‘Bachelor in Paradise’ contestant Niranga Amarasinghe has encouraged people of colour to audition for dating shows, and he offered his advice to Areeba Emmanuel, who will appear on ‘The Bachelor Australia’ when it premieres on August 12.
“The best advice I can give is keep your friends close and your enemies closer throughout this experience, Areeba,” Niranga said during an Instagram Q&A on Wednesday.
“Go enjoy your time, but if you need any help, reach out. I’ll support you where I can.”
According to Daily Mail Australia, Areeba is of Pakistani descent and an “animal lover, professional wrestling fan and a devout Christian”.
In a recent promo featuring the 25-year-old home loan officer from Sydney, Areeba described herself as “bossy”, telling bachelor Locky Gilbert, “I’m boss at work, I’m boss at home and I’m a boss with my relationship”.
During Niranga’s online Q&A, he also spoke about being “the only male POC” on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ this year.
“I had an amazing experience. Everyone’s so respectful,” he said, encouraging other culturally diverse people to apply for the show.
“But if you’re sitting on the fence and you’re a person of colour and not knowing whether you should do it or not, I highly recommend you do it because you’re going to have a lot of support behind you.”
The 29-year-old, who moved to Australia from Sri Lanka when he was three, is one of three people of colour on the show this year alongside Mary Viturino from Brazil and First Nations contestant Renee Barrett.
Prior to Niranga’s elimination last month, some viewers called for more airtime dedicated to him.
In a statement to HuffPost Australia, a Network 10 spokesperson said the TV channel is committed to diversity.
“Eligible contestants on all Network 10 shows are considered regardless of race or background. Network 10 takes its commitment to diversity seriously and we cast as broadly as possible across our entire slate,” read the statement.
Areeba is one of 20 contestants on former ‘Survivor’ star Locky Gilbert’s season of ‘The Bachelor Australia’.
Her official profile on the Channel 10 website reveals some of her dealbreakers: “If he is disrespectful to my family, doesn’t like my dog, or if he is not funny. Personality is everything!”
‘The Bachelor Australia’ premieres on Wednesday August 12 at 7:30pm on Channel 10.