An international episode of The Bachelor fit Chris Harrison’s bill for delivering the “most dramatic moment ever” — and then it went viral.
The moment came during The Bachelor: Vietnam, which was currently airing its first season. During the episode’s rose ceremony, one of the female contestants confessed to the Bachelor that she had fallen in love with a fellow contestant.
“I went into this competition to find love. I’ve found that love for myself, but it isn’t you. It’s someone else,” contestant Minh Thu told the Bachelor, Nguyen Quoc Trung, in a teary-eyed confession.
She then walked over and hugged contestant Truc Nhu and asked her to leave the show with her.
Nhu, overwhelmed with emotion, responded by shaking her head yes.
“I’m sorry I really want to get to know you because you’re someone who made me feel special, and I haven’t felt that way in a long time,” Nhu told the Bachelor.
Still, he fought for her to stay.
“I want to ask, if you decide this, would you feel regretful? This doesn’t change my decision,” he said. “I’m not going to give this rose to anyone else. You only get one chance in this life and you need to take it. Only you, not anyone else. I want to let you know that I think you’ll have regret if you continue with what you are about to say Truc Nhu.”
The host encouraged Nhu not to pass up her chance with the Bachelor, but she still decided to give back the rose. Telling him, “I’m sorry.”
The two female contestants then stunned their castmates, the host and the Bachelor by walking out of the elimination ceremony together.
The moment was a first for the franchise. In addition to ABC’s long-running hit franchise — which will launch its 23rd season with Colton Underwood in January — The Bachelor has aired in over 31 countries around the world to date, with The Bachelorette airing in over 13 global outposts.
The franchise’s latest U.S. spinoff, The Bachelor: Winter Games, united some of the versions from around the globe when it included stars from Switzerland, Japan, Australia, China, Canada, Sweden, Finland and the U.K. in its international cast. That four-episode spinoff aired in February and saw the cast competing and looking for love at a Vermont resort.
Despite the shocking TV moment on The Bachelor: Vietnam, however, Asian news site NextShark reported that, after the two women chatted off camera, Nhu changed her mind and decided to stay on the show in the end.
“After talking to Trung, I’ve changed my mind to accept this rose and continue this journey,” she said, according to a screenshot on the website.
But — in an off-camera twist — once the season finished airing, the two contestants reunited and now they are together.
“They left the show and have been together since,” The Bachelor: Vietnam executive producer Anh Tran updated NextShark on Oct. 15. “We delivered on our promise that two people would find love.”
Two contestants from The Bachelor: Australia, Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon, also found love on their show. They also didn’t start dating until after filming had wrapped.
Bachelor: Vietnam producer Anh-Thu Nguyen addressed the significance of the TV moment and its impact on LGBTQ issues on a global scale when speaking to NextShark.
“As both a queer Vietnamese-American woman and as someone involved in the show who witnessed this first hand, this was a moving and powerful moment showcasing that love is love,” said the story producer. “Especially in the context of Vietnamese culture, where family and saving face can often be prioritized over all else, including love, the fact these women made this declaration during the rose ceremony in front of everyone is even more awe-inspiring. It’s been a proud experience to see our clip resonate around the world and become an unexpected platform for discussing LGBTQI+ issues in Vietnam on a global scale.”
Watch the rose ceremony clip that aired on Bachelor: Vietnam in the video player above.
Oct. 15, 8:15 a.m. Updated with Minh Thu, Truc Nhu’s off-camera relationship status, producer quotes.