On an episode of the reality show that aired Monday, Jan. 27 — just one day after the Lakers legend died in a tragic helicopter crash — contestant Victoria Fuller goes on a one-on-one date with Bachelor Peter Weber at Cedar Point amusement park, located in Erie County, Ohio.
During an outtakes reel played right after the episode, Peter and Victoria, a 25-year-old medical sales representative from Virginia Beach, Va., can be seen shooting hoops together at the park following an awkward experience with one of the contestant’s alleged ex-boyfriends, country singer Chase Rice.
At one point, as Peter readies to make a free throw, Victoria seemingly shouts “Kobe!” to encourage him.
People have long yelled “Kobe!” while attempting to sink shots, whether during pickup basketball games or even when tossing crumpled up papers into trash bins. The playful move pays homage to Bryant, who ranks as one of the highest-scoring NBA players of all time.
Although it remains unclear whether the scene was added to Monday night’s broadcast following the NBA legend’s death or if it was intended to air all along, we know that the footage shown in the episode was shot months before Bryant’s death.
No matter how the Kobe mention ended up on-air, it certainly left members of Bachelor nation reeling, with many taking to social media to share their sorrow.
“Victoria yelling ‘Kobe’ at the end just gave me chills… this was filmed months ago,” one user wrote.
Another reacted with a “crying Michael Jordan” meme.
In fact, crying GIFs reacting to the moment were plentiful.
One user even called the moment the “best way” to end the episode, as thousands mourn the death of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.
Greg Khach, director of publicity for The Bachelor Franchise, declined to comment on the clip in relation to Bryant’s death.
Earlier this month, Victoria Fuller landed in hot water when a social media user discovered she previously modeled for a “White Lives Matter” brand.
Even before that, the contestant had become the center of controversy, with popular entertainment blog RealitySteve reporting in October 2019 that the 25-year-old had broken up several of her friends’ marriages by being involved with their partners.
Amid widespread questioning about her character, Victoria took to Instagram to defend herself against allegations, although she did not specify which ones.
“The RUMORS you are hearing are FALSE,” she wrote. “There will be a time & place where I can defend myself, but for now I choose to wait. HOWEVER, bullying is NOT ok. Nor is it fair. Especially when casting judgement and basing opinions upon pure speculation, assumptions, & LIES.”
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