At the end of every Bachelor episode, like clockwork, the rose ceremony is there. It's always sure to be packed with teary-eyed, nervous girls in fancy dresses, with an appearance by Chris Harrison to alert viewers to the final rose of the evening. But does the name order at The Bachelor rose ceremony mean anything? It's easy to read too much into which names the Bachelor calls first, or last. But, however reassured the first rose winner may feel, or however nervous the final rose recipient may be — rose order doesn't actually mean a whole lot.
In fact, the Bachelor himself has very little say over which order the names get called in. He doesn't get to reassure his favorite by calling her name first, even though Courtney Robertson was sure Ben Flajnik was doing that during his season. (Sorry, Court.) The Bachelor also doesn't get to "punish" someone who may be on thin ice with him by placing her last. The rose order is determined by the producers of the show, and it's structured in a way to raise the tension of the scene for all of us, keeping us all on the edge of our seat until the perfect moment finally happens.
In his book For the Right Reasons, former Bachelor Sean Lowe revealed that the producers put the most obvious women up front, the ones you know are going to make it through. That way the women who are unsure of their connection with the Bachelor really sweat it out until the end. It's like your best friend telling you they have a surprise for you and then refusing to tell you what it is until you open the box: an amazing narrative tool.
It works the same way on The Bachelorette, according to its former star Ali Fedotowsky. When asked if there was a significance to the order she replied, "No. None at all. It's either random or put in an order to keep the audience in suspense." Former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas agreed, tweeting that the order is decided ahead of time, and producers will give the Bachelor or Bachelorette a predetermined list to memorize before the ceremony.
Of course, if the Bachelor changes his mind at any point during the ceremony, he can stop and go speak to Chris Harrison and ask that his choice be added or removed from the list. This all comes down to the Bachelor's choice, after all, and, entertainment-wise, it builds in even more drama to have the ceremony stop midway through. In general, though, the rose ceremony order says nothing about how much the Bachelor likes each woman; it just shows which contestants are more or less obvious choices. If the ceremony keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last rose has been given out, then it's doing its job perfectly.