Love is in the air this summer thanks to new reality series Love Island.
Like The Bachelor and its many spinoffs, the U.K.-based reality series — now in its fifth season — is responsible for creating viral TV stars out of the show’s success stories. Some have gotten married and had children, while others have had huge public breakups and breakdowns that have dominated British tabloid culture. The dating sensation has finally made its way across the pond this summer as a North American version of the show premiered this week with 11 sexy singles moving into a dazzling villa in Fiji, welcoming an unforgettable summer vacation and the opportunity to find love.
Paul Knops and Charlie Brake, two stars of Love Island U.K.’s fourth season, spoke with Postmedia Network to breakdown what Canadian fans can expect from the binge-worthy summer series, which airs each weeknight on CTV.
“It’s followed by success. In the U.K., it’s the biggest TV show and from that, Australia, Sweden and loads of others have done one and they’ve all been a success. From that, it’s almost a given that they’d take it to America,” Knops said.
“I think the entire experience is very surreal. It’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience to be in that environment and the aftermath is nuts.”
Charlie, who tuned in to watch the drama unfold on Tuesday’s premiere, believes relationships have the opportunity to blossom inside the confines of the isolated villa. But with new arrivals entering the holiday home each week, it’s currently too early to tell which initial relationships have what it takes to make it to the end as the viewers’ favourite couple (to win the coveted cash prize) and whose heads will be turned by tempting newcomers.
“Of course being on the show in the U.K., it’s nice to see the similarities. People’s eyes are starting to wander and people might be having connections with people that they thought they might not in the first place. But you almost can’t believe what you see or hear when someone says they really like a certain type of person in there. It changes day-to-day rapidly,” Brake explained.
Tuesday’s premiere episode already brought awkward tension and a bit of drama as the men and women chose their inaugural partners off of instant attraction. Los Angeles-based marketing student Caro Viehweg made waves when she stepped forward for multiple men, proving she was already over her primary partner Cashel Barnett before they even had their first conversation.
“The initial coupling was actually slightly uncomfortable to watch,” Paul laughed. “The girl Caro, she not only didn’t pick the guy she coupled with, but also stepped forward twice. But it makes good TV. It kind of goes to show that the initial coupling doesn’t really mean anything. It goes off of initial attraction, but once you start talking to someone — that goes out the window. It’s kind of the same for all of them.”
As Paul and Charlie both entered the villa in their season as fresh meat with the series well underway, they’re already anticipating that bonds will be broken and new faces will add unpredictable chemistry that will suck viewers in as they begin to invest in the relationships they’ll be able to witness evolve on the small screen each night.
“Being a bombshell, a lot of people are already coupled up. The only advice I can give them is to leave no stone unturned and say what you want to say. Think aggressive dating tactics. You have to go in and say what you think and say what you feel. Be real,” Brake said.
Love Island airs five nights a week on CBS and CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app until the finale Aug. 7.
Love Island Aftersun, which recaps the biggest and best moments from the past week’s five episodes of Love Island, airs Saturdays at 8 p.m. on CTV, CTV.ca, the CTV app, and E! with hosts Lainey Lui and Danielle Graham.