There are several ways to predict Bachelor frontrunners, and the biggest ones aren’t necessarily memorable entrances or even first impression roses. There’s the chemistry factor, of course, and confessionals from the lead always speak volumes. But if your predictions this season hinge on the amount of screen time given to certain contestants, you might’ve initially overlooked Serena Pitt, a 22-year-old publicist from Toronto, Ontario. And after her one-on-one date, it’s clearer than ever that she’s worth keeping an eye on as Matt James narrows his dating pool.
Serena P. appeared several times in the premiere — we saw her pull out a step stool to reach Matt’s height, and she showed up again to challenge him to a game of chess — but she was notably absent throughout episode 2, even though Matt tweeted an image of the pair laughing over cookies. In the photo, Serena wears the same dress she wore during the cocktail party, so the scene was evidently cut. (Maybe to make room for all that Victoria drama.) According to a Bachelor data analyst on Instagram, she got less than a minute of screen time.
But even if we haven’t seen it, Serena has apparently caught Matt’s attention by the time they embark on their solo date. “The feelings that I’m already having for you throughout this experience. They’re real,” he says. They kiss several times over the course of the one-on-one.
Although we’ve only gotten glimpses of her up until now, she appears prominently in the Bachelor season preview. Several moments from her one-on-one date are featured in the extended trailer; newcomer Michelle Young and fellow frontrunner Bri Springs are the only other women whose romantic moments with Matt are highlighted in a similar way.
Even more telling, though? Almost every official Bachelor promo includes a clip of Serena telling Matt that she could see herself falling in love with him. Aside from a voiceover, she’s the only contestant who mentions love anywhere in the season preview. This might sound too obvious, but the most recent Bachelorette winner got a very similar edit — almost every promo for Tayshia Adams’ season showed her now-fiancé Zac Clark telling her he was falling in love.
In Chris Harrison’s Meet the Women livestream, he emphasized Serena’s undeniable chemistry with Matt. “It is evident from the moment that she steps out of the limo. They just have this chemistry. They have this thing,” he says. If you didn’t pick up on that “thing” until now, you aren’t alone. But Serena might just be this season’s dark horse.