Tired of watching Luke P. be utterly toxic on the current season of The Bachelorette? Disappointed in Hannah's final rose pick (spoiler alert: it's a bad, bad choice)? Need something else to fill your time while you wait for Bachelor in Paradise to air in August? Same, same, same. If you're into reality television shows that involve 1) falling in "love" within a short period of time (sorry, but knowing that he's "the one" in six weeks sounds fake), 2) competing against other people for said "love," and 3) loads of drama, look no further than CBS's latest reality TV offering, Love Island USA.
Love Island, set to air next week on CBS on July 9, isn't your run-of-the-mill dating competition—it takes the usual formula for reality dating shows and complicates it with a series of shocking twists and turns as well as the possibility of one couple walking away with huge cash prize. Here's everything we know about the reality series so far.
It's like Bachelor in Paradise...but way more complicated.
By now, Bachelor Nation knows full well how things work in Paradise: The castoffs from the previous seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are dropped off on a beautiful island in Mexico where they establish real connections (or not) that are threatened by the day as new people arrive. Every few days, Chris Harrison pops up to officiate a ridiculously dramatic rose ceremony, and those who aren't given a rose are booted from Paradise.
The upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise looks like it's going to be absolutely nuts—Reality Steve literally called it "The Blake Horstmann Show"—but Love Island might take the cake for the most dramatic dating show based off of its format alone. In Love Island, a group of singles are flown out to an exotic location to live under one roof for the summer. Before they can get comfortable, however, they have to officially couple up amongst themselves. The coupling up process can get a little awkward; as the Islanders arrive one by one, they can dump whoever they're coupled up with for whoever just walked through the door. Chemistry or not, the couples are forced to share a bed at night and compete in challenges together.
What's the catch? Well, there are a few. For starters, two new Islanders appear every few days to shake things up in the villa, and days after their arrival, a re-coupling ceremony takes place; anyone not chosen in the ceremony has to pack their bags and head home. Further complicating the situation is the viewer involvement. Similarly to Big Brother, those of us watching the show at home will get a say in what happens at the villa. Love Island gives its audience the opportunity to influence the vibe of the house by asking viewers to vote on things like the best couple, the couple with the least chemistry, and even the Islander who needs to go home.
Another huge twist comes in the form of Casa Amor, the mid-show switch-up that splits the guys and girls into two separate villas and introduces new Islanders into both houses. The contestants can decide to stick with their original couplings or jump ship to sail off into the sunset with their new beau, and as one might expect, things can get a little...tense. The strongest couple left standing at the end of the summer (or the audience's favorite pairing) will win thousands of dollars and the smug satisfaction of knowing that their love was ~real~.
It's an international sensation.
Love Island may be coming to American shores next week, but the show has long been a pop culture staple across the pond. The series first got its start in the United Kingdom, its first season airing back in 2015, and it was a revival of the 2005 reality dating show Celebrity Love Island where single British celebrities spent five weeks on an island in Fiji and competed for love. Since 2015, the show has become one of the most watched series in the United Kingdom, with four completed seasons under its belt and one currently on air.
The series has also spawned a number of international versions all across Europe; Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Hungary, Sweden, and Finland have all produced their own takes on Love Island. Down under, Australia and New Zealand also have their versions.
Moral of the story? Drama is universal.
It's hosted by Arielle Vandenberg.
Remember Vine? The short-form-video-hosting service may have shut down in 2016 (RIP), but the impact of the app remains undeniable. One such impact of vine is the success of its most popular users. Many viners have found major success; people like King Bach, Nash Grier, and Liza Koshy are currently at the peak of their careers after building huge social media followings from their six-second videos.
Among those success stories is Arielle Vandenberg, the host of the American version of Love Island. The 32-year-old, famous for her unique vines with partner Matt Cushall, was tapped to host the reality series because of her fun personality and massive following (she has 1.2 million followers on Instagram). Vandenberg has previously worked as an actress, picking up a number of minor roles in TV shows like the Tyler Perry-produced TBS comedy Meet the Browns and the ABC Family drama Greek.
Watch all of the Love Island drama unfold in real time when the dating series airs on Tuesday, July 9 8/7c on CBS. You can also stream it going forward on the CBS app if you have an Apple TV, a Roku, or another streaming device that hosts the app.
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