Christine Chiu

The wait is almost over. Bling Empire, the reality TV series which follows the affluent lives of uber-wealthy Asian Americans living in Los Angeles, is returning to Netflix this Friday (May 13).

While we can expect all the glitz, glamour and fabulousness Bling Empire is known for in the upcoming season, it seems like not all that glitters is gold. The season 2 trailer teases new relationships, broken friendships, lies and plenty of beef; not to mention new cast members—Rich Kids of Beverly Hills alum Dorothy Wang and philanthropist Mimi Morris—set to shake things up.

As we look forward to the old gang—Christine and Gabriel Chiu, Anna Shay, Kane Lim, Jaime Xie, Kevin Kreider, Kelly Mi Li, and Kim Lee, among others—and new faces serving another round of drama, who better to find out about the reality hit’s second outing than from Christine herself?

Ahead, the star and producer of the show lets us in on the drama (including her rivalry with Anna) to come in season 2, her struggles while filming, returning to in-person fashion shows, and more.

What can you tell us about Bling Empire season 2?

While season 1 was an introduction to each of the members of this ‘friend group,’ season 2 explores the dynamics of the friendships and relationships within the group. Trust is betrayed, friendships are broken, and romance sparks against the backdrop of glitz, glamour, cars and couture.

Related article: So, Will We Be Getting Another Season Of ‘Bling Empire’?

Christine Chiu

Could you give us a preview of your plot line in season 2? How does season 1 Christine differ from season 2 Christine?

Season 2 was much more challenging for me to film, particularly because I experienced a sudden loss of my mum between seasons 1 and 2. For the most part, I tried to continue with the upbeat and sassy character from season 1, but it was difficult to hide the impact of grieving the death of a parent. I am much more vulnerable this season, and for better or worse, let down my guard. Viewers will see how my trust was betrayed during the lowest time of my life, and when I needed support and friendship most.

What are some of your most memorable moments and favourite scenes this season?

My favourite scenes are the ones with my husband and Baby G. I feel that showcases the most authentic and important aspects of my life… whether it’s going to couture [shows] together as a family or just giving Baby G a bath at night—I appreciate every second we spend together.

Related article: Christine Chiu Waited 14 Years To Become a Mom. Now, She’s Thinking About Motherhood Differently

What kind of ‘social warfare’ between you and Anna Shay can we expect?

The dynamic between Anna and Christine in season 1 was meant to be one of fun, petty, silly, harmless drama. We fought over a silly necklace, seating arrangements, etc.—none of which were of big consequence or substance. We were both in on the joke—and had a good time filming it. Somewhere along the line, between the release of season 1 and the filming of season 2, Anna seemed to have grown a distaste for me in real life. The rivalry was no longer just for fun and for the show. She seems to be truly bothered or annoyed by me. And so, viewers will see this originally fun social ping-pong take a dark turn.

Season 2 has two new cast members: Dorothy Wang and Mimi Morris. What do they bring to the show?

Dorothy has always been beloved for her strong, confident, no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is personality—and she exerts the same lovable ferocity in season 2. Mimi’s nickname at home by her husband is the ‘bling queen.’ She certainly has lots of sparkles in her home, clothing, shoes, accessories and toilets!

Related article: Meet Christine Chiu, Queen Of Couture And Producer Of ‘Bling Empire’

Christine Chiu

As producer, what did you want to explore this season and what do you hope viewers can take away from the show?

I had hoped to explore more humanistic storylines this season—getting to know each of the cast members deeper… where they come from, what they currently struggle with, and their successes in life. As viewers will see, we took a different turn (ha!). With the drama and chaos of season 2, I am hoping that viewers share some of the lessons I have personally learned:

1) You don’t need to be friends with everyone, and sometimes it’s better.
2) Gossip is a dangerous game.
3) Do not let down your guard all the way—even to those who seem least likely to hurt you.

What was it like competing on Dancing with the Stars? How did you balance long rehearsals and filming Bling Empire 2?

Being on Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) was a dream come true. I have always danced because it is my happy place. As a child, I did ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, lyrical, modern and Chinese folk dancing. Having been cast on the 30th season of DWTS was an incredible blessing as I was in the midst of a very sad place in my life grieving my mother. It allowed me to take my mind off and really enjoy something I love to do. Also, DWTS came at a time when the Bling cast was undergoing severe discord. I found peace, fun, inspiration from the entirely different and cohesive cast with DWTS. How ironic that the competition show is where I found most comradery!

You played tour guide for Kevin’s first trip to Paris during couture week. How did that go?

This portion was filmed for the 2nd part of Bling Empire season 2 coming out in the next couple of months so stay tuned!

Related article: In Conversation With Kevin Kreider, Breakout Star Of Netflix’s ‘Bling Empire’

What was it like returning to in-person shows?

I absolutely loved returning to in-person shows, particularly because they were held in an intimate manner. The guest count was significantly reduced, which brings me back to a time well over a decade ago, when shows were less theatrical and more intimate. The exclusivity and intimacy of the shows is part of what makes the shows so special. Also, due to the reduction in overall invitees, Paris was relatively ‘empty’ (for a fashion week), which means reservations to anywhere and to do anything was easy to secure!

Are there any upcoming projects/collaborations you can share?

With the recent violence and uptick in crimes in Los Angeles, and all around the US, I am collaborating with a company in the non-lethal self defense space. Excited to share more in the weeks to come!

Related article: Bling Empire’s Kane Lim On Being Kiasu And What He Misses Most About Singapore