Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

She’s racked up over 1 million Instagram followers since her short, but sweet appearance on Love Island.

And now it looks like Zara McDermott is hoping to transform her reality fame into becoming a YouTuber after posting her first video on Christmas eve.

The former government advisor, 22, shared her story about how she was chosen for Love Island after initially dismissing reality TV.

Zara was working for the Department of Education and dabbling in some "minor Instagram influencing" when she was approached by ITV last February.

Love Island producers got in touch with the brunette after being intrigued by her Instagram account, which featured a mix of sexy bikini photos and photos of her at work in Westminster.

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

Zara McDermott hosts her first ever YouTube video
(Image: Youtube)

 
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Recalling the first message she received from ITV, she tells the camera: "It said, ‘Would you like to have a chat about an upcoming show that’s on ITV2 in the summer?’ It doesn’t take a brain scientist to work out what that is."

Zara admitted she had briefly discussed the idea of being on a reality show with her mother weeks earlier, but had sworn off it.

She said: "Would I do reality TV and I said absolutely never. I said you couldn’t pay me (to do it). I love my job too much."

When a Love Island researcher invited Zara to film an audition tape, she declined: "I was like, ‘No, I don’t wanna do that.’"

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

The 22-year-old reveals she was initially dead against starring on reality TV
(Image: Youtube)

 
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ITV2 clearly could see Zara’s potential, so a producer phoned her in a bid to convince her to give the show a chance.

Zara explained: "If I’m honest, the whole Love Island thing was starting to sound quite fun and exciting.

"After I’d been into ITV a few times, I finally started to realise this could be a fantastic opportunity and I should take it. I should really try."

Over the next few months, she had several more meetings and interviews with ITV2, before finally learning she would have a place in the villa.

After taking a sabbatical from her job, Zara flew to Majorca and entered the villa within 24 hours, making her first appearance on Day 15 of the series.

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

Zara entered the Love Island villa on Day 15
(Image: ITV)

 

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

Zara found love on the show with Adam Collard
(Image: ITV2)

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She soon got together with current boyfriend Adam Collard after he ditched solicitor Rosie Williams to be with her, but got dumped from the villa after just 10 days.

As she left the villa, Zara insisted she had found "love" with Adam after just over a week, but was devastated when he soon coupled up with Darylle Sargeant following her exit.

However, Zara decided to give Adam another chance when he was dumped on Day 33 and he begged for her forgiveness.

Reflecting on her short time in the villa, Zara told her YouTube viewers: "Looking back, it doesn’t feel real. I was only in there 10 or 11 days.

"I felt like I had no confidence in myself. If I’m honest, I really wanted a boyfriend. I’d been really, really mugged off. Every guy I spoke to turned out to be horrible. I thought I’m never gonna meet someone in Love Island.

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

Zara makes her first appearance in the Love Island villa with Ellie Brown
(Image: ITV Picture Desk)

 

Zara McDermott reveals Love Island secrets and how she was picked for the show

Zara forgave Adam for his kiss with Darylle Sargeant
(Image: ITV Picture Desk)

 
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"When I went in, I definitely had my eye on Adam since Day 1. Literally, from the first 5 seconds I walked in, I was like – Adam. It was an instant click. I’ve never experienced that in my whole life.

"It’s weird and so amazing. I’m so lucky to have met him."

The couple are now living together in an apartment in Brentwood, Essex, with Adam buying Zara a trip to the Maldives as a Christmas present.

At the end of her YouTube video, Zara sends a special thank you to ITV2 for recognising her potential to become a reality TV star when she didn’t.

She said: "I’m just so glad that I’ve lifted the stigma from myself. I’ve been able to teach myself that reality TV isn’t for a small proportion of people. Love Island has such a diverse mix of people. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and go for it.

"Clearly, ITV saw something in me and I never believed it until now so thank you ITV."

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