Winter Love Island secrets: How the producers make the show as dramatic as possible

They get treated to McDonald’s once a week

There’s a lot of conspiracy around how staged Love Island is and how much the producers influence what the Islanders say and do. Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen from season two told Heat World that the show appears a lot more set up and that the producers seem much more involved compared to their experience on the series.

Even though the Love Island team insist the show isn’t scripted whatsoever, they are open about the rules and regulations in place to ensure they get the best out of each day of filming. They make changes every year but these are the up-to-date filming secrets of winter Love Island.

The villa is surrounded by armed guards 24/7

According to Glamour magazine, the Cape Town villa is constantly patrolled by armed guards. This is a safety precaution following a gang shooting that happened near the area.

Anyone who enters the villa has to sterilize their hands first

This is likely to be to prevent illnesses from spreading. A group of people frequently getting close, in a small-ish villa for eight weeks would turn into a shit show if even a common cold started spreading. The show would just be a bunch of snotty youths in bed.

The hideaway has a double shower and a cupboard where producers leave treats

Apparently the “treat cupboard” is new for this year. It’s where the producers leave champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for any of the visiting Islanders. There’s also a double shower which is fun.

The bathrooms are stocked full of beauty products

The bathrooms are full of beauty products for both the boys and girls. We’re talking face masks, hair products, moisturisers, the lot.

On Saturdays, the cast get a day off to go to the beach

Speaking on This Morning, Kem Cetinay, from season three, revealed that producers take the cast out of the compound to the beach for a few hours each week. “What happens is it gives them a day to clean the villa and you take your mics off and normally we go to the beach and we just chill out. Not a lot of people know this. What happens is when you take your mics off, you’re not allowed to talk about anything to do with the show.

“You’ve got to talk about home life. You’re being watched by the producers because they don’t want you to talk about what’s going on. You can all sit and chat but they are quite careful about what you talk about because they want to keep it so everyone at home can see and get it on video. It’s more a day off from all the intense games, all the intense dates, deciding who you like and don’t like.”

However, ex-islander Amy Hart contradicted Cetinay’s statement after leaving the villa last summer, revealing to OK! magazine: “We never really had days off. We’re always being filmed, always mic-ed up.” So maybe the day-off rule was changed last year to ensure the producers didn’t miss any good gossip.

The producers insist it isn’t scripted

The producers are clear on the fact the show isn’t scripted. They said: “The beauty of the format is that it allows us to do what we want. We follow the way the stories lead, we don’t go in with a master plan. The beauty is that we can be reactive and flexible so we follow where the Islanders lead us.”

Laura Whitmore flies to South Africa for the show, and back to England for After Sun

In previous years, it was easier for Caroline Flack to go between the Mallorca villa and the After Sun London studio. However, now when Laura goes into the villa she needs to plan in an eight-hour flight and then return back to London for After Sun.

The crew consists of hundreds of people

The team working on the show is in the hundreds. There’s a camera team filming all the dates and the glamour and slo-mo shots. Then you have the challenge team, who come up with, build and curate the tasks. There’s the inside villa film crew, and another which looks after the villa, and the edit team – each has both day and night. The gallery has directors and runners, and there’s the sound team, plus execs, transport, catering, cabling, me.

Cleaners come in once a week to change the sheets

Every week, cleaners come in to tidy the villa and change the bedsheets. The villa always looks fairly clean so maybe the Islanders get asked to clean up after themselves during the week.

The Islanders are only allowed two drinks a night

Unlike the first few series where the Islanders were overloaded with booze every night, now the alcohol consumption is constantly monitored. In an interview, Iain Stirling described the villa as “basically a booze-free zone”. Each islander is only allowed two drinks a night, not even enough to feel tipsy.

At the beginning, the producers make guesses on who will couple up

When a new series starts and the producers first meet the Islanders, apparently they sit down and make bets on who they think will couple up and make it to the end. They’ve never got any of them right.

They offer extensive psychological support for the Islanders

The show has got and continues to get a significant amount of comments on the support they offer the Islanders and the negative affects this show could have on their mental health. As a result of this, the show continues to rethink the psychological support they offer the Islanders.

The key changes this year include – more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, training for all Islanders on social media and financial management and a proactive aftercare package which extends support to all Islanders following their participation.

Lunch and dinner are cooked for them every day

A catering station is set up in the grounds of the villa with chefs on hand to make food for the production team and the Islanders. Apparently they’re made a variety of salads, barbecued meats and local wines. An ex-islander also said they got dessert after every meal and can request food.

As we see every morning on the show, the cast cook their own breakfast. They don’t show the Islanders eating because with the HD mics it sounds like “someone walking through mud”.

They get treated to McDonald’s once a week

In the summer series, viewers noticed a McFlurry in the fridge when Ovie was making food. Speaking to Heat Magazine about the mysterious ice cream, Belle Hassan said: “Yeah, we needed that. We really did”. Anton Danyluk then added: “I think it was about once a week we were getting them. I had a few chicken nuggets here and there.”

There are 80 cameras all around the villa

This year’s villa has the most built-in cameras in the history of Love Island. There are 80 cameras dotted around the villa, which makes sense as the Cape Town villa has far more nooks and crannies. They are mostly hidden in the hope that the contestants will forget they are being filmed.

They also have cameras in the toilets

A lot of viewers have questioned whether they put cameras in the toilet and if this is the one place in the villa they’re free from being monitored. But, yes there are cameras in the toilet just in case but the footage isn’t monitored. They have it for health and safety reasons.

The Islanders are offered beauty treatments

Two years ago, people quickly noticed Dani Dyer’s hair after she returned on screen with freshly died brown hair. This sparked questions regarding whether they Islanders receive beauty treatments. The answer is they do – someone comes in and offers waxing, fake tanning, hair cuts and sometimes they get their nails or hair done ahead of the final.

They get paid a weekly allowance

The Islanders do get paid to be on the show but it’s not much. A source told The Sun: “All the Islanders are getting £200-a-week to be on the show. If you break it down to how many hours they’re filming every day it’s absolutely nothing!” According to The Daily Star, 2019’s Islanders will receive £250 per week to appear on the show. Not great but also not bad for eight weeks of free food, free sun and free love.

There are rules in place when it comes to having sex in the villa

In 2018, a new set of sex rules were laid down ahead of the launch. There is a ban on full nudity and restrictions in place should an Islander engage in sex with someone who is drunk. Islanders are also made to take full STI checks before entering the villa. There’s also a councillor on set at all times should the contestants ever want to talk.

Apparently, there’s also a ban on masturbation, but when asked Iain Stirling said that he would assume it was allowed, but that “they’re asked to follow the normal masturbation rules: not in front of people. Not in communal places”.

There are 200 Love Island branded condoms in the villa

They’re all around the house in baskets and are replenished as they get used.

Producers wake the Islanders up in the morning

They can’t just sleep in. In fact, if they don’t get to sleep until late and want to have a lie-in, the producers “ban Islanders from sleeping past 9:30am and wake them up through speakers”. Even if you try and go for a nap the producers will stop you and tell you to go make chat because “we’re trying to film a TV show”.

They’re not allowed to know the time

There are no clocks in the villa. This is shocking and enough to drive anyone crazy. Not really sure what the benefit is for doing this but ex-Islander Zara McDermott told Cosmopolitan that, “the smoking area was in the shade when we woke up, we knew it was before 7am, so we started figuring out timings”.

The producers are so determined to prevent the Islanders knowing the time that they make the times on the phones incorrect. How strange.

Reading materials are banned

An eight week holiday and no one’s allowed to read a single book. An ex-islander said, “it sounds so bizarre to say that being in the sunshine in this £10m villa surrounded by good looking guys and girls just getting a tan could get boring, but it really does”. Books, internet, and televisions are banned on the show – this is likely to be another tactic to push Islanders to talk as much as possible.

Challenges are filmed numerous times

You know that whole slow-motion running montage and the excited clapping? It’s all fake and has probably been filmed three times. Zara admitted that “most of the time, the challenges are really boring.” She continued, “You have to run out on the stage and bring loads of energy, but in reality, it’s like 4pm, you’re really hot and sometimes it’s the last thing you want to be doing. It’s tiring”.

Contestants are banned from meeting before the first episode

To ensure authentic reactions and relationships between the Islanders, they’re banned from meeting before the first episode.

A week before filming begins, the Islanders are on “lockdown”. This is when they’re living in close proximity for a week before the first filming day but are under strict observation to ensure they don’t bump into each other. Everyone had different slots at the gym, for grabbing a coffee and there’s a half-hour buffer between each person.

Evicted Islanders don’t receive their phone until they’ve filmed ITV’s Aftersun

After an islander has been evicted from the show, they are contractually obliged to appear on ITV’s Sunday night follow-up programme Aftersun. In the hours between them leaving Love Island and appearing on Aftersun, their phones are kept with the Love Island producers so as not to influence ex-Islanders’ perceptions of the show from outsiders.

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