Two thirds of this year’s Love Island stars were found by the show’s casting team, with only six of the contestants picked through general application, it has been revealed.
In total, some 36 islanders appeared on the fifth series of the hit ITV2 reality series, won on Monday by Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea.
It has now emerged that 24 were found by Love Island‘s casting team and six were put forward by professional agents, leaving just six who made it through using the show’s general application process.
Details of which stars were contacted by the show, which is set in a luxury villa in Majorca, have not been revealed.
MPs on the digital, culture, media and sport committee investigating reality TV, following the suicides of two former Love Island contestants and the death of a man who had filmed for The Jeremy Kyle Show, had asked for the figures.
In written evidence, ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said: “On series five of Love Island to date (15 July), there have been 36 contributors.
“Twenty-four were found and cast by the programme’s casting team, six were put forward by professional agents and six came through the general application process.”
O’Shea was one of three islanders who entered the villa on 15 July, the last “bombshells” to join the series.
A number of contestants already had professional representation before they entered the villa.
Curtis Pritchard, the brother of Strictly Come Dancing star AJ Pritchard, is a professional on the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, while Tommy Fury, brother of Tyson Fury, is also a boxer.
And Molly-Mae Hague, who came in second place with Tommy, already had a significant following on Instagram and worked as an influencer before her time on the show.
A stint as a participant guarantees a boost in social media numbers, especially for the most popular contestants and those who remain on the two-month show for a significant period.
Molly-Mae’s Instagram following currently stands at 2.5 million, while Tommy has 2.2 million.
Dame Carolyn has previously told MPs ITV gets about 98,000 applications for Love Island and has denied that casting directors are given instructions about physical appearance when searching for contestants.
She said: “There’s a very rigorous application and casting process.
“We get about 98,000 applications for Love Island, they then take that down to about 90 to 100 as soon as they get a call back – at that stage they go through medical questionnaires, psychological questionnaires, assessments, that then goes down to about 30 or 40 who get selected to appear on Love Island.
“It’s a very rigorous process of screening that goes on before they actually get on to Love Island.”
This year’s series has proved a huge hit for ITV, with a record 3.63 million people tuning in for the final.
Earlier this month, the broadcaster announced it would be launching a second winter series, set in South Africa, in 2020.
courtesy of Sky News