The return of Bachelor Nation draws ever closer, and the game is already a'foot. Arie's season premieres on Monday, Jan. 1, and we'll all be anxious to start theorizing as soon as that first rose is awarded. But does the first impression rose on The Bachelor actually matter? Over the history of the show, this ceremony is a major milestone but doesn't predict how the season is going to shake out at all.
Based on the data, the first impression rose does more harm than help to women on The Bachelor. Since Season 10, only three first impression rose recipients have made it to the final (Jenni in Season 11, Tenley in Season 14, and Lindzi in Season 16) but none have won. Well, technically Catherine in Season 17 counts, but as there were 12 first impression roses that season, it's not a great success story for the event itself.
As of 2015, only two people who got the first impression rose on the franchise as a whole had gone on to win, and both of them were on The Bachelorette. Shawn won Season 11, Jordan won Season 12, and Bryan won Season 13. All three of them received the first impression rose on that first night. So that's five out of 13, giving guys a 38 percent chance of winning after they've made a good first impression. Are women better at knowing what they want in a partner right away? Sure seems like it!
Recent years have not done The Bachelor any better, unfortunately. Britt, the frontrunner at the beginning of Season 19 of The Bachelor, made it pretty far but was ultimately eliminated outside of a rose ceremony in the seventh week. In Season 20, Olivia fared even worse, and only made it about halfway through. Rachel, the first impression rose recipient in Season 21, actually made it to the final three — but that's it.
So as far as the Bachelors are concerned, the first impression rose indicates that you're a decent contender and will probably be around for a while, but nothing else. The visibility might also mean that you will get a chance to return to a different branch of the Nation. Rachel, as we all know, went on to become the next Bachelorette. The same (or similar) is true of Tenley, who has appeared in multiple spinoffs.
Also, if you're focusing on this rose while formulating your fan theory, you also may have to reckon with your idea of romance in general. Is "love at first sight" a recipe for marriage or a relationship? It sounds nice. It's a happy thought. But the point of The Bachelor is for a man to get to know multiple women during many public, awkward dating situations. The journey counts, y'all. If he just chose the person he was going to end up with in the first episode, that would be so boring.
Still, it is poetic to think that someone's instinct was right all along, or that after weeks of gameplay, you could come back to the person you liked at the very beginning. Maybe the fact that the first impression rose has never predicted a Bachelor winner gives us something to root for with every new season.
At the end of the day, anything can happen on The Bachelor/ette, and there's bound to be a first eventually. Maybe Arie's first impression rose will go on to win it all. You never know for sure. It's not a great predictor, as we've learned. And all that really matters is who Arie connects with, not just on that first night, but over the course of the season.