Love Island Australia is finally over after what felt like months of heartache and turmoil, with Tayla and Grant taking home the 50k. But we've been left with so many questions, like how much money did the losers walk away with? How drunk did they get every night? Did producers hand out contraception?
We've answered the questions you had—and didn't know you had—in the most important deep-dive of the year.
So you want to go on a reality show for fame and cash? While your Instagram followers might swell, don't count on the same happening to your bank account.
Tayla and Grant walked away with $50,000 last night (no winners in the history of Love Island have chosen to keep all the prize money), what did the rest of the contestants take home?
On reality shows like The Bachelor, Married At First Sight or My Kitchen Rules, contestants get paid diddly squat, but a few ex-contestants have admitted some of their living costs are covered while they're on the show so they're not left destitute by the experience—emphasis on some.
An insider from Love Island UKconfessed the only cash the contestants receive is "a contribution towards living their costs while they are on the show".
To put that in Australian terms, ex-MAFS couples have said they receive $150/week to cover costs. As anyone renting in Sydney will tell you, that barely scrapes the surface.
Where the big bucks come into play is the sponsorship posts after the show. In England, former Islanders absolutely rake it in big because boy does that country love a D-Grade celeb.
They capitalise on the surge of followers and embrace sponsored posts for charcoal toothpaste and protein powder. How much they earn depends on how many followers they have, but ex-Islanders in the UK earned around $2,650 per post for the girls and $880 for the guys.
Others signed modelling contracts or launched their own fashion and beauty lines, and all of them tend to do club appearances just like when Apollo hit up Mooseheads in Canberra after The Bachelorette.
Days before they appear on the show, contestants have their phones taken off them and they're put into hiding so they won't know who's entering the villa.
Despite pledging their undying love to each other in a scene Tayla might have thought was an actual proposal based on her reaction, the winning couple don't even have each other's phone numbers yet.
"We haven't got our phones back yet," Tayla told Now To Love. "We got to have a quick look [at Instagram], somebody held the phone and showed us how many followers we had and a few photos that had been uploaded."
"But we don't know what each other's accounts look like before Love Island. We don't even have each other's phone numbers, it's crazy!"
But wait, weren't the contestants constantly screeching "I've got a text!"?
They're given a phone in the villa that can only be used to text each other and receive info from producers about dates, recouplings and those bizarre games. They also use them to take pictures the producers then upload to their social media.
We're sure you remember the, er, sticky situation Bachelor In Paradise US got into last year? Some contestants were so blackout drunk there were accusations of rape and the whole production was shut down for weeks.
Love Island wanted to steer clear of that malarkey so alcohol intake is closely monitored by producers. On average, each contestant consumes only a couple of units per night.
Former UK Islander Kady McDermott also testified to the limited alcohol.
"At night time we weren't allowed a lot of alcohol," she said.
"During the first four or five days when we didn't know each other we had alcohol to break the ice, but then after that it was two glasses of wine a night. And we were sure it was watered down as well! I don't get that at all."
No alcohol and they could still pull out these dance moves, amazing.
Ahead of this year's UK version, contestants were given a handbook about consent before entering the villa and were banned from certain types of activities. They were also given more information on contraceptives and offered post-sex counselling sessions if they so desired.
In Australia, contestants stressed how much emphasis was put on consent and using protection.
"[T]he only couple having sex in the villa was Eden and Erin and it was a major thing that you always had to be wearing protection and everything had to be consensual," Tayla revealed to Now To Love.Eden cemented that, saying: "It's no secret that me and Erin had sex on the show on Love Island, but we always practised safe sex— there was definitely NO pregnancy."
Although the stunning $15 million villa is only 10 minutes from the Mediterranean Sea, contestants aren't allowed to escape unless they're going on a producer-organised date.
On the way to the dates, they're kept in separate cars so they couldn't have unfilmed conversations—saving the drama for the screens.
"I don't know if you know but production are very strict; we couldn't even get a f—ing pregnancy test if we wanted!" Erin admitted to Now To Love.
"You couldn't leave," Eden agreed.
Although your dream holiday might involve long, luxurious sleep-ins, the Islanders are on the clock and producers want to squeeze as much TV time from them as they can.
There are no light switches in the house—production are in charge and turn the lights on in the morning when contestants start talking.
They're not allowed to sleep in past 9:30am and were blasted with speakers and lights to rouse them out of bed.
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