Is 'The Bachelorette' Always The Runner-Up?

During Monday's Bachelor finale we'll finally learn who the next Bachelorette will be. People have been debating who would be chosen practically since the show started. It seems the top choices are Britt, Kaitlyn, Becca, or Whitney (depending on which one Chris Soules doesn't choose). But what about the order the ladies are eliminated in? Does The Bachelorette title always go to the heartbroken runner-up? I looked back at past seasons and found that elimination order can have a big effect on things.

It would make sense for the runner-up to be the next Bachelorette because she got the closest to winning. But the producers don't seem to have a formula for choosing, and rather they let America's opinion of the ladies sway the vote. Sometimes the runner-up simply isn't the most beloved contestant. In fact, only twice has the runner-up ever been selected for the next season and that was all the way back in seasons one and four with Trista Rehn Sutter and DeAnna Pappas.

Since then, twice The Bachelorette has been the winner from a previous season whose relationship failed. But the most common eliminated contestant to come back is the third and fourth place contestant. Six of the 10 Bachelorettes have stemmed from those two eliminated spots.

By that measure the odds are that either Kaitlyn or Jade would be considered for the next Bachelorette. Although people are still throwing Britt's name in the ring, she was eliminated 5th and there's never been a 5th place Bachelorette in all 10 seasons. They've never cast anyone below 4th place, and they very rarely even cast the runner-up.

So I think when the dramatic announcement is made it's going to reveal that either Jade or Kaitlyn is the next Bachelorette. To be honest, I'd be OK with either of those options, so I can't wait to meet the winning lady on Monday night.

Image: David Moir/ABC