Love does conquer all. The casts of Love Island U.S. and Love Island U.K. have warmed viewers’ hearts — and messed with their heads — this season, but there can only be one winning couple in each competition. Which couples found love and took home the cash prize?
As for season 3 of the U.S. series, which concluded on August 15, couple Olivia Kaiser and Korey Gandy ended up winning the competition and splitting $100,000. The pair joined the villa during the first day of the season but only spent six days actually coupled up together before claiming victory.
The cosmetologist, 28, reflected on her first impressions of the rental car salesman, 28, following their win. “I will say that I was like, ‘Whoa, this boy looks like trouble.’ And for me, I didn’t know how damaged I truly was, I guess,” Olivia explained to local news AZ Central. “Walking in there, I thought I was healed from my past. And so I had those walls up. So he was the first person, and I was like, ‘Absolutely not. Like, I don’t want to risk getting hurt,’ but I was like, ‘He was fine.'”
However, she later realized there was something between them. “Don’t ever judge someone because you have no idea who they are,” she added. “And that’s one of the lessons I’ve learned, too is just, like, you know, be more empathetic and gentle with people. And I’ve learned so many lessons from this experience. And it’s, like, beautiful.”
As for the U.K. winners, fans who watched the season 7 finale on August 23 saw Millie Court and Liam Reardon take home the £50,000 grand prize. The dynamic duo hit a rough patch when the bricklayer was unfaithful to the fashion buyer in Casa Amor — but they later reunited and became exclusive before securing the win. The 22-year-old had been in the villa since day four, while the 24-year-old joined on day nine.
This season marks the first full season of the show since original presenter Caroline Flack’s death, which was soon followed by the coronavirus pandemic. The English host died by suicide in February 2020 following her decision to step down from presenting duties amid a legal battle with her ex Lewis Burton.
Current host Laura Whitmore, who was selected to succeed Caroline prior to her death, issued a statement about hosting the series in light of the TV personality’s decision to leave the show. “To say I’m excited to be heading to Cape Town to host Love Island, the biggest show on television, is an understatement. I wish it was in better circumstances,” the 36-year-old wrote in December 2019. “Caroline is a brilliant host and also a friend. We’ve spoken a lot in the last few days since she stepped down. She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role.”
She added, “I’ve watched her host every series and know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.”
In 2020, the show was set to air two seasons — one during winter and one during summer — but the second season was canceled amid COVID-19. “We have tried every which way to make Love Island this summer but logistically it’s just not possible to produce it in a way that safeguards the wellbeing of everyone involved and that for us is the priority,” read a statement made by ITV2 in May 2020. “In normal circumstances we would be preparing very soon to travel out to the location in Mallorca to get the villa ready but clearly that’s now out of the question.”
After an 18-month hiatus, the U.K. series returned in June.