We’re now well into Love Island 2021 and it’s safe to say the nation is fully invested, with fans tuning it in at 9 p.m. each night to find out what this year’s contestants have been up to.
With 14 islanders currently staying in the Mallorcan villa, including newcomers AJ Bunker and Danny Bibby, there is so much drama to follow onscreen – but what about offscreen?
While ex-islander Laura Anderson recently revealed there is a secret door in the villa’s pantry, RadioTimes.com spoke with former winners Jess Hayes, Jack Fincham, Paige Turley and Finn Tapp to learn all the secrets of the villa.
Islanders sometimes have to rehearse conversations for cameras
As genuine as many Islander talkings may sound, some of the dramatic talk that has unfolded on our screens has already taken place once before, according to Series Four winner Jack Fincham.
“If I had a conversation with someone, but a camera didn’t catch it and only caught the end of it, they have to catch that part or the viewer doesn’t know what’s going on”, did he declare. RadioTimes.com.
“There are no fakes out there, nothing is fake, everything is real. But sometimes you might need to have a conversation you’ve had before for it to be meaningful to the viewer.
“It’s the same conversation, just so they can show it to everyone so the viewer doesn’t say, ‘Wait a minute, I thought he didn’t like it? Or when did they become friends? That’s all to make sense.
Phones do not work
Islanders are frequently spotted taking selfies and receiving text messages from producers with their smartphones issued by the show, but that’s about all they can do.
“I thought we had them constantly and I could just sit there texting my friends like, ‘Ah, you know what, she’s adorable, she is. “I didn’t know they were just used to challenges and stuff like that,” Jack says.
There is no clock in the villa
It’s a well-known fact that the Love Island Villa is completely free of any timing devices – which recent winners Paige Turley and Finn Tapp can attest to.
“We never knew the time there,” said Paige. RadioTimes.com. “We tried to calculate the weather by the sun, but I don’t think we’ve ever been so good.”
Islanders in 2020 found their way around the clock-less situation by spotting the digital time on the villa’s oven. “They were going to take it out of the oven but they left it on for about a week,” Finn says. “We timed it and we would roll our eyes and say, ‘The sun is here. I bet it’s around 11:43 a.m. ‘and apparently the producers were like,’ How do they get this to be so accurate? ‘ “
Islanders don’t sleep as much as you think
While it seems like Love Island’s contestants manage to catch their 40 winks (and if they don’t, it’s usually because they’re gearing up for something else right now) in on the show, they don’t have as much time in bed as viewers would have thought, according to Paige and Finn.
“Lack of sleep was like a big thing for me,” says Paige. “I feel like that’s all I’m complaining about. I felt like it was going to be like a vacation, but I think, just to make sure the stories made sense, you were actually filming a lot of the time.
Finn adds, “I mean, yeah, it was late at night – and because your emotions are heightened as they are, then you are tired as well.”
As for the amount of sleep they got, Paige says it lasted five minutes, with Finn stepping in, “Sleeping with Paige snoring, I got about five minutes.”
The cameras are really close and personal
As Love Island fans will understand, there are CCTV style cameras all around the villa so you don’t miss any of the ‘can I shoot you to chat’ actions – however, previous winners have revealed that they didn’t notice they were being filmed during dates.
“I mean, there were cameras everywhere so we kind of went about our daily business and I had no idea how full that would be,” said Jess Hayes, who won the first series of Love Island. . RadioTimes.com.
Meanwhile, Jack adds, “Obviously you had to set up cameras to do dates. You couldn’t just make a date and just hope for the best, so obviously I get it now. But the first time I had a date and there’s a camera there, I was so nervous. I was like, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to say?’
“Normally I can speak for England, but at this point I was a robot so I learned a lot about how sometimes cameras should be used.”
Islanders eat their meals off camera
While we can’t see it on the show, the Islanders actually eat all of their meals together off-camera. “We all ate together, it’s never in front of the camera,” says Jack. “We would all sit down and chat.”
Series Five’s Chris Taylor revealed in 2019 that while all talk on Love Island is banned, friendships and relationships thrive during this time off-screen.
“There is a lot of downtime, we have lunch, we have dinner. We are not allowed to talk about the show, but we can talk about whatever we want, ”he explained. “In these moments, there are a lot of flirtations going on. “
Love Island is no longer PG now
First-ever Love Island champion Jess Hayes, who won the 2015 edition alongside Max Morley, believes the show is more ‘toned down’ now than it originally was.
“They definitely made it very PG, more than when we were there,” she said. RadioTimes.com. “They were showing us smoking, it was a bit more what you see is what you get. They showed it all.
“Now it’s very toned down and I feel like people are playing a role now because they know how it all works. They’re almost already thinking about what they’re going to do and what it’s going to look like, ”she says.
The show banned smoking in the villa prior to the 2018 series, introducing an off-screen smoking area that can be used by only one islander at a time.