If you're starting to lose all faith in love thanks to this series of Love Island, a face from last year's edition could help you to restore it. Tyla Carr, from Love Island 2017, claimed in an interview with the Daily Star that the show's far more heavily produced than it appears. Frankly, this series has really challenged my ability to trust, so it would be an enormous relief if some of the contestants' relationship drama didn't come about altogether organically. So here's the big question: is Love Island staged?
According to Tyla, the islanders are far less isolated in the villa than the show might lead you to believe. "What viewers don’t see is there is always a producer on site," she told the Daily Star. "They don’t live in the villa with us but someone generally comes in every hour to have a chat. They would often tannoy an announcement asking for someone to come to the sofa to have a chat with one of the producers."
There's no such thing as a spontaneous action in the villa, either, according to Tyla. "You have to tell the producers on site if you are planning to have an important chat or do something, so they make sure the microphones pick it up and the cameras get it," she told the paper. “If you forget they would call you in and ask you to film it again."
One excruciating example? Tyla claimed, "Liv Attwood had to dump Sam Gowland twice last year, which was embarrassing for both of them." Wondering how getting dumped on national television could possibly get any more humiliating? There's your answer!
Importantly, Tyla stressed that producers "don’t make you do anything that’s not happened or tell you to do anything you don’t want to do." But Islanders are prompted by producers, she said. "They may suggest it would be a good idea if you brought something up or discussed something." She added, "Basically, if you’ve had three separate conversations with someone they may ask you to have the conversation again all in one go to make it better viewing."
Unsurprisingly, a spokesperson for Love Island told the Daily Star, "It is absolutely untrue to suggest Love Island is fake. The opinions they have and the relationships formed are completely within the control of the Islanders themselves.”
The spokesperson maintained, “As we have said since series one, Love Island is a combination of reality and produced elements. Any produced elements are designed to allow viewers to understand what the Islanders are feeling and to help move narrative threads on.”
Tyla's far from the first reality star to accuse the genre of a little bit of, er, manipulation. Earlier this year, Geordie Shore's Marnie Simpson reportedly hastily deleted a revealing tweet after she was asked why her real birthday didn't line up with events on the show. Her response, as reported by The Sun? "It's coz it's fake and scripted." Straight to the point! MTV reportedly declined to comment.
In 2016, Made in Chelsea's Hugo Taylor told Business Insider that the show gave the cast "a chance to develop our awful acting skills", while Tina Stinnes told the Daily Star in 2014, "[Producers] influence you into saying things, they'll be like, 'Why don't you say this, because this is what you think, isn't it?'" While the producers didn't appear to respond to these specific comments, but amidst similar claims in 2011 they did issue a statement saying: "Viewers are clearly made aware of the type of show Made in Chelsea is and that some scenes and events are constructed for dramatic effect but the cast and their relationships are all based on their real circumstances."
Either way, the amount of serious Love Island relationships which have endured long after the cameras stopped rolling suggests that there must be a whole lot of real feelings in the show too. Cara de la Hoyde and Nathan Massey, the 2016 winners, now have a baby together. Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen from the 2016 show are engaged, as are Dom Lever and Jess Shears from the 2017 edition, who The Sun reports are marrying in Mykonos this year after that comical Good Morning Britain "wedding." Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt are also still going strong.
But anyway, let's be honest with ourselves: we're still not going to miss a single episode.