It feels relatively easy to predict the next Bachelorette this season, only because there are so few people who seem to be in contention for the spot. Hannah Ann Sluss' Bachelorette chances are pretty high if Peter Weber doesn't pick her, because a heartbroken runner-up makes for a perfect next season lead.
The very first Bachelorette season ever was helmed by Trista Rehn Sutter, who was the runner-up on the first Bachelor season. Other runner-ups turned Bachelorettes include Becca Kufrin (who technically won... until Arie Luyendyk changed his mind and dumped her for Lauren Burnham) and JoJo Fletcher who was sent packing when Ben Higgins proposed to Lauren Bushnell instead — even after telling JoJo that he loved her.
Peter also dropped the L-word to two women on his season. He told both Madison Prewett and Hannah Ann that he was falling in love with them. And since he can't marry them both, he'll be breaking at least one of their hearts. That sets one of them up to be blindsided but also to have a redemption storyline as the Bachelorette.
Madison is still in the running for Bachelorette, yes, but it seems more and more likely that Peter chooses her in the end. Previews make it seem like Madison leaves the show after he has sex with someone else, and that it's Madison that Peter's mom is urging him to bring home. If he was successful in that endeavor, Hannah Ann would be the likely choice for Bachelorette. Aside from her, the only person really in the running from Peter's season is Kelsey Weier, but fans tend to rally behind whoever's heart was hurt the most recently. That's part of how JoJo got the gig over third place contestant Caila Quinn on Higgins' season.
There was the possibility that ABC will give Hannah Brown another chance at being the Bachelorette, but she's since been booked on a Dancing With The Stars tour that will conflict with the filming schedule. Plus, everything she's said in interviews of late indicate that she's not actively looking for love at the moment. "I spent a whole year of my life trying to date and it still didn't work out," Hannah B. said in an October appearance on The Ellen Show.
So if Hannah B. isn't it, Hannah Ann may be the producers' next pick. She is young, having competed for Peter's heart as a 23-year-old, but she turns 24 in April, which will make her the same age as Hannah Brown was when she was the youngest Bachelorette ever. Age doesn't determine maturity, and if Hannah Ann was ready to get engaged to Peter, there's no reason why she wouldn't be just as ready to lead her own season.
Hannah Ann's dad told Peter not to tell his daughter he was falling in love with her unless he meant it, which seemed to mean, "Don't tell her until she's the last one standing." But Peter told her anyway, with four women left in the running. Hannah doesn't know he's also told Madison that, and if he eventually breaks up with Hannah as previews suggest, she's going to be completely blindsided.
In one of the previews, she's standing in sparkly, final rose ceremony-looking dress while crying and saying, "I'm at a loss for words. I just don't know what to do." Those may well be the words of someone who was sure she was going home with Peter only to be dumped last minute. And that makes a potential Bachelorette redemption arc that much more likely. So her heart may get broken on The Bachelor, but Hannah Ann may just get her true love story after all. Just a little differently than she imagined.