Fans of The Bachelor Vietnam got a huge shock during last week’s rose ceremony. After Bachelor Quoc Trung eliminated contestant Minh Thu by not giving her the requisite rose, she opted against fighting for her chance to stay and instead confessed her love for another contestant, Truc Nhu. The two women left the rose ceremony together after Trung and the show host unsuccessfully tried to get Nhu to stay, and the internet has been — rightfully — freaking out over the now-viral clip.
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According to BuzzFeed, people are reacting so intensely to this Bachelor Vietnam clip, not just because two women have never left a rose ceremony together during any Bachelor Nation franchise, but because of what this means for Vietnam viewers in particular.
Although Vietnam has made huge strides toward implementing better LGBTQ rights, including repealing the same-sex marriage ban in 2014 (but not recognizing same-sex marriages as “legal families”), the country still has a long way to go when it comes to widely accepting these identities. Per a 2015 article on HuffPost, LGBT rights program manager at Vietnam’s Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment said that family attitudes are a major obstacle for Vietnam’s LGBTQ community.
Thus, this kind of declaration on Vietnamese television is huge. Viewer reactions have been appropriately intense.
I CANT BREATHE. ON THE BACHELOR VIETNAM ONE WOMAN PROFESSED HER LOVE FOR ANOTHER FEMALE CONTESTANT AND ASKED HER TO COME HOME WITH HER THE GAYS NEVER LOSE! pic.twitter.com/TLB4mIoRPW
— mush (@98JUNKY) September 22, 2018
One fan shared the clip and tweeted, “I CANT BREATHE. ON THE BACHELOR VIETNAM ONE WOMAN PROFESSED HER LOVE FOR ANOTHER FEMALE CONTESTANT AND ASKED HER TO COME HOME WITH HER THE GAYS NEVER LOSE!”
two contestants falling in love is what i hope for when i watch the bachelor lmao i love it and it’s in vietnam of all places i love being gay and vietnamese
— cindy 🏳️🌈 (@cndyvo) September 23, 2018
Another wrote, “two contestants falling in love is what i hope for when i watch the bachelor lmao i love it and it’s in vietnam of all places i love being gay and vietnamese.”
Doesn’t matter to me if that clip from Vietnam’s “The Bachelor” is staged or not. Would 100% watch an entire show where beautiful women turn down a rose from a beautiful tuxedoed man & leave together.
— KatieEllen Humphries (@MsKatieEllen) September 22, 2018
After people started accusing the show of staging the moment, one person said, “Doesn’t matter to me if that clip from Vietnam’s ‘The Bachelor’ is staged or not. Would 100% watch an entire show where beautiful women turn down a rose from a beautiful tuxedoed man & leave together.”
bachelor vietnam huh, pretty fun bisexual representation, if by 'representation' u mean 'representation of my often well-founded fears that because i'm bisexual my feelings + desire would primarily be treated as a salacious plot point in someone else's story' i guess
— jini 💌 (@astroblob) September 23, 2018
But it wasn’t all rainbows. A self-identified bisexual viewer called out the treatment of this moment as a “salacious plot point in someone else’s story.”
According to BuzzFeed, senior story producer on The Bachelor Vietnam Anh-Thu said, “In the cynical age that we live in, it’s very easy to believe these things are staged, but if you look at every contestant’s face as well as the host’s, you can tell this is 100% real. There aren’t any fast cuts nor do we overplay the scene. This scene breathes on its own.”
However, the viral clip leaves out one important moment. As originally reported by NextShark, despite the fact that Nhu and Thu left the rose ceremony together, Nhu decided to keep her rose and continue on the show after a “heart-to-heart” with Trung.
Bachelor Nation contestants go on to date each other with some frequency — in fact, in 2016, two former female contestants from The Bachelor Australia dated and garnered a ton of attention for it. It would have been amazing if Thu and Nhu really did leave The Bachelor Vietnam together, but you never know. Maybe when the finale airs, we’ll learn that they took another chance after filming ended.