Meet every contestant from this year's Love Island
Love Island2022 is just around the corner and we can already hear the sound of the ten new singletons putting all their eggs in one basket.
The hotly anticipated dating show returns to screens next Monday (6 June) with some notable changes. Love Island has dumped fast-fashion endorsements and is bringing second-hand fashion to the forefront with preloved pioneer eBay. The class of 2022 are also expected to undergo inclusion training ahead of the show before stepping into a newly built luxury villa.
Among the fresh batch of 2022 contestants are Gemma, daughter of footballer Michael Owen, and Tasha, who will be the show’s first-ever deaf islander.
Like most Love Island alumni,Megan Barton Hanson sky-rocketed to fame when she strolled out of the villa in 2018. At just 28-years-old, Megan has combined her unapologetic attitude with her impressive social media presence to flip dated views of sexuality on their head. Last summer, she voiced her opinions on sex workers' rights and the new age of porn at one of the world's most prestigious universities.
"I’ve always felt the same about women’s issues," Megan told indy100, who openly shares her candid thoughts in her sex and relationships column for VICE and podcast You Come First.
She added: "I’ve always been keen for women to have a voice and to feel sexually liberated, but no one really listened before or cared about my opinion. Now I’ve gained such a platform. It’s so important to use it for good and for those who aren’t being heard."
Recalling her Love Island experience, Megan said her model agent put her forward for the show. "I didn’t think I would get very far because I’m quite introverted and shy until I know people better," she shared. "I think they loved my honesty, though."
Despite Love Island having viewers gripped over the summer, a certain mystery remains.There are parts of the show that are so elusive, so much so that Megan only found out she was heading to the villa 48 hours before.
Ahead of the eighth series, Megan gives indy100 the scoop on all the Love Island secrets.
Islanders have to pass a pre-show STI screening
“Thank god, or there would have been zero action," Megan revealed. "It’s so important for me to check every partner has been tested before sleeping together.”
…Speaking of safe sex, plenty of branded Love Island condoms are said to be scattered around the villa.
The hidden smoking area
Due to OFCOM's broadcasting guidelines, smoking "must generally be avoided and in any case must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised.”
Love Island is no exception.
Megan revealed islanders have to ask for permission for a smoke break and go one at a time to the designated area.
“Having to ask for a cigarette after a row wasn’t a vibe,” she joked. “The stress!”
The showrunners grow to become friends
The crew behind the scenes become pretty close to the islanders. Megan noted that while they "don't directly tell you what to do", it's nice that they chat to you after things after a villa spat.
Dinner in the villa
While we see islanders battling it out at breakfast, we rarely see them eat any other meal. This is because a catering company comes in with a buffet-style selection of chicken, fish and vegetables. It is also a time for contestants to charge up their mics.
“There are runners making sure that there are no storyline conversations, so you aren’t meant to sit near who you are coupled up with, and you are only allowed to chit-chat,” Megan revealed. “If you are lucky, the runners will put on some music and play our favourite songs so we can have a little dance after lunch. Then we get ready for the evening!”
The rush to get ready
Islanders are allocated a timeslot to shower, with Megan saying they only had 20 minutes to get ready.
“The stress was real,” Megan said. “I’m so bad at getting ready under pressure,” she said. “With the heat and humidity, I had daily sweaty top lips! Not a look I was picturing for my Love Island experience!
Time awareness isn't a thing
There are no clocks or calendars around the villa, meaning islanders have no clue what time or date it is. However, Megan found a sneaky loophole after discovering the time was hidden behind a sticker on the cooker.
“Me and Wes peeled the tape off to sneak a look,” Megan joked. “This was, however, a big mistake as it was 2am, and we still had loads of chats and beach hut interviews to film!”
“I'VE GOT A TEXT!”
Megan revealed that the mobile phones were rarely used “unless we were told to go and hold them – this way, we knew something spicy was about to happen.”
Of course, they have no internet access but can be used to text other islanders and producers.
“Thank god, though,” Megan added. “I would have run up that gravel driveway as quick as possible and gone into hiding if I knew how bad the press was about me!”
Megan came fourth place in the 2018 series with then-partner Wes Nelson. She described leaving the villa as a whirlwind, becoming overwhelmed by the amount of love. Despite receiving some harsh criticism while in the villa, Megan said: "the nice messages certainly outweighed the negativity."
As for what's next? Megan is currently working on her own lingerie line with one of her favourite brands.
"I can’t wait to share more with you, but for now, I’ve got to keep it under wraps," she said. "People have been asking for some 'Meg-approved' lingerie, so I’m so pleased to be able to provide it now!"
Megan is also keen to have her own documentary series exploring issues such as sex positivity, sex work, and body positivity.
She said: "I am really interested in finding out more about how we have gotten to the place we are in today as a society where these topics are so taboo.
"I know a lot of brands and production companies have shied away from working with sex workers and OnlyFans girls, so hopefully, as it becomes more normalised, I will get the chance to them!"
Love Island will return to screens on 6 June on ITV2.
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