Fakery claims and staged scenes: has Love Island become too manipulative?

Re-shot scenes and unnecessary upset mean the ITV2 show risks falling apart at the seams, says Frances Taylor

Love Island Friday 6 July - Georgia

A shock Love Island dumping might be about to happen.

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Despite being devoted to one another for several years and utterly loyal (yes, even more so than Georgia), there’s a risk that fans could be about to break up with the ITV2 show.

Already this series, producers have risked the wrath of viewers after thousands complained to Ofcom about their misjudged decision to show out of context footage to Dani of her boyfriend Jack in Casa Amor. It was not only lazy, it was also mean-spirited.

Now, Laura is going through a similar ordeal. After Georgia and Jack went on a date, a line was drawn when Jack said Georgia kissed him and Georgia was adamant that it was the other way around.

Laura was caught in the middle not knowing what to do, and now, she’s been left questioning things further after new boy Idris told her during Tuesday night’s show that he watched the footage of the pair’s date and it confirmed that it was Jack who initiated the kiss with Georgia.

Eh?

We have no idea what Idris was watching, but it wasn’t what we saw.

This could all be resolved if producers decided to send footage of Georgia and Jack’s kiss into the villa. In a poll of over 5,000 RadioTimes.com readers, 88% of fans said they wanted the date replayed to the islanders so that Laura could see that, actually, it was Georgia who very much went in for the kill with Jack.

So why are the producers so reluctant to show the clip to the islanders? Well, now we have an idea.

It turns out that the end of Georgia and Jack’s date was filmed at least twice (who’s to say it wasn’t repeated three or four times?). Love Island tripped themselves up by replaying the date from several angles on Aftersun, leaving viewers in no doubt that the same scene was shot multiple times.

Jack Georgia Love Island
Jack and Georgia (ITV)

The first thing this throws up is: maybe Georgia has been telling the truth all along? Perhaps for the second (or third) take, Jack went in proper and snogged her face off?

But secondly, and arguably more importantly, it risks being an exposure too far for the show. What Love Island has always done so well is maintained a level of authenticity – when watching, you feel that even if two people have been encouraged to chat alone on the day beds, the conversation they’re having is only happening once.

Of course we always knew that the hand of the producer was involved in the making of Love Island. Reality shows such as this don’t just happen – there needs to be some slick editing involved, some slightly heightened drama between its cast – and you might expect some re-shooting of inconsequential scenes, say during one of the boys v girls challenges that take place outside of the villa.

But multiple takes of a key date scene that has resulted in people being called liars and a relationship in the villa breaking down? That feels like a step too far.

The revelation that important moments like this are shot several times begs the question, what else is fake about the show? Was Idris poked by the producers to drop that bombshell on poor Laura? He might be a pro boxer, but he isn’t a good actor: delivering the lines to Laura about Georgia and Jack’s date felt very inauthentic.

And all the contestants in the Beach Hut saying “laying it on Factor 50 thick”? Call me cynical, but is that some incredibly subliminal product placement by show sponsors Superdrug to flog sun cream?

That might sound slightly conspiratorial, but it’s now impossible not to ask these questions about how the programme is made – including what the Islanders are and aren’t being asked to say. And that’s something that’s hard to come back from.

Love Island Friday 6 July - Georgia and Laura
Georgia and Laura (ITV)

Take Big Brother for example. The news that Rylan Clark was leaving the CBB house in order to attend X Factor rehearsals back in 2013 was the straw that broke many Big Brother fans’ back. If a contestant can just walk in and out of Big Brother on a daily basis, what even is the point of a show that purports to cut them off from the real world?

So if a programme all about dating features staged interactions and re-shot dates, what are we all doing getting so invested in the Islanders’ love lives for? If it’s not real, what’s the point?

The recent revelations have unravelled some of Love Island’s tightly-stitched threads. The show might be the biggest its ever been, but it won’t take many more controversies for everything to fall apart at the seams.

Love Island spokesperson told RadioTimes.com: “The opinions they have and the relationships formed are completely within the control of the Islanders themselves.”

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Love Island airs daily at 9pm on ITV2