Next up on visualizAsian: Ada Wong, inspirational finalist from “The Biggest Loser” Season 10

Ada Wong, befor and after "The Biggest Loser"

We weren’t regular viewers of “The Biggest Loser” until last fall’s Season 10, because of Ada Wong. I read an interview with her in the Pacific Citizen and some blogs, and Erin tuned in to the show. She got me to watch On-Demand and we were hooked.

So we’re honored to be able to host Ada Wong as our next guest on She made it to the finals of “The Biggest Loser,” and along the way lost 99 pounds and regained her relationship with her hard-ass Asian parents. She’s an incredible inspiration for Asian Americans.

Our one-hour live conversation with Ada will be on on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm PT (10 pm ET) — just register for the call and you’ll receive the call-in information for our conference line, and the URL for the Webcast. As always, you can submit questions for Ada before and during the show via our Webcast page.

UPDATE: Sorry, you’ve missed the live Feb. 1 conversation with Ada Wong. But you can still register for the next 30 days to listen to the archived MP3 recording of the show!

If you’ve tuned in to a visualizAsian show before, you don’t need to register — you’ll receive the login info in an email reminder. If you’re new to visualizAsian, welcome to our 2011 season! We interview Asian American Pacific Islander leaders and newsmakers on a telephone conference call (long distance charges may apply) and Webcast (always free). Our goal is to inspire all AAPIs to find your voice and follow in or guests’ footsteps.

Ada was truly an inspiration during “The Biggest Loser.” Alone among the contestants, she didn’t have the support of her family. Several episodes of the series focused on her relationship with her immigrant parents, who were very critical of her growing up, and unlike every other contestant, refused to send in a video greeting urging her on. They criticized her weight and even blamed her for her brother’s drowning death when she was just a child.

Despite of these challenges, Ada excelled in the show, and worked hard to lose weight.
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I admit it, Ada Wong’s Asian American journey has got me DVR-ing “The Biggest Loser”

Here’s Ada Wong‘s audition for “The Biggest Loser.” She made it to the Final Four contestants out of 21 this season the episode that aired tonight. Her personal story of family dysfunction — hard-ass Asian parents who criticized her all her life and didn’t support her three-month stay on the Biggest Loser ranch — has made her a favorite with other contestants and trainers. And, her story has resonated with Asian Americans who identify with her struggle against cultural values and family pressure.

Her talk with her family about her feelings (which she’d aired on episodes and in media interviews) was frank and satisfying, with her parents finally realizing how they’ve battered her soul.

It was as moving for me to see her dad tell her he loves her (even though he doesn’t show it) as it was for her. And it made me laugh to see her dad hug her in that oh-so-Asian dad way, with the tentative Asian pats on the back.

Favorite moment: She had to use a port-a-potty halfway through the marathon and poop on national TV. How embarrassing — but how real.

In the end she didn’t lose as much weight as we’d hoped, so it’s up to viewers to vote for her to be one of the finalists next week. I hope she gets in. This is the first time she’s been below the “Yellow Line” because of the low percentage of weight loss at the weigh-in, and I can only imagine how she feels. It’s like getting a B and you know your parents are gonna say, “Why didn’t you get an A?”

But win or lose, she’s a terrific role model, for everyone, but especially, for Asian Americans. You go, girl.

(Cross-posted from