How To Make (& Win) Your 2019 Bachelorette Bracket

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
After watching the dramatic trailer for season 15 of The Bachelorette, it's clear Bachelorette Hannah Brown is going to go through it this May. The former Miss Alabama USA 2018 is used to intense competition, and wearing eye-catching gowns, but there's nothing to really prepare a woman for finding love on television with 30 Bachelorette contestants.
But, as we enter this season, we need to address the off-screen contest going down: 2019's Bachelorette Brackets. For OG Bachelor fans, the brackets are part of the bread and butter of the reality series, but for the more newly-acquainted, a brief explainer about brackets, and how to win yours, may be needed.

How Do Bachelor and Bachelorette Brackets Work?

The word of brackets may have you thinking "March Madness," and you would be correct. This is basically March Madness for people who prefer love to sweat. (Both ABC and ESPN provide the tears, though.)
Brackets are fun because you can enter a league with other Bachelor fans like Bachelor League, through ABC's website, or make one on your own with your friends. Fans use the brackets to predict which guys will go home each week, and some brackets also include bonus points for correctly guessing some of the episode's plot points. For example, you can get points for correctly choosing who gets the First Impression rose, or scores a date card, even if you incorrectly choose which contestant ultimately gets the boot that episode. But, the most crucial part of the process is making the initial line-up. Before week 1 starts, participants need to guess their roster for the season. If you bank on a guy that goes home night 1 — yikes. (For a more detailed breakdown of how Bachelorette bracket points work, read this.)
No matter where you end up getting your bracket though, the following tips and tricks will help you not just play, but win, starting with that very first Impression Rose. Let's take this all the way to the final rose, baby!

Tips For How To Win Your Bachelorette Bracket

If he looks like a Disney villain, he probably won't make it past the early rounds.
Being evil on TV can only get you so far. (Remember Chad Johnson?) If the contestant looks like he's giving off Gaston vibes in his Bachelorette contestant photo, then he's an easy one to rule out after week one when his true colors start to show.
If he seems too good to be on this show, he probably is.
When a contestant seems genuinely cool, they are probably going to get sick of the process, and end up being cut for lack of interest, usually around midseason. (See: Wells from Jojo Fletcher's season.)
If there's a First Impression rose involved, invest.
Contestants who take home the first impression rose have a great track record for making it to the final rounds. Nothing beats that love at first sight energy.
If he's boring but sweet, he'll likely stick around for a while.
Slow and steady wins the race, ladies. Remember on Adam on Rachel Lindsay's season? He was in the final five after barely getting any air time.
...But only if people remember his name.
If you can't ever remember his name, then he isn't the one. If you've spent two weeks asking yourself, "Is it Jason, or Mark, or Jake?" cut him. No one else remembers him either.
If the producers put him at the beginning and end of the limo entrances, he's a keeper.
In his book, For the Right Reasons: America's Favorite Bachelor on Faith, Love, Marriage, and Why Nice Guys Finish First, Sean Lowe lays out one telling moment that happens in the very first episode: The first and last limo entrances are people the producers are pulling for.
If you have no moral qualms about it all, just use spoilers.
I'm not suggesting you do this because spoiling the series is literally no fun at all, but you could always just go on Reality Steve or Bachelor reddit (truly a wild place to be), and read up on all the spoilers from the series. You'd probably win, but that Venmo cash-out won't feel nearly as satisfying.

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