The lowest scoring duo on Heartbreak Island have been told to leave the show after a ruthless round of elimination.

The controversial show, which began on TVNZ 2 on Monday, sees 16 singletons looking for love while living together in Fijian bures. The last couple standing wins $100,000 and a car.

The elimination came after the show's first couples challenge that saw Ella and Izaak with the least amount of points.

They could have been saved by other contestants in a move called "ditch and switch", but no one chose to do so.

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"It's a big heartbreak that's for sure, but it ain't called Heartbreak Island for nothing," said Izaak when hosts Matilda Rice and Mark Dye told him he was eliminated.

"Heartbreak Island has broken my heart, I certainly wanted to stick around for a bit longer," he said.

Ella was the lowest scoring female from Monday's first episode, one that was criticised for naming and shaming contestants who weren't as popular as others.

The episode caused so much outcry, TVNZ was forced to defend the episode as "reflecting the realities of dating in a Tinder age".

"It's pretty awful being first off the island. I feel pretty low and pretty emotional" said Ella as she was sent home.

After her elimination, she called the experience "amazing".

"Although it was a short journey for me I learnt so much about myself that I hope I can put into the real world," she said.

Izaak called his time on the show "outrageous".

"Heartbreak Island is one of the most outrageous, yet fantastic things I have ever experienced."

An uncut episode of Heartbreak Island airs on Friday night.