The keys to the addictive format of ‘The island of temptations’

One more edition, ‘The island of temptations’ has blown up the audimeters. The pandemic context, which has reduced social life to a minimum, the desire to escape from viewers and a cast of contestants careful to the millimeter are some of the keys to the success of this reality show, which ends its third season this week.

Although Telecinco continues to talk for weeks about the comings and goings of couples – new ones or broken ones – as part of its successful feedback strategy, This Wednesday the last broadcast from the island took place, the final bonfires.

And this Thursday the protagonists will meet to reveal what happened to their relationships outside the island six months later.

On Wednesday night, more than three million people were watching the show directed by Sandra Barneda. Results achieved in a pandemic context that may have helped the program to register a screen share (26.3% on average) four points higher than the previous edition (issued in September 2020, when social restrictions were lower).

This complex time to manage can lead us to consume content that is easy to digest. We need to escape from a reality that keeps us imprisoned, alert and in vital anguish”, Rebeca Cordero, a professor at the European University, tells Efe.

A time when “at ten o’clock at night all kinds of social relationships end”, being in front of the television becomes, more than ever, “a ritual” and “talking about the subject”, of good or bad behavior of the contestants, it is recurrent both in “the few social spaces to which we are exposed” and in the “virtual spaces”, says Daniel Aranda, researcher at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

And it is that on the internet, recalls the director of the Production 2 division of Mediaset Spain, Jaime Guerra, on social networks (protagonists of the socialization of this millennium), the program grows, “a parallel broadcast is created, with floods of creativity and currents of opinion”, he explains to Efe.


Leaving aside the pandemic context, why is this reality show breaking all records? Juanra Gonzalo, CEO of C Quartz Productions (the producer of the Banaijay Group, creator of the program) is clear: “Because it speaks of universal issues”, of “personal relationships”, and that “makes the public put themselves in the shoes of the couples who participate in the program”, he assures Efe.

Entertainment expert Daniel Aranda explains that the hidden function of reality shows is “being able to talk about yourself from external characters”, that is “the essence of gossip.” When one talks about others, “you put all your values ​​and opinions to the fore, but in a more controlled way“Since” it allows you to express yourself with greater freedom because it is not you who you judge, “he adds.

In Cordero’s opinion, another of the keys to his success is the main theme, infidelity, “a taboo subject.” “As spectators we can recreate what would be a supposed infidelity, take revenge for the suffered, revile the protagonists and feel sorry for the betrayed. Infidelity brings out the most extreme emotions in the viewer ”, he points out.


As a general rule, Aranda points out, a range of characters with “defined attributes” and “certain psychological characteristics” participate in realities. “There is the best person, the person who comes out the most when there is criticism, the most active, the most passive, the most histrionic …”.

From there, the key is to sow conflict. “For a plot to advance there must be conflict” and “is what the production team is responsible for, to promote it,” says the expert.

According to Gonzalo, “one of the main phases and one of the great successes of the program” is to put a lot of emphasis on casting, “finding the best possible partners, looking for very different profiles and trying to avoid that they look alike from one edition to another. ”.


What audience is behind the 3.1 million viewers on average? According to Gonzalo, the program “has very varied profiles” of public and “sweeps all audience profiles: week after week it is the leader in all age groups and in all geographical areas.”

However, young people stand out, with some devastating data: the program has achieved a 52% audience between 16 and 34 years old. A controversy arises here, do these programs transmit adequate values ​​and patterns to follow?

In Gonzalo’s opinion, what is shown in the program is “a reality that, of course, is not that of all young people. The reading of that reality corresponds to each one ”.

What happens in the reality environment can be interpreted in as many ways as people see it. “There are people who can interpret it as if it were a soap opera, who follows its plots; There are people who look at him with a critical distance and the only thing that provokes him is grace and rejection. Seeing it does not mean agreeing with what they do or say ”, Aranda sentenced.