Déjà Vu. Once Again, It’s Pageant Girl vs. Pageant Girl on ‘The Bachelor’

Cat Wong, Zach Shallcross

ABC Cat Wong & Zach Shallcross.

Most committed fans of “The Bachelor” know all too well the drama that occurs when two beauty pageant rivals fight for the same man.  It happened in season 23, on Colton Underwood’s season, when Hannah Brown and Caelynn Miller-Keyes went toe to toe about their shared past, and their shared interest in Underwood.

Then it happened again on Peter Weber’s season (season 24) when pageant queens Alayah Benavidez and Victoria Paul offered up completely different stories about how well they knew each other.

Expect More Pageant Drama in the Upcoming Season

There’s a good chance the beauty pageant rivalry storyline will be prominent again in the upcoming season of “The Bachelor.” According to a September 21 article in The Charlotte Observer, “Miss South Carolina will take over the upcoming season of ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ with a former winner of the pageant and a former contestant competing for the love of ‘Bachelorette’ star Zach Shallcross.”

Viewers have already met one of the South Carolina pageant contestants. Cat Wong was one of the five women introduced to Shallcross during the season finale of “The Bachelorette” on September 20, shortly after his impending lead role had been announced by host, Jesse Palmer.

According to The Observer, Wong, who is a 27-year-old professional dancer, competed directly against the other SC pageant contestant, Davia Bunch. They both attended the University of South Carolina at the same time, and both women vied for the title of Miss South Carolina in 2018. Ultimately, Bunch beat out Wong for the crown. Spoiler king, Reality Steve, tweeted on September 20, “you can bet your ass that will be brought up this season.”

Fans may remember Wong telling Shallcross that she is from New York. This is because “Wong is not actually from the Palmetto State. She grew up in New York,” the Observer reported. Bunch, on the other hand, is a true South Carolina native. The 26-year-old was born in Spartanburg, but now resides in Charleston, where she works as a digital marketer, the outlet explained.

There is currently no indication as to whether Bunch and Wong are friends, enemies, frenemies or something else entirely. However, their dynamic will likely become much more obvious as the season airs, which is currently scheduled to start January 23, 2023.

Fans Are Already Forming Opinions About Wong

Wong appeared on “After the Final Rose” for about a minute. Yet some fans have already formed strong opinions about her. One viewer commented, “I have a feeling she’s the one who’s going to annoy me.” Another wrote, “It’s the perky, saccharine sweetness when they are trying too hard to be a lovable fan favourite! UGH.”

“She came across as an airhead. Very fake,” suggested another poster. “I’m sure they’ll want to keep her around because there’s likely to be drama where she’s concerned,” wrote someone else.

Bunch Has an Interesting Background

According to The Charlotte Observer, Bunch lost her mother to leukemia in 2013. Therefore, her pageant platform was about raising awareness regarding bone marrow donation. During the 2018 pageant that she won, Bunch stated, “When I was 18 I decided to join the bone marrow registry not because I wanted to for a platform, but because it was in my heart to do that, and I wanted to have an opportunity to save someone’s life where my mother didn’t have that chance,” the outlet reports.

Bunch was also involved in a group class action suit against the University of South Carolina in 2020. According to the Observer, the lawsuit was filed “in May of that year against the school on behalf of all students in an attempt to force the school to refund tuition and other academic fees in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic’s disruptions of traditional learning.” No tuition fees were ever refunded.

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