Former Love Island cast member Olivia Attwood said contestants don't go on the show to find a relationship. The top-rated British reality dating competition follows young singles as they attempt to find love - or so viewers thought. However, according to Attwood, the "Islanders," which is what the show refers to contestants as, aren't there to meet their soulmate.
Love Island, hosted by English TV personality Caroline Flack, premiered in 2016 and airs six nights a week on ITV2. Islanders "couple up" upon arrival at a villa in Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain. That's where the Islanders live, date, and even share beds together for nearly two months. When a new batch of singles arrives every few days, relationships are tested and often don't survive. Viewers follow along live, voting for who they'd like to stay on the island. In the end, the winning couple gets $50,000. The success rate for the couples on the show isn't great, which may be why Attwood recently said that nobody goes on the show to find love.
Attwood admitted to Heatworld (via: Digital Spy) that no one - not even herself - is going on the show to find a serious relationship, but rather for "the experience" of it all. She said, "I don't think anyone ever goes on Love Island for love. Anyone who tries to claim they do is weird; it's just like embarrassing." She went on to explain that Love Island is not necessarily the easiest place to find love, adding "I went on for the experience, not thinking I was going to meet my husband. Now, when people go in, they know what's up for grabs," referring to the fame the show brings contestants.
While Attwood didn't meet her future husband on the show, she did start a serious relationship with fellow cast member Chris Hughes. The two finished in third place and continued to see each other after leaving the island. They even had their own short-lived reality TV spinoff, Chris and Olivia: Crackin' On, which ended along with their relationship. Despite the two getting very close on the island, Attwood, who was most recently seen on the latest series of The Only Way is Essex, doesn't see her connection with Hughes as being the highlight of her time on the show. She said, "I try to remember my good memories."
Love Island will be coming to the U.S. this summer, which will be premiering July 9 on CBS and airing five nights a week. The American edition will not be as controversial as the U.K. version, which has been known to show explicit sexual content, but the network promises it'll be just as interesting.
As for Attwood, she may be right about the contestants on Love Island not being there for love, especially given the lack of chemistry fans have observed between the current cast members this season. Fans will have to keep watching to see if there are any genuine connections going forward, and the US version will hopefully have better luck finding contestants who are actually looking for something genuine.
The US version of Love Island premieres on July 9 at 9pm EST on CBS.