A clever blogger has proved that the popular reality TV show Love Island is not all about mugging off, lounging around in swimwear and having chats by the firepit.
The gossip-filled show actually focuses on the Gale-Shapley algorithm, which basically means that whatever preferences men or women have, there will always be a stable matching where no man or woman would want to leave their partner.
It’s only until a hot new islander makes a dramatic slow-mo entrance into the villa, that the algorithm starts gets a little messy.
Blogger, ncube, explains that this is all an example of a ‘stable marriage problem’, which actually does exist in mathematics.
So, let’s do some maths…
If you look at this series of Love Island, you’ve had couples like Brad and Rachel, Aaron and Sharon and Toby and Kaz, who ncube would describe as ‘tentative engagements’.
The reason they are called tentative engagements is because their initial attractions were all based on superficial preferences, and problems became apparent very quickly.
Toby and Kaz would be described as an ‘unstable couple’ because his eye wandered as soon as bombshell Chloe entered the villa.
You’ve then got what ncube describes at the ‘stable couples’ so these are people like Jake and Liberty (although wait until Casa Amor!)
What’s even cooler, is that when more men or women are added to the mix, there is a ‘surplus’ where power is lost and people are fighting for their place in the villa.
Another mathematical term that we see a lot of examples of in Love Island is ‘preference ranking’ , which is basically where each contestant rates their favourite islander from best to worst.
You’ll find a classic case of preference ranking on the very first episode of the show where singletons will either step forward if they’re attracted, or stand firmly in their place if they’re not.
Brainbox blogger ncube really expresses the importance of ‘preference’ throughout his link, as it’s a key element throughout the show.
For example, It’s currently looking like Hugo is Sharon’s first preference, but she isn’t his. Whereas Liberty and Jake are both each other’s first preferences – see what we mean?
This mathematical algorithm doesn’t include numbers and focuses more on scenarios and cause and effect, like whether someone is dumped, or a recoupling.
The assumption is that for any equal number of women or men, it’s easy to make the couples work, even if it’s platonic (as we’ve seen with Hugo, Sharon, Aaron and Kaz.)
It’s when the Love Island producers start bringing in bombshells that things start to get really juicy.