‘The Love Island final dates are so secret we’re forced to wear headphones,’ says ex-Islander

With theLove Island final just around the corner, theremaining contestants are getting ready to go on their final dates in the villa.

Throughout the years, producers of the hit ITV2 show have pulled out all the stops to send the contestants on the most romantic dates imaginable, with Islanders going on everything from boat trips to dance lessons to La La Land themed trips.

And one person who knows what it's like to have one last date in the villa is former contestantDemi Jones. 24 year old Demi appeared onthe winter version of the show, where she came in third place alongsideLuke Mabbott. Here she talks to OK! about what happens behind the scenes on these infamous date scenes…

The dates are complete surprises

Despite the variety of trips on offer, it turns out that the contestants have no input into their final date, regardless of how hard they try.

“My series was filmed in South Africa and I knew there was a beach full of penguins there. Penguins are my favourite animals, so I kept telling the producers that I wanted to go to this beach to see the penguins,” says Demi.

“Jess and Ched went on their date right before me, and I remember waking up and hearing that they’d got a text saying that they were heading to penguin beach. I was happy for them, but I wanted to go!”

Filming is a long process

As the final datesallow the Islanders to leave the villa, Demi reveals that filming the scenes can be time consuming as members of the crew prepare the area. As a result, it can be quite the mission to get contestants to their desired destination.

“When leaving the villa, we had to put on massive headphones so we couldn’t hear anything. They don’t want you to hear what the Islanders are talking about or anything from the crew that you shouldn’t. You keep the headphones on until you get into the car.”

Dates last around an hour

Demi estimates that her date “lasted around an hour”, though viewers only see the selected highlights on screen.

“My date took place at 8am or 9am and we’d been up since 5am for filming. It was also the hottest day on record in South Africa, so I remember having my drink in front of me and it started bubbling,” she adds.

“What’s more, I was told that I had 20 minutes to get ready, which was the biggest reality check I've ever had. It takes me at least an hour and a half to get ready. You have to factor in beach hut chats too, so that’s realistically 10 minutes.”

Contestants have ‘s**t chats’ when they’re not filming

To ensure that contestants don’t say anything off screen that should’ve been said on screen, Demi reveals that Islanders are told to keep conversations restricted to small talk when cameras aren't rolling.

“We had something called ‘s**t chats’ which is what was said whenever the producers wanted us to pause the conversation or didn’t want us to elaborate on something right away,” says Demi.

“In the minibus on the way, they’d tell us ‘it’s time for ‘s**t chat’ and we’d have to talk about our friends, families, jobs, etc, so that we didn’t say anything of interest. You’re also not allowed to sit next to your partner and you either sit behind or in front of them.”

Nothing is scripted, but producers sometimes give prompts

Viewers of Love Island will know that contestants aren’t afraid of putting their hearts on their sleeves and professing their love in front of millions. According to Demi, contestants are given “pointers” from producers when featuring in such chats.

“It’s not scripted and they never tell you what to say, but they might give you pointers,” explains Demi. “You could have a chat with your partner but after they’ll say ‘you haven’t really mentioned your journey or whether you’ll meet each other’s parents’. Then you use those pointers to continue the conversation.”

Some clips however are purely for the cameras, such as Demi’s dancing scene with former beau Luke. “The producers asked Luke to take my hand and we had to slow dance in front of a whole camera crew with a bit of music in the background,” she says.

“I’m used to dancing in the club, not in the ballroom! It was very sweet but I can’t say that it wasn’t awkward.”


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