to have patience in those heated moments. We are all grown-ass people over there. He’s 24 years old. He shouldn’t need to have someone else have the discussion for him. He should be able to speak up for himself.”
Victor feels the house did Bergie a disservice with its “overprotective” treatment of the 24-year-old Dairy Queen manager. “The whole house, we were having maybe an overprotective way of treating Bergie. As you can see before all those episodes, we all were united and had each other’s backs. But I think that doesn’t [do] him any favors.”
The 28-year-old student/wrestler says there was a resolution to the fight that wasn’t shown in Episode 9 or 10. “I think they didn’t show any of this, but Bergie and I ended up on good terms. Even with Carmen, we all ended up on good terms,” he shares.
“They didn’t show this either, but before the kitchen [fight], Bergie apologized to me for the prior [time] when I told him that I felt betrayed. I accepted his apology. I told him, ‘I know that you’re a good man. I know that you didn’t do anything willingly bad against me, but I have to tell you how I feel,’” he continues. “When the kitchen [fight] happened, that’s when I got a little bit confused. Like, why are you doing this? You already apologized to me. I was confused and agitated because I [couldn’t] believe we kept talking about the same thing.”
Victor and Bergie talk after Victor’s elimination in ‘Love Island USA’ Season 5 Episode 10 (Credit: Sara Mally/PEACOCK)
After Victor left in Episode 10, Carmen revealed to another person in the villa that she felt Bergie “manipulated” their fight. Victor shares his take on that moment:
“I think Carmen has lied to all of us. She hasn’t said the right reasons why she’s in the show. At the end of the day, this is a competition, and she came to compete. She is doing a hell of a job doing it, and that’s it. I was true about why I was in the show. I think Bergie is true about why he’s on the show, and I think that’s why she chose us. At any moment, she knew what to say, how to act with us to be able to get a hold on us.
“I think that right after [his elimination, in the talk about Bergie], it was another manipulation of hers. She got what she wanted with me passing those two couplings. Then to pass the next one, she needed someone to stay in here. That’s why she chose Bergie and put everybody kind of against me, to be able to get rid of me so she could stay. And then when she didn’t need Bergie because two new people would come, she doesn’t need Bergie anymore. This fight was because I was putting doubt that she liked Bergie. And the moment that I leave, in a few hours, she changes her mind and now she doesn’t like Bergie.”
Now that he has seen more episodes, he says, “I think you can see a pattern with Carmen. The first date is always the best, and then she changes.”
Victor and Jasmine couple up in the ‘Love Island USA’ Season 5 premiere (Credit: Lila Seeley/PEACOCK)
“Like with me, for example, the first night that we had coupled up, she stole me. Then we went to bed, cuddled up, everything like crazy. She was all over me and stuff. And then the next day, she changed her mind. No PDA. It took her two days to tell me that [her feelings changed], but then she changed and [took] everything back,” he continues, adding that “she did the same with Bergie. I have seen other conversations with her on other stuff. She says everything that Bergie needs to hear, and you can see his reaction when he’s talking to her. He’s excited. She is giving him home, but then when she doesn’t need that, [she] gets rid of that.”
Had he remained on the show, Victor says, “I think I would have tried to spend more time with maybe Destiny, to get to know her. I think we have a good connection. I would have explored that. And actually, I wish Jasmine would have stayed.”
“There was no initial interest” in Jasmine “in the beginning,” he explains. “But then we got to know each other a little bit more. We kind of started to connect.” (Jasmine told us something similar. Check out our exit interview with her here.) In the moment, he didn’t realize there was a connection forming, and because of that, he felt their first kiss didn’t happen at the “proper moment.” Carmen stole Victor from Jasmine, however, so he didn’t get to explore things with her more. But he still believes things with Jasmine “were progressively going the right way.”
Love Island USA, Thursday-Tuesdays, 9/8c, Peacock