Mark Dye has defended Heartbreak Island's most controversial scene, saying rejection is a daily occurrence for daters in 2018.
The TVNZ 2 reality show, which sees 16 singletons looking for love and prize money in Fiji, has been criticised for depicting dating as a popularity contest.
Most of the criticism has been aimed at a scene in episode one which saw Ella and Tavita announced as the show's least popular contestants in front of their peers.
TVNZ said the show depicted "the realities of dating in a Tinder age" - a stance backed up by the show's host.
In a new blog post, Dye said the show depicted exactly what was happening in real life.
"For those of us still in the dating pool, this rejection is a daily occurrence," wrote Dye.
"For those of us still swimming in the pool, this is our lives."
Dye said he'd been dismissed in exactly the same way as Ella and Tavita by potential dates himself.
"I’m bloody awesome. I have an incredible personality, can cook and clean, have amazing family and friends, an alright career, and yet hundreds have declined me on Tinder because of the way my eyes are deposited in my face and the size of my ears in proportion to my nose," Dye wrote.
"It sucks. But again it is reality, and you know what, it is nothing new!"
He said Ella and Tavita's problem wasn't themselves but their photos and "the way they marketed themselves".
He called being judged on the way you looked a "time-old tradition".
"The bar in the 80s worked the same as the dance hall in the 30s. The ‘hotties’ got the whatever or whoever they wanted while the ‘uglies’ or those deemed ‘not as attractive’ languished in corners," he wrote.
Dye's co-host Matilda Rice was forced to release her own statement after a barrage of online abuse came her way following the show's debut.
Rice told viewers she'd "had enough" of the abuse and pleaded with them to stop.
"I have been absolutely inundated with messages and comments and tweets telling me I am a bad person," said Rice in her Instagram story after deleting her initial post.
"The absolute barrage of hate I got on social media last night and today was like awful. I felt like shit, I felt like absolute shit."