'Love Island' comes to the U.S.: 10 things you need to know about the British reality TV sensation

Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Not that drunk. On the U.K. version, contestants are limited to two alcoholic drinks per night, and the same policy applies on the U.S. version. "We are not about excessive alcohol consumption in any way," Eilenberg says. "We think that policy has been better for the show in terms of the classiness of it and the ultimate goals, which are to drive dialogue and establish genuine connections."

Will the show be as fun without the cheeky British slang?

One can dream. As American viewers who've tuned into U.K. "Love Island" are aware, much of the show's charm comes from the quirky sayings the British and Scottish contestants use. If a guy dumps you and goes immediately for a new girl, you've been "mugged off" or "pied off" -- made a fool of. A new hottie comes into the villa who attracts your attention? Your "head's been turned." Islanders who are hot are referred to as "proper fit." If you're really excited about going out with someone, you're "buzzing."

"We're mining for prospective American 1/8idioms3/8 that makes sense for us," admits Eilenberg. "Really all of this emerges from actual dating culture. Hopefully for viewers who are not singles themselves or dating, there will be that same sense of discovery."

Is there a host?

Yes, but she's not a huge part of the show. Or at least Caroline Flack, who hosts the U.K. version, isn't. She comes to check in on the Islanders every now and again, but not on a regular schedule, a la Chris Harrison during a "Bachelor" rose ceremony. U.S. "Love Island" will be hosted by Arielle Vandenberg, a comedian who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram.


What about a narrator?

One of the best parts of U.K. "Love Island" is its Scottish narrator, comedian Iain Stirling, whose voiceover guides viewers through each episode. While Stirling is there to move the action along, he also pokes fun at the Islanders -- pointing out ridiculous outfits or lines of conversation that viewers are simultaneously laughing at. U.S. "Love Island" will have voiceover too, though it's still a secret who will serve as the voice of reason.

"One of the things that Iain does that's so great is to be the friend on the couch who's sort of poking fun at the show, but it's clear he's also enjoying every bit of it," says Eilenberg. "We're not mean about our contestants, but we are having fun with it."

Will contestants be familiar with the format of the show?


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