What happens to Love Islanders before villa – nights out to military operation

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    Love Island series nine kicked off on January 16 and the return of the nation's favourite dating show certainly hasn't disappointed.

    There has already been nail biting recoupling's, raunchy confessions and plenty of drama as this year's contestant's settle into life in the lavish South African villa.

    Over the years, previous islanders have revealed top secrets about villa life, from what goes on during days off to recoupling's taking hours to film over the course of an evening.

    READ MORE: Love Island star flogging chastity cages and £225 butt plugs in racy business move

    But what happens to these islanders before they appear on our screens for eight weeks?

    From alcohol limits to no contact with the outside world, Daily Star has taken a deep dive into what the islanders get up to before they enter the villa.

    Getting to know the islanders

    The process of choosing an islander can date back to months before the show airs.

    In a previous series, one particular islander was contacted in November when the show didn't hit screens until the following summer.

    Working out whether someone is the right fit for the show also takes time, with an insider revealing producers spend plenty of time with them beforehand to make sure things are correct.

    "In November, this potential islander was taken out in London to see what they were like on a night out. They can be taken to Manchester, Newcastle, Essex and London."

    After these nights out, the Love Island source revealed the candidate in question wasn't contacted until two weeks before the show started when he was then flown out to location.

    Military operation

    After meeting their chaperone at the airport, islanders are then taken to the main base and put through what was described as a "military operation."

    "They rushed the islander into this tent so no one could see them. None of the production staff or security was able to see them. One of the casting producers just grabbed them and dragged them in," the source revealed.

    Inside this tent, islanders reportedly undergo medical tests, while answering a variety of questions including medication they're taking and how well they sleep.

    The source added: "They were in this tent for a good half an hour. They took all of their belongings. They were allowed to bring two suitcases worth and security went through literally everything and confiscated things like chains, jewellery, watches, stuff like that."

    The islanders are transported to and from places in blacked out taxis.

    "It's like a proper military operation. It's mental," the source said.

    Once their checks are complete, islanders and their chaperones are sent to one of 20 villas on the island.


    While it is a known fact that strict limits are placed on alcohol while islanders are in the villa, this actually starts from before they even enter.

    The source explained: "A chaperone does their shopping every two or three days and they can put absolutely anything on there. If they wanted to eat steaks every day then they can.

    They added: "The only thing they aren't allowed to do is drink. If a guy drinks beer, they get four cans of lager across three days so they can't get drunk."


    Producers play a vital role in the show and are involved heavily in all aspects, but this is also the case before stars enter the villa.

    Those held up in villas waiting for a potential role on the show are given their phone for the first seven days and are able to watch episodes the day after they're originally aired in the UK.

    After every episode, the islander reportedly has to say their top three girls or boys that they would want to couple up with and the chaperone passes that on to casting producers.

    Producers will then determine whether this specific islander is right for the show based on their choices.

    "If an islander is feeling a certain girl or boy, but they're cracking on with someone in the villa and it's going well, producers will wait and bring them in at a later date," the insider explained.

    Islanders not yet in the villa are in regular contact with wellness officers, discussing their mental health and how they are sleeping.

    They also have frequent conversations with producers, mainly about who they are interested in and how they would react in certain situations happening on the actual show.

    "Producers would ask them about the show, specifically, 'What would you do in particular situations, for example if there was an argument, how would you react?'"

    They added: "Producers want chaperones to snitch on their islander and give them as much information that he's not giving to the producers or wellness officers."

    No contact

    As islanders are allowed their phones for the first seven days, they are able to go on social media and see what the public are saying about the show.

    However, their phones are then taken away from them and they have absolutely no contact with the outside world, including closest family members.

    In a previous series, producers claimed to one islander that they were keeping in regular contact with their family and giving them check ups on how they are getting on.

    However, this doesn't always turn out to be true.

    After letting an islander call their family, the source revealed: "Their mum claimed she hadn't heard anything from the production team in two weeks, they hadn't replied to her messages or anything.

    "They almost abandoned them. The way they went about it was pretty brutal."

    Despite being flown out to location, there are no guarantees and this islander was kept in a villa for three weeks but never actually made it onto the show.

    "You're not on the show until you're actually in the villa – no guarantees," is what they get told.

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