From increased brand sponsorships to more diverse contestants and even international spin-offs, the legendary British reality TV show Love Island has come a long way since its inception in 2005.
In case you weren’t aware, Love Island is a reality TV show where contestants gather on a remote island in Mallorca, Spain, hoping to find love.
In the show, contestants participate in a series of challenges to win special privileges and compete to secure a significant cash prize at the end of the season.
Throughout the series, contestants have to work hard to win the hearts of the public as well as viewers can also vote on who stays, leaves, or returns to the island.
Love Island UK has recently received some flak for handling certain aspects of the shows.
For example, several of the series’ contestants have committed suicide following bouts of cyberbullying on social media and criticism from being on the show.
Since then, Love Island has made several improvements and changes to protect its contestants and respond to socio-economic trends.
The changes will hopefully trickle down to other editions of the show in various countries.
Here’s the low down on some of the significant changes we’ve already seen in the 2022 edition of Love Island UK.
This post may contain spoilers about the current Love Island UK season.
Initially, the show was filmed in a villa near Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, which was reportedly unavailable for this season.
Instead, contestants will find themselves in a new Casa Amor villa with a more oversized communal bedroom, makeup room, and wardrobe.
The iconic fireplace has also been constructed for all the major dramatic events to unfold.
Viewers can also expect to see contestants hanging out in various different parts of the villa because it’s much bigger and was designed to include multiple hangout spots for chats.
Responding to criticism, Love Island UK has decided to remove the food challenge, a regular fixture of the series both in the UK and in its international editions.
Many Love Island fans on Reddit agreed that the food challenge contributed to a lot of food wastage and was disgusted to watch contestants spit food into each other’s mouths.
Executive producer Mike Spencer said it would remove the challenge as the series enters its eighth year on TV.
This season, the ITV2 show will feature its first deaf contestant, Tasha Ghouri.
While Ghouri doesn’t have an interpreter or additional assistance to help her with her experience, she has cochlear implants that provide her a sensation of hearing while on the show.
Ghouri has also said that if she wins the show, she wants to donate the £50,000 prize money to charity.
In the past, Hugo Hammond, a contestant with a condition known as clubfoot, was the first participant on the show with a physical disability.
For its inclusion of Ghouri, Love Island has been praised by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.
To continue its sustainability efforts, Love Island UK announced it’s partnering with eBay UK to dress contestants in pre-loved clothes this season.
In previous years, the show was sponsored by fast fashion brands such as I Saw It First and Missguided.
While the contestants looked amazing, fans were concerned that the show was promoting waste and the need for fast fashion.
This year, head stylist Amy Bannerman and wardrobe assistant Phoebe Schurings have allocated a wardrobe of pre-loved and high-fashion outfits for all contestants to pick and style themselves.
To make the Island a safe, more inclusive, and welcoming place for all residents, the producers offer video training on inclusive language around sexuality, race, and disability to all contestants before they enter the villa.
The training will be provided by Leon Mann of the Black Collective of Media in Sport and several other inclusivity and diversity experts.
This comes after the series has been criticized multiple times for how previous contestants spoke about marginalized and ethnic groups.
Besides these types of training, ITV2 has mentioned it’ll provide comprehensive psychological support, training for all Islanders on financial management, and guidance and advice on taking on management after the show.
ITV2 has also stated it would review and evolve these extended duties of care protocols every year in line with the increasing level of social media and media attention each Islander gets.
The brand new Love Island UK season has already started, and there’s enough drama to go around.
For starters, the latest trailer had already shocked viewers when it was revealed that Dami Hope and Andrew Le Page, both already coupled up, were seen kissing new girls who entered the villa.
Love Island is on every night at 9 pm on ITV2 except on Saturdays.