Love Island UK needs to up its game as the Australian series sweeps the nation

The UK show might need to take a leaf out of its Aussie cousin's book, says Grace Henry.

Love Island's Paige and Finn (©ITV)

Love Island: Australia season one kicked off last night on ITV2, as 10 gorgeous singletons headed to a villa in Mallorca for a chance to find love.

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The series pretty much follows the exact same format as the UK version – with either the girls or guys arriving first and having to step forward for the person they fancy – and we’re pretty sure the producers recycle the soundtrack, which made it feel just like Summer Love Island was actually here.

But one thing that immediately felt different was the joy and laughter we experienced from the minute it started, making us wonder if the UK series could do with taking a few tips from its Aussie cousin.

Yesterday it was announced that Love Island wouldn’t be returning to the UK until Summer 2021 after being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So do they need to up their game to be able to compete with international versions of the show when they return next year?

One look at Twitter and it seems fans could already be preferring the Australian version with many dubbing it “the best” series ever and some arguing that it’s “better” than the UK show.

So, what’s so good about this series? And how can the UK version learn?

From the immediate banter, honesty, and light-hearted jokes, it’s evident that the villa is filled with a variety of characters who serve up some interesting one-liners and laughable moments from the get-go.

You have your usual Love Island it-girl in the form of Erin, and then there’s “Kangatarian” Justin who just loves himself and should probably be auditioning for a modelling competition and not a dating show.

But perhaps what’s even more interesting is how the contestants seem to be looking for a genuine connection, with not a single girl stepping forward for Justin despite the fact he looks like he’s been carved by the Gods.

And while being rejected isn’t fun for anyone, it’s how Justin takes it on the chin and shrugs off the situation, which makes the atmosphere even more relaxed and takes pressure off for everyone.

Love Island: Australia's host Sophie and contestant Justin (ITV)
Love Island: Australia’s host Sophie and contestant Justin (ITV)

We love a strong-minded woman who stands her ground, and when it comes to the casting for Love Island: Australia it’s clear they’re doing their job well.

From business owner Natasha to calm and collected Cassidy who admits to being low maintenance saying she’s gone days without washing her hair, it’s quite nice to have some fairly “normal” people, at least for Love Island standards.

And the normality is what allows for some of the funniest moments even from the first episode where one of the girls worried she might see an ex as she confessed: “I’ve dated a lot of guys”, and Millie then revealed she’d already met Charlie and been on a date with him outside of the villa.

Love Island: Australia
Love Island: Australia’s Cassidy and Milly

We get it could be pretty awkward to address this on the UK show – where a good percentage of past contestants have ran into each other on the outside –  but we guess this that’s just what makes the Aussie version that little bit more natural with contestants having little or no filter.

With all these different characters who just say it as it is, wouldn’t it be nice if the UK could follow in this way when looking for the next batch of hopefuls?

We certainly think so!

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Love Island: Australia airs is on at 9pm on ITV2. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.