Calia Quinn placed third in the Bachelor. Will she return as the Bachelorette?
By Ed Diokno
The prospect that a Filipina American could be the next season’s Bachelorette fills me with mixed feelings – anticipation and dread.
It has not been officially confirmed yet, but numerous sources and tabloids say that Caila Quinn will get another chance at finding love. She was among the final three women in the latest iteration of The Bachelor, but was ultimately rejected by bachelor Ben Higgins in the Feb. 29 episode.
Despite her third place finish, she reportedly won the right for a second chance by starring in the upcoming season of The Bachelorette. Us Weekly
reported that the 24-year-old was being followed by cameras around her hometown of Hudson, Ohio while filming her introductory clip for the next season of The Bachelorette.
I admit, I’m not a fan of The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, but I’m aware of its immense popularity of those seeking their Prince Charming or Cinderella. Different strokes for different folks.
Having a woman of color be the central star in this franchise is a first. After 12 years on the air, many critics have written about the franchise’s dismal casting record of just one non-white person in its combined title roles.
An unnamed source at ABC told various publications: “They feel like she’s the whole package and that both men and women really like her and want to see her as the Bachelorette. We only saw a bit of who she really is on The Bachelor. She’s quite dynamic and funny, not to mention incredibly smart and beautiful. The network feels like she has a huge future and they want to nurture her career as a TV personality.”
Will the batch of bachelors from which Quinn will choose include a few Asian American males (which could help counter the asexual Asian male stereotype) or other minority contestants? That would add another interesting factor she would have to consider when choosing her Mr. Right. There are plenty of Asian male hunks who would love to be on the show, but they would have to be able to withstand the pressure of “representing.” The question Quinn would have to ask herself, like other Asian women, is: Can she overcome that Asian male trope to see the romantic side of the potential bachelor.
Having an Asian American woman in the titular role, however, opens the door wide for more diverse casting to include other men of color, too. Numerous studies have shown that Asian women are viewed favorably by men of other races.
On the other hand, there is a danger of reinvigorating that old strain of “yellow fever.” Among the contestants – most of whom will likely be Euro Americans based on previous castings – will almost certainly be a few who harbor that fetish for exotic “Oriental” women. It would be terrible for the show to cater to that stereotype attractive to too many men.
Quinn is from Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, but she recently moved to Akron, Ohio from Boston for her father’s work. According to OKHereIsTheSituation
, Caila’s father, Chris, is of German Irish Swiss descent. He was born in Brazil and raised in Mexico. Her Filipino half comes from her mother, Rosanna,who immigrated as a young child with her family to the Ohio suburb of Warrensville Heights from the Philippines.
In addition to being a contestant on The Bachelor, Caila is also a model, having previously won an Asian Fashion Supermodel Competition in Boston back in 2011, as well as being actively involved in the Philippine Society at Boston College. Her bio lists software sales rep as an occupation.
Her possible selection is in keeping with the diversity profile that ABC is supposed to be pursuing after the selection of Channing Dungey, the network’s first African American programming chief. The network is also home to two sitcoms featuring Asian American families, Fresh Off The Boat and Dr. Ken as well as Blackish and Scandal with African American principals.
The filming of Caila in her hometown could be a ruse by the producers to get the rumor mills churning; or it could be location shooting for another show. The release signed by her friends didn’t specify which TV show they would be on. Since US
magazine came out with their scoop, a few other tabloids have tried to douse water on the rumors with articles on other contestants. We’ll find out next Monday, March 14.The Bachelorette
for next season will be announced during the live portion of The Bachelor
finale next Monday, March 14, 8 p.m. on ABC.
Caila seems to have recovered from her traumatic rejection. On the reunion show last Monday (March 7), she was asked if she would do The Bachelorette and she said: “Because I fell in love before, I could see myself falling in love again,” she explained. “Yes, I would consider it, but I definitely need to take a breather for myself and just take some me-time.”
(Ed Diokno writes a blog :Views From The Edge: news and analysis from an Asian American perspective.)
(AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter and sharing our stories.)