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The Love Island Effect: Who Has Been the Most Popular Contestant Ever?

by Victoria Collins
8 min read

In recent years, Love Island has become more than just a reality TV show aired at prime time on ITV2, as many of the British public have crowned it must-see viewing for summer.

But it’s not just impressive viewing figures that steal the headlines, as many contestants go on to achieve unrivalled levels of fame, fortune and influence, especially on social media.

With some contestants amassing millions of followers, these reality TV daters stand to make big bucks in lucrative brand endorsements. But, which contestant is the most popular and what character components generate a winning formula on the show and on social media?

Image of an Island

Top 50 most popular Love Island contestants on Instagram:

Out of a whopping 259 contestants that have appeared on the show, these were the top 50 contestants with the most followers on the photo sharing app:

Name, Season, Insta Following

  1. Molly-Mae Hague, Season 5, 6.4m

  2. Tommy Fury, Season 5, 4.2m

  3. Dani Dyer, Season 4, 3.6m

  4. Maura Higgins, Season 5, 3.5m

  5. Olivia Buckland, Season 2, 3m

  6. Amber Gill, Season 5, 2.7m

  7. Kem Cetinay, Season 3, 2.6m

  8. Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, Season 8, 2.3m

  9. Chris Hughes, Season 3, 2.2m

  10. Millie Court, Season 7, 2m

  11. Alex George, Season 4, 2m

  12. Olivia Attwood, Season 3, 1.8m

  13. Jack Fincham, Season 4, 1.8m

  14. Ovie Soko, Season 5, 1.7m

  15. Lucie Donlan, Season 5, 1.7m

  16. Paige Turley, Season 6, 1.7m

  17. Siânnise Fudge, Season 6, 1.7m

  18. Alex Bowen, Season 2, 1.6m

  19. Gemma Owen, Season 8, 1.6m

  20. Megan Barton Hanson, Season 4, 1.6m

  21. Georgia Steel, Season 4, 1.6m

  22. Zara McDermott, Season 4, 1.6m

  23. Chloe Burrows, Season 7, 1.6m

  24. Camilla Thurlow, Season 3, 1.5m

  25. Marino Katsouris, Season 3, 1.5m

  26. Wes Nelson, Season 4, 1.5m

  27. Liberty Poole, Season 7, 1.5m

  28. Davide Sanclimenti, Season 8, 1.5m

  29. Laura Anderson, Season 4, 1.4m

  30. Shaughna Phillips, Season 6, 1.4m

  31. Amber Davies, Season 3, 1.4m

  32. Kady McDermott, Season 2, 1.3m

  33. Ellie Brown, Season 4, 1.3m

  34. Josh Denzel, Season 4, 1.2m

  35. Kazimir Crossley, Season 4, 1.2m

  36. Curtis Pritchard, Season 5, 1.2m

  37. Anna Vakili, Season 5, 1.2m

  38. Finn Tapp, Season 6, 1.2m

  39. Luke Trotman, Season 6, 1.2m

  40. Demi Jones, Season 6, 1.2m

  41. Faye Winter, Season 7, 1.2m

  42. Montana Brown, Season 3, 1.2m

  43. Paige Thorne, Season 8, 1.2m

  44. Luca Bish, Season 8, 1.2m

  45. Adam Collard, Season 4/8, 1.1m

  46. Georgia Harrison, Season 3, 1.1m

  47. Sam Gowland, Season 3, 1.1m

  48. Jacques O'Neill, Season 8, 1.1m

  49. Jack Fowler, Season 4, 1.1m

  50. Cara De La Hoyde, Season 2, 1.1m

Despite not taking the crown in the show, Molly Mae, who has gone on to achieve unprecedented levels of fame and success took the top spot in highest Instagram followers with a whopping 6.4m. The Love Island star turned influencer is now recognised as the Creative Director of fast-fashion brand Pretty Little Thing and features just above her Love Island other half, Tommy Fury who places second with 4.2m followers.

Winning the show is proven to help boost an Instagram follower account, as half of the contestants in the top 10 have taken the crown in the villa. This includes season 8 winner, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu who has seen one of the fastest follower growth ever.

Which season of Love Island has amassed the most instagram followers?

Partly owed to the post-show success of Molly Mae and Tommy Fury, season five tops the bill as the season whose contestants had the most impact on Instagram. Other standout contestants from season five include Curtis Pritchard, Amy Hart, Maura Higgins and winners Amber Gill and Greg O’Shea.

Season, Combined Following Count

Season 5, 33,364,000

Season 4, 26,430,000

Season 3, 21,571,000

Season 6, 16,269,000

Season 7, 15,549,000

Season 8, 13,236,000

Season 2, 11,817,600

Season 1, 3,747,062

*As the number of contestants varied in each season, data was taken from the Instagram followers of the 20 most popular of each series.

Who's the most popular Love Island winner on Instagram?

As proven, you don’t need to win the show to make an impact on social media, but it does help. Of those that have won the show, these were the ones to garner the highest following count with Dani Dyer, daughter of actor Danny Dyer, taking the top spot in this category.

Name, Season, Hometown, Insta Following

  1. Dani Dyer, Season 4, London, 3.6m

  2. Amber Gill, Season 5, Newcastle, 2.7m

  3. Kem Cetinay, Season 3, Essex, 2.6m

  4. Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, Season 8, London, 2.3m

  5. Millie Court, Season 7, Essex, 2m

  6. Jack Fincham, Season 4, Kent, 1.8m

  7. Paige Turley, Season 6, Scotland, 1.7m

  8. Davide Sanclimenti, Season 8, Rome, 1.5m

  9. Amber Davies, Season 3, North Wales, 1.4m

  10. Finn Tapp, Season 6, Milton Keynes, 1.2m

  11. Cara De La Hoyde, Season 2, Kent, 1.1m

  12. Liam Reardon, Season 7, Wales, 1m

  13. Greg O'Shea, Season 5, Ireland, 938k

  14. Nathan Massey, Season 2, Essex, 795k

  15. Jess Hayes, Season 1, Gloucester, 366k

  16. Max Morley, Season 1, Huddersfield, 210k

Does your hometown increase your chances of winning Love Island?

Map marking South East England

According to the Love Island stats, chances of winning the show are heightened if contestants are from the southeastern areas of England. This is supported by the fact that seven out of 16 winners resided in this area.

Name, Season, Residence

Dani Dyer, Season 4, London

Kem Cetinay, Season 3, Essex

Millie Court, Season 7, Essex

Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, Season 8, London

Jack Fincham, Season 4, Kent

Cara De La Hoyde, Season 2, Kent

Nathan Massey, Season 2, Essex

From this, only two northern English contestants and one midlander had won the show. As well as two non-British citizens, Greg O’ Shea and Davide Sanclimenti who are from Limerick in Ireland and Rome in Italy, respectively.

Who are Love Island's most influential power couples?

Love Island Couple Photo

Unfortunately the vast majority of Love Islanders couples weren’t able to keep the love alive once the cameras stopped rolling. But some lucky few were able to get their fairytale ending.

Of these couples, some of which have gone on to marry and have children, the following have had the biggest impact on social media and, as a power couple, have amassed the most Instagram followers:

Love Island Couples, Season, Combined Followers

Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague, Season 5, 10.6m

Alex Bowen and Olivia Buckland, Season 2, 4.6m

Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti, Season 8, 3.8m

Paige Turley and Finley Tapp, Season 6, 2.9m

Gemma Owen and Luca Bish, Season 8, 2.8m

Lucie Donlan and Luke Mabbott, Season 5 & 6, 2.7m

Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran, Season 7, 2.5m

Jamie Jewitt and Camilla Thurlow, Season 3, 2.3m

Paige Thorne and Adam Collard, Season 8, 2.3m

Faye Winter and Teddy Soares, Season 7, 2.2m

Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde, Season 2, 1.9m

Dom Lever and Jess Shears, Season 3, 1.8m

Callum Jones and Molly Smith, Season 6, 1.6m

Tasha Ghouri and Andrew Le Page, Season 8, 1.6m

Indiyah Polack and Dami Hope, Season 8, 1.2m

Eva Zapico and Nas Majeed, Season 6, 598k

Danica Taylor and Jamie Allen, Season 8, 592k

Summer Botwe and Josh Le Grove, Season 8, 323k

With their post show success, It’s probably of no surprise to anyone that Molly Mae Hague and Tommy Fury were Love Island’s most influential couple. Despite only just winning the show, season eight’s King and Queen, Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti, came in third place with a huge combined follower count of 3.8m (and growing).

Who was the most talked about series 8 Love Island contestant in 2022?

Graph showing most googled Love Island S8 contestants

Using Google trends data, we looked to see which contestant had been talked about the most and how often they had been Googled while on the show.

With 617,000 Google searches during her time in the villa, Gemma Owen - daughter of Michael Owen, had seen the most interest on the search engine.

She was closely followed by self-proclaimed Drama Queen Ekin-Su. Despite only having less than two weeks in the villa, Casa Amor bombshell Coco Lodge saw nearly as many searches as some of the original islanders. This could be attributed to her short-lived (and steamy!) romance with Andrew Le Page.

Islander, Most Googled (By Search Volume)

Gemma Owen, 617k

Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu, 568k

Jacques O'Neill, 301k

Luca Bish, 240k

Paige Thorne, 225k

Davide Sanclimenti, 221k

Tasha Ghouri, 168k

Danica Taylor, 138k

Andrew Le Page, 118k

Coco Lodge, 115.9k

Dami Hope, 115k

Jay Younger, 72.9k

Indiyah Polack, 67k

Charlie Radnedge, 60k

Jack Keating, 56.5k

Antigoni Buxton, 49.2k

Billy Brown, 43k

Summer Botwe, 40.5k

Ikenna Ekwonna, 32.1k

Josh Le Grove, 32k

Afia Tonkmor, 29.6k

Remi Lambert, 28.5k

Nathalia Campos, 23.7k

Liam Llewellyn, 22.8k

Deji Adeniyi, 22.2k

George Tasker, 18.8k

Reece Ford, 13k

Lacey Edwards, 9.7k

Cheyanne Kerr, 9.6k

Amber Beckford, 9.4k

Jazmine Nichol, 8.2k

Jamie Allen, 7.6k

Mollie Salmon, 6.1k

Samuel Agbiji, 3.2k

Chyna Mills, 1.1k

Methodology: This research was conducted using Instagram follower counts, Google trend data and was correct as of August 5th 2022.

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Written by Victoria Collins
Digital PR Specialist

Victoria is responsible for delivering creative digital PR campaigns for Evoluted clients, working alongside our content team to turn unique ideas into standout campaigns. As a Journalism graduate, she understands what journalists want to cover and link to and the story angles that will drive the most engagement.