Millions are expected to tune in for the grand finale of Love Island tonight, as the loved-up winners of the summer-long reality series will be crowned.
Almost 40 hopeful singles have passed through the doors of the Love Island Villa in Majorca, which has been whittled down to four final couples – including Irish contestant Dami Hope, who lives in Dublin and grew up in New Ross, Co Wexford.
Dami and his partner Indiyah Pollack have made it to the final, along with competing couples Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti, Gemma Owen and Luca Bish, and Tasha Ghouri and Andrew Le Page.
Almost 3 million people tuned into last year’s live final on ITV, while Virgin Media has reported that the current series 8 has garnered a whopping 12.1 million streams so far across the Virgin Media Player and On-Demand.
The live final kicks off tonight at 9pm on ITV2 and Virgin Media Two, hosted by Ireland’s own Laura Whitmore.
The bumper final episode will air for an extra 30 minutes and finish at 10.35pm.
The four final couples will battle out for the £50,000 prize, and more importantly the lucrative influencer clout and brand deals that come along with the Love Island title.
Tonight’s finalists will tell you they’ve found true love on the sun-soaked series that aired almost nightly for eight weeks – but public opinion is divided about the show and the messages it sends about relationships.
We asked people in Cork their views on the series.
"I don’t watch it often, but it happens when I am with friends and we want to chill a bit you know, after an exam, we would watch it.
"I haven’t seen it this year, I watched it maybe two years ago. I don’t watch it, because I don’t find it interesting but at the same time, it makes me feel very good about myself, it makes me feel more intelligent. So when I am in exam stress, it makes me feel better about myself.
"I don’t think they are good examples of relationships. I think it's very toxic."
"I watch Love Island. If I’m out I’ll catch up the next day. I think it's very entertaining, probably not real at all. I think the producers tell them what to do. I think it’s a good example of heterosexual relationships. Gemma Owen is on it this year and I think she’s a great role model. I think the show is minding them a bit more this year, I think people had some mental health issues in past years so I think they are trying to mind them a bit more."
"I’m in and out this year, the last few years I watched it but this year I’ve been on holidays and stuff and I haven't bothered catching up. My friends all watch it and it's something to talk about. I enjoyed it a lot more the last few years. It's just a bit too much, I think it’s a bit misogynistic this year. The girls are letting the boys walk all over them this year. I don’t think it’s a good role model, it just adds to the pressure of looking good all the time."
I don’t watch Love Island, not one episode. I don’t even have a TV. What I have heard, I don’t see the value of it, maybe its entertainment, but I’m sure there are other ways to be entertained. I haven’t seen it but I don’t think watching television, people based on their looks, or how they act with a camera in front of them, I don’t think it's very authentic and I don’t think it is giving the teenagers a real view of what a relationship looks like or should be."
Rachel: "I enjoy it, it's something to watch in the evening. I find myself looking forward to it. I think this year is better. I do get invested in it. I enjoy the drama but you can tell it’s a bit put on. I don’t think it's how relationships work outside of the show."
Rebecca: "I think it's good. I was more invested in previous years. I think I was more into it in previous years. Sometimes we met up together to watch it so there is that social aspect to it. I’m not overly invested in it. I don’t think it is good for the people on the show, in terms of money and fame, you get yourself out there, but mental health-wise, probably not."
Nicola: "I love Love Island, I’m a big fan, but I don’t think it's good for the contestants at all, I think the show should take better care of them after the show. I think because they are in there for so long, it's like a bubble and when they come out, social media is so toxic."