The Bachelorette was known for its diversity problem before finally announcing its first-ever Black lead with Rachel Lindsay in 2017. But a full year before that, there was almost a Filipino Bachelorette—and she even filmed scenes for the 12th season of the ABC dating show before the role was given to someone else.
In an interview on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, Caila Quinn, the third-place finisher on Ben Higgins’ season of “The Bachelor,” revealed what it felt like to have the coveted role taken from her at the last minute.
“I was temporarily in the running for ‘The Bachelorette,’ and they filmed in my hometown,” Quinn revealed to Us. “And it was kind of crazy because for six months, they would fly me to L.A. to do fittings and for meetings and stuff like that. So I tried on a couple of dresses and gowns that JoJo [Fletcher] wore on her season. I was like, ‘That blue dress looks good on you girl!’ I tried that same sparkly gown.”
Quinn admitted it was “bizarre” to later see Fletcher’s promos air on ABC as she couldn’t help but think that it could have been her.
“They normally don’t film, like, a first few episodes with somebody and then take it back,” she said, adding that she “gets” why producers had to have someone as a backup.
Caila Quinn Revealed that ‘Bachelorette’ Producers Had a Missed Opportunity
After confirming that she filmed “Bachelorette” scenes in her hometown near Cleveland Ohio, Quinn noted that it was a missed opportunity for the network to feature an Asian-American family.
“I’ll be honest, a lot of America doesn’t even know where the Philippines is or what Filipino culture is,” she said. “I think Asian is grouped together as one ethnicity and there’s really just so much more to it out there than just like, you know, Chinese and Japanese.”
She added that there was a lot of culture that could have been represented with her large family.
“I wish they would share the footage because we had, like, 100 of my Filipino family together for the first episode that we recorded,” she dished. “And we had this giant Filipino barbecue where there was, like, a pig on a spit. And it felt like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but my big fat Filipino wedding.”
Caila Quinn Was Spotted on Photoshoots Around the Time ‘The Bachelorette’ Casting Took Place
Back in 2016, Quinn fueled rumors that she was set to be “The Bachelorette” after she was spotted with a camera crew in her hometown of Hudson, Ohio. According to TMZ, Quinn posed in a gazebo and even visited her alma mater, Western Reserve Academy, during an ABC photo shoot. Onlookers were also spotted signing releases for the TV show.
At the time Quinn’s casting made sense to fans of the show, especially since ABC Entertainment boss Paul Lee teased that the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette “would be more diverse.
“I’d be very surprised if [The Bachelorette] in the summer isn’t diverse,” Lee said, per TV Guide. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but I think that’s likely to happen.”
After Quinn was passed over for the role, a source for the rose-filled dating show told E! News that it was “nothing against Caila,” but that “JoJo’s story was more compelling.”
Quinn is now engaged to be married in June, while Fletcher, who gave Jordan Rodgers her final rose in 2016, has been engaged for five years.
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