IT’S billed as the summer of a lifetime, but for some Love Island contestants it’s far from it.
This season one model Zach Hartman made a last minute decision to quit the show before he’d even step foot on a plane to Majorca, allegedly telling pals: “After long conversations with my family and thinking about what I wanted out of my career, I decided against it.”
An insider told The Sun he walked because he thought he was going in as a bombshell, but had instead been lined up for Casa Amor.
They added: “Zach is aware that lots of people who go into Casa Amor never make it into the main villa and he didn’t want to take the risk of going on national TV when he might be sent home in a few days.”
Zach’s departure followed that of OG Liam Llewellyn earlier this series. Over the years islanders have bailed early for a range of reasons, from broken hearts to family issues and mental health concerns. Here we look back at the stars who famously walked.
Rykard Jenkins (2016)
He had no regrets about his choice, saying: “I didn’t want to meet anyone new and I wasn’t there for the prize money.
“I didn’t anticipate Rachel leaving in advance but when it came to it I had made up my mind – if Rachel left the villa, I was going as well.”
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But their reunion post villa wasn’t a happy one as she confronted him about having sex with Olivia Bowen as she slept in the next bed.
Despite the row, they muddled through and continued their relationship for 18 months before calling time.
Now 31, Rykard has ditched the celeb life for a career as a lip filler and hair transplant expert.
Zara Holland (2016)
In a bumper year for early exits, the former Miss GB winner also left the villa in 2016 shortly after losing her crown for performing a sex act on Alex Bowen while on camera.
She chose to go home after producers told her that her mum was unwell.
At the time she released a statement saying: “I’m so sad to leave the villa but it’s important for me to get home and spend time with my mum while she gets better.”
Zara, now 26, has since slammed the show, dubbing it a “posh prison” that ruined her life, and called for it to be axed.
She said the experience left her “haunted” and plagued by panic attacks for years.
Sophie Gradon (2016)
Stunning brunette Sophie formed half of the show’s first ever same-sex couple.
She opted to couple up with Katie Salmon, but two days later announced she was leaving the villa.
Sophie said she’d quickly realised she didn’t have feelings for the other girl leading her to confront her feelings for former partner Tom Powell who had left the show.
She opted to leave the series to pursue a relationship with the Welsh bodybuilder, but things didn’t last, with both accusing the other of being unfaithful.
Tragically, Sophie took her own life in 2018 aged 32, after struggling to deal with vile trolling.
Niall Aslam (2018)
He had one of the shortest stints in the villa, leaving after just nine days.
Niall, then 23, was initially coupled with Kendal Rae Knight before she was stolen by bombshell Adam Collard.
Niall, who later revealed he has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggled to cope with the intensity of life in the villa, and ended up having hallucinations due to stress-induced psychosis.
Speaking about his horrifying experience and lack of post-exit interviews, he told Grazia: “I was on so much medication getting loads of side-effects, that’s why I didn’t really do any interviews as I was getting really slurred speech from the medication.
“Then I had to come off the medication, I was on Xanax, really really strong stuff. I just ‘cold turkey-ed’ it, that was horrible. It was a really upside-down time for me.
“I think it took quite a long time for me to recover fully from it because of the Love Island situation.
“I was trying to get back to reality and my reality was different. I was really struggling… I was all over the place, I was depressed, I was avoiding things.”
He now looks completely different, sporting long hair and a beard.
Samira Mighty (2018)
Weeks after Niall’s departure, Samira followed.
Having been there from the beginning, she chose to leave and follow her heart a week after love interest Frankie Foster was dumped from the show.
But it was all for nothing, as the pair didn’t last long away from the Majorcan sunshine.
Frankie was caught kissing another girl behind the back of the singer, leading them to promptly split up.
Now 26, Samira has recently been reminiscing about her time in the villa on social media.
Georgia Steel and Sam Bird (2018)
The pair initially opted to stay in the show and even went on dates with other people, despite Georgia’s constant claims she was a loyal person.
However, within days they regretted their choice and decided to leave as a couple.
Things on the outside were initially rosy, with the pair moving in together and seeming to be happy.
But it all went pear-shaped when Georgia, now 24, was accused of cheating on Sam with an ex-partner.
Amy Hart (2019)
She was thrilled when he asked her to be his “half-girlfriend” early on in the show, and the pair seemed to be going strong.
But after a stint in Casa Amor, things hit the rocks. On his return, Curtis confessed he’d developed feelings for Jourdan Raine during their time apart.
In dramatic scenes, Amy famously told him: “I came here to tell you I loved you.”
The pair split, leaving Amy heartbroken, which ultimately led to her decision to leave the villa for the sake of her mental health.
She’s since enjoyed a successful presenting career, while Curtis went on to have a doomed relationship with Maura Higgins.
Ollie Williams (2020)
Posh boy Ollie, now 25, managed just three days in the Winter Love Island villa before announcing his departure.
The millionaire realised that he wasn’t over his ex, Laura Nofer, and decided to leave the villa to be with her.
During his short stint he coupled up with eventual winner Paige Turley before realising he shouldn’t be looking for a new girlfriend.
Thankfully, stunning Laura took him back and the pair are still going strong now.
Ollie now works as a professional hunter and regularly shares photos of him pursuing his “passion” on social media – to the horror of some of his former villa-mates.
Liberty Poole and Jake Cornish (2021)
They were a controversial coupling with the public as many fans thought the former water engineer was faking his attraction to the Brummie babe.
While they soldiered on for most of the series, Liberty finally called time on their relationship days before the final.
She said: “I just don’t think we’re right for each other.”
The former couple decided that they would leave the villa as they didn’t want to take votes away from real couples.
Liberty went on to appear on Dancing on Ice earlier this year.
Liam Llewellyn (2022)
Welsh heartthrob Liam decided to bow out of Love Island, telling his castmates that he was struggling to feel like himself in the intense environment and he had decided it was best to head home.
He said: “Trying to find someone you leave the villa with that you love, that’s the goal. But when you’re not feeling that, it makes it a very hard sort of time to find that.
“I’ve been thinking long and hard, it isn’t spur of the moment, so I’ve made a decision I’m going to leave the villa.”
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