Love Island isn’t just a television show; it’s a way of life. Besides the fact that it’s one of the juiciest, most scandalous dating show formats the world has ever seen, this thing airs five nights a week! It’s truly a commitment, but it’s totally worth it. It’s not just a show where one eligible single seeks out a match…it’s much more complicated than that. Once you start watching, you’ll begin to catch onto all of the rules and twists. Here’s an explanation of how Love Island works to get you started.
‘Love Island’ kicks off by coupling up the contestants.
The show starts with 10 ludicrously attractive people (five girls, five guys) in swimsuits in a villa in Fiji. The five girls all stand in a line outside and watch as men come out one by one, not unlike sushi on a conveyor belt. If they like him, they step forward. If more than one girl steps forward for the guy, he gets to pick. Then BOOM. They are officially “coupled up.”
Everyone lives in one big villa.
Throughout the series, the contestants all stay in this giant villa that, despite being huge, only has two bedrooms because it’s obviously more fun that way. Well, for the viewers, that is. There are probably times when the sleeping arrangements are very frustrating for the contestants.
One bedroom is the hideaway, where certain lucky couples get to occasionally spend a romantic night together. The other bedroom is where the rest of the hoards of contestants sleep, with one bed per couple. Cue painful montages of dry humping.
New hotties enter the villa all season long.
More men and women are then added to the villa as the episodes continue throughout the season. There are also some fun and slightly cringey challenges thrown in, like a sexy dance. Or a kissing game. Or a topless “fireman rescue.” You get the gist.
You have to stay in a couple to stay on the show.
Then there are “coupling ceremonies,” where people can decide to either continue with or “uncouple” from their current partner. If you’re thinking this sounds like it’s from the Gwyneth Paltrow dictionary of breaking up, you’d be entirely right. With new hot people constantly going in and out of the villa, staying loyal to the same person can be tricky (see: last year’s “loyal” meme from the UK version).
A couple has to make it through to win.
In order to win Love Island, you have to be in a couple by the end of the series—which feels slightly like my nightmares where all my married friends ditch me.
Basically, you have to make it through the entire series without being dumped AND without being voted off. The audience can decide to vote off couples or individuals, depending on the episode. It gets particularly spicy when someone’s other half is voted off, which happened last year on the UK Love Island and resulted in two people intentionally leaving the villa last year to pursue their banished partner in the name of love (spoiler: it didn’t work).
The audience then votes for their favorite couple still left at the end.
We get to vote to keep our favorites in the running.
There’s an app! You can download the Love Island app to keep your favorite couple on and kick the ones that drive you nuts to the curb. It’s kind of nice to have all of this power, isn’t it? There’s a little tiny catch, though. You can only vote during designated voting times. If you’re paying attention to the show, you’ll know exactly when that is.
The couple wins cash.
If a couple wins Love Island, they get $ 100,000! But, they have to share it. If you ask me, that sounds a whole lot better than having to propose to someone you just met like it goes on some other dating shows.