While we’re happy to watch people look for love on MAFS and Bachelor in Paradise, the new reality dating show is being absolutely slammed online.
Even Australia’s reality TV sweetheart, Georgia Love, has been throwing shade, calling the show ‘absolutely abhorrent’ and saying it treats women like pieces of meat.
To make matters worse for Channel 9, only 155,000 people tuned into the premiere episode. Ouch.
So why do we have such a problem with it?
I’ll be the first to admit, I love a trashy reality show. Having watched all 51 episodes of Season 3 of Love Island UK (okay, okay, I watched Season 2 as well and I regret nothing!) I was actually intrigued to see what they did with the Australian format.
The British version is unashamedly trash-tastic and I became an expert in ‘mugs’ and ‘melts’ and learnt why you should never put all your eggs in one basket. (If you know, you know.)
But, like most people, I was disappointed by the Aussie version.
Not only is there a massive lack of diversity, but there’s no contestants who are ‘normal enough’ to make us feel like we’re not totally horrible human beings for watching attractive people lay around in bikinis and make out with virtual strangers while we sit on the lounge in our trackies.
While Love Island UK’s third reason raked in an average of 2.52 million viewers for each episode, and the contestants are still widely loved and adored by the British population, it’s become pretty clear that our problem is with the casting.
Love Island Australia is missing what I like to call The Camilla Factor.
In the UK version of the show, of course there were your typical glamour models and gym bunnies, but there was also Camilla Thurlow - a Scottish sweetheart and humanitarian who works in explosive ordnance disposal. If you’re as baffled by that description as the other spray-tanned contestants were, it means she works with charities to remove remnants of war, like landminds, from disadvantaged regions.
Yes, she’s an actual living angel.
She was also rumoured to have dated Prince Harry before going on the show but, being the true class act she is, refused to talk about it on camera.
While the show, at it’s core, is basically just Big Brother mixed with Georgie Shore, having a cast member so sweet and ‘normal’ meant there was someone viewers actually wanted to find love. Many people believe her being cast was the reason the show transformed into such a ratings juggernaught and is now aired in over 40 countries.
When Camilla was dumped by Johnny the minute a prettier girl entered the villa, people’s affection for Camilla only grew.
She ended up having the last laugh when Calvin Klein model and total darling cherub Jamie Jewitt entered the house on Day 32. Can you tell I’m too invested in their relationship!?
One year on, the pair are still together and spend their spare time doing charity work. I’m not crying, YOU ARE!
It's become clear that this show lives or dies by the people who are cast on it, and unfortunately for the Aussie producers, the 10 cast members we've seen so far aren't going to win the hearts of the nation.
While I'm sure they're all lovely people and have proud families excitedly watching them at home, even in reality TV we need someone with more substance to keep us watching.