Warning: This post contains spoilers for all seasons of Love Island (U.K.)
Summer is on the horizon, which means that Love Island (U.K.) is officially back. The 10th season of the reality TV hit debuted on the British Channel ITV on June 5—and will be made available to viewers in the U.S. on June 10.
Since premiering in 2015, Love Island (U.K.) has become a reality TV cornerstone. In the show, single people from all over the U.K. are brought together in a tropical villa to compete for love. Over eight weeks, they take on challenges and recouplings, deal with new additions to the cast (known as bombshells), and work through other curveballs that always keep things interesting. At the end, the winning couple—chosen by voting viewers—wins a 50,000 pound cash prize. Viewers are in for a treat with a side of British slang and aphorisms: contestants get “grafting” (romantically pursue one another) by pulling each other for chats with the hopes of “cracking on” (getting along) and having good “banter” (chat), but there’s always the chance they’ll get “pied” or “mugged off” (dumped).
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Over nine seasons so far, the series has given us hard to forget brawls, makeouts, love stories, breakups, and juicy twists that competitor shows like Bachelor In Paradise have tried to duplicate. For those looking for a refresher or a guide on where to begin with Love Island, here we consider all the romantic moments, fan-favorite islanders, and notable dramas, to rank every season.
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9. Season 4 (2018)
Season 4 had its fair share of entertainment: Adam Collard breaking the hearts of more than one woman; contestant Jack Fincham’s ex-girlfriend showing up to the villa; and fan-favorite Essex model Megan Barton Hanson pairing up with Wes Nelson. Fincham would go on to win the show with Dani Dyer (daughter of actor Danny Dyer) despite encountering several hurdles in their love story. While not the most memorable season, it does include the notable moment from contestant Hayley Hughes, who asked, “So Wales is in Cardiff?” (Cardiff is in fact the capital of Wales).
8. Season 9 (2023)
Winter seasons, in which contestants are brought to a windy Cape Town shortly after the summer seasons ends, are some of Love Island’s more lackluster seasons. Season 9 was filled with redundant and silly drama that got old quickly— like contestant Ron Hall not helping with cleaning dishes. The most memorable part of the season wasn’t the contestants, but rather the new host Maya Jama, who appeared to be the biggest bombshell of the villa. In the end, fan favorites and wholesome couple Kai Fagan and Sanam Harrinanan beat all odds taking the win home–the first time a Casa Amor person was a part of a winning couple.
7. Season 6 (2020)
Season 6 was filled with many firsts: the first Love Island winter season; the first time the show filmed in Cape Town; and the first time Laura Whitmore hosted the show. And there were several notable moments: an intense Casa Amor recoupling; runner ups Luke Trotman and Siânnise Fudge’s disney-inspired girlfriend proposal; and the inclusion of famous adjacent characters including singer Rochelle Humes’ half-sister Sophie Piper and singer Lewis Capaldi’s ex-girlfriend Paige Turley, a former Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist. The season proved the experiment can work: despite being dumped from their fellow islanders before the finale, three years later, Molly Smith and Callum Jones are reportedly still together.
6. Season 7 (2021)
A season of blow out arguments, makeups and unexpected couple pairs, Season 7 has a little bit of everything. There was fan favorite Chloe Burrows and her rocky relationship with Toby Aromolaran; feisty Faye Winter and her arguments with Teddy Soares; the friendship bond between Liberty Poole and Kaz Kamwi; and a heartbreaking breakup with Poole and her once boyfriend Jake Cornish. Millie Court and Liam Reardon went on to win the series after a rocky patch when Reardon kissed (or, in Love Island terms, “snogged”) another woman during a show twist. An all around entertaining season.
5. Season 3 (2017)
Season 3 introduced viewers to “Casa Amor,” a mid-season twist that has become a series staple. During the twist, at the midpoint of the season when couples are starting to feel settled in their pairs, the contestants are separated into different villas and introduced to a new set of singles to test their original relationships. This cast included a former rapper, dramatic recouplings, and a beautiful bromance between contestants Chris Hughes and Kem Cetinay. To make it even better, islander Camilla Thurlow, who was at first struggling to find a connection, hit it off with model Jamie Jewitt. They have since gotten married and had two children.
4. Season 1 (2015)
Though not as highly produced as the seasons that would follow, Season 1 built the foundation for what became a phenomenon. And its nostalgic vibe, filled with profanity and chain smoking, is something only a first season of a reality TV show can provide. Set in the summer location, Majorca, Spain, five couples launched ITV’s attempt at a spin-off from Celebrity Love Island, a show from 2005. There aren’t as many love stories in this season than in the ones that follow, but the finale includes a truly shocking proposal moment.
3. Season 8 (2022)
Season 8 was a breath of fresh air, coming amid criticism that Love Island had maybe run its course. The story arc and banter of Turkish actress Ekin Su Cülcüloğlu and “Italian Stallion” Davide Sanclimenti, whose relationship went from lovers to enemies and then back to lovers, was one of the best (and fun) love stories in Love Island history. The pair went on to win the show. The cast also included soccer icon Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma Owen and Tasha Ghouri, the first ever deaf contestant to enter the villa. (Season 2 villain Collard also makes a comeback to correct his original bad boy persona).
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2. Season 2 (2016)
An earlier season that had more development than ITV’s first attempt, Season 2 was still featured an authentic cast that didn’t have the expectation of walking out with fame and millions of Instagram followers. Controversy and drama ran in abundance. Contestants, like Kady McDermott and Scott Thomas, bickered often. Terry Walsh and Emma-Jane Woodhams caught flak for visibly having sex on camera. The biggest shocker was when Day-1 contestant Zara Holland got her Miss Great Britain title revoked while in the villa due to a night at the Hideaway with contestant Alex Bowen. The season brought us multiple love stories: wholesome duo Cara De La Hoyde and Nathan Massey have since married and had two children, and Olivia Buckland and Bowen made history as the first Love Island couple to get married. The pair welcomed their first child in June 2022.
1. Season 5 (2019)
If you’re looking for well-rounded TV that balances laughter, drama and love, Season 5 is the one. This season has some of Love Island’s most notable duos, including the unexpected link up between ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard and Irish bombshell Maura Higgins; one of the biggest breakup blowouts from Anna Vakili and Jordan Hames; and the love story between influencer Molly Mae and boxer Tommy Fury (brother of Tyson Fury), who ended up placing second, but have stayed together. (The pair welcomed their first child in February). Fan favorite Amber Gill also had a strong character arc, vying for the heart of Michael Griffiths throughout the series, before ultimately ending up with Irish rugby player Greg O’Shea and taking the win home. Gill and O’Shea split shortly after, but the season remains a staple watch.
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