How Love Island changed our lives – former stars reveal incredible perks, brutal rejections and biggest regrets
EVERY year, a new cast of Love Island contestants have their lives changed overnight.
The sexy singletons are thrust into the spotlight from the moment they enter the villa – and leave it, with or without a new partner.
And, having had their phones taken off them for the duration of their time in Love Island, they come out to thousands of new followers they didn’t have before, and tons of brands wanting to work with them.
Here, four former Love Island stars reveal how the show changed their lives, how they’ve managed to maintain successful careers – and their advice for this year's contestants…
‘I'm grateful for every moment'
Olivia Attwood, 30, was in series three of Love Island. She coupled up with Chris Hughes and they ended up coming third.
However, seven months later, mid-way through filming their spin-off reality show Crackin’ On, they split up.
Olivia is now engaged to footballer Bradley Dack, who she was dating before going on Love Island, and films reality show, Olivia Meets Her Match, with him.
Olivia is now able to charge £4,468 for a single post to her 1.9million followers, and she recently launched her second collection with ISAWITFIRST.
And she can’t believe she’s still getting asked to do collaborations and be on TV four years on from her Love Island stint…
She says: "I still have to pinch myself when I get asked to do any collaborations or even the fact I have my own TV show.
"I find things more surreal now than I did in the early days after I left Love Island, because you never know how long it's going to last, and we're four years on now!
"I’ve just released my second collection with ISAWITFIRST after the first one, thank God, did really well and people liked it, and I make sure to always take gratitude in the moment because it's pretty mental when you think about it.
"I don’t really know why my career has lasted longer than some other Love Islanders. I've tried to be myself, be authentic, and be open with followers and viewers, so they always feel like they're getting the real deal.
"I never pretend to be anything I'm not, and I apologise when I mess up.
"We're all human.
"I also work really hard behind the scenes and don’t give up.
"Sometimes it probably looks like everything can fall into your lap, but I've had rejections and knockbacks.
"It's not always been yes to everything.
"The best thing I’ve done since doing Love Island is my show, Olivia Meets Her Match.
"I obviously did my show with Chris straight out of Love Island, which was a difficult experience.
"But I did actually enjoy making it, and always wanted to have the opportunity to do it again in different circumstances. So when it got commissioned last year, that was a big pinch-me moment.
"The hardest thing about the fame of Love Island is being under the eye of public opinion, and that always being there.
"You quickly learn that you're not going to please everyone, and you just have to accept it.
"And the same goes on the way you look.
"You're always going to be either too skinny, too fat, too tall or too short. Once you realise that, it all gets a lot easier.
"My advice to this year’s batch of Love Islanders would be to just enjoy it, as it goes really quick.
"Also, try and take everything with a pinch of salt. When you're in there, it's quite consuming and can be stressful, but just try and have fun with it."
'Why do people still care about me?'
Olivia Bowen, 27, was in the second series of Love Island – and was then known as Olivia Buckland.
She has a lot to thank the ITV2 show for, as it gave her not only an incredibly glamorous life full of designer clothes and holidays, but also her husband, Alex Bowen, 29.
Five years down the line, Olivia has 2.6million followers on Instagram, lives in an amazing £1million mansion with Alex, and and can earn a hefty £6,082 per snap shared.
She and Alex are even said to be worth a combined £4.4million.
However, she confesses she'll never stop worrying her career could be snatched away from her at any moment…
She says: "I went into Love Island five years ago, as a sales rep for pens, and now, more than ever, I think, 'Why do people still care about me?'
"I feel really boring and, like such a normal person, so it's always a strange but amazing feeling when a brand says they'd love to work with you, and I'm so lucky people do care.
"Before Love Island, I remember walking the dog with my mum, and she was very concerned about me going on the show, especially as I was a young girl that had suffered with depression and anxiety.
"She said, 'Look, your life could change and you won't be able to go back to your job' and I was like, 'It won't change, I'm just going to come out and I've been thinking that I'd really love to work at Land Rover in sales. It'd be really fun, and obviously you get a courtesy car!'
"How wrong was I?!
"I came off the show and turned my phone on to thousands and thousands of DMs on Instagram, from brands who wanted to collaborate and fans. It was mad.
"I've had amazing things come from being on the show but I obviously have to say that my husband is the best thing to come from it.
"It sounds very cringey but he's my soulmate, we just get on so well.
"I don't think you ever expect to go on TV and find someone that genuine, sweet and caring – plus he don't look half bad either!
"And five years down the line, we're just so happy. We're a couple of lucky sods!
"I think the reason Alex and I have remained in the public eye is because we've not changed since the show. We still act silly and we're still normal!
"I think people do change when they come out – and that's no one's fault – but we've managed to keep the same respect and personality.
"Plus, we're just nice people, and people like working with us. There's a lot to be said for just being polite to people and being nice and respectful.
"Having said all this, I have such imposter syndrome – I don't even know how I got here in the first place!
"Even when I had my sales job previously, I'd always be worried that something would happen and I'd get sacked.
"Now, it's the same thing, but slightly more scary because you're in the public eye and everyone would laugh at you if you lost it all!
"The only thing you can do is enjoy it right now, work with people that you love and do it for the right reasons.
"And hopefully it lasts as long as possible."
'I've got everything I want and need'
Cara Delahoyde, 30, and Nathan Massey, 29, met on the second series of Love Island, and ended up winning the show together.
They're now married and have two kids together, Freddie, three, and Delilah – who turns one next month.
While they came off the show and went straight into TOWIE, the couple have chosen the more private life these days.
Their combined followers total 1.9million meaning the couple can still charge £5,985.32 per post between them, and do still work with brands on Instagram.
But Nathan has gone back to working as a stonemason with his dad on a part-time basis.
Cara tells us how their family is the best thing to come out of Love Island.
She says: "When I got the call for Love Island, I was dancing in a nightclub, six nights a week, and then one night a week I'd work at Studio 66, which was basically Babestation.
"I used to love it, and everyone in our series genuinely thought we'd go back to our old jobs.
"It wasn’t like how things are now, we didn’t have any expectations and I remember we would sit in the smoking area, chatting about the future.
"I remember the boys said they would do a couple of PAs, get some money and maybe they could buy themselves a nice watch.
"But, here we are, five years on, and we still get asked to go to film premieres, and collaborate with brands like Jet2.
"However, I know everyone there wants the brand deals and all that but I think the ultimate prize of Love Island is finding love.
"The best thing that came out of Love Island was our family. We’re so happy.
"If this all came to an end, I wouldn't mind as I’ve got everything I want out of life and need, plus we have other jobs too – although it’s a great income and we love our followers.
"I’ve got a children’s clothing company that I do with one of my best friends, and we personalise clothes for kids.
"I think you have to use Love Island as a platform because it doesn’t last forever. You need to explore your options and have other things to keep you going.
"For the Love Islanders going in tonight, I don’t think we can give advice as it’s a different show, but just enjoy it for the amazing experience it is, and don't take it too seriously."
'Save your money – it goes quickly!'
Nathan and Cara broke up for just under a year when they came out of Love Island.
So, for Nathan, he tells us his only regret is partying too much when they first left the show, as it nearly lost him the love of his life…
He says: "The best thing that came from going on Love Island has obviously been finding love and having a family.
"I have two wonderful kids, a great wife who will do anything for me and I feel I’ve completed life.
"The worst thing after the show was when I split up with Cara, it was pretty horrible.
"It was not a nice time and I didn’t have a lot of help. I was hanging out with the wrong people, partying a lot and it was a very low time in my life.
"I didn’t think I would get back together with Cara, I thought we were going to have to co-parent but then things changed and I sorted myself out and got back to normal.
"Before Love Island, I was a carpenter and loved it. I was just getting the hang of it and then was whisked away!
"I still do bits and pieces of work now and I’m a trainee stonemason.
"My dad's a stonemason, so I go back to work when I have nothing on to help my dad out, which I love to do.
"I love it, because building site banter is the best banter in the world and I need to sharpen my tools.
"The people going into Love Island this year will be like bears out of a cage, having all been in lockdown – the blokes must be horny as hell!
"My advice would be to live in the moment because it's short-lived. What goes up must come down, and there will be another series with even more people going in after you.
"Also, save your money because it goes quickly!"
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