Love Island star Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu has been crowned the winner of the 2022 series with her beau Davide Sanclimenti, and the brunette beauty is already being tipped to become the show’s highest earner in history.
The Essex-based actress, 27, has already scooped £25,000 in prize money, and a source has now told MailOnline she’s already being inundated with offers, meaning she could surpass Molly-Mae Hague to become the show’s richest alumni.
Ekin-Su, who entered the villa on the third day as a bombshell, has already had a taste of the spotlight having starred in Turkish soap operas and reality shows before entering the Love Island villa, and the brunette is now set to cash in with an estimated £1 million payday.
Riding high! Love Island star Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu has been crowned the winner of the 2022 with her beau Davide Sanclimenti, and the brunette beauty is already being tipped to become the show’s highest earner in history
Who is Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu?
Born in north London, Ekin-Su is of Turkish descent and relocated to Essex at the age of 10, later studying musical theatre at the East 15 Acting School.
In what may be no surprise due to her stunning looks, she also competed in several beauty pageants, representing Ireland in Miss Asia Pacific World in 2011.
Before making a name for himself on Turkish TV, Ekin-Su also starred on the small-budget reality show Lancashore while studying at the University of Central Lancashire, which focused on a group of students living in Preston.
Riding high! The brunette beauty was crowned series champion during Monday’s live final, and a source has now told MailOnline she’s already being inundated with offers
Early days: Before entering the villa, Ekin-Su made a name for herself as an actress, appearing in the small-budget reality show Lancashore while she was at university
In one scene saw Ekin-Su discussing a group of lads who were living upstairs, saying: ‘Are they hot? Because I’m single, so…’ while another scene saw her confess she fancied one of the men during a drinking game.
During the show, Ekin-Su went by the name Suzie Hazel, and the beauty is no stranger to using a stage name, having previously gone by Su Hayzel and Su Ekin Cülcüloğlu.
In 2020 Ekin-Su then landed a role in the Turkish soap opera Kuzey Yildizi, which told the tale of a man who abandoned his fiancee for a new woman after going to university.
Sexy: In 2020, two years before entering the villa, Ekin-Su landed a role in the Turkish soap opera Kuzey Yildizi as a photographer from London
However, two decades later, karma hits when his wife leaves him and he is forced to go back to his hometown and the family who cut all ties with him.
In the soap, which translates to North Star in English, Ekin-Su starred as Işıl, a photographer from London, and her character ends up saying the life of leading character Kuzey, with clips from the show displaying her acting skills while speaking in fluent Turkish.
While on Love Island, Ekin-Su also revealed that she played a serial killer on a Turkish show, though it is not known whether this was in Kuzey Yildizi, or another series.
Brazen: From her bombshell arrival on the third day of the series, Ekin-Su was quick to make an impact, having said in her pre-show interview she had no interest in making ‘seasonal girlfriends’
What did Ekin-Su do in the Love Island villa?
From her bombshell arrival on the third day of the series, Ekin-Su was quick to make an impact, having said in her pre-show interview she had no interest in making ‘seasonal girlfriends’, and was determined to find ‘the love of her life.’
It was clear from the start that she had caught the eye of Italian hunk Davide, with the pair enjoying a cosy date.
But it wasn’t plain sailing for the couple, as the arrival of Jay Younger turned Ekin-Su’s head, and she famously crawled across the balcony so they could enjoy a secret smooch, while she and Davide were coupled up.
Unsurprisingly Davide was furious when he learned the truth, branding Ekin-Su a ‘liar’ in one of the viral moments of the series, and broke off their romance.
Sneaky: Ekin-Su famously crawled across the balcony in the villa in her secret pursuit of Jay Younger, wiht their steamy kiss leaving Davide furious
On the mend! After a long and turbulent road for their relationship, Ekin-Su and Davide eventually managed to get their romance back on track, and confessed their love for each other at the summer ball during Monday’s final
Champions: In Monday’s final, the couple were then crowned winners, and an emotional Ekin-Su jumped into her Italian beau’s arms as they celebrated their win and speechless Davide, also 27, exclaimed he ‘couldn’t believe it’
While it seemed the couple weren’t going to be able to rebuild their romance, the pair couldn’t deny their spark, and after a first date together in a vineyard, began to get their relationship back on track.
Ekin-Su’s stint in Casa Amor sparked yet more drama for the couple, as while she remained loyal to her man, Davide enjoyed a kiss with blonde beauty Mollie Salmon.
In a tense confrontation, Davide noted Ekin-Su’s own behaviour earlier in their romance, and the pair eventually reconciled and slowly rebuilt their trust.
By the show’s final weeks, Ekin-Su and Davide were on the brink of making their relationship official, with the hunk making her a tiramisu with the message ‘Be mine,’ followed by a memorable final date where he confessed his love for the first time.
In Monday’s final, the couple were then crowned series champions, and an emotional Ekin-Su, 27, jumped into her Italian beau’s arms as they celebrated their win and speechless Davide, also 27, exclaimed he ‘couldn’t believe it’.
Cashing in: Even before she had left the villa, Ekin-Su was being tipped to become the show’s highest earning star in history, with one expert estimating she could receive a £1 million payday after the show
What’s next for Ekin-Su?
Even before she had left the villa, Ekin-Su was being tipped to become the show’s highest earning star in history, with a source telling MailOnline she has already been inundated with offers, and she became the first star this series to hit 1 million followers on Instagram.
An expert has also estimated that she could receive a £1 million payday after the show, profiting from fashion endorsements and club appearances.
A source predicted that brands will be lining up to work with them thanks to Ekin’s ‘captivating’ personality, telling the Mirror: ‘Ekin-Su and Gemma have been the stand-out stars in terms of marketability. Ekin-Su is not only beautiful, but she also has a captivating personality.
A source also reported that Ekin-Su had already sparked a ‘bidding war’ even before she left the villa.
Following in her footsteps: The show has produced a string of millionaires, including Molly-Mae Hague who inked a £500,000 deal with PrettyLittleThing after the show
An industry insider told the Daily Star: ‘Ekin-Su is hot property. Plenty of lucrative offers are already on the table.
‘Quite a few make-up companies and clothing brands want to work with her and they’re prepared to pay big money. And then there are some TV offers as well. A bidding war has already started. Ekin-Su’s earning potential is massive. She’ll rack up £1m pretty quickly.’
The show has produced a string of millionaires, including Molly-Mae Hague who inked a £500,000 deal with PrettyLittleThing after the show, and series two stars Olivia, 28, and Alex Bowen, 31, who are thought to have made around £4 million in sponsorship deals since their time on the show.
Stunner: A source predicted that brands will be lining up to work with them thanks to Ekin’s ‘captivating’ personality
It’s also thought that ITV are keen to sign Ekin-Su and Davide for a spin-off show, documenting their life together after departing the villa, with their Love Island contracts including exclusivity rights for the channel.
A source told The Sun: ‘Just like with Olivia and Chris from 2018 then Jack and Dani in 2019, a spin-off show following Ekin and Davide would be a real ratings spinner.
Figures published by William Hill also showed that Ekin-Su could be making almost six times the average UK salary through sponsored posts on Instagram within the next year.
If Ekin-Su achieved similar sponsors to previous Islanders, including the likes of boohooMAN and Ann Summers, a single sponsored post a month could equate to an annual earning of £55,000.
Following their win, Ekin-Su and Davide personally thanked voters for supporting them and helping them get to the final.
The pair had already moved fans to tears with their heart-warming declarations of love, as she admitted: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither were we,’ while Davide told her ‘te amo’, something he’d previously said he would only say to the woman he wants to marry.
Reading her declaration during the Islanders’ final ball, Ekin said: ‘It’s been a hell of a ride for us but good things don’t come easy and with every bump in the road, our connection has become stronger and deeper.
‘I love everything about you. You have shown me what happiness is. Davide, only you can annoy me so much and at the same time have a passion to kiss you right back after.
End of the road: Viewers waited to discover the winners following an eight-week run of the ITV2 dating show
‘I just love being together. The Turkish delight and the Italian stallion. Perfect for one another, you’re my soulmate. I want you in my present and my future.’
Show fans went into meltdown as they heard Davide say ‘te amo’ during his declaration which was seen writing in the bedroom earlier in the episode.
The heartwarming scenes aired before it was announced Ekin-Su and Davide had won the series.
The couple finished ahead of Gemma and Luca who were awarded second place, with bosses deciding to ditch the ‘split or steal’ twist that usually comes at the end.
Indiyah and Dami were awarded third place on the dating programme ahead of Tasha and Andrew who finished narrowly behind them in fourth place.
Happy: Reflecting on his own experience, Davide said: ‘I didn’t expect this at the beginning – I’m with my other half it’s like a dream now!’