From the moment Hannah B.'s suitors step foot out of the limo on Monday night's Bachelorette premiere, viewers at home will be analyzing each man for clues who wins. It can be hard to pin down the frontrunner so early on, especially if you're avoiding spoilers. But there are actually a few ways you can predict the Bachelorette winner from the very first episode.
As you might imagine, it's not an exact science. Things can shift quickly on this show, as we've seen in recent seasons. Someone might change their mind at the last minute (hi, Arie, still not over that), or as in Colton's case, choose a winner before even getting to the finale, break up with the remaining women in the middle of Fantasy Suites, and jump a freakin' fence to chase after the hesitant girl of his dreams.
But barring any extra dramatic circumstances, there are plenty of tells that might tip you off about who will win that final rose. After consulting a few experts and researching the Bachelor archives, we've broken it down into key aspects to pay attention to, both good and bad. Take note, and maybe you'll finally come out on top of your Bachelorette bracket.
The Good: First Impression Rose
The first impression rose is important for obvious reasons, but has become an even bigger sign in recent seasons: the last four Bachelorettes have ended up engaged to the man that got the rose on night one.
"[That] was not the case before," Claire Fallon, co-host of HuffPo's popular Bachelor recap podcast Here To Make Friends, tells Bustle. "It actually only happened once before that, but apparently, ladies are figuring out what they need to do to pick out their guy on night one. And so that's usually a really strong sign that the person they get the impression rose to is at least going to make it to the top four."
The Limo Entrance
The limo entrances can run the gamut from big and wacky to simple and sweet, but it's not so much what a contestant does on their way into the mansion as it is where in the episode their entrance is placed. "We've been told by people who work on the show that the first and last spots [during limo entrances] are considered to be for candidates of great potential," Fallon says. "People who really meet what the Bachelorette thinks she wants."
As for the theatrics and wild outfits? "Usually you might see [an eventual frontrunner with] a little gag or a punny joke, but not someone wearing like, a full penguin costume," Fallon continues. "With the exception of the runner up on Sean Lowe's season, who did come out in a wedding dress."
You can feel pretty confident writing off the contestants accompanied by silly, cartoonish soundtracks, and bumping the ones with romantic music right to the top of your list. They're subtle cues, but ones that signal which men you can take seriously, and which are just there for laughs.
"By the time the footage is kind of passed along [to editors], and those music cues are being inserted, they have an idea of the narrative that they're trying to build," says Emma Gray, Fallon's Here To Make Friends co-host. "I think those can be really, really important in figuring out who the show wants you to pay attention to and how the show wants you to perceive those characters."
When it comes to body language, you can usually tell if people are into each other from the get-go. It's hard to cultivate a long-term relationship with no initial chemistry, so this is a big key to looking for the winner. Just think about Rachel and Bryan's steamy kiss on night one.
"Look for whether they lean forward or not. If the person leans towards you, that means they're into you. Look at their feet, if their feet are pointing in your direction, that's a good sign," body language expert Lillian Glass tells Bustle. "Watch for genuine smiles. That means crinkling of the eyes. That means cheeks raised and teeth showing."
Glass also says casual touching is another positive sign to look for between the lead and contestants, while rigid, uptight posture is a warning that it's not a good match.
Comparisons To Family & Home
Becca mentioned quite a few times throughout her season that Garrett reminded her of her dad, and in the end, he was the one who swept her off her feet. It's easy to fall for someone who reminds you of home, or possesses the same qualities as the people you've grown up around and admire. Plus, a little piece of home means finding some calm within the whirlwind of reality TV dating. If Hannah tells any of the men that they make her think of her family, that might be a hint that there's huge potential there.
The Bad: Screen Time
While you might think that contestants who receive a lot of screen time in the first episode are a sure tell, that can actually be a red herring. Fallon says producers are sometimes "tricky" about what they show, giving long intro packages and lots of attention to people who are sent home at the very first rose ceremony or shortly thereafter.
Gray adds that as we saw last season with Cassie — and with Catherine on Sean Lowe's season — some frontrunners aren't featured much at all in the first few episodes, but then break out toward the end. The early part of the season tends to center around the loud, dramatic cast members, and then shift focus later on.
But that doesn't mean screen time is an automatic red flag. "I do think we will always see some sort of initial conversation, most likely, between sort of the frontrunner and the lead," Gray says. "But it might not be, you know, something super notable."
Drama With Other Contestants
Though there are a few rare exceptions (see: Cassie Randolph) contestants that get sucked into drama usually don't last long in the latter half of the season, after things get serious — and especially so if they're stirring the pot themselves. Take, for example, Onyeka and Nicole from Colton's season, who he sent home immediately after they got into a lengthy fight a few weeks in.
Tensions will inevitably run high later on, after feelings and attachments have started developing, but someone who's causing friction in the group on the very first night is not someone you can expect a sweetheart like Hannah to tolerate.
Take it from Kamil, social media participant: receiving a silly job title from Bachelorette editors is an immediate sign they're there for a good time, not a long time. "The editors and producers give those to people who do not win, obviously," Fallon says. "They're not gonna introduce the winner as a chicken enthusiast."
There For The Wrong Reasons
This might be obvious, but when a guy shows up to The Bachelorette with something to promote, it's basically a neon sign that they won't be sticking around. Take Jean Blanc from Becca Kufrin's season, who instantly starting talking up his fragrance line, or Whaboom from Rachel Lindsay's season, who... well, he needs no explanation.
So, there's everything you need to know to start weeding out the duds and figuring out which of this season's guys might be the new Mr. Hannah Brown. You never know what direction love will take, so leave room for error, but this just goes to show that The Bachelorette isn't always as unpredictable as it seems.