From online dating to romantic reality TV series, matchmaking plays a major role in the relational aspect of society. Shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were designed to create the ‘perfect couple’—not without some entertainment thrown into the mix, of course. Launched in the United States and produced by ABC, The Bachelor first aired in March 2002 before receiving its spin-off, The Bachelorette, in 2003. Since their premiere, both shows have experienced insurmountable success, spawning even more spin-offs including Bachelor in Paradise and Bachelor: The Winter Games.
However, as fans have devoted themselves to watching season after season, it hasn’t gone unnoticed that people of color have been extremely underrepresented, particularly Asian-Americans. As this flaw in the show’s casting continued to be placed under a magnifying glass, a gradual shift began to take place.
While there is room for greater levels of representation, viewers have expressed great pleasure at the sight of an uptick in Asian-Americans being cast in the popular reality TV franchise. In 2013, Catherine Lowe, who is of Filipino descent, became the first Asian woman to win The Bachelor, when she triumphed on the finale of the 17th season.
A ripple effect has taken place as a result, and the fans have taken note of each effort made by the producers to increase inclusivity. Although few, in comparison to other racial groups, the Asian-Americans who have competed throughout the franchise have all been unforgettable.
1) Catherine Giudici - The Bachelor Season 17
Credit: 2013 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Catherine Lowe joined The Bachelor in 2013 for the show’s 17th season. Her name then; Catherine Giudici. She was born in Seattle, Washington and gained her Asian heritage from her mother, who is Filipino-American. Catherine won her shot at love with Sean Lowe, also known at the time as the ‘Virgin Bachelor’, because he had vowed to be celibate until marriage. Catherine turned out to be the lucky girl who claimed his heart as he surprised her during the show’s finale with a memorable and heart-warming proposal. Almost a decade later, the couple is happily married and their union has welcomed three children.
2) Jasmine Nguyen - The Bachelor Season 24
Jasmine Nguyen has it all—beauty, ambition and loyal supporters are just a few. Nonetheless, the Vietnamese-American considers having someone to share her happiness with important, and having a family is something she also prioritized. As a result, she joined season 24 of The Bachelor in 2020 to meet the man of her dreams.
Along with 33 other women, the Vietnamese-beauty was vying for the heart of Virginia-native Peter Weber, who she mentioned during an interview with People magazine, is ‘more handsome in person’. While she admits to being attracted to him and noticing their potential to be a great couple, Jasmine’s time was cut short after her elimination in week 3. Still, fans are keeping up to date with her on social media and have praised her for her guts to further break down the cultural and racial barriers that have been prevalent throughout the series.
3) Eunice Cho - The Bachelor Season 24
Like Jasmine, Eunice Ashlee Cho also graced The Bachelor’s 24th season. The Asian-American who hails from Chicago, works in the field of Aviation, something she has in common with the handsome bachelor, Peter Weber, who is a pilot. Hopeful to find true love and thrilled at the opportunity, Cho shared that she would be a contestant on the show via Instagram. Her caption read, “Did someone say roses, limo entrances, and champagne!”
She was excited at the possibility of being able to introduce ‘the one’ to her parents, something she found difficult to do in the past as a result of failed relationships. However, as fate would have it, a union wasn’t meant to be for Eunice and Peter. She was eliminated in week 1 but her bubbly personality and angelic entry won’t be easy to forget.
4) Tammy Ly - The Bachelor Season 24
Season 24 proved to be one of the most diverse of The Bachelor franchise as far Asian-American representation goes. Vietnamese-American Tammy Ly left an unforgettable impression on Peter, the other contestants and the crew of the reality TV show as well.
Her boldness and candor was evident, from her sassy entrance to calling out another contestant for cheating during a relay race. While she was eliminated in week 6, following a spate of clashes with other contestants, she was surely a fan favorite early on, receiving the coveted rose from Peter, the first night after they met. Tammy returned to the franchise in 2021 for the 7th season of Bachelor in Paradise.
5) Sydney Lotuaco - The Bachelor Season 23
Credit: The Citrus Collection
Sydney Maree Lotuaco first appeared on the 23rd season of The Bachelor as the only Asian woman contending for Colton Underwood’s heart. The Filipino-American made the hard decision of walking away from show during week 6, citing that she felt snubbed and underappreciated by him throughout the season. While Colton was sad to see her go, fans of both the franchise and Sydney can attest that her time on the show was by no means in vain. Now 30 years old, she is engaged to the love of her life, former athlete Nick Wehby, who, in a plot twist, took a liking to the Asian-American beauty when he saw her on the matchmaking reality TV series in 2019.
6) Caila Quinn – The Bachelor Season 20
Credit: Stephanie Sunderland
The taste of success was so close for Filipino-American Caila Quinn who was a contestant on The Bachelor’s 20th season. Caila was so close that she was the 2nd runner up in the race to Ben Higgins’ love and affection. Her impressive run on the show would have rewarded her with the lead role on season 12 of The Bachelorette, and while Caila was undergoing extensive preparation to be the first Asian-American lead on the show, she was replaced by season 20’s first runner up, Jojo Fletcher.
In the grand scheme of things, this sudden change of events worked in Caila’s favor—In 2021, she tied the knot with real estate investor, Nick Burello, wearing a stunning Kleinfeld Bridal ball gown that made her elimination extremely worth it.
7) Bao Wu – The Bachelorette Season 17
Fans were beyond excited upon hearing the announcement that an Asian-American contestant would be joining The Bachelorette’s 17th season. Katie Thurston was the leading lady and by the sight of Bao Wu’s fun and down-to-earth personality, expectations were high that he could sweep Katie off her feet.
Despite the fanfare surrounding the Asian-American’s participation in the show, some viewers were left disappointed at the absence of Bao before the first night. Uncertainty surrounds the reason he failed to make the final cut but fans remained hopeful that he’d be the leading man for an upcoming season of The Bachelor.
8) John Graham – The Bachelorette Season 14
Figure 1Credit: Instagram/johngraham262
Season 14 of The Bachelorette saw biracial Asian-American tech wizard, John Graham, vying for the heart of the beautiful publicist, Becca Kufrin, after which he returned to the franchise, becoming one of the main heartthrobs on season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise.
While he walked away from both reality shows without meeting ‘the one’, love was still on his side—He proposed to his girlfriend, Brittni Nowell, in 2019. They’ve since tied the knot at Olympia’s Valley Estate, North Carolina, in 2022.
9) Zoe Tang – The Bachelor Winter Games Season 1
The Bachelor Winter Games premiered in 2018. The spin-off revolves around bachelors and bachelorettes from across the globe coming together to compete in a variety of winter sports contests, with finding the love of their lives being the ultimate goal.
Zoe Tang was one of two Asians and one of nine international contestants who competed on the show. Zoe hails from Shenzhen, China, and wowed audiences with her friendly personality that helped her get along with a number of the bachelors on set. She was eliminated early on but is said to have formed a good relationship with Yuki, her Asian counterpart during the show.
10) Yuki Kimura – The Bachelor Winter Games Season 1
Following her appearance on the first season of The Bachelor Japan, Yuki Kimura joined The Bachelor Winter Games as an early favorite. At the age of 21, she was one of the youngest participants and the only competitor who couldn’t speak English. Nonetheless, her high-spirited nature won everyone over, including her castmates, who comforted her when she was sent home by host Chris Harrison.
The fact that Yuki wasn’t fluent in English was cited as the main reason for her removal, which many fans frowned upon as prejudicial. Regardless, Yuki kept her spirits high and maintained that she would be open to competing in more Bachelor Nation-related TV productions in the future. Seeing that fans fell so in love with her, it only made sense when producers brought Yuki back as a bartender for Bachelor in Paradise’s 5th season.