A brief history of Love Island cast members saying they got no opportunities after the show
One Islander called it ‘demoralising’ when not a single brand approached them for a deal
After Love Island, we expect Islanders to be inundated with brand deals and get whisked into a whole new career of opportunities to make bucket loads of cash. But for some, that simply isn’t the case. Some end up humbly going back to their day jobs, without a single kiss at fame.
Look, not all Islanders go on Love Island expecting fame and fortune. But you’d be silly to think now that people are applying to the show with the genuine hope of finding love with no other motives. Islanders have gone on to be millionaires, and others like serial Islander Adam Collard even admitted to seeing Molly-Mae’s success after his season and then going back on the show because he wanted “a piece” of that himself.
But what about those who the opportunities don’t present themselves to? Here are all the Islanders who have said the brand deal machine hasn’t worked in their favour.
Kai and Sanam
Winter 2023 winners Kai and Sanam very openly spoke about not getting offered work after the show, in a recent video. They said compared to previous winners, they feel they’ve been offered little opportunities.
“People have asked us, ‘why did you never get daytime TV when you came out the villa’,” Kai began in the clip. “‘Why did you never do photoshoots in the tabloids?’ And the answer is we don’t know. We have no answer to that. We don’t really know why all previous Love Island winners before us, and after us, got opportunities.
“There’s no justification for it. I feel like since we’ve come out the villa all we’ve done is spend time with each other.” Sanam added that since the show they’ve focused on finding and building a home together, which Kai added has been “the most important thing to us.”
Kai explained they didn’t go on the show and “expect” any opportunities and they instead went on to find love which they said they have. “We’re really happy with that,” he said. “The things that come with it – maybe we weren’t what they wanted. Not what they wanted Love Island winners to be, because we don’t cause drama…we don’t do certain things other Love Island winners do. Maybe that’s your answer, maybe it’s something else.”
Coco Lodge, who was a Casa Amor Islander during Love Island 2022, said after the show she had quickly returned to her day job as she was “skint” and didn’t get any work off the back of her appearance. Speaking on Channel 4 documentary Life After Love Island, she said she’d hoped to have two million followers after the show in “the perfect scenario”.
“But I came out with 30k followers,” she said. “I just didn’t really understand, because I was like, ‘why does everyone hate me?’ You don’t go in there to find love. It’s a bonus if you do, but you go in there because you know what you can get after.”
Speaking on the Reality with Will Njobvu podcast straight after the show, Coco had said she would “look out for new opportunities after Love Island” but then said she was heading back to working as a shot girl the next week.
Speaking on a podcast, Coco added she doesn’t even know why boys would think to apply to Love Island and expect brand deals. “They don’t get work,” she said. “It’s nothing to do with them as people, it’s just different for a guy and a girl in the influencing world.”
“I went on for the money,” she admitted. “If I could find love it would be a bonus.”
2022 Islander Ikenna Ekwonna has always been really open with the lack of opportunities he had after Love Island. He also went on Channel 4 documentary Life After Love Island and spoke about it candidly, and even said he made considerably more money before he appeared on the show.
He had been a pharmaceutical sales rep before quitting his job and going to the villa, but has now said he had wished for more career-wise from Love Island. He said the money he made through content and advertising in his first three months after appearing on the show amounted to between £3,000 and £4,000. He said this was “less than half than what he was earning” before.
Ikenna described it as “demoralising” when he wasn’t approached by any companies at all for brand deals, and added: “You come out thinking, ‘Oh, it’s Love Island. Everyone after Love Island is set’. And coming out of it, you’re like, ‘Where is it?’”
Despite winning the second series of Love Island, Nathan Massey said he and his now wife Cara were told by management that “nobody wanted to pursue them anymore” after the show.
Speaking on his podcast, Learning As I Go, Nathan said he was back to his day job six months after the show. He added: “When I won Love Island, standing up there with Caroline and Cara and when she said them words, I thought ‘that’s it, I never have to go back on a building site ever again’, but how wrong I was.”
He said he later won best male personality at the National Television Awards, but months later his agent told him “nobody wants to pursue you guys any more” which he said “hurt” and left him feeling “ashamed”.
Whilst not talking directly about a lack of opportunities for himself, Brett spoke to The Tab about how the show is becoming less and less of a ticket to fame and fortune as the series go on.
“It was a great and fun opportunity, and you often think of what it might be like to come home to a million followers,” Brett said. But, he said many of the new influencers coming from the show now “treat their followers like customers, rather than like a community, and I think the followers are becoming bored of it and see straight through people doing lots of ads now. It’s also pretty unoriginal, many Islanders lack creativity and originality.”
He said Islanders are facing a lack of opportunity because this means the investment from brands doesn’t always pay off, financially. “It’s expensive and fast fashion brands now need to be very strategic with money as many of them will be facing financial problems,” Brett explained.
“There was lots of talk [when he was in the villa] about people who had very stable jobs and even mortgages and how they were adamant on going full time into social media,” he said. “I know it was always the plans for some contestants I was close with from my year, they did the whole thing in order to become an influencer within their profession. Which I actually find really frustrating.”
For all the latest Love Island news and gossip and for the best memes and quizzes, like The Holy Church of Love Island on Facebook.