New Zealand is in its third season of The Bachelor, and the show features the first “Chinese Kiwi” bachelorette — 24-year-old Stephanie Lai. She is one of a number of ladies vying for the heart of bachelor Zac Franich.
Lai, a Malaysian Chinese whose parents moved to New Zealand in 1988, said she was “stoked” to be a pioneer.
Although an Asian woman hasn’t yet starred as the titular Bachelorette, Asian women have competed as contestants on The Bachelor franchise here in the United States. Seattle-born Catherine Lowe of Filipino, Italian, and Scottish heritage won season 17 and has a baby with husband Sean Lowe.
Asian men haven’t fared so well. Jon Hamilton (half Chinese and Scottish) competed on The Bachelorette (JoJo Fletcher’s season) last year, but he didn’t survive even the first rose ceremony.
Prior to that, Texas dentist Andy Chang, who is Chinese American, was eliminated in the first week in the second season in 2004.