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'Love Island' 2021 — release date, location, contestants and everything you need to know as the dating show returns

Love Island 2021 logo
Love Island 2021 is back! (Image credit: ITV)

Love Island 2021 finally made its triumphant return to ITV2 on Monday 28th June after the hit dating show was forcibly scrapped last year due to the pandemic.

ITV's official statement reads: "Love Island returns for its seventh sizzling series, as a host of new singletons seek to find their perfect match. Returning to ITV2, the Islanders must do their best to flirt, date, couple up and try and avoid being ‘dumped’. With new arrivals, heads may turn, while others will prove their true feelings.

"From romance and heart-to-hearts to betrayal and broken hearts, there’s never a dull moment in this ultimate search for love."

Here's everything you need to know about Love Island 2021!

Love Island 2021 release date

Love Island 2021 started on Monday 28th June at 9pm on ITV2. Episodes air every night (except Saturdays) at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub. You can also watch the latest episodes ad-free on BritBox the following morning if you need to catch up! 

What's happened in Love Island 2021 so far?

Love Island 2021: Week One

The first week of Love Island was filled to the brim with drama! Three of the first five boys tried their luck with Faye Winter as the first couples formed. On their first evening together, the islanders spent the rest of the day getting to know each other, with some cheeky dares thrown in the evening to spice things up (including Jake’s now-infamous filming incident). 

When Chloe Burrows arrived that evening, all the boys went to greet her on a group date, but she chose to couple up with Aaron Francis and sent Shannon Singh packing as the first person dumped from the villa. 

Shannon Singh leaving the Love Island villa.

Shannon left the villa after just 48 hours. (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

Things really started to hot up as the first week came to a close! Newcomers Chuggs Wallis and Liam Reardon spent their first day trying to get to know the other girls after their dates with Sharon and Faye, and the girls chose their new partners at the first round of recoupling at the fire pit. 

Brad McClelland and Chuggs Wallis were left single, but in a final shock twist they had just 24 hours to try and win the heart of the newest bombshell, Rachel Finni!  

Sunday’s episode of Love Island 2021 followed Rachel as she tried to work out who she wanted to choose, but the episode ended on a cliffhanger, despite devoting a fair amount of time to the “Undercover Lover” challenge! 

Elsewhere, Jake admitted he would be open to having his head turned by another girl, and Toby said he wasn’t sure if he was ready to give Kaz what she wanted in their relationship!

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Love Island 2021: Week 2

Monday’s episode finally revealed that Chuggs was the second person dumped from the villa as Rachel opted to couple up with Brad. Toby told Kaz he was ready to take things to the next level and commit to their relationship, and Faye and Liam shared another kiss too!

That evening, the islanders voted to send Jake and Liberty to The Hideaway for some alone time together away from the rest of the villa. Things got intimated between Jake and Liberty, but things started to heat up between Aaron and Sharon and Brad and Rachel during the night in the villa, too!

The next morning, the cracks started to show in a couple of relationships as the islanders all shared a romantic brunch. Liam and Faye do not seem to be getting along too well, and Aaron and Sharon have very different plans for the future, and Brad upset Rachel by encouraging her to get to know other people in the villa even though he’d told Rachel she was exactly his type the day before.

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Monday's episode teased trouble between Hugo and some of the girls and Tuesday night definitely delivered! In a heated game that saw the islanders trying to guess how well they really knew their other half in a couples' challenge, Hugo ruffled a few feathers! He said his biggest turn-off was girls that are "fake", meaning both personality and fake looks, and Sharon and Faye did not take his comments kindly!

Hugo, clearly distraught, did his best to pull the islanders who he'd upset for chats so he could clear the air after he had been comforted by the other lads. By the morning, it seemed like things were smoothed over! 

Elsewhere in the villa, Jake and Liberty discussed how likely it would be for Jake to have his head turned by another lass, and then the girls were sent out to bond over a boozy brunch in Mallorca! The boys were initially pretty jealous, but that feeling disappeared when they welcomed new girls Millie Court and Lucinda Strafford in!

Love Island - The boys meet new girls Millie and Lucinda

The boys took a selfie with the new girls to send to the others while they were away. (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

On Wednesday, the other girls tried to find out who Millie and Lucinda had their eyes on in the villa, but they keep their cards close to their chests. Without concrete answers, a couple of the girls (including Liberty and Rachel) were quite worried that they'd single when the next recoupling happens!

Later on, Millie and Lucinda received texts which said they'd both get to pick three boys each for a dinner date which the lads would have to prepare for them. Millie chose Aaron to cook her starter, Liam for main, and Hugo to share dessert with and Lucinda chose Brad, Hugo, and Aaron. 

The dates seem to go well across the board and the other girls watched all the action from the terrace. Sparks flew as Millie and Lucinda did not hold back whatsoever, and all the lads were definitely trying their best to charm both girls too! 

After his two dates, Aaron finally made his mind up about his relationship with Sharon. He pulled her for a chat, where he explained he didn't enjoy how she handled the conversation with Hugo and was disappointed that their views on kids didn't match up, so he broke things off!

Love Island 2021 - Aaron calls it quits with Sharon

Aaron and Sharon are the first couple to have a proper break-up this series 7 (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

What should we expect from the new series?

Love Island 2021 is promising to come back bigger and better than ever, with ITV teasing there'll be: "More texts, fire pit gatherings and challenges await the lovestruck Islanders, meaning there’ll be plenty for them to dish the dirt on in the Beach Hut.

"And there’ll be lots of twists and turns along the way, with shock recouplings, unexpected splits and dramatic exits. As the pairs attempt to win the hearts of each other — and the nation — one couple will ultimately triumph and be crowned Love Island winners 2021."

There's already been some shock dumpings, explosive fights and there looks to be more on the way soon! This season is definitely delivering on the drama front!

Who are the Love Island 2021 contestants?

The official Love Island 2021 contestants have been announced... but which couple will we be adding to the Love Island winners list

Sharon Gaffka

Sharon Gaffka Love Island

Love Island contestant Sharon Gaffka. (Image credit: ITV)

Sharon Gaffka, a 25-year-old Operations Lead from Oxford was named as the first person to be taking part in the new series.

Speaking about her reason for applying, she said: "It's been a bit of a running joke between my friendship group for a while that I should apply, probably because I’m the most outrageous one out of the group. But also because of COVID and the lockdown, I’m the only single one in my friendship group. They’re either married or planning on getting married. I don’t want to be the only one in the group chat that is single anymore!"

Liberty Poole 

Liberty Poole Love Island

Love Island contestant Liberty Poole. (Image credit: ITV)

The second contestant was revealed to be Liberty Poole, a 21-year-old waitress and marketing student from Birmingham. 

Speaking about her decision to join the series, she said: "I've never had that nice, happy relationship so I think it will be nice and something for me to experience. Obviously I want the best summer ever because we have been in lockdown for a year so it would be nice to go away and enjoy the sun and make friends as well. I’m excited, I’m a bit of a social butterfly so I love to meet new people. I’m a girls’ girl as well so I can’t wait for the girly friendships. It’s going to be fun!"

Aaron Francis

Love Island Aaron Francis

Love Island contestant Aaron Francis. (Image credit: ITV)

Aaron Francis, a 24-year-old Luxury Events Host from London will also be entering the villa this series. He said: "I’ve been single for about six or seven months and the dating world at the moment is a little bit off. Everyone’s wearing masks. You can’t really see anyone which makes dating a lot harder. I do prefer relationships than dating.

Hugo Hammond

Love Island Hugo Hammond

Love Island contestant Hugo Hammond. (Image credit: ITV)

The fourth confirmed contestant is Hugo Hammond, a 24-year-old PE teacher from Hampshire. He told ITV: "I've been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating. I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there."

Shannon Singh

Love Island Shannon Singh

Love Island contestant Shannon Singh was the first to leave the villa.  (Image credit: ITV)

22-year-old model Shannon Singh from Fife is our fifth contestant, telling ITV that she couldn't miss out on the chance to take part in Love Island. She said: "It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re lucky enough to participate in the show, why would you not? And hopefully meet an exciting hunk."

Shannon was the first of the Love Island contestants to leave the villa after being dumped from the show after only two days when newcomer Chloe Burrows chose to couple up with Aaron Francis, leaving Shannon single.

Jake Cornish 

Love Island Jake Cornish

Love Island contestant Jake Cornish. (Image credit: ITV)

24-year-old Water Engineer Jake Cornish from Weston-super-Mare will also be joining the line-up, revealing: "I was in a relationship for seven years and then when lockdown hit, I was single. The opportunity is there, you might as well take it by the horns and go for it."

Kaz Kamwi

Kaz Kamwi Love Island

Love Island contestant Kaz Kamwi. (Image credit: ITV)

26-year-old Essex based fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi will also take part in the new series, and said: "I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?"

Brad McClelland

Love Island Brad McClelland

Love Island contestant Brad McClelland. (Image credit: ITV)

26-year-old Northumbrian and laborer Brad McClelland is confirmed to be entering the Love Island villa, saying: "I want to date face-to-face, I like meeting people. I’m easy going, laid back. Who wouldn’t want to be in a nice villa in a hot country for a while?"

Chloe Burrows

Love Island Chloe Burrows

Love Island contestant Chloe Burrows. (Image credit: ITV)

25-year-old marketing executive Chloe Burrows from Bicester is joining the villa due to a string of complicated relationships. She said: "I’ve been in awful ‘situationships’ and stuff so I just thought, why not?!"

Toby Aromolaran

Love Island Toby Aromolaran

Love Island contestant Toby Aromolaran. (Image credit: ITV)

Toby Aromolaran is a 22-year-old Semi-Pro Footballer who hails from Essex, and is looking for love this series. He admitted: "I’ve never been in a relationship. I thought, ‘If Love Island can’t find me a relationship then no one can’."

Faye Winter 

Love Island Faye Winter

Love Island contestant Faye Winter. (Image credit: ITV)

Lettings Manager, 26-year-old Faye Winter, is from Devon and thought she'd try her hand at Love Island. She said: "In the last year we haven’t been able to experience anything. I’m open to anything. The opportunity came up so why wouldn’t I? I’d love to meet somebody, what better way to meet somebody than in the sun - amazing."

Chuggs Wallis 

Chuggs from Love Island 2021.

Chuggs was the first male contestant dumped from the island. (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

Chuggs Wallis joined the villa on the 1st of July, but he was dumped after Rachel picked Brad over him. He's a 23-year-old entrepreneur who owns a company that makes customised bucket hats! When asked what he's looking forward to doing, he said: "I'm excited to get to know people and just have social interaction, get to know these girls. I just want to have fun."

Liam Reardon

Liam Reardon from Love Island 2021

Liam is the first Welsh islander to enter the villa this year! (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

Liam Reardon is the other bombshell set to make a splash in the villa tonight! The 21-year-old bricklayer from Wales is most excited to meet new people when he lands. Liam said: "Meeting people - I love meeting people. I do seasons in Ibiza, every day you're meeting someone new. I was a host of a beach club. So making friends and finding someone I'm actually attracted to." 

Rachel Finni

Rachel Finni from Love Island 2021.

Rachel was responsible for Chuggs' exit from the villa. (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV.)

Rachel Finni is a 29-year-old luxury travel specialist from London. She joined the show at the end of the first week as a bombshell, and was responsible for Chuggs' dumping! She's been a fan of the show in the past, and thinks "it's an amazing way to spend the last year of my 20s, doing something that fulfils me emotionally as well."

Lucinda Strafford

Lucinda Strafford from Love Island 2021

Lucinda is a brand-new entrant to the villa! (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

Lucinda Strafford is one of two girls set to enter the villa on Tuesday, 6th July. She's a 21-year-old online fashion boutique owner from Brighton, and has her eye on a few of the lads already! She describes herself as "a relationship type of girl" and has already taken a liking to Brad and Liam ahead of her first appearance in the villa.

Millie Court

Millie Court from Love Island 2021

Millie is hoping to find her perfect match in the villa. (Image credit: Lifted Entertainment / ITV)

Millie Court debuts alongside Lucinda on Tuesday's episode of Love Island 2021. She's a 24-year-old fashion buyer's administrator from Essex who has decided to enter the villa to search for "the one"! She said "I've never done anything like this before. I just want to throw myself into it and have fun with it".

The Love Island girls enter the villa

The Love Island girls lined up for the first round of coupling up. (Image credit: ITV)

Love Island location - where will the series be filmed? 

Love Island is set to be filmed in its usual location of Mallorca. Contestants will stay in a luxurious villa on the outskirts of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, and there'll be a special Covid secure set to ensure everyone's following appropriate guidelines. 

Teasers have been released to give fans a first look at the 2021 villa, as well as the contestants in action. The villa looks like a perfect getaway, and fans on social media are already excited to see more!

Who will host Love Island 2021?

Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling

Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Laura Whitmore is expected to host the new series, following a successful run on the show's winter edition. She will join her boyfriend Iain Stirling, who provides the voiceover for the dating show.

Love Island new series trailer

ITV has released a promo for Love Island, a lighthearted teaser which sees members of the public getting very excited for the upcoming series. There's plenty of summer vibes, with everyone wearing swimsuits, pulling suitcases, and well and truly welcoming the start of summer. 

Laura Whitmore also stars, sounding the alarm for the highly anticipated return, alongside voice over Iain Stirling who exclaims "This is not a drill!" before revealing it's coming "this June". Not long to wait...