Asians a reality on TV


Christina Cha. Monty Brinton/CBS © 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

In the coming weeks, two Emmy-winning reality TV series will premier with a host of colorful personalities vying for fame, fortune and personal accomplishments. Both programs will air on CBS, “Survivor: One World” and “The Amazing Race.”

Jonas Otsuji. Monty Brinton/CBS © 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

According to CBS, “Survivor: One World” will feature 18 contestants who are split into two tribes of nine men and nine women. The contestants include Jonas Otsuji and Christina Cha.

The 24th installment of the show features two Asian American cast members. The show, hosted by Emmy Award-winner Jeff Probst, will pit two teams against each other. They must survive eliminations through teamwork while living as castaways on a scenic beach. The last remaining contestant will be crowned Sole Survivor and win $1 million.


Jonas Otsuji joins the men’s Manono Tribe. A 37-year-old sushi chef residing in Lehi, Utah, Otsuji’s claim to fame was “making a name for myself as a sushi chef two years after going bankrupt,” he states in his cast biography. The Yonsei was born in Hawai’i, and owns According to his Website, he apprenticed at Sushi Roku, one of the best sushi bars in Las Vegas. Otsuji offers classes on sushi making and sushi catering services in Utah. Otsuji, who describes himself in his “Survivor” bio as “passionate, determined and motivated,” hopes his survival skills will carry him through.

Christina Cha will join the other team, the Salani Tribe. A 29-year-old career consultant from Hollywood, Calif., Cha considers herself a “fearless, unstoppable and empowering” individual, according to her cast bio. “Survivor needs a funny, goofy and cute Asian girl! It’s time to represent,” she wrote. On

Christina Cha. Monty Brinton/CBS © 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

her Website, she describes herself as a second-generation Korean American, who was born and raised in Los Angeles. Outside of her work as a recruiting consultant, she works as a writer and TV personality for various media outlets and is

passionate about her local community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from California State University, Fullerton.
“The Amazing Race’s” 20th season pits 11 teams of two against each other on a trek around the world for approximately 25 days, according to the network.
The first team to finish the race wins $1 million. The colorful cast of clowns, federal agents, couples and co-workers will partake on a cross-national whirlwind journey to face mental and physical challenges. Phil Keoghan is the show’s host.


FAMILY TIES — The Tanaka sisters will take part in “The Amazing Race.” Robert Voets/CBS © 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Misa Tanaka and Maiya Tanaka of San Diego will participate as a team of sisters in the upcoming season. Misa Tanaka appraises cars and coordinates auctions as a professional car buyer. The 27-year-old elder sister said she operates well under pressure. Her younger sister, Maiya Tanaka, age 25, is a professional golfer; she competes on the LPGA Symetra Futures Tour. The younger sister said her competitive nature, along with her mental and physical talent and drive will help her during the race. The pair said they hope to strengthen their bond with each other through the race and expressed interest in visiting Japan.

“I’d like to visit Japan. It’s where my grandparents grew up, and I’d like to be more familiar with my family history,” Misa Tanaka said in her cast biography.

Maiya Tanaka added that she also was interested in visiting other nations on the Pacific Rim, such as Australia and New Zealand.

The two shows will premiere on CBS Television Network in February. “Survivor: One World” starts from Wednesday Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. and “The Amazing Race” begins on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.

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