7 'Love Island' Secrets Revealed By Past Contestants That Change Everything
Even though it's a reality show and the contestants are filmed 24/7, not everything is caught on camera. Yes, Love Island has its secrets — past islanders have actually come out and said so. But exactly what goes down behind the scenes when the housemates aren't topping up their tans or working on their six packs?
Well, with an episode to broadcast almost every day of the week and cameras pretty much everywhere, you wouldn't think there'd be much juicy info left out — but you'd be surprised. While the show might have you believe that contestants simply fly to Majorca, move into one big shared bedroom, and crack on with crackin' on, a lot of meticulous planning and stage-managing actually goes into the drama that keeps viewers gripped. But of course, those finer details never make it to TV.
Luckily for diehard fans, once islanders have had their fill of mugging each other off, shouting out "I've got a text", and drinking out of personalised water bottles, they're usually pretty happy to share the goss. From secret camera-free zones (there aren't many) to magic self-stocking cupboards, here's the inside scoop on everyone's favourite summer reality show.
1. Producers Communicate With Contestants
The singletons aren't just left to their own devices once they arrive on set. Chloe Crowhurst, who was on the show in 2017, revealed to BuzzFeed that producers sometimes step in to give a little direction when something major is going down. "They give you guidance if something big is going on," she said. "For example, when we're voting people out and they don't want everyone talking over each other, they'll put couples in their own rooms to talk privately."
2. Castmembers Are Told When To Train
Love Island contestants are often spotted showing off in the villa's gym. But surprisingly, they don't get unlimited access to its facilities. Gabby Allen, one of last year's runners-up, let slip that she and her fellow stars were allocated slots to train. "[The producers] deliberately put [the equipment] in the sun so people don't spend all their time in the gym," she told OK! "So there's only certain times of the day you can actually work out, otherwise it’s 34 degree heat and you're sweating so bad."
3. Islanders Aren't Allowed Too Much Alcohol
While those villa parties may look wild, producers are keen to ensure they stay on the relatively tame side by restricting contestants' access to alcohol. "At night time we weren’t allowed a lot of alcohol," Kady McDermott of the 2016 series told Cosmopolitan. "During the first four or five days when we didn’t know each other we had alcohol to break the ice, but then, after that, it was two glasses of wine a night. And we were sure it was watered down as well."
4. Contestants Do Their Own Hair And Make-up
While they may look like they've been given the salon treatment, 2016 runner-up Olivia Buckland revealed the contestants have to fend for themselves when it comes to hair and make-up. She explained to The Sun: "You do your own make-up and I think we had our hair done once for the final. So the whole six weeks, all the boys were going mad because they couldn’t have their trims. They were getting really annoyed by it."
Ah. I guess that's why all of 2017's boys were so pleased to have hairdresser Kem fix them a fresh fade then.
5. The Villa Has Catering Staff
While the contestants have access to their iconic outdoor kitchen, breakfast is the only meal they actually prepare there. Kady McDermott told The Sun that islanders are treated to some delicious dishes courtesy of off-site catering staff. "They used to give us a dessert after every lunch and every dinner, and the cake was unreal, and we could request food if we wanted," she said.
6. There's A Secret Magic Cupboard
Yes, I'm still talking about Love Island, not Harry Potter. According to 2016 islander Olivia Buckland, there's a secret cupboard where food and other essential items are left for contestants. "We had a secret little closet-wardrobe door thing and if we requested alcohol or cigarettes they turned up in the magic cupboard," she told Heat. "It used to unlock and we used to wait to hear it unlock and run towards it and any cigarettes, alcohol, or like moisturiser we requested would just immediately turn up in there."
If only self-stocking cupboards existed in real life. Mine would be full of biscuits.
7. Producers Have Unusual Methods Of Finding Contestants
While the show accepts applications from the general public (The Telegraph reports a staggering 80,000 people put themselves forward for the 2018 series), producers also scout contestants in some pretty unusual places.
Past islanders have been approached on social media, in nightclubs and at bodybuilding exhibitions (who even know they had those?). Montana Brown of the 2017 series told Digital Spy she had been asked to do the show twice: "I got approached in a club, which was quite weird because I wasn't expecting [ITV] to be in there! After I turned them down, we kept in touch and this year they asked me back and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to do it!'"
Meanwhile, early 2017 island dumpee Harley Judge told the same publication he thought members of the casting crew were queue-jumpers at an event. "I was working at Body Power Expo at the time and I was actually quite rude to [the casting team]," he said. "I thought they were trying to push in line so I said to them, 'Look, you're going to have to go to the back of the queue, mate and stop pushing in – the queues were about three hours long!"
ITV announced this week that Love Island will officially be back on our screens on Monday, June 4. When the new series kicks off, remember the secrets you've just read. Are the islanders tucking into a delicious feast? Don't be fooled. They didn't make that dinner themselves. Does a certain scene seem a bit staged? It probably has had a bit of direction off-camera. Hopefully, this year's islanders will leave the villa armed with even more secrets. Watch this space.