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Most Controversial TV Show: Temptation Island's excessive focus on sex makes show's format questionable

The show holds a notorious record of breaking up relationships with its unique show format
UPDATED MAY 11, 2020
Temptation Island (IMDB)
Temptation Island (IMDB)

When ‘Temptation Island’ was first introduced by Fox TV to the world in 2001, it left nearly everyone scandalized. The show’s premise left the religious and conservative groups across the world up in arms against the telecasting of the show. So, what was the show about? Four unmarried couples were brought on the show, to test their ‘fidelity’. There are 26 singles, whose sole job is to lure the couple. Whichever couple resisted the ‘temptation’ was declared the winner of the show.
The people and groups opposing the airing of the show felt that the show was promoting illicit relationships, and relying heavily on sex to bring in the viewership, while also breaking up happy couples. Although Fox TV squashes the criticism saying that the show was for studying the dynamics of the relationships rather than just sex, their actions contradicted their statements.
When it was later revealed that all the participants had to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Things got worse for the showrunners when it was discovered that one of the couples who were shortlisted to appear on the show, already had a child together. Though the network immediately removed the couple from the show, the damage was already done. Critics slammed the network for not carrying out necessary due diligence before picking the contestants, and also at the possibility that a family could have been broken due to the show.

Sadly, for Fox, the show didn’t prove to be as successful as they’d hoped for it to be. So after a stint of just three seasons,’Temptation Island’ was dropped. Nearly fifteen years later, the show was picked up once again by USA Network. A few minor changes were made to the original format to better suit the tastes of the modern audience. But the show remained just as scandalous.

The first season of the reboot version turned out to be extremely controversial, with the way things ended for one of the couples. Evan Smith and Kaci, a couple that had been dating for ten years on and off. While Kaci wanted a ring from Evan, he wasn’t ready for it yet. So, they appeared on the show to see if their relationship had a future.
Unfortunately for Kaci, Evan not only broke up with her towards the end of the show, but also fell in love with one of the single girls on the Island, named Morgan Lolar. The show received a lot of backlash over the way things ended for the couple. Just as the people were beginning to settle down with their criticism of the show, the second season began. This time around, the cast members themselves slammed the show for the way they edited the show.

Casey Starchak, in particular, was so unhappy with the way the show edited and portrayed him that he refused to appear for the reunion special. He also called out the host Mark Walberg and the show a ‘joke’. In a series of tweets, he expressed how the showrunners were more focused on the commercial success of the show than the well-being of the couples and their relationships. Other cast members like Kate Griffith too spoke to MEAWW exclusively about how the show’s premise didn’t make any sense. She expressed how it was impractical to leave the island with someone you just met and ditching the person you have known and been in love with for years, over a reality show.

Unlike its original version, the reboot version of ‘Temptation Island’ was definitely a commercial success, with many viewers religiously following it. But the show’s success rate when it comes to the couples who came on the island together, leaving it together, or the couples who left the island together, managing to stay in the relationship, the success rate is almost negligible. From the latest Season 2, only one couple managed to survive the show- David Benavidez and Kate Griffith.

We have to point out, that David left the show with a girl he met on the island- Toneata. Later, during the reunion, it was revealed that things didn’t work out between Toneata and him, which eventually led to Kate and him getting back together.