FOR a reality show supposedly about finding romance, Love Island sure has some cruel tricks designed to tear couples apart.
The programme's most famous test is Casa Amor, which separates the original couples and taunts them over potential infidelity.
Over eight series, even winning couples have been led astray – while other strong relationships have gone completely to pieces.
This year's ultimate test is underway, but just what are the secret psychological tricks used to consign budding romances to the dustbin?
Here, relationship psychologist Jo Hemmings breakdown the hidden techniques behind Casa Amor… as we wait and see just who will survive at the end of it.
Feeding snippets about partners' lives
Each year producers send back key bits of information to the main villa, suggesting certain people have played away from their partner.
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But what is being shown to the devastated girls or boys isn't necessarily a true reflection of what has gone on.
Telly psychologist Jo said: "The producers carefully curate visual snippets of information, often taken out of context to maximise insecurity, and present them to current partners so they worry about what they might be getting up to and to generate, a ‘well if they’re cheating, I might as well too’ attitude."
This sneaky tactic has led to the show being slammed by fans as it often leaves one-half of the couple distraught.
Back in 2018, producers were slammed for showing Dani Dyer, 25, footage of her beau Jack Fincham, 31, reacting to his ex turning up in the second villa – with no real context.
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It suggested that he had been unfaithful, leaving the actor's daughter in tears despite the truth being that Jack didn't even consider straying.
After watching the video on her phone, Dani was left sobbing, sparking more than 2,000 Ofcom complaints over the cruel trick.
The cruel plan backfired as it led to Dani admitting her love for the former pen salesman and they both stayed faithful in the Casa Amor recoupling.
Letting the new girls study up on their men
Being a bombshell on the show is tricky as you only have a short amount of time to graft on the Islanders and get picked to stay.
But they do have one huge advantage – they've studied the guys and girls for weeks and know the weak spots.
This is the same for Casa Amor residents as they know which couples are less secure than others.
It also means they can go for the easiest targets of all – those in the friendship couples or recently ditched.
Jo said: "The new girls know a thing or two about the guys in the villa – they are clued up on their types and any potential flaws or cracks in their current relationships. They then use this insider info to lure the boys into temptation with them."
When a heartbroken Camilla Thurlow, 32, was treated to a set of new hunks in 2017, she was an easy ticket to stay in the villa.
Craig Lawson, 31, made a beeline for the stunning blonde and quickly made moves to secure their relationship, leaving fans dubious about his motives.
His alleged tactic worked and Camilla opted to recouple with him as she knew former partner Jonny Mitchell, 31, had moved on.
But fans were less than impressed with the match, especially as Craig's ex claimed he didn't bother to say goodbye to his kids before going on the show.
Things didn't last long and Craig was given the boot just five days later by the other Islanders, leaving Camilla to find love with her now fiancee Jamie Jewitt, 32.
Craig did insist that his feelings for Camilla were genuine after leaving the villa.
Mimics the original villa layout to provide 'familiarity'
Producers deliberately keep the same theme and a similar layout for the Casa Amor villa to lure Islanders into a sense of false security.
Relationship psychologist Jo reckons this is a clever technique to get the drama started quickly.
She said: "By echoing the layout and furnishings of the original villa, the girls feel relaxed and at ease in Casa Amor. In familiar surroundings, and entering with all their girlfriends, they feel empowered and more in control, even though this can break down quite quickly."
In the main villa Islanders are expected to share a bed so it's no surprise that many don't think jumping under the sheets with another partner will cause issues.
In previous years many of the lads who stayed faithful opted to share the covers with a new lady – which of course led to fury from their girlfriends back home.
Last year both Toby Aromolaran, 23, and Tyler Cruickshank, 27, shared beds with the Casa Amor ladies, with neither thinking it could be an issue.
Abrupt departure to spark trust issues
In years gone by, show producers have had the boys make a sneaky exit from the villa before the girls wake up.
Other times they have just announced the return of Casa Amor with a text, meaning the boys have to make a speedy exit.
This quick move means the couples have no time to offer reassurances and it can often come after a fight.
Jo said: "Events are designed to happen fast and furious and this unpredictability messes with the mind regarding trust. The girls' ‘away day’ – leaving the boys bored but not insecure – turned into three days and then when they had a moment to contemplate that, in came six new girls customised just for their needs and wants.
"Even if not totally unexpected, they have little time to do much but get on with getting to know them. Those who want to remain loyal are also teased by those who just want to have fun."
Previous winners Kem Cetinay, 26, and Amber Davies, 28, had a blistering row the day before Casa Amor was announced – leaving their relationship in tatters.
The quick exit even led to the pair opting to recouple with one of the newbies thanks to the intensified insecurity Casa Amor had created between them.
Their new partners didn't last long as Kem and Amber got back together and eventually won the show.
Islander's 'types' and sexy challenges create romance
Typically, Casa Amor lasts just a few days and producers have to maximise the temptation time in every way possible.
One of the easiest methods is to make sure the guys and gals find the new Islanders attractive to make straying more tempting.
Jo explains: "The first question is always ‘what’s your type?’. Even if they claim not to have one, the newbies will always fit the bill for anything the Islanders have previously disclosed, especially if their current partner doesn’t altogether fit that bill.
"This is designed to tempt head turning as fast and as ‘efficiently’ as possible."
While every year sees hot girls and guys appear, fans were left staggered when a lookalike for Millie Court, 25, strutted into Casa Amor last year.
Stunning blonde Lillie Haynes, 23, looked almost identical to Liam Reardon's partner and she quickly went to work to try and lure him away. The pair even shared a kiss.
The newbie even thought she had been successful in reeling the hunk in, but was devastated when he went back to Millie and claimed to have been faithful.
As well as matching them to their types, Islanders are also tempted with some sizzling games and challenges while away at Casa Amor.
The two villas are often competing against each other, meaning contestants can work out who in the other house are completing each challenge.
But it's not just done to mess with the minds of the reality stars – it's a good way to get pulses raised.
Jo said: "There will be challenges that are sexy and passionate – instigated by touch and rewarded by a snog. This is guaranteed to raise the arousal temperature.
"There will also be challenges that will reveal what might be going on in the other villa, creating jealousy and confusion."
One Islander who fell foul of this temptation was Curtis Prichard, 26, despite seeming to be solid with Amy Hart, 29.
The dancer was left confused after snogging Jourdan Raine, 27, in one of the challenges.
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He puckered up with the newbie during the challenge for the tallest Islander to kiss the nearest girl.
Despite not leaving Casa Amor with Jourdan, it did lead to his relationship crumbling as he admitted to Amy he didn't see a real future with her.
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