What happens in quarantine, won't exactly stay in quarantine any longer when Love Island returns for its sophomore season Monday night on CBS. The U.S. version of the international hit, which features a group of attractive, single "Islanders" amidst an exquisite backdrop of warm sunshine, crystal waters and little umbrella drinks, is taking a turn in production format during the coronavirus pandemic. With the new cast isolated in a "bubble" at Caesars Entertainment boutique hotel, The Cromwell in Las Vegas, host Arielle Vandenberg reveals in our series PopCulture @ Home that fans can expect a lot "more of everything" when it comes to the dating show.
"We've got more Islanders, more drama — there's just more of everything," Vandenberg told PopCulture.com, further adding how the Vegas location over last year's Fiji elevates the series to an alluring new level. "That brings a new energy, and it's fun, it's fresh and it's electric and exciting. We have the most incredible Villa."
The 33-year-old goes on to share how the CBS reality series is currently shooting in Drai's Nightclub of the hotel, which is known to be a luxurious 65,000 square foot space usually home to live music, DJs and outdoor and indoor party experiences. "It is so cool. When I got to see the Villa for the first time, I just couldn't believe what they've done to it. I want to live there," she said. "It's a sick house with awesome decor and it's like a little Villa in the sky. It's the coolest thing ever with the Vegas skyline. It's really rad."
While the site of love and flourishing relationships might seem like an oasis to contestants, it's still very much a setting feeling the impact of real events sweeping the U.S. amid growing COVID numbers. In a press release from CBS, production company ITV Entertainment stated they would be following "specific health and safety protocols" to ensure the wellbeing of all its cast and crew through regular tests and screenings — something Vandenberg appreciates.
"Honestly, I feel so blessed to be here because so many things have been put on pause," she said. "We've created literally the safest environment for shooting and on top of it, I mean, we're in the Love Island bubble. So, we are here. I'm not leaving the hotel. It's such a cool experience, but that just makes it that much more exciting for the islanders to get into someplace because of the fact that they actually have a safe environment to meet people."
The California native goes on to share how no one on the show is setting foot outside their bubble and are actively staying put at The Cromwell. "We're not going out now anyways, so where are people meeting other people? This is the place to do it. It's going to be awesome!"
As a fan of the series, the actress and comedian is also looking forward to how the season plays out in terms of singles pairing up with other contestants. While she has not met them before showtime, she is very "excited" to meet everyone, expressing her optimism over the cast finding true love after last year's contestants and winners broke up per admissions on their social media.
"The fact that four couples left last season, I think that's just going to happen again," she said. "I just really believe that that's going to happen. You really get to know someone when you're here. When you're stuck with someone, you're living with them; you're playing games together, challenges. You're going through these weird — you're forced to kind of speed up your relationship."
She further adds how she is most positive true love will be found this season with its cast of singles. "I am definitely optimistic about the cast. I mean, how could you not fall in love with these people? Did you see their faces? I'm so confused with the casting because I'm like, 'They're so charming, so beautiful.'"
Love Island kicks off with a two-hour season premiere Monday, Aug. 24 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET and will air nightly on the network at 9 p.m. ET. Viewers can also tune into a two-hour episode each Saturday at. 8 p.m. ET featuring the best moments of the week, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage. For more on the show, Arielle Vandenberg and all your reality TV coverage, keep it locked to PopCulture.com.