EVERY year Love Island is a roller-coaster ride for the Islanders chosen to take part.
Contestants battle it out to win the £50,000 prize and the Love Island champions title, however should the couples really be aiming for first place?
Past series have suggested that the second placing pair have actually gone on to have the longer and more successful relationships – as well as, raking in the most money!
Bookies’ favourites Millie Court and Liam Riordan were crowned 2021 champions during last week’s final.
However, there is strong evidence to suggest that runners-up Chloe and Toby might be better off in the future. Here’s a look at why finishing in second place could actually be preferable.
Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury, Series 5, 2019 – £3 million
Business savvy reality star Molly-Mae Hague is one of the most successful Love Island stars ever – despite the fact she finished second place with her boyfriend Tommy Fury.
The pair, who met and fell in love on series 5 of the ITV2 dating show in 2019, are still together to this day.
Since the show Molly has been inundated with business opportunities, the most lucrative of which has been her partnership with fashion brand Pretty Little Thing.
She also has her own fake tan range and a successful vlogging channel on YouTube. Molly also became the first influencer to partner with Starbucks, with her calling it her "dream job".
The 22-year-old recently signed a huge seven figure fashion deal with Pretty Little Thing – and celebrated the “deal of a lifetime” by treating herself to a £37k Cartier bracelet.
The star’s seven-figure deal sees her take on the role of the brand’s creative director for the UK and Europe.
After she left the villa we reported how Molly-Mae secured a £500,000 deal with PLT. The following year an even more lucrative £600k deal came her way.
In May we reported Molly-Mae is now a millionaire after raking in £558,323 in just one year.
New accounts for MMH Group Holdings, of which Molly-Mae is the sole director, reveal she made the equivalent of £11,000 per week between August 2019 and August 2020.
On top of her latest earnings, she also has assets of £786,959 – including £777,179 in cash reserves.
There are three businesses under the group's umbrella: Filter, MMH International and FM Cosmetics. Molly-Mae's bills total £232,662, with £159,809 in corporation tax.
And this is all before becoming creative director of PLT!
Meanwhile her hunky boxing beau Tommy, 22, also rakes in the cash and his net worth is reportedly over £1million.
Since his appearance on the show, Tommy has had numerous endorsements and sponsorships.
The Sun exclusively reported in September that the Manchester-born star was pocketing £3,000 A DAY in profits – that's a whopping £1.1m for the year.
According to this star-studded couple, it doesn’t seem too bad to be Love Island runners-up!
Siannise Fudge and Luke Trotman, Series 6, 2020 – £78k
Elsewhere Islanders Siannise Fudge and Luke Trotman, who were runners-up on the winter edition of Love Island in 2020, are also super successful.
They are reportedly the highest earners from Love Island in lockdown – making £39,000 on TikTok alone.
Siannise and Luke T, who found love in South Africa, have even been able to move into a swanky flat in South West London.
But it’s their cute dance routines and hilarious videos on TikTok that have ensured the couple are top of the list when it comes to raking in the cash.
The beauty consultant, 25, and the footballer, 22, share videos with millions of followers and according to online marketplace OnBuy, the biggest Love Island earner in lockdown is Luke T.
His 1.1 million followers has earned him an estimated £878.89 per post and total earnings of £22,851.14 since lockdown began.
Bristolian Siannise still potentially cashes in £702.30 per post and has a current estimated total of around £16,379, from March 23rd when lockdown was announced.
Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen, Series 2, 2016 – £4.5 million
Arguably one of the most successful and loved up couples to come out of the hit dating show is Olivia Buckland and Alex Bowen.
The stunning duo were runners-up on series 2 of Love Island in 2016 and went on to tie the knot in Essex two years later. Now, they’ve built themselves a very successful empire.
Olivia has managed to make a lot of money by sponsored Instagram posts with a number of brands including Easilocks hair, Miss Empire, Skin Republic, Dominos and utan.
Alex also has a number of deals with Lonsdale, Gym King and Hera.
They both also share their own clothing brand Exempt Society, their own TV show on TLC, and have set up The Bowen Homes Ltd to transform their own Wolverhampton property to put on the market.
This means that the pair are now reportedly worth £4.5m.
Everyone on Series 3, 2017
There’s a number of Love Island contestants from series 3 that have gone on to be super successful – plus they didn’t win the show.
Amber and Kem won the prize money and Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt came in second place.
But the whole series was full of successful reality stars; Amber went on to star in the West End, Kem became a Dancing On Ice Star while his best pal Chris Hughes became a rapper, horse racing specialist and cricket presenter.
Plus his ex Olivia Attwood went on The Only Way Is Essex before launching her own show Olivia Meets Her Match.
Elsewhere Montana Brown launched her own clothing range, while Camilla and Jamie have been lucrative in other areas. They welcomed a daughter and got engaged this year.
Who’s the real winner?
Average Annual Earnings on Instagram:
Winners – £101,274
Runners Up – £311,315
Average Number of Followers on Instagram:
Winners – 1,559,667
Runners Up – 1,847,500
Average Annual Number of Ads Posted on Instagram:
Winners – 28
Runners Up – 67
Runners Up Post 139% more Ads on Instagram
LoveUX recently published a study on how much contestants were making as Instagram Influencers, looking at the comparison between winners and runners-up.
The study found on average runners-up make 207% more as Instagram Influencers. The top 3 highest earners were all runners up with no winners in the top 10.
Meanwhile runners-up also have 18% more Followers on Instagram. Of the top 5 most followed contestants, 3 are runners up and only 1 was a winner.
Justine Gribbin, Head of Paid Social at LoveUX, said: “The real winners of Love Island are determined by those who capitalize the most on their new found fame after leaving the villa.
“The contestants with the highest earnings potential are the ones that embrace their new following and don't shy away from the limelight.
“For some, they may prefer to focus on their careers and/or family away from the public eye, but the highest earnings potential is for those that seek out lucrative brand partnerships and keep their new followers regularly engaged throughout their journey.”
Based on the Instagram earnings data that LoveUX collected, finishing as a runner-up on the show appeared to lead to a far more lucrative career as an Instagram Influencer.
With runners-up making on average over £300k a year, 207% more than what the actual winners earn on Instagram. They also have on average nearly 300,000 more followers.
Justine added: “The runners-up on the show tend to be the ones that don't shy away from the fame that comes with the show and keep themselves in the public eye as much as possible.
“The success of runners-up over winners is no doubt also strengthened by the fact that more of the runner-up couples actually stay together.
“This helps maintain the emotional bond viewers form to their relationship during the show, which in turn creates a more engaged audience.
“This is also reflected in the fact that the two highest earning couples from the show (Olivia & Alex and Molly & Tommy) both finished as runners-up, showcasing the financial benefits of staying together after leaving the villa.”
Elsewhere Brenda Gabriel from Brenda Gabriel PR explained there are several reasons the runners up are the real winners in terms of opportunities once leaving the villa.
She said the runners up have the benefit of having the same amount of time in the show as the winners, giving the audience more time to get to know them.
Brenda explained that due to this exposure, the most popular runners up and those who've had the most press exposure due to their behaviour or rows in the villa can easily expect to make up to £1m in brand deals and personal business in the 12 months after the show.
The PR expert commented: “Faye and Teddy, particularly Faye, are likely to secure some lucrative brand deals.
“Regardless of her outburst and their upset, Teddy and Faye are one of the most memorable couples from the villa in terms of column inches and social media exposure.
“The fact that they were able to work things out and are still together will add to the allure of their brand as a couple having survived their first big fight in the public eye.
“We can expect Faye to receive numerous clothing and beauty deals and possibly some around relationships after admitting that she overreacted.”
Brenda went on to refer to Molly being one of the most successful runners up to date as well as 2018 runner up, Megan Barton Hanson, reportedly made 250k in the first year of business after her split from Wes in addition to the PLT deal and sponsored posts.
She said: “Another benefit of being a runner up on Love Island is the fact it leaves equal reality TV opportunities to those of the winners.
“Many runners up have gone on to feature in other reality TV shows such as TOWIE like Olivia Attwood who subsequently landed her own reality TV show – Olivia Meets her Match.”
I spent 5hrs making myself a Love Island beauty – I looked like a satsuma & couldn’t flush the loo with fake nails.
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