Thursday 20 June 2019

Almost Famous: Love Island 2019 line-up rumoured to include DWTS pro, Big Brother reject, and Lotto winner

And where are last year's contestants now?

Last year's contestant Megan Barton Hanson may return for the new series (ITV)
Last year's contestant Megan Barton Hanson may return for the new series (ITV)

Sheena McGinley

Naaaw, d’you remember... Dr Alex’s various shades of salmon; Adam’s nonchalant ability to gaslight; Hayley’s take on Brexit; Samira leaving because she couldn’t bear staying sans Frankie; how Wes dropped the ‘L-bomb’ on Laura before treating her horrendously; and how everyone was either called Ellie, Charlie, Laura, Josh or Jack?

And how Megan was judged for having sex with both Eyal and Wes, yet Wes didn’t get nearly as much flack for bedding both her (that being Megan, not Caroline Flack) and Laura? Are you still with me?

For those still reading, you’re clearly licking your chops in anticipation of this summer’s impending run (pencil Monday, June 3 in yisser diaries). With last year’s contestants due to be relegated to the term “previous Love Island contestant”, we’re looking back at some of the more enduring participants (not all 38 of them. Yes, there were 38 contestants last year) and asking “Are they still together?” In short, no... no, they’re not.

In addition to Samira parting ways with Frankie two months after she left the show for him, none of the below lasted the pace.

Georgia & Sam

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Georgia and Sam (ITV)

Mostly known for being “real” and “loyal” (apart from when she put the lunge in on ‘Other Jack’ while he was with Laura), actress Georgia made an impression on the menfolk in last year’s Villa — initially thanks to her buttock-baring bikinis, but lastingly due to her volume level. Georgia and Sam Bird split in October of last year after he went through her phone and drew the conclusion she cheated on him. She claims otherwise.

Adam & Zara

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Adam flirting with Zara (ITV)

First, there was Kendall (but she wasn’t really into it), followed by Rosie, and then Zara. Adam also busied himself with Darylle after Zara left the Villa, but it was only because he was missing Zara so much (he’s complicated like that). They split in February of this year after Adam enjoyed an especially raucous night out with Jack Fincham, Sam Bird and a bevvy of other women.

Wes & Megan

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Love Island star Megan Barton-Hanson announced the split in January (Ian West/PA)

They were going so strong — until Wes landed a spot on ITV’s Dancing on Ice last January. He got caught up in the excitement of yet another new relationship, this time with professional partner Vanessa Bauer. Given his array of on-camera moves, Wes truly gives new gravitas to the term ‘Snake Hips’.

Josh & Kaz

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Love Island’s Kaz Crossley and Josh Denzel appear to have split after six months of dating (Anthony Devlin/PA)

He left Georgia for his precious Kaz, who he met when the boys went to stay in Casa Amour. The couple, who came third in the show, also split in January. Kaz is now said to be cuddling up with former Love Island contestant Theo.

Laura & Paul

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Love Island’s Paul enjoys soggy Scottish weather with Laura after villa exit (ITV)

The old birds of the group, Laura seemed to finally find love after bedding a couple of immature frogs along the way; 31-year-old Paul of ‘I kissed Britney’ fame and 29-year-old Laura were perfect on paper. Shame Paul’s face didn’t get the memo... They parted ways soon after, with Paul claiming they “weren’t compatible.” Laura has since been seen enjoying herself with former contestant Eyal Booker.

Dani & Jack

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Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer (Ian West/PA)

They won our hearts and won the show after staying true to each other for the entire series. Unfortunately, real life got in the way, and after a series of spats and too much partying, the pair broke up and reunited too many times to keep count. At the time of going to print, they’re still apart. Not that dad Danny Dyer’s bovvered.

THE NEW BATCH

As has become tradition, the criteria for contestant selection seems to include having a strong Instagram presence, while preferably also having a connection with someone famous, either romantically or familially. So, without further ado, here are the people rumoured to be coupling up this year...

Curtis Pritchard

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AJ Pritchard and his brother Curtis were attacked at a nightclub (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Dancing with the Stars professional Curtis Pritchard is reportedly on board.  He was paired with Holly Carpenter for the most recent series of the hit RTE dance show but had to pull out due to injuries sustained during an attack at a nightclub in the UK.

Jane Park

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Meet me at the club

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Remember when a Scottish teenager won a load of cash on the Euromillions? That was Jane, that was. Park banked £1 million via the Euromillions six years ago, aged 17. She’s endured more than her fair share of bad relationships and is seeking real love.

Sophie Piper

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Lil birthday week launch 🚀 #RH30

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The younger half-sister of Rochelle Humes (of The Saturdays and This Morning fame), 20-year-old model Sophie is reportedly in “advanced talks” to appear on the show and is currently mulling it over. She's centre in the pic above.

Sairah Pinnock

One of last year’s “reserve contestants”, 29-year-old Sairah is Leigh-Anne ‘Little Mix’ Pinnock’s older sister. The business-woman and mother-of-one has quite the Instagram following.

Ercan Ramadan

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Jacky boyy

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The builder/reality TV star is reportedly a good mate of last year’s winner Jack ‘The Teef’ Fincham. He’s also recently dated Geordie Shore/I’m a Celeb’s Queen of The Jungle 2015, Vicky Pattinson. She called things off back in March as it was “moving too quickly.”

Braelin Kail Peery

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i could barely see

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Providing much-needed fluidity to proceedings given how traditional the couplings have been in prior series, Braelin is a 20-year-old bisexual model hailing from America’s Georgia.

Lotan Carter

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Lotan Carter had a controversial weekend (Channel 5)

Viewers of Channel 5’s incarnation of Big Brother will recognise the name. The 30-year-old former stripper was asked to leave the house in 2017 after a fraught fight with fellow housemates.

Megan Barton Hanson

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Last year's contestant Megan Barton Hanson may return for the new series (ITV)

It’s probably wishful thinking, but rumours abound that Megan is re-entering the Villa for the second year in a row. One would wonder why on earth she would do that considering the amount of abuse she received on social media during and after the show last year.

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

The number of contestants coming and going has increased year on year, as does the length of the show’s run. Since its new incarnation on ITV2 four years ago, the series has been extended by almost a week each year.

In other words, Love Island will soon be on 24/7 365 days of the year...

Facetiousness aside, with the length of the show increasing, and in light of the recent deaths of Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, what will that mean for future contestants?

ITV released the following, stating that they will “offer therapy to all Islanders and not only those that reach out to us”. The broadcaster added: “We will be delivering bespoke training to all future Islanders to include social media and financial management.

“The key focus will be for us to no longer be reliant on the Islanders asking us for support but for us to pro-actively check in with them on a regular basis.”

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