Ousted Dancing with the Stars contestant Colin Mathura-Jeffree claims he was misrepresented on the TV3 show as a "cliched gay boy".
The Auckland celebrity and his dance partner Kristie Williams were eliminated from the reality show last night, shocking live audience members and fans who thought they had done enough to return next week.
In an interview with the Herald, Mathura-Jeffree said his portrayal on Dancing With the Stars, particularly through comments from the show's three judges, could have led viewers to believe he didn't take his dancing seriously.
"I did feel I was gently being prodded into the 'cliched gay boy' slot who sits around and gets his hair done," he said.
"I don't like being misrepresented. The truth is that I took rehearsals so seriously.
"Kristie and I increased days and started three hours earlier.
"We, like everyone else, put the hours in to dazzle the judges and New Zealand."
TV3 hasn't responded to queries about his claims. The show's judges are Candy Lane, Stefano Olivieri and Hayley Holt.
During the show's first episode, Mathura-Jeffree and Williams performed the jive to Wham's Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go. Judge Candy Lane quipped, "Colin, that's the first time I've seen you pick up a woman."
Mathura-Jeffree debuted a new hairstyle - cornrows - on Sunday night, which became a popular topic of conversation on social media.
The 43-year-old said he was "a big boy" who could handle any criticism that came his way.
"You grow up fast in the celebrity world of multimedia and learn that those who make hateful remarks are always the most uneventful people. I learned early on you can't respond to trolls because they offer no growth ever.
"Judges are different, their critique is important. Good and bad they influence ... We all create a scene and carry a look into our performance and it's a part of the show's charm."
The hardest part about being on the show was "the toll it took on my body".
"As a 43-year-old man you tend to work within certain comfort zones but Kristie had me pushing, bending, stretching in places until it really hurt and she would laughingly say, 'Now when it's sore you know it's right'."
His favourite part of the show had been meeting someone he now considered a "life long friend".
"I made such a great friend in my co-star Kristie Williams. We ended up sitting down in an afternoon and I opened up about regrets and mistakes and also about the love in my life that I never share in conversation with anyone," he said.
"She showed me such incredible kindness. I walk off the show without a trophy but a truest of true friends. I hope the other competitors are having the same bonding sessions."