After a long – and emotionally charged – journey we are finally on the Love Island home stretch. In just a few short days Flack will announce this season’s winners and the fever-pitch love-in will be over. Fast fashion’s finest will issue discount codes to this fresh batch of mega-influencers and the nation will have to find something to talk about other than Maura’s sassy punchlines.
But it’s been a good one. Rating records have been scorched, our feeds inundated with memes and everyone and their dog has fallen for Ovie (completely understandable, of course). This year’s Love Island has cemented the show’s status as The Biggest Thing On Tele. A cultural phenomenon that’s gripped the nation so tightly, it’s even managed to chokehold ITV2 into a two-series a year deal.
Indeed, as we hobble over the finish line, beaten down by eight sweltering weeks of grafting, recoupling and gasp-so-hard-you-spill-your-tea drama, it’s hard to ignore the show’s monolithic influence. Love Island’s exclusive fashion partner I Saw It Here First gained almost 50,000 new followers in one month, whilst a cover by singer-songwriter Lusaint (who boasted just 726 Facebook followers) broke Spotify’s top ten viral song chart after a 10 second sync.
So imagine being the main attraction. Having your swimsuit-clad body beamed into millions of homes every single night, totting-up millions of Instagram followers and blowing up Twitter with 2.5 billion impressions. When you also consider the two months of wall-to-wall sunshine, the potential to fall in love and a £50k cash prize, it’s easy to see why more people applied to Love Island than Oxbridge last year.
But would you actually go on Love Island? Amongst the success stories (2016 winners Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen married last year and are worth a combined £4.4m), the series has been plagued with much controversy. Two suicides, countless call-outs for its lack of diversity and the villa’s all-too-often toxic atmosphere has left us with lots of questions, those that we haven’t already answered on our Love Island podcast.
The Face hit the streets of Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol to get to see who’s up for it.
WHY THE HECK DO PEOPLE GO ON?
Tianna: “I think people go on Love Island for money. Money, fame, and 25% to find love.”
“I think after more seasons people have kind of realised when they come off it there’s a lot of opportunities, so the reasons for people going on are probably less genuine now than they were at the start.”
“I don’t think anyone goes on Love Island to find love on an island.”
“Money and fame and brand deals and that type of thing. Flat tummy tea and charcoal teeth whitening kits.”
Jade: You get famous – lots of celebrities endorsement. You get to do advertising, which adds to the fact that you can grow a profile of yourself in media, really, it’s just based on being popular.
SO WOULD YOU GO ON?
“I would not go on Love Island because I feel like I’d have to be a different sort of me on there. Finding love on a game show with £50k on the line is a bit weird, to be honest. I’d rather work for £50k than find my Mrs through that.“
“More for the jokes, I think it would be funny – especially the girls they make dead good friendships.”
Sara: I would love to go on Love Island to, you know, just live my life.
Charlotte: The experience would be the best.
WHAT WOULD YOUR PARENTS THINK?
“I think [my mum] would be quite supportive. She’d be like, ‘oh you’ve met lots of quite nice girls – well done, at last.’ My dad wouldn’t even know it was on, he’d have no idea.”
“I feel like my dad would get a helicopter in and take me away from it.”
WHO ARE YOU LOVING ON LOVE ISLAND?
Ajay: The only one I like is Tommy Fury because he’s related to Tyson Fury, that’s the only reason why I like him.
Zac: I really like Maura because she is evil.
Aaliyah: Ovie – he’s leng.
Millie: I think the couple that’s gonna win is definitely Tommy and Molly. It’s almost guaranteed.
“I rate Anton, but there’s certain things I don’t get. Like, I don’t get why you would say your mum shaves your arse on live TV.”
WOULD YOU DO ‘IT' ON TV?
“Yeah, of course I’d shag someone on TV. It would be funny. I’d do it just for a laugh. If it happens it happens, you don’t really pay attention to the TV. Would be pretty funny to re-watch it afterwards though.”