Love (Island) In The Time of Corona: The Pandemic versus Reality TV


For the past few years, June has been synonymous with toned, tanned young singles mingling in a Mallorca villa competing for love and a tidy cash prize. This year, thanks to the current pandemic, reality looks pretty different. Still, at least that defers the new influx of discounts on charcoal toothpaste for another 12 months.

As a nation, we love reality television. Ever since Big Brother UK burst onto our screens in 2000, we have been obsessed with watching civilians and celebrities alike being plunged into new experiences. Reality TV offers escapism from our hectic lives and boy do we need some of that right now. With the ongoing pandemic playing havoc with filming schedules, our television guides are looking pretty sparse.

As well as Love Island UK, the American series So You Think You Can Dance has been hit hard by social distancing measures. Set to be taped in August, the dance competition series has since been cancelled by Fox.

So You Think You Can Dance will not be moving forward due to health and governmental restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, while we were looking forward to its return this summer, we cannot meet the standards we’ve set for viewers and contestants in light of the show’s unique format, intricate production schedule and limited time.


Strictly set to return?

Interestingly, the reality TV scene looks brighter on this side of the pond. The glitzy, star-studded event of the year – BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing – is set to return as usual for 2020. The Beeb told the Radio Times that they and the Strictly family “are working hard to ensure everyone can enjoy some much needed Strictly sparkle later this year. Our professional dancers are set to start rehearsing remotely at the end of July.” Having been on air for 14 years, Strictly is the mainstay of Saturday night entertainment. It is no wonder the production team are so eager to keep it on air this year.

This year’s series could look very different, however, with isolated professionals and pre-recorded group numbers. A show insider told the Daily Star that celebrities over 60-years-old have been “banned” from the series, to try and protect the vulnerable from the threat of COVID-19. The judging panel could also see a shake-up as travel restrictions may prevent Bruno Tonioli from flying between his roles on Strictly and Dancing with the Stars in the US. All is not lost, though, as the bookies’ favourite to bring even more sparkle to the show is no stranger to reality TV, former Girls Aloud star Cheryl.

With so much still to be confirmed, you would be forgiven for missing your fix of easy watching. See you on YouTube for the last decade’s best bits?

Words by Tayler Finnegan


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