EXCLUSIVE: Love Island’s front runner Whitney could make history as the first black winner with bosses ‘delighted’ by her popularity after facing years of accusations show is racist
- READ MORE: Love Island winners: Where are they now?
Love Island is set to have its first black winner, to the delight of ITV bosses who have faced years of accusations that the dating show is racist.
Whitney Adebayo is favourite to be awarded the £50,000 prize during Monday’s final, which executives would consider a ‘big win’ for the under-fire network.
Although the reality show has had mixed-race winners before, it has been dogged by accusations of bias.
Black contestants are often the last to be chosen when islanders pick who they want to couple up with at the start of each series, and several cast members have spoken openly about prejudice after leaving the TV villa.
Yewande Biala, who appeared on the fifth series, wrote an open letter in which she spoke about ‘microaggressions’ and called out co-star Lucie Donlan for repeatedly mispronouncing her name, which she said, ‘is just another form of racism’.
VIEWER FAVOURITES: Lochan Nowacki and Whitney Adebayo look set to win ITV2’s Love Island
Popular: Whitney Adebayo is favourite to be awarded the £50,000 prize during Monday’s final, which executives would consider a ‘big win’ for the under-fire network
Amber Gill, who is mixed race with Trinidadian heritage, won that series with Greg O’Shea.
And earlier this year Sanam Harrinanan and Kai Fagan, of Indo-Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage respectively, became the first non-white couple to win after starring in the show’s winter series.
Now TV insiders predict that entrepreneur Whitney, 25, will be crowned Love Island 2023 winner alongside her partner Lochan Nowacki, also 25.
A source said: ‘Whitney has won over the nation and ITV bosses could not be happier.
‘She has topped the public vote time and time again so the prediction is that she will go all the way and be crowned champion. Although she will be winning as part of a couple, it is Whitney who is the favourite among viewers.’
When Sanam won, she said: ‘I’ve had a lot of brown girls from the Asian community come up to me and say I saw you on TV, we never get any representation.’
Unlike any other summer season, this year’s Love Island, hosted by Maya Jama, has managed to avoid major controversies, and no contestants have quit early.
Yewande Biala (right), who appeared on the fifth series, previously spoke about ‘microaggressions’ and called out co-star Lucie Donlan (left) for mispronouncing her name
Love: Earlier this year Sanam Harrinanan and Kai Fagan, of Indo-Trinidadian and Jamaican heritage respectively, became the first non-white couple to win
Now exes: Amber Gill, who is mixed race with Trinidadian heritage, won the fifth series with Greg O’Shea (pictured 2019)
Love Island winners: Where are they now? From marriage and babies to bitter splits and shunning the spotlight… how our favourite couples got on AFTER the show ended
The 10th series of Love Island is about to kick off, with 10 sexy singletons gearing up to enter the famous villa.
They may all be competing for a £50,000 cash prize but the winners can expect to start a whole new life after the show ends.
From landing giant sponsorship deals to walking down the aisle and having children, some winners have stood the test of time.
Sadly not every couple have remained together and while some have gone on to great success, others have faded from the celebrity scene.
Now MailOnline takes a look what happened to the winners of the last nine seasons.
Season One (2015): Jess Hayes and Max Morley
First winners: Jessica Hayes and Max Morley scooped the title as the series one winners in 2015, pipping favourites Hannah Elizabeth and Jonathan Clark to the top spot
Playing the field: Max has dated the likes of fellow reality stars Zara Holland, Charlotte Crosby, and Laura Anderson [pictured]. He has also appeared on Ex On The Beach
Family: Jess fell in love with mechanic Dan Lawry in 2018 and the couple welcomed a baby boy, Presley, the following year
Jess Hayes and Max Morlye, both 30 years of age, found themselves on the surprise hit of the summer when they signed up for the first ever series of Love Island in 2015.
Although the contestants became stars, the reality show wasn’t quite the guaranteed star-maker it is today.
The couple walked away with the prize money, pipping favourites Hannah Elizabeth and Jonathan Clark to the top spot.
However their showmance didn’t last long and the pair split just six weeks after the cameras stopped rolling.
Max was quick to dust himself off and dated a string of other reality TV beauties including fellow former Love Islanders Zara Holland (series two) and Laura Anderson (series five).
He also appeared on Ex on the Beach in 2017 and had a fling with Charlotte Crosby.
Since then he has faded from the limelight and is thought to be working as a recruiter.
He rarely posts on social media and has not revealed who his partner is but they had a baby boy called Brooklyn in November 2021.
Jess has also experienced the joys of parenthood.
The social media star, who boasts almost 400,000 followers on Instagram, fell in love with mechanic Dan Lawry in 2018.
The couple welcomed a baby boy, Presley, the following year and her Instagram account is testament to the love and devotion she has for her son.
She and Dan were engaged after Presley was born but broke up in May 2021 and now co-parent their son.
In April Jess tragically suffered a second miscarriage and has been praised by fans for helping other women by speaking about her experience.
Season Two (2016): Cara De La Hoyde and Nathan Massey
Success story: Not only are series two winners Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde still together, they are married with two children
Family: Cara and Nathan tied the knot in June 2019 and have two children together – daughter Delilah, four, and son Freddie, two
Cara De La Hoyde, 32, and Nathan Massey, 30, didn’t have a typical life after Love Island but they still managed to make their romance work.
After he left the villa Nathan had to go back to working on a building site within six months.
The carpenter admitted he was embarrassed to return to work so soon but he is now happily married to Cara and the pair are one of the only winning couples remaining together.
Cara and Nathan tied the knot in June 2019 and have two children together – daughter Delilah, four, and son Freddie, two.
The couple have remained in the public eye and Cara has often spoken about her struggles with depression, anxiety and OCD.
Since she was 16 she has been on various medication to deal with her mental health issues.
The star has been very open about her troubles and has accepted she may always have bouts of depression.
Season Three (2017): Amber Davies and Kem Cetinay
Loved-up: Amber Davies and Kem Cetinay won the third season of Love Island, with Amber reduced to tears by her partner’s loving speech in the finale
Smitten: In December she revealed she’d found love at work, confirming she is dating her Back to the Future co-star Ben Joyce
Two’s company: He began co-presenting the podcast Love Island: The Morning After with Arielle Free in 2018 but the pair were replaced by Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack this year
Amber Davies, 26, and Kem Cetinay, 27, stormed to victory in season three but it was just four months before the fan favourites broke up.
Despite this, since the couple took the Love Island crown in 2017, both Amber and Kem have had successful careers on and off the screen.
Amber has made appearances in reality shows such as And They’re Off! as well as documentaries including Amber & Dolly: 9 to 5 and When Reality TV Goes Horribly Wrong.
She soon began a career in musical theatre, starring as Judy Bernly in 9 to 5: The Musical, Campbell Davies in Bring It On: The Musical and is currently playing Lorraine Bains in Back To The Future: The Musical.
In December she revealed she’d found love at work, confirming she is dating her Back to the Future co-star Ben Joyce.
Meanwhile, Kem released a single with fellow Islander Chris Hughes that peaked at 15th in the UK music charts.
He also began co-presenting the podcast Love Island: The Morning After with Arielle Free in 2018 but the pair were replaced by Sam Thompson and Indiyah Polack this year.
Kem also owns a restaurant in Romford called Array, a move that came as a shock to fans as he failed to impress on Celebrity Masterchef.
Season Four (2018): Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham
Romance: Dani Dyer – daughter of British actor Danny – and Jack Fincham were together throughout the entirety of their Love Island tenure
Proud parents: In May she welcomed twin daughters with her West Ham forward boyfriend Jarrod Bowen, naming the newborns Summer and Star
Daddy cool: Jack shares a baby daughter called Blossom with one-time fling Casey Ranger
Jack Fincham, 32, and Dani Dyer, 26, took the season four crown after being a fan favourites from day one.
They famously refrained from having sex in the Love Island villa and went on to win the nation’s hearts as Jack sweetly asked her to be his girlfriend.
Days after leaving, Jack told The Sun: ‘We’re getting married next year, 100 per cent. Like my mum said to me so many times, “When you know about someone, you just know.” And now I know what she’s talking about. I just know that that’s what we want to do.’
However, the romance wasn’t to last and even though they moved into their own flat the couple broke up after five months.
Dani has made several TV appearances, including as Jeanette in EastEnders last year alongside her father Danny.
She welcomed son Santiago with ex-boyfriend Sammy Kimmence only for him to be jailed for three years in 2021 for scamming pensioners out of £34,000.
In May she welcomed twin daughters with her West Ham forward boyfriend Jarrod Bowen, naming the newborns Summer and Star.
Meanwhile, Jack shares a baby daughter called Blossom with one-time fling Casey Ranger.
Jack has struggled to find success after leaving the villa and has even had a brush with the law.
The TV star was spotted by police in January 2021 in his £30,000 Mercedes near his home in Swanley.
Prosecutors said he was found to have high levels of cocaine by-product, as well as Valium, in his blood, but his lawyers argued that the blood test taken was a ‘false positive’.
Jack later had his drug-driving charges dropped after a lack of ‘reliable evidence’.
Season Five (2019): Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea
Done and dusted: Amber Gill won Love Island 2019 and the £50,000 prize money with Irish rugby player, Greg O’Shea, who was a late addition to the series
Cute couple: Last year Amber confirmed that she was dating footballer Jen Beattie after revealing she dates both men and women
Olympian: Greg returned to Ireland to carry on his rugby sevens career. He turned down big money deals in favour of training for the Tokyo Olympics
Amber Gill, 25, and Greg O’Shea, 28, swooped in to beat favourites Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury in 2019 despite Greg only entering the show two weeks before the final.
However, their short-lived romance wasn’t sustainable outside of the villa, with Greg dumping Amber ‘by text’ just 39 days later – a claim he denies.
Since her skyrocket to fame, Amber has been inundated with brand sponsorship deals and was the face of clothing brand, MissPap, in a deal that was reportedly worth £1 million.
She also made a string of guest TV appearances since her shock win and has also released a romance novel and appeared on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins last year.
But with greater popularity comes greater pressure, and the Love Island winner revealed she was struggling to find her perfect match and worried that she attracts men for the wrong reasons.
Last year she confirmed that she was dating footballer Jen Beattie after revealing she dates both men and women.
Meanwhile, Greg O’Shea returned to Ireland to carry on his rugby sevens career.
He famously turned down big money deals in favour of training for the Tokyo Olympics, where he and his teammates came tenth in the rugby sevens.
Season Six (2020): Finn Tapp and Paige Turley
Still loved-up: Paige Turley and Finley Tapp won the first-ever winter edition of Love Island in early 2020 and remained together during the Covid pandemic
It’s over: The couple quickly moved in together and were able to stay happily together throughout the Covid pandemic but ended up splitting in April 2023
Paige Turley, 25, and Finley Tapp, 23, won the first-ever winter edition of Love Island in early 2020 as the pair were crowned champions in South Africa.
The couple quickly moved in together and were able to stay happily together throughout the Covid pandemic.
Finn later credited lockdown with helping their relationship, saying: ‘I think lockdown helped in a way whereby you didn’t need to come out [of the villa] and then get pulled from pillar to post everywhere and stuff like that.
‘It was nice to actually just have a little bit of time. I didn’t really want all of that time that we ended up having because of lockdown.
‘But it was nice having that little bit of time to continue to work on Paige and I and it just sort of grew from strength to strength.’
However they called it a day in April after three years together, with the pair said to have realised they ‘weren’t forever’.
Insiders claimed: ‘Paige and Finn had a really good run, but they are still super young and decided it wasn’t forever in the end.’
Adding that they are now living separately, they continued: ‘Paige is spending some time back in Scotland while she works out what she wants to do next.’
Paige, who used to date popstar Lewis Capaldi, has since suggested she wants to launch a singing career, having previously appeared on Britain’s Got Talent.
Season Seven (2021): Millie Court and Liam Reardon
Victorious: Millie Court, 26, and Liam Reardon, 23, managed to win season seven despite struggling through a tough period when Liam’s head was turned in Casa Amor
On/off: The couple lasted for a year before splitting the following July amid rumours Liam had been unfaithful but their tale had a happy ending and they reconciled in April
Millie Court, 26, and Liam Reardon, 23, managed to win season seven despite struggling through a tough period when Liam’s head was turned in Casa Amor.
The couple lasted for a year before splitting the following July amid rumours Liam had been unfaithful, claims the pair strongly denied.
Addressing the split, Millie shared with fans: ‘It’s been a tough decision and I am gutted but it’s ultimately what is best for us right now. Thank you to every single one of you for supporting our relationship.’
Liam echoed her sentiments and penned: ‘Nothing will ever take away from the amazing experience we shared in Love Island and the past year we’ve been so lucky to both come into each other’s lives.’
Their tale had a happy ending, however as the pair reconciled in April .
Season Eight (2022): Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti
Popular: Ekin-Su Culculoglu, 28, and Davide Sanclimenti, 27, had a bumpy ride in the villa but won the nation’s hearts with their romance
TV stars: The pair went on to get their own TV show, where they travelled to their hometowns in Italy and Turkey to meet each other’s families
Ekin-Su Culculoglu, 28, and Davide Sanclimenti, 27, had a bumpy ride in the villa but won the nation’s hearts with their real yet rocky romance.
The pair went on to land their own TV show, where they travelled to their hometowns in Italy and Turkey to meet each other’s families.
Ekin-Su also experienced more reality TV as she signed up for Dancing On Ice shortly after leaving the villa.
But the couple announced they had split last month following an 11 month romance.
Ekin-Su returned to Instagram last week after her split and wrote: ‘Hi everyone, I thought it was time to come back online to thank you so much for all of your messages over the past 2-weeks.
‘It has shown me what a kind, supportive, strong community I have behind me. I took some much needed time away with my family which has been really special but now it’s time to realign & get back to work.
‘I have such an exciting year ahead & I want to fully focus on that. I really appreciate your ongoing support. Thank you for cheering me on. Ekin x’
Season Nine (2023): Kai Fagan and Sanam Harrinanan
Epic: Kai Fagan, 24, and Sanam Harrinanan, 24, made history with their win in season nine as it’s the first time a Casa Amor bombshell has been victorious
Low-key: The down to earth couple won over fans with their laidback attitude and have not chased after the spotlight since leaving the villa
Kai Fagan, 24, and Sanam Harrinanan, 24, made history with their win in season nine as it’s the first time a Casa Amor bombshell has been victorious.
The down to earth couple won over fans with their laidback attitude and have not chased after the spotlight since leaving the villa.
Sanam worked as a social worker before the show, and in a new interview she had admitted her decision to appear on Love Island has put a halt to her previous career.
‘I can’t go into social work again, I don’t think I’ll be able to,’ she admitted to heat Magazine.
She added though that she has plans to use her new platform to help her local community.
‘I’ve got a meeting about it this week with my social work manager because I want to be able to use this platform to help children locally,’ she explained.
She previously revealed she plans to use some of the £50,000 prize money to support her mum – who he is on her own after her dad passed away – as well as potentially invest in projects to help children.
P.E. and science teacher Kai meanwhile has said he hopes to continue working with kids but knows his career path will most likely have to change.
MEET THE ISLANDERS
NAME: Tyrique Hyde
WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE VILLA? I’ll bring vibes, confidence, good energy and honesty. I don’t sit on the fence, if I have an opinion I will speak up. I’m also not afraid to go after what I want
CLAIM T0 FAME? Toby Aromolaran is one of my best friends, we grew up together and were in the same class at school
NAME: Ella Thomas
WHAT’S YOUR CLAIM TO FAME? I’ve been in a Headie One and Burna Burna Boy music video and I was once an extra in World War Z. I was 12 years old when I filmed it and got to meet Brad Pitt which was cool.
WHY SHOULD SOMEBODY DATE YOU? I’m the whole package, I know what I want in life and I’ve got a big heart.
NAME: Mitchel Taylor
OCCUPATION: Gas engineer
WHY SHOULD SOMEBODY DATE YOU? I thrive on being a gentleman. I’ll shower you with flowers, I’ll take you on dates, I’ll fill your bedside drawer with your favourite sweets and chocolate. I’ve been single, I’ve had my fun and now I want to settle down.
WHY ARE YOU SINGLE? I’m just really picky. I’ve got to find the girl that I want to marry and have kids with. I’m nearly 27, I don’t want to play the field anymore, I want to find the one.
NAME: Jess Harding
OCCUPATION: Aesthetics Practitioner
WHY ARE YOU SINGLE? Because every boy is giving me the ick at the moment. I feel like it’s fate because I’m saving myself for Mr Right in the Villa!
WHAT GIVES YOU THE ICK? When a guy stunts for money, that’s an ick. Showing off all their designer clothes because most of the time they’re probably fake anyway! Another one is when a boy runs for the train and the train goes without him. Lunch Boxes also – just go to Tesco and get a meal deal!
NAME: Zachariah Noble
FROM: South East London
OCCUPATION: Personal trainer and basketball player
WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE VILLA? I’m a very chilled out guy and I’m completely myself 100% of the time. I’m quite straightforward and never struggle making friends, I like to look after people.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE ICK? I’ve got two and they’re both really stupid; Bad handwriting – I’ve got terrible handwriting so they’d need to have better handwriting than me and twerking, I really don’t like twerking!
NAME: Whitney Adebayo
WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE VILLA? Good vibes, I can be really silly and funny but I can also get deep. It depends on the person and the situation but I am a very adaptable person, I know how to read the room.
DO YOU FALL IN LOVE QUICKLY? Real love, no. I can fall in lust but I don’t fall in love quickly. My big thing is trust, I’ve got to trust you fully before I can give you my heart. I won’t give you my heart for free, you’ve got to earn it.
NAME: Sammy Root
OCCUPATION: Project Manager
WHAT WILL YOU BRING TO THE VILLA? I’ll be the energy in the villa, lots of guys have pretty faces and nice bodies, which I have too, but I’ve also got the bubbly personality, I’m a bit of a firework
HOW WOULD FRIENDS/FAMILY DESCRIBE YOU? Funny, bubbly and good to be around. I’m a bit cheeky too.’
Scott Van Der Sluis
NAME: Scott Van Der Sluis
FROM: Connah’s Quay, north Wales
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL BRING TO THE VILLA? Energy. I’ll bring a bit of banter, be cheeky, and I’m a flirt! very, very strong personality so if I see anything I don’t agree with, there’ll definitely be fireworks!
WHAT GIVES YOU THE ‘ICK? Someone who gets too clingy too quickly. I don’t like too many calls and too many texts. I’m not a fan of someone wearing Nike Air Force 1 trainers with a dress on a night out either or waking up with someone and seeing patchy fake tan in the morning.
NAME: Molly Marsh
OCCUPATION: Musical Theatre Performer and Social Media Creator
WHY LOVE ISLAND? I think it’s ideal timing and the perfect way to find someone. I don’t go out and party and I don’t use dating apps, I’m actually quite old-fashioned, so there’s no better way to meet someone than by going into a Villa in the sun with the potential ‘one’ in there.
DO YOU HAVE ANY CLAIMS TO FAME? With my job being in social media, I’ve had some amazing opportunities to go on press trips and I’ve actually been out to the ‘Love Island’ Villas in Mallorca and South Africa. Having the experience to walk around both was amazing but to now actually live in the Villa is going to be incredible.
NAME: Lochan Nowacki
OCCUPATION: Account Manager
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO GO INTO CASA AMOR? I feel like I’m excited because a lot of the people in relationships aren’t fully secure. I know the type of person I am as well, so I feel like I can turn heads. I’m not going to be disrespectful and I’m proud of my morals as a person. I’m confident that I can go in and not necessarily stir it up, but open the ladies’ eyes to what could be a better couple.
HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TURNING PEOPLE’S HEADS? I have a top three in my mind already, so I’ll probably be pulling them for chats quite quickly and letting them know they’re the top three people I want to speak to. But I’m confident I’m a people person, I’m not going in there to act any differently to how I am with my own friends. I back myself that people will see that and see my good looks and bish, bash, bosh.
NAME: Abi Moores
OCCUPATION: Flight Attendant
WHY ARE YOU EXCITED TO GO INTO CASA AMOR? I want to find a boyfriend! Everyone on Love Island is so sexy. I feel like the kind of person that would do Love Island is definitely the type of person I could be in a relationship with.
HOW DO YOU PLAN ON TURNING PEOPLE’S HEADS? Having good eye contact. Everyone says my eyes are my best feature. My plan is to gauge how they’re feeling. I always call it my ‘spidey senses’. I’m a very good judge of character, I can see through people and see their energy. If they fancy me I should be able to gauge it quite well, so I should know who to graft with and who to leave to the side.
NAME: Ella Barnes
OCCUPATION: Championship Dancer and Model
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? Confident and bubbly. But, I’m also very loving underneath it all, once you get to know me you will see that I’ve got a really good heart. I have a fiery side too, if I think someone is in the wrong or they overstep the line, I’m not afraid to go tell them. In terms of my looks, I’d say I’m a 5ft2” pocket rocket.
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