While they have been together since the start of Season 3, many fans felt Shannon was not there for the right reasons and that she was toxic for the villa.
Others believed that Shannon and Josh had a fake relationship in the villa, hoping to gain fame and possibly leave with the big money prize at the end.
However, they didn’t win the prize because they left voluntarily.
Josh’s sister Lindsey Goldstein died and Shannon immediately chose to leave with him rather than try to recouple in an attempt to win the $100,000.
Now, Josh and Shannon are speaking out
Josh responds to Love Island USA fans who called them fake
Josh and Shannon spoke to ET Online and Josh said he knew what he had with Shannon was real.
“It wasn’t really until Casa Amor where we really believed that this was it. This was real,” Josh said. “For a while before that, we were getting along so well, but it was almost too good to be true.”
Fans saw the two fight all the time and felt Shannon was being too dominating over him, making many believe the relationship wouldn’t last.
“We were trying to find ways or things that would tear us apart,” Josh explained. “I think that that’s where the majority of our disagreements came into play.”
“I tried pushing him away as much as I could just because if it’s a good thing, it’ll always come back and I definitely tested him while in there,” she said.
When asked about public perception of their relationship, Josh shrugged it off.
“No matter what you do in this life, whether it’s reality TV or anything else, you are going to get negative publicity. It’s just part of the world that we live in, unfortunately,” he said. “Relationships aren’t easy. If anyone says their relationship is perfect, they’re lying to you.”
Josh also pointed out all the positive people who have reached out to them.
“We were our true, authentic selves,” Josh said. “There’s going to be, unfortunately, people out there that have their own opinions and jump to conclusions and don’t actually know us from a hole in the wall. That’s their problem.”
“But at the end of the day, the positive support has been unbelievable and it was awesome to see coming out of the villa.”
Shannon talks about leaving Love Island USA with Josh
Shannon was asked if she ever considered staying on Love Island USA to find a new coupling and try to win the money.
“No, absolutely not. It wasn’t even a second thought,” Shannon said. “Josh and I are so close — our connection, it doesn’t come often in this life.”
Shannon also mentioned that she felt Lindsey set them up to be together when she convinced Josh to sign up for Love Island USA, so she wanted to be there to help grieve with Josh’s family.
“I’ve dealt with the death of my father,” Shannon explained. “Although it’s not the same situation, I understand where he’s coming from with mourning and dealing with death. If it was anybody here with him, it would be me.”
“I have been through it. It has made me stronger as a woman, as a person. And Josh is incredibly strong. His family has been absolutely amazing and so strong. Just the fact that I could be that rock for Josh in this time, it wasn’t even a second thought.”
Love Island USA Season 3 airs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sundays at 9/8c on CBS.