The Love Island final was the first time I realised I was on TV, says Demi Jones
After spending eight weeks soaking up the sun, finding romance and enduring a fair share of recouplings, theLove Island contestants are getting ready to bid farewell tothe Mallorca villa that they’ve called home for the past two months.
And while the ITV2 dating show may be all about the love, there’s also a £50,000 prize pot at stake for one lucky couple to share or, should a contestant wish, steal from their unsuspecting partner.
So, as we prepare forLaura Whitmore to crownthe king and queen of Love Island 2022, let’s take a peek at what actually happens on the Islanders’ final day.
Speaking exclusively to OK! ,Demi Jones, who came third on Winter Love Island in 2020, gives us a glimpse behind the scenes…
The final is when the show feels "real"
The Love Island villa may be filled with cameras, but the presence of a camera crew can be a little off putting, says Demi.
“The final is the first time that you’re aware of the cameras and can actually see yourself on screen,” she explains.
“They had monitors in the garden for Laura but I was so distracted because I could see myself on camera. Naturally you want to look at the screen but you have to try and pretend it’s not there.
“It’s only when you see the cameras and Laura that it feels real and you realise you’re on an actual TV show.”
The live audience is also intense given that the Islanders have been shut off from the outside world for the past couple of months.
“The weirdest thing was walking into the villa with Luke and hearing the audience scream our names. I was used to working in Primark and suddenly people knew my name. It was nice but very overwhelming,” Demi adds.
Contestants are taken away from the villa
While viewers may be familiar with watching the ins and outs of the Love Island villa, Demi reveals that she stayed in a hotel on the last day to allow the villa to be transformed for the final.
“On the last day, you stay in a hotel and that’s where you get ready. You stay in same sex rooms and bascially spend the whole day chilling, chit-chatting and ordering room service,” she says.
“The reason they put you in a hotel is because they’re decorating the garden and members of the public are entering to be part of the live audience or are being given tours of the villa.”
Outfits are decided on a first-come, first-serve basis
When it comes to the final, Love Island contestants swap their bikinis for ballgowns and are treated to hair and makeup artists, says Demi.
“A few days before the final you get to pick out your dress. The producers come into the villa with a selection of 10 to 15 long gowns and they tell you that it’s first-come, first-serve so you have to race to get your dress,” she explains.
“For the final, they brought in hair and makeup artists, but I don’t like using them so me and the girls got ready by ourselves. They gave us massages though, which I did like!”
The declarations of love are real
It’s safe to say the Love Islanders aren’t afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve when it comes to reading out their very own declarations of love. And while the thought of professing your love in front of millions may make some people shudder, contestants take it all on the chin.
“All of us girls sat to write our declarations of love together and the producers were on hand if you didn’t know what to write,” says Demi.
“I remember worrying about being too emotional in my speech because I didn’t want to be overly romantic in case Luke mugged me off. Luckily he was equally as affectionate.”
Islanders celebrate with a pizza and Prosecco party
While the end credits may signal the end of another series for viewers at home, the Islanders are allowed to stay in the villa for a little longer.
“As soon as the cameras stop rolling, the audience leaves and you’re allowed to stay in the villa for a few more hours. We were given a bottle of Prosecco and some pizza and producers came down and had a drink with us to congratulate us for the show,” explains Demi.
“After that, we were put into some minibuses and taken back to the hotel. We didn’t get our phones back for at least another three or four days but you are given a phone to make a quick call to your family.”
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