By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor
Ekin-Su Culculoglu and Davide Sanclimenti have been named the winning couple of Love Island 2022.
The Turkish actress from Essex, 27, and Italian business owner, also 27, won over viewers with their fiery but passionate relationship that spanned most of the series.
They beat Gemma Owen and Luca Bish in the final two, while Indiyah Polack and Dami Hope came in third and Tasha Ghouri and Andrew Le Page placed fourth.
In a twist, ITV this year scrapped the option for one of the winning couple to steal all of the prize money for themselves.
Both Ekin-Su and Davide arrived in the Love Island villa early on in the series as bombshell contestants and despite an initial attraction suffered a rocky relationship at first, with Davide once branding her a “liar”.
However, they later became inseparable and dubbed themselves the “Italian snack” and “Turkish delight”, eventually professing their love for each other.
Upon hearing they had won, Ekin-Su burst into tears while Davide gasped and said “I can’t believe it” before they embraced their fellow finalists.
Millie Court, who won the 2021 series of Love Island alongside Liam Reardon, said on Instagram: “Congrats to the gorgeous couple. My absolute pleasure to virtually hand over the crown to the well deserved winners. Love Island 2022 over and out.”
— Love Island (@LoveIsland) August 1, 2022
Reardon added: “Massive congratulations to these two and all the finalists, smashed it all the way. Best feeling going. Enjoy the celebrations.”
Laura Whitmore hosted the live final from the garden of the ITV2 show’s Mallorcan villa while a cheering audience watched on.
Introducing the finale, Whitmore revealed the winning pair would not have to choose whether to split or steal the prize money, as in previous years.
She said: “After eight hot weeks and 36 amazing islanders looking for love, only four couples remain. There have been blow dries, bombshells and bed-hopping galore.
“But who will be crowned winners of Love Island 2022? The winning couple will split a huge £50,000 and this year we are not even asking them to choose between love and money.”
Before the winners were crowned, the boys donned tuxedos for a summer ball and waited for their partners to make an entrance.
Luca told Gemma “You look unreal” as she walked onto the terrace while Ekin-Su’s arrival in a satin pink ball gown prompted her Italian partner to exclaim that she looked “beautiful”.
The couples then took turns reading their declarations of love to each other.
Dami had to pause and compose himself before reading his vow to Indiyah, while she said they had gone from “from two heartbreakers to lovebirds” in reference to their troubles during Casa Amor week.
During Gemma’s vow to Luca, she professed her love for him and said she “can’t wait to start a new chapter”.
Ekin-Su then told Davide: “It’s been a hell of a ride for us. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and so are we.
“I love being together. The Turkish Delight and the Italian Stallion. You are my soulmate.”
The current series of Love Island has been a ratings success, securing its biggest launch episode since 2019.
ITV has also announced there will be two series of the show in 2023 – a winter series in South Africa and a summer series in Majorca.