Jacob

Jacob proposing to Jodie on the Ellen show, seconds before Jodie muttered the words I can't. (PHOTO: Screen Capture / Ellen / Warner Bros.)

A marriage proposal was rejected in front of a live studio audience and millions of viewers at home during a recent episode of Ellen.

But now, many are wondering if the whole thing was a hoax.

On the episode, which aired Thursday, Ellen DeGeneres read a letter from Jacob Waterdale, who came out from backstage and surprised his girlfriend Jodie with a ring and question.

I have a letter I would like to read right now. It says 'Dear Ellen, there's only one thing I love more than your show, it's my beautiful girlfriend. Like every relationship we've had our ups and downs, but I can't end a day without telling her I love her, or as we call it, loves you . . . I can't imagine my life without Jodie,' DeGeneres said on the show.

Cut to: a shot of Jodie holding her hand over her mouth, on the verge of tears.

As Jacob approaches Jodie, the look on her face is a mix of shock, anxiety and even a hint of embarrassment.

Jodie, I've been waiting for this moment my whole life. I love you to death, and I want you to marry me, says Jacob.

To the surprise of many (as public and broadcasted proposals usually go), Jodie shakes her head and says I can't . . . I'm sorry.

Seconds later, Christmas bells ring and the show takes an awkward turn -- the audience gets up and starts cheering, not for the doomed couple, but for the 12 Days of Giveaways segment of the show. What's more, DeGeneres can be seen laughing from her chair, as the audience continues to scream for the arrival of their gifts.

In

In this screen capture, DeGeneres can be seen laughing just seconds after the marriage proposal went sour. (PHOTO: Screen Capture / Ellen / Warner Bros.)

Since Thursday's episode, Twitter has been exploding with Ellen Proposal, as some are questioning the authenticity of the proposal.

According to TooFab.com, Jacob is actually Ross, a regular staffer on Ellen that was used in a similar segment last season.

On the official Ellen YouTube page, the description for the clip reads: Ellen had a surprise for a member of her audience with a proposal. It didn't seem to be going too well, but thankfully, it was the 12 Days of Giveaways!

Scroll down to watch the clip. Do you think the proposal was a hoax? Share your thoughts below.