The star of The Bachelor NZ 2017 has laughed off comments made by runner-up Lily McManus, posing with her in online photos and insisting they're "friendly".
Zac Franich chose Viarni Bright as the winner in the final episode, telling Lily he sent her packing as he didn't want to "cage a butterfly".
In the latest issue of Woman's Day, Lily called that comment a "f**king stupid metaphor", adding "I know Zac and I can't be friends anymore".
But proving there's no bad blood between them, the pair got together this week for a Jono and Ben skit, even posting arm-in-arm photos on Instagram.
Zac says he and Lily "had a good chuckle" about her comments and how they were reported in the media.
"I didn't really take it too seriously to be fair," says Zac.
"Things can be so easily taken out of context, and spun in ways to sound more malicious than originally intended."
As the Jono and Ben photos indicate, Zac and Lily are on good terms; although he says their history means they can't be too close.
"We're friendly - which is great. But we dated on this TV show once and I broke up with her on national TV for one of her mates, so will you see us having brunch and coffee together in the near future? Probably not."
And what about the infamous butterfly metaphor - does Zac regret using it?
"It's really tough to explain your feelings at times, especially in the situation I found myself in with Lily," he says.
"Could I have chosen another turn of phrase? Maybe. I did my best at explaining how I felt at the time."
Although The Bachelor NZ has concluded for the year, Zac and Lily can be seen on Jono and Ben tonight on Three at 7:30pm.