The Bachelor: Here for the Right Reasons

Sam Fleischmann
November 9, 2021

The Bachelor vs the Bachelorette

My guilty pleasure is watching The Bachelor(ette). Every season I say "maybe I'll skip this one" but then episode 1 rolls around and I start to watch uncomfortable limo entrances and I'm hooked. I'm also very competitive and enjoy participating in "Bachelor Brackets" aka fantasy football, but for who's going to win the heart of the bachelor(ette). After dedicating an embarrassing number of hours of my life to this show, I've picked up on a few things that seem to be true but wanted to be able to prove my theories - so I uploaded some bachelor data into a cascade Cascade workbook and got working

Quick PSA before diving in - this data is found on the internet and may be incomplete/flawed but seemed pretty representative for this initial analysis.

Where do producers find these people?

One thing I've always been curious about is the difference between the Bachelor and Bachelorette versions of the show. So to dig into that, let's start from the beginning. Before the awkward limo entrances and night one roses - where are these contestants coming from? And does it matter?

California taking the clear lead here when it comes to % of contestants for both the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. Becoming a reality star slash future social media influencer unsurprisingly attracts the most people from  the golden state. Considering it's very common for contestants to move to L.A. after the show to pursue influencer careers, this makes even more sense.

However, when it comes to who gets that final rose, the men from Florida have really punched above their weight and won the heart of the Bachelorette over 25% of of the time, while the Bachelor winner results are more consistent with the contestant percentages.

The Elusive First Impression rose

For those of you who don't dedicate every Monday (and sometimes Tuesday) night to this show, let me explain the first impression rose. To stay in the running for the lead's heart, you have to get a rose every week, and most of the time that comes at the end of the night during the appropriately named "rose ceremony". During the grueling first night, the lead meets everyone for approximately 2-5 minutes each and then decides who will be embarrassed on national television by getting sent home on night one. One special contestant, however, doesn't have to wait until the ceremony to receive validation because the lead can give out a first impression rose at any point in the night (whenever they feel that *spark*) to guarantee passage to the next week.

With that said, the real question is - does it really matter who gets the first impression rose or does it just go to the contestant that had the best limo entrance?

The answer is yes and no. For the Bachelor - the men only give out their first impression rose to the eventual winners ~10% of the time. For the Bachelorette, the women chose who will win their final rose on night one ~40% of the time. So do women know what they want right away? Are men more superficial on night one? I don't know, I'm just showing you the numbers.

Are they really ready to find "the one"?

The final thing I wanted to learn about the show was regarding the age of contestants. You can't do an analysis on the bachelor(ette) without talking about the "right reasons" (and whether contestants are trule here for them). As social media careers get more popular and bachelor contestants get younger and younger, it's hard not to question motives. Are they there for a platform and more followers or for an engagement after a reasonable 6 weeks?

There are a few more factors that could be incorporated into this analysis, including the age difference with the lead, but for now we'll just look at contestant age overall.  When looking at the correlation between age and elimination week - there's nothing extremely significant, but worth mentioning that for the Bachelor it's -.11 and for the Bachelorette its -.06.

One thing to note that we see in these box charts, though, is the median age over the course of each season. The Bachelorette leads to consistently choose men that are older than their Bachelor counterparts. This could be due to the sample of ages for each show, or the dating and age dynamics of each show.

Finally, does anyone care?

According to viewership and ratings, apparently not. About half the amount of people are watching the Bachelor or Bachelorette as when they first premiered. Something about the fact that very few of the couples are still together along with the influx of other reality tv shows to watch have probablly shrunk the franchise viewer base. Will more spinoffs like Bachelor in Paradise bring the franchise back to the early seasons glory? Maybe. Or maybe not, but either way, I'll be watching.

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