Outright spoilers are a little sparse for Matt James' Bachelor season, but whether your jonesing more more intel or you're the sort of person who likes to make your own predictions, there are a few clear-cut ways to predict who wins The Bachelor. Past seasons have set more than a few precedents for spotting Bachelor contestants destined for the final four — and who could win the whole shebang.
We've analyzed data from recent seasons and a few clear patterns arose. While The Bachelor has 24 seasons preceding Matt's, the show has changed a lot since it first premiered in 2002, so we decided to focus on the last five seasons (i.e. from Ben Higgins' season onward). As influencer culture and Bachelor casting have increasingly overlapped, the past five seasons are the most consistent in terms of the types of people cast (budding #sponcon queens abound) and the types of dates the lead plans (er, "plans") for his potential matches. You may know the way of the old Bachelor-verse, but these are the factors to track in this new world order.
The Bachelor's First Impression Rose Matters — But Not That Much
In the last five seasons, 60 percent of the first impression rose recipients made it to the final four, and one of those recipients — Hannah Ann Sluss from Peter Weber's season — technically won. However, considering that frontrunner Madison Prewitt eliminated herself prior to the finale, Hannah was more of a winner by default. First impression roses tend to be a sign that a contestant will go far, but not necessarily that they'll win. This factor works pretty differently on The Bachelorette, where the first impression rose has gone to the eventual winner in five of the last six seasons.
The First One-On-One Date Means A Lot
Another early indicator of future success is who the Bachelor picks for his first one-on-one. In recent seasons, three out of five of those date recipients went on to the final four. Madison was Peter's pick last season, and she could have won the whole thing if she hadn't self-eliminated. Becca Kufrin was also Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s first date, and he proposed to her before later changing his mind and proposing to runner up Lauren Burnham. On Ben Higgins' season, Caila Quinn nabbed the first date and ended up making it to third place.
Funny Limo Exits Aren't A Always A Deal Breaker
Other quirky entrances have endeared the contestant to the Bachelor. JoJo Fletcher wore a unicorn mask and made it to the final two on Ben's season. Madison showed up in a giant paper airplane costume on Peter's season, and we all know how he felt about her. So it's not a completely bad sign if a contestant does something a little silly on night one, so long as they can forge a deeper connection over the ensuing weeks.
Quirky Job Titles Are A Dealbreaker
Since the contestants' chyrons aren't decided upon until after the show films, the Bachelor himself isn't necessarily ruling someone out for being, say, a Chicken Enthusiast. Ben probably had no idea that's how the show planned to label dental assistant Tiara Soleim while he filmed his season.
But for as viewers, a strange occupation is the first sign that the contestant doesn't win. Generally speaking, Bachelor producers don't often poke fun at the lead's future wife — or any top four contenders likely to become the next Bachelorette. No one with a quirky job title has ever made it to the final four, although Heather Martin got close.
The contestant from Colton's season spent her time on-screen with "Never Been Kissed" as her profession. But defying all previous odds, she made it to the week before hometowns.
One Group Date Rose Is Great, But Two Is A Problem
Of the 44 available group date roses in the last five seasons, 23 of them went to people who eventually made it to the final four; that's a 52 percent success rate. Oddly enough, though, it's not a good sign to get too many group date roses: The odds of one of winning drops significantly when a contestant wins multiple group date roses.
For example, Victoria Fuller from Peter's season, Tia Booth from Arie's season, and Raven Gates from Nick Viall's season all won two group date roses — but none of them won the season. That's probably because if you're winning more group date roses, you're likely going on fewer one-on-one dates, which is where most leads forge their strongest connections.
Tattling & "Villain" Drama Don't Necessarily Mean Early Elimination
It feels like the worst thing a contestant can do on The Bachelor is use their one-on-one time to tattle on another contestant. But the data actually shows that causing drama isn't always a dealbreaker. Peter Weber, who admittedly entertained a lot of drama on his season — kept contestants like Hannah Ann and Kelsey Weier, who engaged in early season tattling over a bottle of champagne that Hannah accidentally stole from Kelsey. Kelsey also complained about Tammy Ly to Peter later on in the season, but both Hannah Ann and Kelsey made it to the final four. The same goes for Corinne Olympios, who complained to Nick Viall about Taylor Nolan — Corinne made it to the final four anyway.
However, if a contestant is already on shaky ground with the lead, causing or being a part of drama on The Bachelor generally leads to an early exit. Demi Burnett, Nicole Lopez-Alvar, and Onyeka Ehie were all sent home after their own respective drama on Colton's season. And Hannah Brown, who warned Colton about Caelynn Miller-Keyes early in the season, was eliminated before hometowns. Bibiana Julian complained about Krystal Nielson to Arie and then got swiftly eliminated that same week. As did Leah Block when she talked about Lauren Bushnell on Ben's season.
A contestant can only survive getting involved in drama if the Bachelor's connection with her is really strong. Otherwise, talking about another contestant gives the Bachelor an easy out when it comes to the difficult task of choosing who to eliminate each week.
What Happens On A Bachelor Date Can Matter
There are pretty much two types of Bachelor dates: challenging dates (see: anything gross or scary) and romantic dates. While you'd hope that surely, the leading man wouldn't send anyone he truly liked on a date where the women are tasked with having leeches put on them and eating things like pig's feet and fish eyeballs, that's not always the case. Top three finisher Hannah Godwin and eventual winner Cassie Randolph both went the aforementioned the leech and fish eye date during Colton's season, but that's likely because he was taking his other two frontrunners, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Tayshia Adams, on one-on-ones that week and that's just how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
A "bad" date can be a great test of a contestant's ability to roll with the punches. Colton took Tayshia bungee jumping, and she took it all in stride and later ended up in the final four. However, not all gross or scary dates turn out well for the contestants. Unsurprisingly, not a single person whom Nick Viall took to the Museum of Broken Relationships ended up in his final four. But you don't really need stats to tell you that a date like that was sure quash any budding romances in the bunch.
While bad dates can be a mixed bad, a "good" date is almost always a solid measurement of how much a Bachelor cares about a given contestant. For instance, 67 percent of the private concert dates in the last five seasons went to women who ended up in the final four. Dates in which the Bachelor takes the contestant shopping can also be a good sign: Becca from Arie's season got a shopping date, as did Caelynn from Colton's season. And dates where the contestant meets the Bachelor's family early in the season can be a good sign, but they can also lead to an early dismissal if the contestant doesn't click with the family quickly. Madison from Peter's season and Raven from Nick's season both got to meet their Bachelor's family early on, and they were both runners up. But for Hannah Brown on Colton's season and Emily Ferguson on Ben's season, meeting the parents clarified for the Bachelors that these weren't the women for them.
What This Means For Matt James' Winner & Final Rose
Based on these patterns, there are a few clear women to watch from Matt's season, including first impression rose recipient Abigail Heringer; Bri Springs, who got the first one-on-one date; and Lauren Maddox and Rachael Kirkconnell, who got group date roses. It's also likely that Victoria Larson will be sent packing soon, if not for her tattling, then on account of her job title. If she won the season or made it to the final four, this health coach and mobile spray tan business owner would almost certainly be listed as an entrepreneur — not as a "Queen." As for the limo exits, sure, Katie Thurston may have shocked portions of America when she jokingly brought Matt a vibrator – but he's since said that he loved her bold entrance. We can't rule her out this season.
Of course, a wrinkle in any prediction about Matt's season is that he's about to get five new contestants, and that could totally throw the data out of whack. But as the season continues, keep an eye on who gets group date roses and the kinds of dates each of the women are being sent on. Are they being pampered or tested? Are they getting one-on-ones or just continually tasked with standing out group dates? Matt may be slowly figuring out who he clicks with as new Bachelor episodes roll out, but we've already seen plenty of clues as to who he might end up with.