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More and more young people are turning to competition shows for true love. Is ITV's 'Love Island' the perfect solution or just an attractive illusion?

Are the couples on ITV’s ‘Love Island’ real or made up for views?

Love. Everyone wants it, but it’s so hard to find. You’d think living in the digital age of dating apps like Tinder & Bumble would make it easier. Instead, it’s only given us more ways to be left on read. ITV’s Love Island was supposed to be the salvation of the eternally single.

Instead, it might be another empty promise of finding ‘the one.’ The hit UK show promises a £50,000 prize for the last couple standing. Somehow, this might’ve led to the creation of inauthentic relationships. Shocking, right? No one could’ve seen this coming, said no one ever.

ITV’s Love Island might not have been what fans hoped, but it inspired similar shows as well as an entire franchise. It’s now competing against fan favorites like Love in the Jungle & FBoy Island. Has the reality show resorted to making it all up for clout or is the love found on this island still the real deal?


In 2005, Celebrity Love Island sought to bring together some of Britain’s finest in a search for love & money. In its second season, it dropped the word celebrity and became Love Island. Then it was dropped altogether due to embarrassingly low viewership numbers.

In 2015, ITV brought Love Island back but this time with regular people instead of famous faves. It shocked the world when it became an almost overnight sensation. Something about real people trying to win each other’s hearts just did it for people and the show gained massive popularity.

The new show’s hosts include the gorgeous Caroline Flack, Laura Whitmore, and Maya Jama. It was the only change to the show outside of the contestants themselves. However, it made a difference and the show has gone on to enjoy eight chaotic seasons and even more spin-offs.

Dark side

Love Island is easily the most popular show on ITV. While its ratings only go up, that may be due more to the controversy than the show itself. When you lump a bunch of horny people in one place and promise them money for love, things are bound to be wacky.

There’s wacky, though, and then there’s whatever tf happens on this island. Contestants have fallen victim to revenge porn. They get up to dirty deeds at the moment only to be later exposed due to pettiness and death threats. Believe it or not, things get even more intense after contestants leave.

For an ITV show about love, Love Island has been plagued with contestants committing suicide. No one knows why at least four people have died from self-inflicted wounds. Was it the pressure? Were they being harassed? Even host Caroline Flack sadly took her own life.

Money & run

Tragedy aside, fans have really started to question just how real the love is between the winners. Sure, the contestants are hot, look great in mood lighting, and say all the right things to each other. Is this sincere or are they playing it up for the cameras and – more importantly – the judges?

While ITV has probably tried to stop this speculation, even Love Island can’t force what just isn’t there. Winning couples breaking up soon after their checks clear definitely doesn’t help. Just because celebrities no longer compete doesn’t mean there are no actors on the island.

Recently, Gemma Owen & Luca Bish called it quits only four months after walking away with the grand prize. Owen revealed the split on Instagram by posting “It wasn’t an easy decision but this ultimately is what is best for us both right now.” Bish followed up with his own post with a request “to process this privately.”

For the applause

Love Island isn’t the only ITV source of controversy. In 2021, Ant of Ant & Dec went from former Britain’s Got Talent host to being charged with drunk driving. Even ITV has recently been accused of cheating its viewers with a phone-in charity scandal.

No one expects reality shows to be a genuine reflection of society, especially when money’s involved. Honestly, fans would rather have drama anyway. It’s what makes shows like the Real Housewives series so popular. People live to watch real people fall apart.

People like watching attractive people fall in love quickly while knowing it probably won’t last. It’s like watching a trainwreck in real time only with more bikinis & make-out sessions. Who cares if any of it is for real or just for the ratings? Just keep the spectacle going, ITV, and Love Island will never end.

Do you think Love Island is really bringing people together? Do you think it’s all a ruse for the cameras? Or do you just not care at all? Let us know your real thoughts in the comments below!

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