There’s more competition to get into Love Island than there is to win a place at Oxford or Cambridge University.
More than 150,000 people applied to be on the ITV2 show this year (around 40,000 people apply for Oxbridge) – and the casting team met with nearly 1,000 budding islanders who they have narrowed down to an initial line-up of just 11 boys and girls.
So what are they looking for? Well, they’re not trying to find the next Chris Hughes or Kem Cetinay…
“You definitely can’t repeat [last year],” says executive producer Tom Gould. “You just have to look at people who, when they come into that room, engage us. Because we’re seeing so many people it’s actually quite hard to have that impact.
“So you want someone who’s going to come into the room and just command it, own it, make us want to ask them loads of questions and get to know more about them and their stories. We need to feel like ‘I want to see these guys in the villa’.”
The islanders, too, have shared their tips with us. Contestant Laura Anderson, who is a cabin crew member, told RadioTimes.com: “Apparently my video was the best!
“I wanted to make it as real as possible so I did a day in the life, little clips of things, of things I did – me on the plane, a little bit of me on the beach, I actually got on a camel, and there’s an the outdoor gym so I pretended to do pull ups and I put a little song on it.”
Blimey. Samira Mighty told us her audition video showed how “full of energy” she was, while Kendall Rae-Knight said her best advice for anyone applying would be to “100% just be yourself”.