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While it’s expected that not everything filmed for a reality TV show will make it to air, one of this year’s Bachelorette contestants has admitted that there were a few scenes they were surprised to see edited out.
Ritu Chhina, who became the first female contestant to be eliminated this season on Wednesday night, opened up to Yahoo Lifestyle about showcasing her cultural background on the series.
“I didn’t recognise anyone else there who was Indian, so even though I probably could have focused more on just my personality, I decided to bring my heritage out as much as I could in little ways throughout filming,” she began.
One example was upon her arrival where she had impressive henna tattoos on her hands dedicated to her and Brooke’s star signs, although it wasn’t highlighted on TV.
“I was surprised to see that my henna wasn’t properly displayed because in the moment when I first stepped out on the red carpet it was so intimate and so cute,” she says.
“I had hidden astrology into my henna, like the Capricorn symbol and Virgo symbol and other things for Brooke to find.
“It was a bit of a miss not to have displayed that type of thing from another person of colour in that environment… But that’s just the way the show is.”
However, Ritu’s efforts didn’t go completely unnoticed as she gained a lot of attention from fans on social media who praised her cultural pride when she wore an Indian dress at the second cocktail party.
she got zero screen time this episode, so here’s an appreciation tweet for ritu’s beautiful salwar kameez (a traditional Indian outfit) which she wore to the cocktail party
we love to see this representation!!#BacheloretteAU pic.twitter.com/M4kI8tG0rs
— Isha Bassi (@Isha_Bassi) October 21, 2021
“I was actually considering wearing that on the red carpet. I didn't know how it would be received but people quite liked it,” she says.
“That was also the evening that I had cooked Indian food and brought it out into the cocktail party. It was really lovely and I’m so glad that I did that. I felt like if I hadn’t had done that I would have had more regrets.”
While Ritu acknowledges that she would have preferred more airtime to further present her diversity, she’s glad that she was able to be a part of such a history-making season.
“When Brooke was announced as the show’s lead, I had a few friends say to me, ‘There’s a bisexual person of colour, she’s going to be the Bachelorette’,” she recalled.
“They said, ‘You already talk about the fact that you feel that queer people of colour are underrepresented, why don’t you just apply?’. I didn't even think that I would get in, I just went for it.”
Speaking about both male and female contestants being on the show for the very first time, Ritu says that she didn’t expect them to be living separately in two different mansions.
“It kind of makes sense if there were any women who maybe didn’t feel comfortable with men around too much, I can understand that,” she reflects.
“But there was definitely a bit of separation kept between us. That was the only part that made me feel a bit surprised. I’m like, we're all adults, we can hang out with each other.
“I don't quite know the logic behind that but it could have been just for everyone's comfort.”
Although fans have speculated that there could be more than one romance being played out on-screen this season, Ritu says the idea of flirting with the other participants never even crossed her mind.
“I had read an article that Brooke had said that she was concerned that there might be romances amongst the contestants, but I never actually physically saw it,” she reveals.
“I would have liked a bit of spice like that, but everyone would always be nervous and prepping themselves for what they were going to say to Brooke.”
The Bachelorette airs 7.30 Wednesday and Thursday on 10 and 10 play.
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