Ekin-Su and every Love Island contestant from Lancashire – the definitive ranking from our expert
Written by Skywave Radio News on August 5, 2022
Love Island comes and goes so quickly you’d think it was a common cold.
Series eight finished on Monday night (August 1) and saw fan favourites Ekin-Su Culculoglu and partner Davide Sanclimenti crowned winners. Over the eight series, the cast list has been topped by hopeful romantics from all over the UK.
But of 260 contestants in total, across all eight series, just eight have been connected to Lancashire and Cumbria. Five are Lancashire born, one is from Cumbria, another from Stockport and the show’s 2022 winner, Ekin Su, studied at UCLan in Preston.
During her years of study, she was known as Susie Hayzel as a shot girl at Ships and Giggles.
While the county’s cast list has been slim (Love Island, up your game), eight of our hottest locals have been brave enough to jump into the Mallorca villa in a bid to find the love of their life on the ITV show. With 5 million viewers across the country tuning in to watch the latest series, its no easy feat.
Those who aren’t brave enough to chuck on swimwear and reveal their flirting techniques on national TV are more likely to find their favourites among the cast and rate the rest as average. Enter, me.
This is a definitive ranking of every Lancashire contestant to have appeared on Love Island so far. The list is compiled from worst to best, with the worst meaning, this person appeared on the show for approximately 20 seconds and I have forgotten they went on in the first place.
8. Dean Overson
Dean Overson, 29, is a car sales executive from Burnley. Dean appeared on series four of Love Island in 2018.
Series 4 was one of the best Love Island series to date, with Dani Dyer winning the show with Jack Fincham , Adam Collard making his first and very ruthless appearance and some of the most dramatic Casa Amor re-couplings we’ve seen to date.
I do not remember Dean appearing in this series whatsoever. Probably because he was dumped after just a four day stint in the villa.
Dean now models full-time and is represented by Nemesis Models and posted a snap from the top of Beacon Fell yesterday afternoon (August 4). I’ve been staring at his Instagram for at least five minutes now, still no idea who he is.
7. Lauren Whiteside
Lauren Whiteside, 30, from Blackpool entered the villa as an Events Manager. Like Dean, Lauren lasted just four days in the villa when she appeared in Mallorca for series 2. She was dumped after coupling up with Adam Juke back in 2016.
Lauren’s stint on the show was pretty immemorable. When the bombshell entered the villa she described herself as “fun, sassy and fiery” and told viewers: “I’m a good northern girl. I think northern girls have got banter and they’re quite straight talking and more straight to the point.”
Now Lauren is preparing to wed her fiancé with the date set at the end of the month. Since appearing on the show she’s worked as a swimwear model and travelled, sharing most of it with her 10.7k fans on Instagram.
6. Jordan Adefeyisan
Jordan Adefeyisan, 27, is our honouree Stockport contestant. Jordan appeared on series four of Love Island, entered on Day 26 with Dean from Burnley and was dumped, also with Dean, on day 30. Total days in the villa: 4.
Jordan had made attempts to couple up with fan favourite of series four, Georgia Steel, during his short stay. Although he failed and was dumped, fans called on bosses to bring him back so that he could couple up with Georgia as she found herself vulnerable.
Fans were so keen to keep Georgia in the show that a change.org petition to get Jordan back in was set up and received 4,735 signatures in just three days, The Daily Star reports. Although Jordan’s stint was short but sweet, his connection to Georgia gave him a longer lasting legacy which lands him three places from the bottom.
5. Jacques O’Neill
Jacques O’Neill, Jacques O’ Neill, Jacques O’Neill. The 23-year-old former Rugby player from Barrow-in-Furness appeared on the latest series of Love Island and made the decision to leave after a number of confrontations in the villa.
Jacques had been coupled up with Paige Thorne whilst he was on the show and promised her he’d wait at the airport for her when she was finished with the show. It’s highly likely he didn’t though, as she soon re-coupled with Adam Collard.
The reason Jacques ranks slap bang in the middle of this list is because his character is so hard to pin down. While he was on the show, he wasn’t coming across great, he made the decision to leave and I have a lot of respect for all he’s done to raise awareness of men’s mental health since.
The time Jacques’ did have in the villa did lead me to start losing my faith in Cumbria all together though, a mad thought considering it is literally home to the Lake District. The drama he caused was generally hard to watch rather than entertaining and when he left it just felt like a good idea. That is all.
4. Jamie Allen
Jamie Allen, 27, is a professional footballer from Preston and an Islander that deserved more time. The bombshell also appeared on the 2022 series after quitting his current club, Halifax Town, to appear on the show.
Jamie walked in alongside three other contestants and told viewers the men inside the villa “should be worried about his arrival” which is a weird thing to say when he only had eyes for the single contestant, Danica Taylor, from Leicester. They had literally nothing to worry about.
The reason I rank Jamie so highly is because he coupled up with Danica. He came across as a nice lad prepared to throw in the football towel for love, and whether that’s true or not, it was nice to watch.
3. Sam Jackson
Sam Jackson, 23, entered the villa as a Maintenance Manager from Clitheroe. The lad lasted an entire week in Mallorca and described himself as “confident, sometimes too confident for my own good; cheeky, fun and exciting”.
Why rate Sam so highly? Because he gave us the perfect one-liner that represented the county better than any contestant on the list before him.
When asked where he was from, Sam replied: “I’m from Clitheroe, which is near Manchester.”
2. Kendall Rae-Knight
Kendall Rae-Knight, 26, entered the villa as a retail manager from Newton-with-Scales, Blackpool. The beauty queen was known as Miss North West, Miss England finalist 2015, but most importantly, Miss Blackpool.
Kendall appeared on the dramatic series four of Love Island, entered on day one and was the first to be dumped on day 6. Why is she so high up on the list?
The reason Kendall is the second best Lancashire Love Islander to appear on the show is because of her long-lasting legacy. She is vital to the formation of series four super villain Adam Collard and she should not be forgotten about.
Kendall was the first to fall to the hand of Adam who caused so much drama back in 2018, producers bought him back for 2022. Kendall, you deserved better than 2018 Adam Collard, but your dumping did lead to some of the best Love Island moments we’ve seen. Thank you for your service.
As if you didn’t see it coming, nobody on this list deserves to be at the top of the ranks other than Ekin-Su. Ekin is the best thing to happen to Love Island in what feels like years and is so iconic, she’s adopted the Kayne approach of everyone knowing who you’re talking about just by saying her first name.
Ekin single-handedly provided viewers with a hate-to-love plot line, riled Davide up for some viral TikTok sounds and gathered herself the label of the “People’s Princess”. At her best, she took on bombshell Nathalia in a pancake battle which saw her fed water by Gemma Owen in a heavyweight boxer dressing gown.
Its predicted Ekin, who once worked as a shot girl in Preston city centre, will be among the most successful islanders to ever appear on the show. After bagging 63.69% of the public vote in the final, its pretty clear most of the public would have stopped watching without her.