Love Island has solidified its status as one of the buzziest reality shows ever, drawing in millions of viewers and becoming a favorite of Hollywood’s elite (stars including Margot Robbie, Millie Bobby Brown, Jennifer Lawrence, Chrissy Teigen, Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer and Adele are all unapologetic fans). Love Island U.K. host Maya Jama understands the appeal of the dating game show, in which 10 sexy singles are dispatched to a villa where they try to find true love amid challenges and temptation.

“Love Island does a really great job of keeping you invested in the couples,” says the 29-year-old British TV star and host of Love Island Games, a new spinoff featuring previous contestants from the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. “We get to see their highs and lows. It’s really hard for it to not be a guilty pleasure.” Here, Maya talks to In Touch’s Fortune Benatar about her latest gig, what’s next for her and her weird guilty pleasure.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with Love Island?
MJ: It’s so easy to get drawn into the mix of bombshells and twists and turns and pure madness. You really end up rooting for people. I’ve been a fan pretty much since it started.

Tell us about this spinoff.
MJ: There’s a lot more competition. The stakes are higher, the competition is fiercer, and alongside all of this comes all the drama and the romance you’d expect from Love Island.

What former contestants were you most excited to see again?
MJ: Without revealing too much, there are some contestants who had a hard time on their own seasons and didn’t find love, so it’ll be good to see if the stars align for them this time around.

What’s the most challenging part of hosting?
MJ: As a fan, I have to try hard to not hear about what’s happening in the villa ahead of time so that all my reactions are authentic! I also need to be quick on my feet and navigate unexpected situations.

Do you have a dream hosting gig?
MJ: As a music lover, I’d love to host an event like the Grammys. That would be huge!

How do you practice self-care?
MJ: I make time for myself when I can, which usually means lounging on the sofa with an MIJ Mask on. I take care of my skin. I also love to travel and spend time with my friends and family.

What about your fitness?
MJ: I try to get into the gym when I can, but the gym is not my favorite place, I can’t lie! My life can get really busy, though, so that keeps me active.

This was a big year for you: You landed a British Vogue cover and you’re Rimmel London’s global ambassador and the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s latest collection. How does it feel?
MJ: I’ve achieved goals I didn’t think I would at this stage of my life and career, so I’m grateful.

What’s next for you?
MJ: I’d love to spend more time in America, so let’s see what 2024 has in store!

Love Island Games is now streaming exclusively on Peacock. New episodes are available six days a week.

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