Love Island caused a great deal of controversy when it came out, and five series later it has moved on from being every viewer’s guilty pleasure to something that fills up everyone’s social media timelines. Love Island this year might have appeared to be the same – the attractive contestants, the large luxury villa, even down to the personalised water bottles. However, it was full of deception and shifted from the programme we were first introduced to.
One of the best things to have come out of this year’s series was the relationship between Amber and Greg. They were the underdogs that stole the nation’s hearts and ended up winning the show. After everything Amber was put through on the show, I really believed she deserved to win and was happy with the outcome. To begin with, everyone thought Amber was brash and harsh, but as the show progressed and we saw her softer side, the couple became the nation’s sweethearts. However, in the last week it was rumoured that Greg had broken up with Amber over text – this kind of behaviour is not what I would have expected to come from him, and the news shocked everyone that rooted for the couple’s success.
This year‘s series left me disappointed. There wasn’t as much drama, hardly any arguments and barely any challenges were featured on the main show – instead they were on one of Love Island’s many spin off shows Aftersun. I understand that they’ve got an increasingly large following and having multiple shows is a way to capture the audience and maximise profit, but it’s annoying. Why can’t all of the drama and entertaining scenes we combined into one show, rather than being split up?
In addition to the multiple spin off shows, a lot of content was not featured in the main series. There was lack of sex scenes, the contestants smoking had been cut, and almost every contestant appeared to have agency representation. Only six of 2019’s contestant actually applied to be on the show – everyone else was scouted. Clearly, Love Island has become less about finding love, and more about building an influencer career. Molly-Mae Hague entered the villa as a social media influencer from the start, having her number of Instagram followers increase by 758 percent. She has also secured herself the largest fashion collaboration deal with Pretty Little thing. Not far behind her, Maura Higgins has also collaborated with the fashion brand Boohoo and has released her own label.
Perhaps this shift in the focus of the show reflects the attitudes we hold within society; we hold fame above love and romance, and every action we make is questioned. Our scepticism highlights that our society has shifted to become more deceitful and manipulative in order to obtain our desired outcome. Our current political climate is full of deceit and scheming – it’s no surprise that the same behaviour is being seen within reality shows such as Love Island.