The Islanders on Love Island have their eyes on each other — but there is also a prize waiting for just two lovebirds at the end of the season. This is a competition, after all, and we're not just rooting for everyone to find a special someone. The prize on Love Island U.S. is $100,000 for the winning couple, so being the "best" at instant love actually matters.
Here's what the official CBS press release has to say about this aspect of the dating series, which is driven by the folks at home:
"In addition to choosing their partners wisely, Islanders must also win the hearts of viewers who have the opportunity to shape events on screen and ultimately crown one lucky couple the winner, who will then have the chance to walk away with both love and the cash prize."
On the original British version of the show, there is also a final twist: the winning couple is given the chance to steal the money for themselves or share it with their new partner. It's a tough choice — either you split a lot of money with someone you really just met and may not have a lasting relationship with or you reveal yourself to be a total money-grabbing jerk on national television. The prize on Love Island UK is significantly less, by the way; it's only £50,000, which with the current exchange rate is just over $62,000.
According to The Sun, while some couples do in fact split the money, most winners and runners up do end up capitalizing off of the hit series with various lucrative opportunities — and all contestants are paid a weekly stipend, as well.
However, if the American Love Island is anything like the ITV2 series in Britain, the prize (and the option to betray your match) won't actually be mentioned all that much. The actual content of the show is more about the Islanders and the relationships they form at the villa, as well as the newcomers that stir things up and how they are received by the group. The drama between couples isn't about figuring out if someone is just trying to take the money and run at the expense of someone else's feelings.
It's up to us — the viewers everywhere — to decide if the individual islanders/couples are being sincere, or sticking together in order to take a shot at cash prize. Sometimes, a couple stays together platonically to avoid getting kicked out of the villa, and those pairings can be just as fun to watch and support as the ones you're 'shipping.
So while the definition of "right reasons" is pretty clear on The Bachelor, there are multiple ways to "win" Love Island. You could leave the villa with the love of your life, a nice check, or both! Has your favorite couple already emerged? While there are surely plenty of surprises to come on Love Island, sometimes first impressions are the best. Who knows, the prize-winning duo may have already coupled up.