As we enter the final stages of the latest series of Love Island, we’ve crunched the numbers from previous years to reveal how the winning couples differ from the rest. We’ve then used the data to score each remaining couple and work out which are likeliest to be crowned the winners in 2019.
What are the secrets of success on Love Island?
Firstly, it pays to be on the island from the very beginning as the audience doesn’t often warm to latecomers. Only one of the eight previous winners – Max in series one – wasn’t present from the start, and even he joined only two weeks into the show.
Furthermore, all four female runners-up were also ever-presents and all 12 couples who have finished in the final three contained at least one islander who was there from the beginning.
Loyalty is also rewarded by the voting public, with three of the four winning couples having spent more time on the island with each other than with anyone else. You could even make the case for the exception – Jess and Max in the first series – as Jess was Max’s only partner and therefore they couldn’t have spent any more time together than they did.
Age also matters, but not in the way you’d think. While youth certainly helps, as nobody over the age of 26 has lasted the distance, the audience have usually been more concerned about the age gap between a couple. Until Dani and Jack triumphed last year, every winning couple had been within a year of each other’s age.
There also appears to be a regional bias in the voting, as where islanders are from has had a significant influence on their success. Despite most UK viewers watching the show in England, islanders from outside of England have had the easiest route to the final four, with almost half – four out of nine – making it this far.
Among English contestants, those from the south east or north west have made the final most often, doing so around a third of the time, while nobody from the north east has ever done so.
In addition to the above, we’ve also looked at how much each islander has been mentioned on social media per day on average. While some discussions may be negative, a sustained level of interest over the series seems more likely to be down to popularity.
Which couples have the numbers on their side?
To bring all of our research together, we’ve come up with a simple scoring system where every current – or likely – couple is graded on each of the criteria outlined above. Perfect or near-perfect alignment with past winners is awarded three points, we’ve given one point for something that’s in the same ball-park and no points at all for anything else.
Encouragingly for our scoring system, runaway favourites Molly-Mae and Tommy come out on top with a score of 23. Tommy is almost the perfect candidate, having been on the island from day one, being a good age and hailing from the north west, while as a couple they are close in age and have spent a long time together.
Two of the other six remaining couples look like decent outside bets. One is Belle and Anton who have also spent a long time together, although their age gap and the relative lack of discussion about them on social media count against them.
The other challenger is a brand new couple. Amber and Greg have the advantage of being two of the three most talked-about islanders remaining, but it remains to be seen whether they can make up for lost time.
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