A super-rich Malaysian Chinese bachelorette is currently in vying to win the heart of “The Bachelor” in the New Zealand edition of the dating competition.
In the third season of “The Bachelor NZ”, 24-year-old Stephanie Lai joined 19 other “romantic interests” seeking the affections of the “eligible” 28-year-old Kiwi bachelor Zac Franich, NZ Herald reports.
Lai, a University of Auckland law student and former beauty queen, is the daughter of wealthy Chinese parents who moved to New Zealand in 1988.
“I’m totally stoked at being the first Chinese bachelorette, and if people feel happy about watching me on TV, I’m more than happy to accommodate that and live up to the name,” Lai was quoted as saying.
The premiere of the show was shown last Sunday, and following this Monday’s rose ceremony where three contestants were eliminated, Lai remains to be among the 16 ladies left.
According to Lai, her reason to join the show was to involve herself in the “cool things” that the contestants typically experience in the reality TV show.
“The highlight so far is that I’ve just been given a rose, and I’m really stoked,” she said.
“All the girls are so cool, I can’t wait to see them again after this whole process, I definitely know that I’ve made friends for life.”
In speaking about the bachelor, Lai said she finds him nice and mature.
“Zac is definitely a really nice guy and we get along … in terms of when we talk about travel and about kids,” Lai said.
“He does Surf Life Saving training and he’s got a beautiful bunch of kids that he trains almost every day I think.
“It’s just really nice to talk to a nice mature guy who can talk about worldly things, and who has your best interests at heart.”
As the only bachelorette with braces, she explained, “I thought … I’m getting older now and it’s about time that I get braces. I keep putting it off at high school, I didn’t want them in my ball photos and then I didn’t want them at uni.”
Lai earlier made headlines a few years ago due to her lavish lifestyle. She reportedly spends up to $7,000 on an outfit along with accessories like her $550 Louis Vuitton keychain and $750 Hermes bracelet. Lai owns a large house that her dad bought her and a Range Rover that her mom gave her.
Her 21st birthday was celebrated on a ship that cruised around Auckland harbor and involved multiple wardrobe changes. She is known to love partying at Auckland bar Zeus.
Lai, however, shared that being on “The Bachelor” has so far inspired some changes in her lifestyle.
“I was a shopaholic, now I am a worldly, more conscious, young mature lady who now studies law, probably got a bit more boring.
“I’m well traveled, well educated and I’m well dressed. This is Stephanie 2.0.”
A spokeswoman from the showrunner Mediaworks said they are constantly on the lookout for bachelorettes from different backgrounds to be featured on the show.
“We strive to make the cast of bachelorettes as diverse as possible and our casting call outs aim to reach New Zealanders from all backgrounds,” the representative was quoted as saying.
While arguably not the best representation of Asians on TV, a show at least has a developing conscious effort to diversify its cast may still be viewed as a positive step.
Images via Instagram.