Well, thank goodness for Love Island: Australia stepping in at the last minute and filling the hole left by Love Island UK and Winter Love Island 2021, both of which were cancelled due to coronavirus. ITV 2's decision to screen the Aussie series from 2018 has saved us from a Love Island-less summer, but what are the differences between the UK version and the Australian version? You know, aside from the accents.
One of the most dramatic parts of any Love Island UK series is it's famed Casa Amor - the supposedly secret separate villa where contestants are sent to spend time with a new set of islanders to test their existing relationships in the main villa. But viewers watching the Australian version will have noticed there was no Casa Amor. Although there is no separate villa producers do bring in a similar concept in the second series of Love Island: Australia called 'The Bomb Squad', which sees five new girls join the villa all at once.
You may have noticed there are fewer twists in Love Island: Australia than in it's UK counterpart. Speaking to Radio Times host Sophie Monk explained this was because of the logistics of filming the show in Mallorca, so far from the islanders hometowns.
"Because we did it in Spain, the turnaround for getting footage on air was about 12 hours, so they didn’t really have time to produce too many twists. It all just happened, you were lucky to get the show finished and edited, that’s what was amazing about it!"
She also explained that that changes in season two when the series moved filming location, "We definitely upped the drama with more twists and turns in season two, when we moved filming to Fiji," she said. "A lot more Islanders came in and out that year and it was very different".
The contestants on Love Island UK are given an allowance ahead of the show which they have to spend on non-branded clothing. But in the Australian series, the islanders are asked to bring their own clothes when they enter the villa so their individual styles come through. At least, at first anyway - during the show sponsors send in extra clothing for the contestants.
Okay, so this isn't a huge difference, but it certainly throws up some gory details about the contestants stay in their respective villas. The UK villa is reportedly home to 73 cameras while in the Australian villa there are 63. But both series are similar in the outrageous places cameras and microphones end up - the UK show's villa even has cameras in the bath. Meanwhile, on the Aus show there are microphones installed in the headboards of the beds so even those whispery late night conversations get recorded.
The prize money
UK winners Paige and Finn walked away from the villa with £50,000 in the last series of Winter Love Island, meanwhile Love Island: Australia's winning couple will split AUD $50,000 (equivalent to £27,000). The couple will also face the same twist that Paige and Finn did in their win, and will be give the choice to steal the prize money for themselves or share it with their partner. There's potential for a lot of drama there...
The final of Love Island: Australia airs tonight on ITV2 at 9pm.
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