ITV's chief executive has admitted that only SIX of the Love Island 2019 contestants applied to take part themselves.
The wildly popular ITV2 dating contest is unique among reality shows in that it encourages budding islanders to get involved even after a series has begun.
With new 'bombshells' arriving throughout the run, auditions are accepted until the final stages.
However, casting chiefs also set out to find candidates themselves, with viewers often left suspicious by certain contestants' connections to past stars.
Now fresh details have exposed exactly how Love Island fills its villa - and it seems regular punters don't stand much of a chance.
Of the 36 people that appeared on this summer's fifth series, just six were chosen from the open application process.
A whopping 24 were recruited by the producers, while the other six were put forward by professional agents.
The numbers were revealed in written evidence ITV chief exec Dame Carolyn McCall submitted to the government's television duty of care inquiry.
"We get about 98,000 applications for Love Island," she explained (quotes via Radio Times).
"They then take that down to about 90 to 100 as soon as they get a call back.
"At that stage they go through medical questionnaires, psychological questionnaires, assessment. That then goes down to about 30 or 40 who get selected to appear on Love Island."
Meanwhile, McCall denied suggestions that producers tend to cast from a small pool of people who know each other.
"I do not think they just look in that pond. I think they keep it quite open," she insisted (quotes via BBC).
"There are some people who go on Love Island who have never achieved any type of contract or agent or anything like that."
An ITV spokesperson insisted: "Everyone who is seen for the show goes through exactly the same process."
According to the Daily Mirror newspaper, contestants who applied directly included Amy Hart, Michael Griffiths, Joe Garratt and finalist Ovie Soko.
The latest run concluded on Monday with Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea emerging as winners and splitting the £50,000 prize.
ITV recently confirmed it is doubling up on Love Island from next year, airing two series annually.
The first ever winter edition will kick off in early 2020 from a new filming location in South Africa.