Everything You Need To Know About New Dating Show Love Island

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If you have a phone, access to the internet, or even just eyes in your head, you’ll have seen advertisements for a new show that’s on its way to CBS this July. The US version of British dating show Love Island is making its way across the Atlantic as we speak, and it’s not just any old dating contest — think Bachelor In Paradise meets Big Brother. Although we’re not British, we do have an Irish gal in the office who has been deeply invested in the UK version of the show for the last five years, so we’re in a pretty good position to fill you in on exactly what you can expect from CBS’s new reality show — and why it’s going to be a must watch.

So what’s it all about?


“How’s Love Island going to differ to every other dating show I’ve witnessed in my life?” is what you’re asking. Let us break it down for you.

The show typically begins with 10 contestants, who will become known as the Islanders, comprised of five men and five women. We’ll get the not-so-great part out of the way first — the couples tend to almost always be heterosexual, with an exception on season two when there was a same-sex female couple in the villa. It’s not a rule that the contestants can’t be part of the LGBTQ+ community, it just very rarely happens, unfortunately.

The 10 contestants enter a villa on a tropical island (hence the name), with the UK version taking place on the island of Mallorca and the US island planned to take place in Fiji. Once in the villa, either the boys or girls will have the first pick of which member of the opposite sex they would like to “couple up with” for the first week. So based on looks and a few words purely, either side will pick someone they will essentially have to talk to, complete tasks with, and sleep in the same bed with for a week, until the next re-coupling.

Over the course of eight weeks, both the gals and guys will take turns of controlling the re-coupling situation, which sounds pretty straight forward — until new people arrive in the villa. New contestants come in to shake things up, Islanders get tempted to stray from their original coupling, hearts get broken, and people get kicked off the Island. Every week, Islanders will compete in tasks that will either bring their couple closer together … or tear them apart. Then, contestants who aren’t picked to be in a couple are kicked off the Island, or viewers also have the chance to vote off couples they think are “least compatible.”

The aim of the game is to meet the love of your life and be the last couple standing by the time your eight exotic weeks come to an end. The winning couple then wins a huge sum of money (the UK prize money is £50,000).

BUT there’s a twist.

One member of the couple then gets to decide whether they want to split the money in the name of love or admit that it was all a game and keep the 50k for themselves. Savage.

What can we expect from the US version?


The US version of Love Island will air five nights a week, as opposed to the six nights in the UK, and will be hosted by comedian Arielle Vandenberg. If you’ve watched the original show, you’ll know that things can get a little raunchy at times. Couples often sleep together on the show, the contestants wear next to nothing 90% of the time (it is very hot), and fumbling under the sheets in the dark and hot and heavy sound effects aren’t too far and few between. So will we get such scathing behavior from the US contestants? Potentially — but it probably won’t be shown on air due to the differing broadcasting laws in the US versus the UK.

ITV executive and Love Island executive producer David Eilenberg told Entertainment Weekly that they want to stay true to the UK version, however, they do have to conform to the CBS broadcasting standards. So that means we probably won’t see the Islanders demonstrating their favorite sex positions in a challenge.

“We want to make sure the show is the show. It’s an aspirational, sexy, fun summer show. And the UK show has become less provocative and more broad appeal over time,” David said. “We have to conform to broadcast standards, so what happens with language and — to some extent — what we see visually will be a little different because of the platform we’re on.”

The show won’t only be about love, but friendships, too. Although lots of couples tend to stay together after they leave the villa (some have even married), its the friendships made that tend to withstand the test of time.

Love Island will air on CBS on July 9 at 8PM. One hour long episodes will continue every weeknight up until August 7. If you want to get a taste of the show, seasons 1-5 of the UK version are now available to stream on Hulu!

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