Only six of this year’s 36 Love Island contestants applied to be on the show.
A parliamentary inquiry found that 24 were head-hunted by ITV’s casting team, and another six were put forward by professional talent agents.
ITV told Radio 1 Newsbeat: “Everyone who is seen for the show goes through exactly the same process.”
MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee have been looking into reality shows, also including The Jeremy Kyle Show and The Undateables.
ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said: “The production team continuously looks for people who would be right for Love Island in terms of being able to be in the villa and the personality that they are required to have.”
She says they receive around 98,000 applications each year and there is a “very, very rigorous” casting process.
When asked if contestants are often selected from a small pool of people who know each other, Dame Carolyn said: “I do not think they just look in that pond. I think they keep it quite open.
“There are some people who go on Love Island who have never achieved any type of contract or agent or anything like that.”
The committee decided to investigate Love Island after the deaths of former contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. The show has faced scrutiny over its aftercare.
ITV assured viewers it had improved care for contestants, including better psychological support and bespoke training on social media and financial management.
The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed earlier this year after the death of a participant who had failed a lie detector test on the show.