Ex-Love Island star Savanna Darnell reveals show triggered depression

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A former contestant of Love Island has revealed the distress of participating in the hit reality TV show triggered depression.

Savanna Darnell, 23, from Sheffield, enjoyed a brief period of fame last summer as one of five girls who entered the reality TV show later in the series.

The dancer who was dropped from the island just five days after entering Casa Amor, told how she sank into depression and was crying every day, and realises with hindsight that she should have sought help from a therapist or life coach. 

‘I didn’t know how to cope with life, it completely changed,’ she said. ‘On top of that I was reading comments every single day about my hair, my appearance. 

‘I remember some horrible comments saying that I was the ugliest islander ever and that I should get breast cancer and die. 

‘It was a horrible time in my life, it was just horrendous. I don’t know how people can make people feel like that.’

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Savanna Darnell, 23, (pictured) took to YouTube to share how taking part in last year's series of Love Island changed her life

Savanna Darnell, 23, (pictured) took to YouTube to share how taking part in last year’s series of Love Island changed her life

Speaking in a candid YouTube video, Savanna revealed producers made her wait almost a month in limbo, before confirming that she would take part in the series. 

The former islander who now boasts over 100,000 followers on Instagram, was scouted by the show to audition at a time when she had just 4,000 followers.

She recalls binge eating and battling stress as she waited in the hope of being chosen for the show. 

After one audition, she was called back to speak to producers and was put through medical checks.  

‘You have to talk to a psychotherapist, physiotherapist. You have to talk to someone to see if you’re OK, if you’re healthy,’ she recalled.

The dancer (pictured on the show kissing fellow contestant Sam Bird) was scouted by the reality TV show's producers for an audition

The dancer (pictured on the show kissing fellow contestant Sam Bird) was scouted by the reality TV show’s producers for an audition 

Savanna who is currently touring the UK as part of the Thriller Live musical, was chaperoned to Mallorca and placed on lock down at the same time as the initial cast members. 

However, after ten days in the country without contact with the outside world, she was sent home and was asked to stay on standby for three weeks before she received the call to enter Casa Amor.

The dancer who was 22-years-old when she took part in the series revealed she was stunned by the limited airtime she received while on the show.

‘I was absolutely fuming at my screen time because a lot happened in the villa that wasn’t put on the screen. All my Love Island friends were going to events and doing brand deals, I was doing nothing.

Savanna (pictured) revealed that she spent almost a month on standby at the request of the show before entering Casa Amor

Savanna (pictured) revealed that she spent almost a month on standby at the request of the show before entering Casa Amor

Savanna (pictured) was stunned by her limited airtime after re-watching the episodes of the show that she featured in

Savanna (pictured) was stunned by her limited airtime after re-watching the episodes of the show that she featured in

‘I hadn’t got an agent, I wasn’t hearing about events because I didn’t have an agent to tell me about these events. I was going crazy, I was getting upset, I was like what the hell why I haven’t got an agent everyone’s doing these fun events.’

Savanna saw her career completely change after she got an agent, but realises she should really have seen a therapist or life coach. 

Since sharing the experience on YouTube, Savanna has received a stream of comments from fans reassuring her that it was for the best that she didn’t have much airtime. 

Savanna (pictured second from right after being dumped from the show) says she missed out on opportunities when she first left the villa because she didn't have an agent

Savanna (pictured second from right after being dumped from the show) says she missed out on opportunities when she first left the villa because she didn’t have an agent

Savana (pictured) received messages online from people criticizing her appearance and hair after taking part in the series

Savana (pictured) received messages online from people criticizing her appearance and hair after taking part in the series

Savanna (pictured with the Series 4 cast) revealed she regrets not getting a therapist or life coach when she began gaining attention from taking part in the show

Savanna (pictured with the Series 4 cast) revealed she regrets not getting a therapist or life coach when she began gaining attention from taking part in the show

One said: ‘She said she experienced depression from the small high from the show… imagine how she’d have felt if she was one of the most famous ones, she’d be in bits. Maybe it’s for the best with how things turned out? For her mental health maybe it was a blessing in disguise’

Another wrote: ‘As weird as it sounds – It’s probably for the best that you didn’t get much air time. Viewers can be nasty and TV shows in particular can edit a show in order to create characters, specifically ones which an audience will enjoy to dislike. 

‘And they didn’t have the chance to do that to you. You seem very nice so I’m glad that didn’t happen. Trust me, it’s most likely for the best!’

A third added: ‘poor girl, you didn’t deserve that and i wish they gave you more screen time because you seem so amazing and a great personality’

A spokesperson for the show previously told Mail Online that time constraints limit what is shown to viewers.

A stream of YouTube subscribers reassured Savanna that it was for the best that she didn't stay on the show long

A stream of YouTube subscribers reassured Savanna that it was for the best that she didn’t stay on the show long



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