reality tv

Everything we know about the Love Island Australia contestants, including where to follow them.

Watching good-looking people in their swimmers causing unnecessary drama and maybe (but probably not) finding love is precisely what we need at this point in 2021, I think.

It just feels like the right time.

Lucky for us, Love Island Australia's 2021 season begins on Monday, October 11, beaming directly into our TVs from a $3.5 million villa in Byron Bay. 

Watch: Our first look at Love Island Australia 2021. Post continues below video.


Video via Nine.

The singles and their bikinis will be competing for their share of $50,000, plus love, apparently, and Instagram brand deals, definitely.

The first four contestants entering the villa have been announced, and we'll meet the rest of the cast when the show starts. Here is everything we know so far.

Jess Velkovski, @jessvelkovski.

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Sydneysider Jess, 23, is nicknamed 'The Intimidation', because she believes other women often find her intimidating. 

I mean. Honestly, that nickname does kinda freak me out, so she probably has a point.

"I'm not just beautiful, I'm powerful as well. I say what I want to say, and I do what I want to do," she told 9now. And she knows this can rub some people the wrong way.

"I feel like when I walk into a room I am the brightest light in the room and I don't even try. A lot of people don't like that," she says. "I can't dim my light and I feel like in the past I've had to dim my light."

Jess is no stranger to a bikini selfie, so she'll fit right into the Love Island villa.

"I had my first boyfriend when I was 16 and that ended because I was quite immature... Then I met my ex. He was the biggest relationship of my life, the one that taught me a lot of lessons. He was six years older than me. I was naïve and didn't know a lot about the world. I was with him a year and a half.

"Since my previous boyfriend, I have always wanted to do the show. Not just to find a relationship, but I think it will be fun to be in a bikini with hot men."

Living for the honesty.

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Soooo, what is she looking for in a potential partner?

"I know that I'm A-grade and I'm looking for someone that can match me," she said.

"I'm not a prize to be won. Once you've got me you need to keep putting that effort in, otherwise you won't keep me."

Taku Chimwaza, @taku.chimwaza.

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Taku is a 24-year-old student, barista and rugby player who runs a YouTube channel about... fragrance.

So he can make a good coffee, and always smells nice. I'm definitely on-board so far.

Taku left Zimbabwe to live in Australia 10 years ago with his cousin and aunt.

"My mum, my dad and my siblings are all back home," he told 9now. "I moved here with my cousin and my aunty. In our culture, usually the firstborn gets to go out, the first person to leave the nest. When I left, I came here for school and to start a different path and get a better life."

He plays for the Shoalhaven Rugby Club and got out of a four-year relationship about eight months ago.

Hence Love Island.

"My boss' wife told me to apply for the first season, but I had a girlfriend three years ago. Then I thought if I was single and the opportunity was coming up, why not?" he said.

Taku describes himself as an extrovert who is "all about good vibes".

"I have been on a lot of dates where the vibe just wasn't there. I'm a little too much, the energy wasn't being reciprocated like I wanted. I know I'm a lot, but I wouldn't mind someone who is close to my vibe and my energy. For some reason I end up with brunettes with curly hair."

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He owns about 180 fragrances, and established a... niche but successful fragrance YouTube channel in 2020.

"I have about 180 fragrances at home. My dad always smelt good. I started to collect the fragrances in the first lockdown and I got about 30 or 40, and someone said you should start your own YouTube channel," he said.

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"I started that and now a whole heap of companies send me their fragrances to review."

On Instagram, Taku shows off that his smile on the reg, as well as rugby pics. 

Chris Graudins, @chrisgraudins.

Gold Coast ex-army soldier turned riot squad officer (wow okay) Chris reckons he's a 9/10 in looks, a 14/10 in personality and 100 per cent ready for love. 

But the 25-year-old has struggled with dating IRL, because he's... so good looking.

"You go out and talk to people these days, especially on the Gold Coast, it's immediately based on looks. When I speak to girls, they automatically put their guard up because they think I'm arrogant," he told 9now.

"I am already on the back foot and defend myself and tell them, I just want to have a conversation.

He's looking for a loyal partner with 'old-fashioned values'.

"I just want a girl who is loyal. I want to find a girl who has old-fashioned values as well," he said.

It makes sense: He broke up with his last girlfriend in 2018 after he required airlifting to Australia from a cruise in Vanuatu to get his appendix out, and she cheated on him while he was in the hospital.

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Ouch.

Besides not cheating on him post-life saving surgery, he is looking for someone with a sense of humour and a romantic side.

Chris is big on exercise and is a former Australian national champion swimmer in 100m and 200m butterfly.

Over on Insta, he seems to have nailed that pose men do where they kind of... frown and clench their jaw. You know the one.

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Rachael Evren, @rachael_evren.

Okay, I want to be friends with Rachael. The 21-year-old pilates instructor has already amassed a pretty decent following on social media, with more than 320,000 followers on TikTok. 

She regularly shows off her love for Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lego on the app, as well as Insta where she has almost 30k followers.

@rachael_evren

Nothing more powerful than a girl with a red lightsaber LMAO ##starwars ##starwarscosplay ##starwarstiktok ##starwarsmemes ##lightsaber

♬ Duel of the Fates - Epic Version - Samuel Kim

She describes herself as a "sexy nerd", and is this a Love Island/Beauty and the Geek crossover? It's the amalgamation of both Sophie Monk's hosting duties and I'm here for it.

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Hailing from the Gold Coast, Rachael said the men there are only after 'one thing', and she's had a succession of bad relationships that led her to... reality TV.

No really. Her last boyfriend lied about having a child.

"I've had really bad relationships, the last two in particular. I kind of thought there was nothing to lose from entering the show. I genuinely am looking for a decent and nice guy," she told 9now.

"I need someone who's kind of a little dorky like me. I'm not attracted to alpha males. I feel like I clash with them too much."

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She's also done a number of beauty pageants, which she credits with helping her find her confidence.

"I've been competing since the age of 12. I represented Australia in 2019 and then this year I competed in Miss Universe Australia Queensland finals. I have been doing that for a few years. I love that too. I don't do that as much as I used to, but pageants created the person I am today. I think I am as confident and outgoing because of those pageants."

Love Island Australia premieres at 8.45pm Monday, October 11, on Channel 9 and 9Now.

Feature image: Nine.

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