• "Love Island" is a British dating game show that premiered in June 2015.
• It has become an international franchise with 22 versions worldwide, and was ITV2's most-watched show in 2018.
• It has been associated with four suicides of individuals connected to the show.
• Many of its participants have become pseudo-celebrities, such as Olivia Jade Attwood, Jack Fincham, Kem Cetinay, Amber Gill, Tommy Fury, and Josh Goldstein.
• The third season of the US version of "Love Island" aired in July/August 2021 and was won by Korey Gandy and Olivia Kaiser, who later split due to Korey's lies and infidelity.
What is “Love Island”?
The British dating game show “Love Island” premiered in June 2015, and is a revival of the early 2000s celebrity series of the same name which aired for two seasons. The show’s narrator is Iain Stirling, and its host was Carolina Flack until she was suspended in 2019; she has since been replaced by Laura Whitmore.
“Love Island” has spawned 22 worldwide versions so far, becoming something of an international franchise. The show has had an undeniable impact on British pop culture; in 2018, it became ITV2’s most-watched show, and two years later was ranked the most-watched show amongst its target audience of 16 to 34-year-olds.
With that said, the dating show has attracted much controversy, as four individuals linked to it have committed suicide. Two of them were contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, who died by shortly after appearing on the show; Sophie’s boyfriend also committed suicide less than three weeks after her death. Just a year later, Caroline Flack also committed suicide after struggling with mental health issues. Understandably, these unfortunate incidents led to calls for the show’s cancellation.
The return of “Love Island” – with members of the public instead of celebrities – was confirmed in February 2015. Two months later, Caroline was announced as the show’s presenter, and “Love Island” made its big comeback with a special live episode. Some of the guests who entered the villa included Calum Best, the winner of the original series in 2005; guest appearances were also made by Mark Wright and other big names. Later on, Luis Morrison and Cally Jane Beech would become the first Islanders to have a baby together.
Plenty of Islanders have gone on to become pseudo-celebrities since leaving the show, regardless of them winning or not.
For example, the vivacious blonde glamour model Olivia Jade Attwood was a total newcomer in the TV industry before joining the third season of “Love Island”. Remaining in the villa for 44 episodes, she won over scores of fans, and went on to bigger and better things, from becoming a regular on “The Only Way is Essex” to getting her own spin-off series entitled “Olivia Meets Her Match”.
Olivia was born in London in May 1991, and is of British-Canadian heritage. She dated fellow Islander, Chris Hughes until 2018, and has been engaged to the British soccer player Bradley Dack since 2021. Bradley is a midfielder for Blackburn Rovers and signed his first professional contract in May 2012; unfortunately, a cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in early 2022 forced him and Olivia to postpone their wedding for the second time.
Other TV appearances of Olivia’s include cameos in “The Crystal Maze”, “Loose Women”, “The Real Housewives of Cheshire”, and “Tipping Point: Lucky Stars”.
Well on her way to boasting two million Instagram followers, the Londoner’s social media feed is a carefully curated mix of ‘outfit of the day’ posts, cute snaps with her fiancé, and brand endorsements. She and Bradley are proud dog parents who share many passions such as travelling, fine dining, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Next up is Jack Fincham, who was in the fourth season of “Love Island” for 57 episodes. Despite him and his girlfriend Dani Dyer being firm fan favorites and the season four winners, Jack was vilified for his actions upon welcoming a baby with another woman just nine months later. Prior to appearing in the show, he worked as a stationery sales manager in Kent, England, and is now an influencer and content creator.
Jack is a gym rat, animal lover, and luxury car fanatic who has no shortage of admirers. He has, however, been criticized many times for rarely acknowledging or posting about his daughter, Blossom. Disparaging online remarks have caused him to limit the comments on many of his Instagram posts, and he has lost around 200,000 followers since May 2021. Since winning “Love Island”, Jack has yet to be linked to any women.
Kem Cetinay is a presenter, businessman, and host who was born in April 1996, and won season three of “Love Island”. Since then, he’s made a name for himself in the reality TV landscape by competing in “Happy Hour with Olly Murs”, “I’m a Celebrity: Extra Camp”, and other shows. He was also a digital presenter for “Dancing on Ice”, and has dabbled in the world of music by releasing his own grime track.
Kem played in the annual Soccer Aid match at Stamford Bridge in June 2019, and is the co-founder of a restaurant in Essex that serves a rich variety of cuisine. Nevertheless, the keen entrepreneur and jack of all trades hasn’t been so fortunate when it comes to his personal life: in December 2017, he split from Amber Davis, whom he dated during his “Love Island” stint. His public image suffered another blow in August 2022, when he was involved in a collision in Hornchurch, East London, and the other party was pronounced dead at the scene.
Amber Gill was born in August 1997 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is a former beauty therapist who worked at her and her aunt’s family-run salon. In June 2019, she joined the fifth series of “Love Island”, and was coupled up with Anton Danyluk, Ovie Soko, Callum Macleod, and Michael Griffiths over the following weeks. However, she would go on to win with Greg O’Shea, who entered on the 44th day of the contest; the unlikely couple beat Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague in the final, although the latter duo was the bookies’ favorites.
Despite being initially unpopular, viewers of “Love Island” later recognized that they’d been too quick to judge Amber. She has since made guest appearances in “This Morning”, “Loose Women”, “Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two”, and many other series, and released a clothing line with Misspap.
Amber’s impressive TV career doesn’t stop there, as in April 2021 she was a “Celebrity Mastermind” contestant, and a mere two months later she and fellow Islander Kem Cetinay would be presenting the ITV2 show “The Full Treatment”. The series, which partnered with Campaign Against Living Miserably, saw the pair give celebrities makeovers, and discuss their mental health.
Later on, Mills & Boon asked Amber to judge a writing competition, as they were searching for stories from under-represented ethnic backgrounds. Later on, Amber was given the opportunity to write her own book, and readily agreed, having felt somewhat ignored in media herself. The book, “Until I Met You”, was released in July 2022, co-written with the romantic fiction author Nadine Gonzalez, and is set in Tobago. Amber is open to writing more books, while juggling her small-screen gigs.
RUNNERS UP 🥊
We are so proud of Tommy, thank you to each & everyone of you for all the support!
Tommy & Molly have won meeting eachother, we can’t wait to watch their journey on the outside💫
That’s it from us, next you’ll be hearing from Tommy ❤🌴 #TeamTommyFury #LoveIsland pic.twitter.com/kgdPW2wLxD
— Tommy Fury (@tommytntfury) July 29, 2019
Born in May 1999, Tommy Fury is the younger half-brother of the heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. His mother is of Mauritian descent, whereas his father comes from a line of Irish Travelers. He made his professional boxing debut in December 2018 at the Manchester Arena; some highlights of his fledging career include defeating Callum Ide with a first-round knockout just three months later.
Tommy took a break from the strenuous boxing world for nine months to try his hand at reality TV, but returned to the ring in December 2019, and scored a first-round technical knockout. His fourth straight win was recorded in November 2020, when he knocked Genadij Krajevskij out with an uppercut. His scheduled fight against Jake Paul, which received major online hype and coverage, was set for December 2021, but a broken rib and bacterial chest infection forced Tommy to pull out.
During a rough patch in their relationship, Molly Mae and Tommy discovered that they were going to be first-time parents. Since then, the boxer has thrown himself into his new responsibilities with aplomb, and the pair appear to be doing better than ever. Their combined millions of fans are eagerly keeping up with every step of their pregnancy journey, which Molly Mae makes sure to document regularly, after having hidden the news for months.
If the name ‘Josh Goldstein’ doesn’t ring many bells, it might be because he was in the third season of the US version of “Love Island”. After entering on Day One and leaving voluntarily on Day Thirty-One, Josh attracted many fans thanks to his toned physique and striking smile. The college athlete was born and raised in Haverhill, Massachusetts in September 1996, and shared a close relationship with his sister Lindsey.
The curly-haired Islander was paired up with Shannon St. Clair during his time in the villa, and the attractive duo struck up such a close bond that when he walked away from the show after Lindsey’s death, Shannon decided to leave with him. Neither of them could’ve imagined that their off-screen relationship would begin with such a tragic bereavement, but Shannon proved herself to be a supportive partner, and remained by Josh’s side during every tough moment of his mourning.
However, even good things come to an end, and Josh and Shannon broke thousands of hearts when they called it quits in June 2022, after dating for almost a year, but then Shannon decided to relocate to Florida, where Josh lived and worked as an online personal trainer. After spending a few weeks in her hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to support her sister following the birth of her niece, Shannon realized that she needed to move back home full-time to be closer to her family and pursue her dream of becoming a certified esthetician.
“We love this life we’ve built together, but sometimes timing is everything,” the pair wrote in a joint Instagram statement which has since been deleted. “From love to tragedy and everything in between, we have been by each other’s side with support, friendship, and the greatest love for each other that words cannot even begin to describe.”
Although fans of the “Love Island” alums held out hope for Josh and Shannon, it appeared that their favorite couple wouldn’t be getting back together anytime soon. That’s why they got the surprise of their lives when, in October 2022, Shannon uploaded a photo in which she and Josh could be seen sharing a passionate kiss in a luxurious hotel bathroom. It would seem that she regretted moving back to Philadelphia and is now living in Florida with her boyfriend once again; she has also launched her own online skincare brand, and is working with prestigious brands such as La Roche Posay and Abercrombie & Fitch.
The third season of “Love Island” US lasted 40 days, aired during July and August 2021. Despite Josh and Shannon being fan favorites, the show’s winners, Korey Gandy and Olivia Kaiser, haven’t done too badly for themselves either. Both are aged 28, with Korey being born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Olivia in Anchorage, Alaska.
The pair began seeing each other semi-seriously when the show ended, but Korey announced that they’d broken up in late 2021 after just three months of dating. “When we were on love island everything was perfect, and I can say that was honestly the happiest moment of my life,” he wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately that’s not real life, and in the real world we’re now faced with real world challenges. Some that we couldn’t overcome.”
Shockingly, the mysterious ‘real world challenges’ Korey alluded to turned out to be his lies and penchant for kissing other women. A few weeks later, Olivia told her side of the story in a podcast, and confirmed the rumors that Korey had hooked up with fellow Islander Florita Diaz before the cast reunion in Thanksgiving 2021 – and that he “distanced himself from her, and lied about connecting with Florita.”
The Alaskan native also shared that although they had both said “I love you”, they never had a serious conversation about their relationship status. Olivia, however, holds no grudges, and remained in contact with Korey even after ending things.