02 August 2019 | Abigail Duncan

If you weren’t one of the 3.8million people that watched the show on Monday I’m sure you’ve seen the fact that Love Island finished this week plastered across both social media and the news.

Following the most viewed final out of the five series, the hit reality show has been in the headlines for more than announcing the winners this week as it;s been revealed that only six out of the 36 contestants applied to be on the show.

If like me, you wondered why this year’s contestants happened to be friends with previous islanders or the brother of a famous dancer/boxer then this makes it clear why. It’s been reported that 24 were head-hunted by ITV’s casting team and another six were put forward by professional talent agencies.

This raises the question as to whether the show is becoming too staged and whether the show is simply a platform for people to enter stardom, rather than simply taking part to find love which is supposed to be the purpose of the show.

I’ve watched all five series and you can really see the difference in how the show has changed from the first couple of series.

Contestants from the original few seemed a lot more genuine and were a lot more ‘normal’, whereas the contestants now seem to have a huge social media following and celebrity links – making them unrealistic role models for people watching the show.

Not only that, the show as a whole seems a lot more staged with it being revealed the islanders are only allowed a limited amount of alcohol per day, are given clothes to wear and are not filmed smoking whereas, previously, the contestants used to wear their own clothes, got drunk and the smoking area was where a lot of conversations took place.

I can see why the alcohol has been limited and the smoking area has been cut, but this shows that only selective things are being filmed.

The 2019 series is the first time that a ‘social media influencer’ has been made a contestant with Molly-Mae coming in as a ‘bombshell’, which just serves to show how much the show has changed. A large social media following now seems to be a condition for people entering the villa, giving ‘normal’ people with a smaller following no chance of even being considered.

With a number of couples who have entered the villa choosing to become ‘official’ since leaving the villa, it raises the question as to whether they are simply doing so to keep the fame going and to remain in the public eye, as it’s been admitted by previous contestants they felt pressure to stay together after the show.

With none of the couples from last year’s show remaining together, it will be interesting to see if any of this year’s couples stand the test of time. But there are rumours that runners up and the only ‘official’ couple amongst the finalists, Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury have already split, raising the question as to whether the relationship was in fact staged from the off.

Let’s watch this space though, and see if any of the islanders were genuine or whether they chose to couple in to try and get to the final…or if they’ve even been pushed together for entertainment value by producers? Time will tell. But, I suspect, that time won’t be very long.

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