Love Island USA Seasons Ranked

Love Island USA is heating up again! The chaotically fun dating show returns July 18th on Peacock. The American spin-off of UK series, Love Island, hasn’t dominated culture as much as the original, but it’s given plenty of drama, twists, laughs, tears, and lovable young singles to root for. With Season 5 on the horizon, we’re looking back at the previous years, and ranking them from worst to best.

Season 1

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/CBS via Getty Images)

It’s not that Season 1 is bad, per se. Just that, understandably, the spin-off’s premiere season was mainly preoccupied with figuring itself out. As a result, it was kind of dull.

By not including the show’s signature Casa Amor twist, producers hampered the possibility of exciting drama. Still, viewers had stories to get invested in, particularly the love-at-first-sight romance of winners Elizabeth Weber and Zac Mirabelli. But Fiji didn’t make the best location, so we’re confused why the show is headed back there in Season 5. Maybe the weather will be better this time?

Season 3

(Photo by Sara Mally/CBS via Getty Images)

Oh, Season 3, how did you start out so high only to fall so, so far? It started off with everything that makes this show great—raunchy challenges, dramatic love triangles, game-changing bombshells, and instantly-iconic stars like Cashay Proudfoot.

In our opinion, the season’s downfall was the very ill-advised move to have every single elimination decided by the Islanders. It frustrated viewers, who felt like their votes didn’t count. The Season 3 cast consistently voted out the bombshells who caused drama, only to save the most boring contestants.

It ended with one of the most baffling wins in Love Island history. Olivia Kaiser and Korey Gandy staying so long was already strange, since both repeatedly failed to find connections. When they coupled up, it felt less organic and more like a strategy to win. By the time of the finale, they didn’t have much competition. There was so much contestant turnover that two of the finalist couples had literally just met.

It’s possible that this season plays better on Netflix than watching live. But the ratings reflected the dip in quality. Viewership went down so much that CBS passed on renewing the show. Instead, it moved to Peacock.

Season 4

(Photo by: Casey Durkin/Peacock via Getty Images)

The first Peacock season brought some other welcome change-ups. Modern Family star, Sarah Hyland, joined as the new host. Iain Stirling, whose voiceover is part of what makes Love Island UK so special, began narrating the USA version as well.

The cast had everything you’d want, from instant icons like Zeta Morrison to goofy bursts of personality like Deb Chubb. While any mention of Season 3 star Leslie Golden‘s bisexuality got cut out, Courtney Boerner talked about hers openly. Sydney Paight and Isaiah Campbell gave viewers a passionate and tumultuous love story. Plus Casa Amor drama, quotable moments, and love triangles. The fact that the final three couples were all paired up on day one, but all had interesting journeys along the way, is a testament to good casting.

If it got overshadowed amongst Love Island superfans, that’s likely because it aired the same time as LI UK Season 8. All in all, Season 4 was solid, but it just couldn’t compete with the best.

Season 2

(Photo by Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images)

Season 2 isn’t just the best USA season—it’s one of the best Love Island seasons ever. All the odds were against it. Season 1 hadn’t impressed the fanbase, it filmed amid COVID-19 in late 2020, and instead of a tropical locale, the cast stayed on the roof of Caesar’s Palace. But somehow, a Las Vegas hotel rooftop turned out to be the perfect villa. Producers must’ve heard the cries for Casa Amor after Season 1, because they added it to Season 2, and boy did it deliver.

When we talk about the power of a well-cast season, this group should be held up there with LI UK legends like Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury. Ultimate girl’s girl Cely Vasquez, Queen Justine Ndiba, the Irish law firm of Connor and Mackenzie, Date Guy Carrington Rodriguez—in addition to being hot, dramatic, unpredictable, and messy, the cast was also delightfully weird. Who could forget the moment when, trying to stop Mackenzie Dipman and Connor Trott from getting back together yet again, Carrington interrupted their private conversation by proposing a game of charades?

Even the promo for Caesar’s Palace became something fans looked forward to. Narrator Matthew Hoffman injected the ad reads with so much passion, viewers joked that he should win as a couple with the hotel.

The mark of a truly great season is that, regardless of whether or not the romances worked out, it still holds up on rewatch. Many cast members are still very close friends years later. That should indicate how much chemistry the group had as a whole.

If you’re a Love Island UK purist who’s curious about giving the USA version a shot, Season 2 is available to stream on Netflix.