- The winners of the seventh season of ITV2’s reality show “Love Island” were revealed Monday night.
- Liam Reardon and Millie Court will take home (and split) the grand prize of £50,000.
The winners of the seventh season of ITV2’s hit reality show “Love Island” were declared on Monday night: Liam Reardon and Millie Court will take home (and split) the grand prize of £50,000. (Sorry for the spoilers, US viewers.)
The voting public picked Millie and Liam over other “Love Island” couples: Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran (second place), Faye Winter and Teddy Soares (third), and Kaz Kamwi and Tyler Cruickshank (fourth place).
For the uninitiated, the show plops attractive people from the UK into a villa in Mallorca, Spain, for eight weeks where the swim-trunk and bikini-clad singles couple up and try to find love. The contestants flirt (graft), get dumped (get mugged off), do ridiculous challenges, are introduced to new “bombshells,” and face eliminations if they don’t find a romantic connection, all while the viewers judge the authenticity of their relationships.
This year’s winners faced their share of drama after Liam kissed another girl while the boys were whisked away on a lad’s holiday to Casa Amor, while Millie remained faithful back at the main villa. The two eventually reconciled and became exclusive.
The response to the winners on Twitter was mixed, especially given the fourth-place finish of fan-favorite Kaz Kamwi. “Love Island” has repeatedly been called out for “continuous racism, colorism, and misogynoir,” as Ebony Purks previously wrote for Insider.
Despite “Love Island’s” many controversies – ongoing criticism over mental health issues, current criticism over contestant Faye Winter’s behavior – the show was a respite from COVID-19.
It’s no secret that becoming a reality TV personality today might not only land you tabloid covers or a spot on “Dancing with the Stars,” but also lucrative sponsorships.
And Desiree Hartsock, who starred on “The Bachelorette” in 2013, believes that social media has completely changed the authenticity of the long-running series.
“People aren’t there for the right reasons, to put it frankly,” she told Insider. “It’s too obvious you can then become an influencer if that’s what you want to do, which is sad.”
Former ‘Bachelorette’ star thinks the show’s contestants are now more interested in becoming influencers
Hartsock thinks this is why most of the couples from the franchise don’t last. Out of 25 “Bachelor” stars, only Sean Lowe and Matt James are still with the women they gave their final rose to. The “Bachelorette” stars have fared a bit better, with seven out of 17 original couples – including Hartsock and her husband Chris Siegfried – still together.
“A relationship can’t really last if one or both of them are seeking out that fame, because then it’s all about them,” Hartsock said. “If you look back, even including Chris and I, the couples that last go back to either where they lived, or they go back to their day jobs, and they focus on the relationships.”
“It’s not just trying to be an influencer, because that’s going to be fleeting,” she added. “You’re not going to be 45 and going to Coachella.”
In her new book “The Road to Roses,” Hartsock wrote at length about how she was struggling financially before joining Lowe’s season of “The Bachelor,” even making her own dress for the first night because she couldn’t afford to buy one.
The wedding-dress designer also told Insider that expectations of how women on “The Bachelor” should look and what they should wear has changed so much in the Instagram age that she doesn’t think she’d go on the show today.
“My saving grace was that I had never watched a full season of the show before. I had no idea what to expect, so I was already going in without any preconceived notions,” Hartsock said. “However, I think if I was 24 or 25 now and I was watching the show, I don’t think I would have gone on at all.”
“You know that you’d then be singled out for not having the right clothes, the right makeup, the right look,” she added. “And that’s pretty unfortunate, to be honest.”