What are the secrets to success in Love Island?
Love Island returns to our screens on Monday with 11 entrants already announced but who is likely to win this year?
We’ve crunched the numbers for every series in the show’s history to see what the best-performing contestants had in common.
Where have Love Island winners come from?
The six previous series’ have each produced one winning couple, making 12 winners in total, and five of them have been from the South East of England: two from Essex, two from Kent and one from Buckinghamshire.
No other region has produced more than one winner but there have been three from outside England: one apiece from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
As every season to date has seen the number of couples whittled down to three before the eventual winners were declared, we can widen our net to look for more geographical patterns.
Islanders from the South East and outside of England have had the most success in getting to the final three but the regions that haven’t fared well are also interesting.
Yorkshire and the midlands have each sent 11 contestants onto the island but seen only one reach the final stages. Both were men, which doesn’t bode well for Birmingham-based Liberty Poole, 6/1 to be the leading female in the Love Island odds, this year.
There’s better news for one of the other girls heading to Majorca, however. Four of the eight women from outside of England to have competed on the show have made it to the final three so Scottish model Shannon Singh (4/1) could be on our screens for a while.
How old have Love Island winners been?
Youth has tended to beat experience in the televised dating game – at least in the eyes of the voting public. Half of the 12 winners so far have been either 21 or 22 when they arrived on the island.
Older women in particular may struggle to get the audience on their side, as only one of the six female winners to date has been over the age of 22.
This will come as a relief to 21-year-old Liberty and fuels further optimism for 22-year-old Shannon.
What did the previous Love Island winners do for a living?
While people from all walks of life have entered Love Island, five career paths have accounted for 10 of the 12 winners to date.
Sporty islanders have been the most successful, with three winners having been sportspeople, along with another five islanders who made it to the final three couples.
The first male winner – Max Morley – was a cricketer while the two most recent series have been won by rugby player Greg O’Shea and footballer Finn Tapp.
There have also been three winners from the field of entertainment: circus performer Cara De La Hoyde in series 2, dancer Amber Davies the following year and singer Paige Turley last time around.
We don’t have any entertainers among the initial group this year but this data provides another tick in the box for footballer Toby.
When did the previous Love Island winners arrive?
While we’ve revealed some positives and negatives for this year’s initial cast so far, there’s one advantage they all share.
Nine of the 12 winners to date – including all six women – were on the island from day one, suggesting the chance to make a good first impression counts for a lot.
When we look at who made it to the final three couples in the previous six series, we again see the audience tends to get more attached to the girls than the guys.
While 13 of the 18 women who reached this stage were on the island from the start, more than half of the men arrived later on.
Viewers should therefore keep a closer eye on the men among the late arrivals to the island as they have proven to be more capable of shaking things up.
Who’s popular on Instagram?
As the public will have the final say, the more likeable contestants will have a better chance of winning.
While we can’t see into the minds of the audience, we can use the islanders’ Instagram follower counts as a measure of their popularity.
Shannon is the runaway leader here thanks to her career as a glamour model: she already had around 150,000 followers when the initial line-up was announced.
Faye Winter, Aaron Francis and Chloe Burrows are all relatively anonymous online, having only recently broken the 10,000-follower barrier, so should be trying to win some fans early on.
Who will win Love Island 2021?
Based on our analysis of past winners, the ultimate power couple for Love Island 2021 would be Toby and Shannon. Ambitious islanders should do whatever it takes to pair up with one of these two.
Toby’s sports background, Essex roots and young age are all common among past winners and therefore count in his favour.
He lacks social media clout with a relatively modest number of Instagram followers but he is still one of the more popular male contestants on the platform this year.
Shannon is way out in front in terms of social media followers while being young and not English also overlap strongly with the profile of a female winner.
Her modelling career is a double-edged sword, however, as eight models have ended up being dumped from the show within the first three weeks: twice as many as islanders of any other profession.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication