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Best Love Island season: Which series of Love Island is crowned winner?

Emma Sims
29 Nov 2022
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We trawled through the Love Island archives to bring you the best seasons for tears, tantrums and turned heads

Love Island has wrapped for this summer, with season 8 victors, Italian snack Davide Sanclimenti and “liar, actress” Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, winning by a landslide. This year’s Love Island delivered the goods, the goods being meme-able put-downs, battles of the sexes, love triangles to give noughties teen dramas a run for their money and, dare we say it, genuine romantic connection. 

From Ekin-Su’s cross-floor crawling to meet forbidden lover Jay, to the reappearance of season 4 bad boy Adam Collard, this year’s Love Island did not disappoint. But the show has changed immeasurably since its 2015 inception, becoming a stalwart on the UK reality TV scene. Earlier seasons had more than a hint of Big Brother to them: contestants were louder, more volatile, quicker to raise voices (Marlboro Light or Spanish, non-branded equivalent in hand).

Around season 4, the show became ostensibly more decorous, with manicured contestants stepping straight from the pages of a Boohoo advert, only to unravel episodes in. Recent series have seen a return to the eclectic chaos of yore, with a spectrum of personalities hailing from different lines of work gracing the show (this year’s Dami Hope was a microbiologist and his pal Paige Thorne a paramedic, for example).

Join us on a trip down memory lane as we weigh up the three best Love Island seasons to date. Be warned: spoilers abound.

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The three best seasons of Love Island

3. Love Island Season 4 (2018) | Watch now

Season 4 was the year of iconic catchphrases: who could forget the wide-eyed mutterings of Dr Alex George (“oh hell”) or the indignant cries of “I’m loyal” from Georgia Steele? Other tidbits from the highlight reel include Hayley Hughes’ geography lesson (“so Wales is in Cardiff?”) and Adam Collard’s feather-ruffling recouplings.

As ever, we weren’t just there for the mishaps and the mugging-offs (or should that be muggings off?) and as love bloomed between Dani Dyer (daughter of Danny) and Jack Fincham, they won over the nation. Other fan favourites included Megan Barton-Hanson, who managed to win back love interest Wes Nelson after ditching him for a Casa Amor newbie – setting a precedent for wandering-eyed contestants later down the road (we’re looking at you, Tash and Andrew).

Watch Season 4 now


2. Love Island Season 5 (2019) | Watch now

Explosive was the name of the game in 2019’s Love Island, with the inimitable Amber Gill, Maura Higgins and Anna Vakili taking no prisoners when it came to setting male contestants straight. On the other end of the spectrum we had ever-earnest ballroom dancer Curtis Pritchard, whose deadpan declaration that “I want to be the person who gets up and makes everyone a coffee so everyone’s ready for the morning,” rather than cuddle partner Amy Hart in bed, put Twitter in stitches.

Series 5 offered up everything a cracking season of Love Island demands: heartbreak (see Amy’s earth-shattering “I was coming back here to tell you that I loved you”), betrayal (Maura’s coupling up with aforementioned Curtis) and tender romantic bonds that have stood the test of time. In fact, perhaps the most heat-warming vignette of Love Island to date was professional boxer Tommy Fury clutching Molly-Mae Hague’s toy elephant as she returned from Casa Amor alone. A love story for the ages.

Watch Season 5 now


1. Love Island Season 3 (2017) | Watch now

Ask a seasoned Love Island aficionado what their favourite series is, and nine times out of ten you’ll get raunchy, raucous season 3 as the answer – the year Casa Amor was introduced. It was the show that spawned a thousands memes, from Chris Hughes and Kem Cetinay’s bromance (“you’re my BROTHER”) to the TikTok trend that mimics a heated exchange between Chris and Olivia Attwood (“sit back down,” orders a panicky Chris; “I’m sat,” comes Olivia’s deadpan response, as she remains seated). In fact, Olivia became such an icon that she has gone onto an illustrious career in TV; she currently presents Olivia Attwood: Getting Filthy Rich, an ITV2 documentary on the porn industry.

Love Island 2017 also charmed viewers with the blossoming romance between bomb disposal expert turned national sweetheart Camilla Thurlow and suitably hunky Jamie Jewitt (the pair are now married with two daughters). Earnest Montana Brown was another fan favourite, as was fiery Amber, though the people’s choice award has to go to Chris (“every f***ing person in this place [...] fancies me.”) 

Watch Season 3 now


Where to watch the best series of Love Island in the UK: ITV Hub

All eight series of Love Island originally debuted on ITV2. However, if you’re based in the UK, you’ll be able to catch all eight series of Love Island to date – in full – on ITV Player, ITV’s on-demand streaming platform. 

That means you’ll get to watch seasons three, five and four – which we crowned the best series of Love Island in that order – completely for free on ITV Hub. 

Watch now on ITV Hub


Where to watch the best series of Love Island from anywhere: Use a good VPN

If work or play takes you outside of the UK and you still want to avail yourself of your ITV Hub account, you may find your access has been geo-blocked. One solution to this problem is a virtual private network (VPN), which serves to encrypt your internet traffic and channel it through a remote server, which can be located anywhere in the world depending on the exact VPN service you use. We’ve shortlisted two of the best VPNs out there, so you can keep tabs on the villa action even when you’re travelling outside of the UK. Lairy Brits in Majorca on tap – now how’s that for a taste of home?

ExpressVPN: Express is our ultimate favourite VPN for streaming, with an ability to run multiple videos in 4K simultaneously. When we tested download speeds we achieved an impressive 200Mbits/sec upon connection to an ExpressVPN server in London (a mere 8.4% drop from the 219Mbits/sec reached while disconnected from the VPN and connected to a domestic Virgin fibre line). It worked with pretty much every streaming platform we tested it with, and has a highly commendable security setup to boot, thanks to its BVIs HQ and strict zero-logs policy.

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NordVPN: If you’re after a security-heavy alternative, NordVPN is your best bet. A PwC audit had confirmed that the Panama-based company doesn’t log or store identifiable user data. The service also boasts built-in ad and malware blocking, for a smoother user experience. It’s also a remarkably fast service; when we tested out a NordVPN server in New York, we achieved download speeds of an impressive 196Mbits/sec. A handy kill switch shuts down internet access if your device accidentally disconnects from the VPN, so you don’t reveal session activity without sanctioning it first. 

Buy now from NordVPN


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