How does someone become an influencer? Depends on how you define influencer, but typically it means grafting for years by creating consistent and engaging content that eventually leads to a fruitful following. Producing content might look easy – one study found 86% of US children want to be influencers – but until recently, becoming an influencer overnight was basically unheard of. That is unless you go on a dating series like ITV’s Love Island, ABC’s The Bachelor or Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle and Love Is Blind.
Love Island is no longer a show for love, it’s the place for fame. Now in its seventh series, hopeful UK singles enter the villa somewhat anonymous and tend to exit with at least half a million Instagram followers, followed by national press opportunities and brand deals with fast fashion brands like Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and I Saw It First. Just look at the success of previous contestants like Molly-Mae Hague, Ovie Soko, Olivia Attwood, Kem Cetinay, Maura Higgins and Alex and Olivia Bowen.
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This year is no different, only this is the first time the contestants have called out others for potentially looking for followers rather than love. When getting dumped from the villa, Brad McClelland told his partner Lucinda Strafford it would be a good “opportunity” for her to stay, which she later got called out for by Faye Winter. As Victoria Sanusi noted, “Lucinda is staying until she touches 500K on Instagram pls. PLT awaits.”
This year’s series has been slow, as noted by top Love Island commentators like Bolu Babalola, but there’s still plenty of potential influencers in the cast. Of this season’ contestants, here are five to look out for when they leave the villa…
Kaz Kamwi: the fashion influencer from Essex is one to watch this series. From her coordinated outfits to a bubbly personality and infectious laugh, Kaz is one of the current favourites in the villa.
Liberty Poole: a student and waitress from Birmingham, Liberty has been coupled up with Jake Cornish from the start. Best friends with Kaz in the villa, fans are loving Liberty’s realness and positivity.
Hugo Hammond: the PE teacher from Hampshire was dubbed as the show’s “first disabled contestant” because he was born with clubfoot. He has played cricket for England PD and is actively looking for a genuine romance from the show.
Faye Winter: Faye is a lettings manager from Devon who is a volunteer for Guide Dogs UK. She has been open about her cosmetic surgery while in the villa and loves the beach.
Liam Reardon: a bricklayer from South Wales, Liam was one of this year’s bombshells. If his Instagram is anything to go by, he likes hiking, cocktails and Ibiza.
By Caroline Edwards, staff writer for CORQ. Picture credit Kaz Kamwi via Instagram.