Ah, the dreaded rose ceremony. Seasoned residents of Bachelor Nation know how this particular scenario usually unfolds: Roses are dealt out, contestants are eliminated, and, often, there's more than enough heartbreak to go around. Alas, that wasn't the case when a Bachelor: Vietnam contestant professed her love to another contestant during last week's exceedingly emotional rose ceremony, as reported by BuzzFeed. Again, this is something of an anomaly for the likes of the Bachelor franchise (in any one of its many global iterations), so it's not much of a surprise that the internet is still buzzing about it days later.
As those who have watched The Bachelor's U.S. series could probably tell you, "exceedingly emotional," in this case, looked quite a bit different than it has during many a rose ceremony of Bachelor seasons past. How's that? Well, after current bachelor Quoc Trung left one contestant, Minh Thu, without a rose during last week's ceremony, things did get pretty emotional. But not because Thu was broken-hearted over her elimination.
"I went into this competition to find love, and I've found that love for myself, but it isn't with you," Thu told Trung, standing before her fellow contestants after having just been eliminated. Then, after a pause, she told him, point-blank, "It's with someone else."
Audiences who've watched the now-viral exchange on YouTube or read about it on social media these last few days might know already who that "someone else" turned out to be. But for those who don't, the person Thu was talking about was actually standing right behind her the whole time.
"Come home with me," Thu whispered to fellow contestant Truc Nhu, who had been watching from the back row, with her own rose from Trung in hand. (Seriously, to any and all residents of Bachelor nations far and wide: You should really watch this video.) Suffice it to say, it's a tense, powerful, totally anxiety-inducing moment that should really go down in Bachelor history as one of the bravest, most triumphant gestures of love and affection this franchise has ever seen. And fans on Twitter reacted accordingly.
So, did Thu get the girl in the end? Unfortunately, the short answer is no. The slightly longer answer, however, is sort of — but only at first. After Thu asked Nhu to leave with her, Nhu approached the Bachelor to return the rose he'd given her earlier on in the ceremony. In the video, Nhu does decide to leave, though her expression suggested she might be torn about making such a big decision. As BuzzFeed noted in its report, Nhu later returned to the show, telling Trong she'd decided to stay.
Still, Thu and Nhu left that ceremony side by side, which felt like a really huge deal for lots of Bachelor fans, many of whom were excited to see this tidbit of queer representation play out onscreen. For years, queer representation hasn't really existed in Bachelor Nation; though perhaps the overwhelmingly positive response to last week's Bachelor: Vietnam rose ceremony could inspire the franchise to take it more seriously.
In the meantime, here's to more authentic proclamations of love on Bachelor franchises across the globe. As for Thu and Nhu? Let's hope both women find the love they're looking for, and the one they deserve.