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Will there be a lie detector on Love Island 2019?

The controversial challenge may have been scrapped due to the ITV2 show's new duty of care

love island lie detector test
Published: Tuesday, 16th July 2019 at 2:58 pm

From Olivia’s livid admission she couldn’t see a future with Chris, to New Jack’s epic slating of Laura Anderson, Love Island’s lie detector test has provided some of the show’s most memorable moments.


But will the test return to the 2019 show? Here’s all you need to know…

Will the lie detector be back in Love Island 2019?

ITV declined to confirm either way, but with one episode remaining it's safe to say the challenge has been scrapped.

Although many classic features of previous Love Island years have returned – from Casa Amor to the Twitter challenge – there was a big question mark over whether the polygraph lie detector wouldmake a comeback.

After the death of former contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Gradon, Love Island’s duty of care came under increased scrutiny. And the spotlight strengthened after the cancellation of the Jeremy Kyle Show following the death of guest Steve Dymond 10 days after filming an episode.

After the Jeremy Kyle show was axed, head of Ofcom Sharon White confirmed that the TV regulator would be closely looking into shows using lie detectors.

"In the context of guidance around harm and offence we will be looking at lie detectors and other tools used by production companies as to whether it is fair treatment of particular vulnerable individuals," White told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (via The Guardian).

However, ahead of the fifth series, Love Island bosses didn’t outright say that the lie detector would be scrapped. “We are going to do some tweaks,” ITV executive Angela Jain told and other journalists in Majorca.

“The lie detector is one episode and one element of 57 episodes. It’s not even a big deal in the format of the show. We are often reacting to the narrative in the villa, so we try and be entirely flexible about that."

How reliable are TV lie detectors?

As you’ve probably heard, even the best polygraphs aren’t dependable and many regard them as a pseudoscience. Not only are their results inadmissible in court, but the US Supreme Court once outlined that the results of a polygraph were “little better than could be obtained by the toss of a coin”.

Interestingly, in most proper lie detector tests, the person rigged up to the polygraph knows which questions will be asked in advanced. The theory is that otherwise a person's shock at the query put to them could be interpreted as a lie by the detector. Judging by the incredulous reaction of some contestants under interrogation in previous series of Love Island, the contestants aren't notified about the questions they'll face.

However, Love Island previously stated to that the lie detector test results are “genuine”– which doesn’t say much about the accuracy of the actual polygraph. It doesn't help either that past contestants of the show have labelled the test as "fabricated" for entertainment. Dr Alex praised the broadcaster for scrapping it this year.


Love Island continues weeknights and Sundays at 9pm on ITV


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