If you like reality programming, Netflix has established itself as the final word on what’s hot. And right now, their show Bling Empire and its stars are having a moment.
Never watched Bling Empire? It’s pretty much like the movie Crazy Rich Asians with a twist: this show focuses on real people and the drama surrounding their lives.
And one of the true breakout stars is Cherie Chan. Despite being a reality television star, Chan seemed to focus more on staying out of drama and raising her two children.
Her behavior really endeared her to audiences and Chan has become a world-famous icon. But you can’t really appreciate her success until you understand the story of her transformation.
Making her mark
It’s hard to stand out in a reality TV show filled with outsized personalities. So, how did the unassuming Cherie Chan make her mark on the show?
Part of it is the fact that Chan came across as a real person instead of an empty persona. We see her navigating the complex aftermath of her mother’s death when the show begins, and it’s hard not to root for her success.
As we noted before, though, the real secret weapon to her popularity was simple. In a TV show and a genre that encourages nonstop drama, Chan’s desire to avoid drama at all costs helped make her very endearing.
An unconventional romance
As awesome as Chan is, she is kind of a package deal on Bling Empire. That’s because it’s impossible to discuss Chan without discussing her longtime boyfriend Jessey Lee. Chan and Lee are the ultimate power couple; together they are worth over $200 million.
When the show begins, Chan is pregnant with their second child. And fans want to know if she and Lee are finally going to get married in the next season of the show.
While Chan has worked so hard to avoid drama, her romantic life has drama baked into it. Her relationship with Lee created a natural “will they or won’t they” tension with viewers. And this ultimately made her that much more popular than she otherwise might have been.
And it turns out Chan’s dreams of fame go back a long way.
Pop star dreams
To audiences, Chan’s rise to fame has been a relatively recent phenomenon. But it turns out that she wanted this kind of fame much earlier in her life.
Growing up, Chan already enjoyed a kind of mild fame by being the heiress to a denim company. She was always going to be rich and relatively known in certain circles, but a younger Chan wanted to take her fame to the next level.
Back in 2013, Chan wanted to become a pop star. And there are Instagram photos showing her in a recording studio. But Chan’s mother disapproved of her desire to be a pop star, and this caused her to ditch her musical ambitions and focus on a new life with Lee in Los Angeles.
This is perhaps the greatest irony of Chan’s rise to fame. Thanks to her mother’s intervention, Chan dropped her dreams of fame and decided to focus on her family. But that same unassuming and down-to-earth love for her family helped to make Chan a breakout star of Bling Empire.
Strong sense of privacy
Most people would jump at the chance to become a television star. And it seems likely the younger Chan would not have hesitated at the opportunity. Present-day Chan, though, very nearly avoided signing up to be on the show!
In an interview with Page Six, Chan revealed,”I was thinking maybe I shouldn’t do this show. I need my family’s permission first because a lot of Asians are very private about our lives.”
Chan pointed out that it is part of her cultural background to not “expose anything.” Obviously, starring in a reality show is the exact opposite of avoiding exposure. As Chan explained, “For us, it’s a big deal.” Speaking about Lee, Chan said that, “For him, it was very hard to convince him.”
Obviously, Chan was successful in convincing Lee that they should join Bling Empire. And many years after she put her pop star dreams behind her, Chan finally achieved international fame. But nobody is sure exactly what she plans to do next.
The uncertain future
The rising popularity of Cherie Chan has caused her fans to ask a simple question: what is next for this charming star?
There will definitely be a second season of Bling Empire on Netflix. But as of this writing, it’s not immediately clear which cast members will be returning. For example, we know that Christine Chiu will be back. And producer Jeff Jenkins promises we will see more of Kevin, Kelley, and Drew and their captivating love triangle.
If Chan does return, fans are eager to see if she finally ties the knot with Lee. And we all want to know how fame has transformed Chan’s growing family as she gets used to being a household name.