Tina Wu and Life after 'The Bachelor'
She was one of the women on The Bachelor: An Officer and a Gentleman who just never quite seemed to fit into the mold of the usual Bachelor woman.

While the show makes an effort to label the women wooing the Bachelor as smart and accomplished, it generally doesn't actually give them much of a chance to demonstrate it. Much of the conversations included in the final edit generally revolve around banal platitudes about what the woman finds ever-so-appealing about The Bachelor himself or some variation on “How great!” the group date/one-on-one date/fantasy suite is.

Even with the highly-selective editing, though, it was clear that Tina Wu was exactly as smart and accomplished as she was said to be. As a medical student, it initially seemed like their common career path might be a point of connection for her and Dr. Andy Baldwin.

Things didn't work out that way, but it doesn't appear that it's the lack of romantic success on the show that ultimately caused Tina the most disappointment from her experience with The Bachelor.

Tina, like Kate Brockhouse, has blogged candidly about her frustration with how she was portrayed on The Bachelor, and after reading a few of those blog entries, it becomes clear why.

On the show, she was portrayed as being stiff and almost, it seemed, nearly humorless for several episodes. However, the personality that is demonstrated by her blog entries is quite different than the one we saw grimly singing the National Anthem in order to stand out to Andy during the first meet-and-greet. Her writing shows a dry wit and humorous take on things that was markedly missing from much of the “Tina Wu” that eventually was edited into the program.

She's still motivated and accomplished, and in fact recently headed to Harvard to complete the second part of her MD/MBA degree. But while her edited persona on the show portrayed a rather brittle ambition, it would seem that there is much more depth to her drive.

Tina co-founded a non-profit called Support for International Change which aims “to limit the impact of HIV/AIDS in underserved communities,” and “to provide high-quality service-learning opportunities for future leaders in international development.” The organization provides HIV/AIDS education and testing, and actually recently performed its 8000th free HIV test in the Arusha Region of Tanzania.

Tina still somehow finds time to keep in touch with many of the women she met on The Bachelor, and seems as frustrated about the portrayal of her friends from the show as she is about her own.

She says that Erin Parker, one of the beautiful blondes from the show, taught her a lot, and that “people make assumptions about her because of her looks. It's easier to convince America about my noggin than hers but she's brilliant.”

She also recently helped out Tessa Horst clear up confusion for fans by posting a note on her blog that Tessa does not have a MySpace page and that any pages claiming to be hers are fake. She's also friends with Bevin Powers, and expressed sadness at the viewer reactions and hostility towards Bevin.

As we approach a new season of The Bachelor, the disparity between these two Tinas - the real one and the reality show one - is a good reminder about the relative unreality of a reality show. Even those these are real people, it's a fairly unreal situation made more so through production machinations and post-production editing. The one thing that is real, of course, are the people who are involved in the show, and there might just be more to them then we are shown on TV.

For more information on Tina's non-profit, you can see their website at sichange.org.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: myspace.com/tinaswu, sichange.org
(Image courtesy of ABC)