Bach stars seen kissing in shock twist
In a turn of events no Bachelor fan saw coming, recent evictee Vakoo Kauapirura and existing contestant Rachael Arahill may have found love through the reality TV program after all, but not with Matt Agnew.
While they initially signed up to score the final rose from Melbourne Astrophysicist Agnew, 32, photos that have emerged of the two women kissing on what appears to be a date have fuelled rumours they're instead pursuing a romance with each other.
In photos published and owned by New Idea, 23-year-old Rachael - the contestant who entered the mansion in a wedding gown - and model Vakoo, 24, are seen kissing and caressing each other's faces at a restaurant and holding hands as they walk down the street.
The photos - which many have suggested could be staged - come after weeks of gushing over each other on Instagram after growing close during their time together in the mansion.
"Thankful we went on this crazy journey or I wouldn't of met my soulmate. OmG bLeSsEd WiTh ThE bEsT xX (sic)," Rachael posted alongside an image of her and Vakoo earlier this month.
On scrolling further through the personal trainer's profile, Vakoo has "liked" every one of her photos, commenting; "Your face when the food takes too long" on Rachael's latest post.
Vakoo, who left the mansion two weeks ago after failing to contain her giggles during one-on-one time with Matt, posted to Instagram herself after her eviction. "I may not have found love with the Bach but I found love with some extraordinary women," she shared.
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I went into the one on one time with the intention of showing Matt a different side of me. I can be very giddy and I laugh a lot. I don’t think those traits are immature, I’m just a very bubbly personality in a very unusual situation and he just happened to bring that out of me. We had a good conversation but the giggling was more entertaining to put 😂 What an experience though 😅 Going on @thebachelorau was one of the highlights of my year. I never thought i could live with a bunch of girls and have so much fun. I’ll miss all the laughs, cries, story times, dancing and eating a ridiculous amount of food. I may not have found love with the Bach but I found love with some extraordinary women. I can happily say I have made some lifelong friends. I learned so much about myself, while staying true to who I am and what I believe in. I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. I have no regrets and i am really grateful to have been chosen to be part of this season. Thank you to all the people who work hard on bringing something entertaining to your tv screens. Thank you to the sound guys, camera crew, producers, MUA’s, drivers, the two amazing women who took care of us. Most importantly, thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting me and rooting for me. I am so overwhelmed by the love and the messages you guys are sending me 🥰❤️
The budding romance between Vakoo and Rachael, should it be confirmed, harks back to Richie Strahan's 2016 season of The Bachelor, during which fellow contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon met and struck up a relationship post-filming.
When they first went public, Marx said it was during a holiday in Bali that they realised something was there.
"We were at one of the bars in Bali and we were playing the ice game - where you have a cube of ice in your mouth and you have to pass it on within five seconds to someone from your mouth to their mouth," Scanlon told Kyle & Jackie O in 2017. "Megan passed it to me and there was a bit of an extended kiss," she explained.
The newest contestant romance between Vakoo and Rachael comes amid rumours Rachael had no interest in the Bachelor himself, and only had eyes for a producer.
Rachael, who was reportedly sent home this week, told TV Week today that "all the girls" would joke about choosing "one of the good-looking producers" as their "back-up plan", seeing as only one would actually end up with Matt.
While Rachael explained that it wasn't uncommon for a contestant to say, "This one is mine when I leave the house!," in reference to a crew member, it was unclear whether it went any further than mild flirtation.
Rachael's crush on a producer was said to unravel this week and is apparently what ultimately sent the controversial contestant home.
As to whether it is into the arms of Vakoo, both reality stars are yet to comment.