From the moment they step out of the limo (or off a camel ) to vie for that “first impression” rose to hometown dates and fantasy suite cards – playing for love on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” is no game.
While up to 30 men and women may show up for their shot to walk away the winner, it turns out not everyone has a seemingly fair chance at capturing the love and affection – or final roses – of the main contestant.
We broke down the winners of both shows from the first season to today to determine what it really takes to have a fair chance at love. From age, race, and even hair color – all is not fair in love and war, or when it comes to “The Bachelor.” Curious to see what we uncovered? Continue reading to learn more about what it takes to earn that Neil Lane diamond by season’s end.
Looking for Love in All the Blond Places
When it comes to winning the hearts of “The Bachelor” contestants like Ben Higgins, Nick Viall, or Sean Lowe, it may seem all of the ladies who show up to compete for love have a shot at landing the final rose. However, all of the winning women over the past 21 seasons have a few traits in common.
While the most recent Bachelor Nick Viall scooped his now-fiancee Vanessa Grimaldi (a brunette) off her feet, most “The Bachelor” alumni have opted for a different hue of hair. In fact, three out of every four “The Bachelor” winners have been blond. Last year's Bachelor Ben Higgins walked away with blond beauty Lauren Bushnell, and the leading man of the very first season of “The Bachelor” – which aired in 2002, if you can believe it – Alex Michael picked the blond-haired Amanda Marsh as his winner (but didn’t actually propose to her).
Girls with red hair may not win very often, but they tend to make it through more of the season than ladies with locks of another color. And while you only need to be 21 to compete, it’s women aged 24 to 26 who tend to have what it takes to last through group dates, rose ceremonies, and the season “villain.”
“The Bachelor” winners are also very likely to have long hair and brown eyes, and – to date – all have been white. Even this year, African-American front-runner Rachel Lindsay, who seemed to be in the lead for weeks, went home after the fantasy suite date. In a turn of events, Lindsay was announced recently as the franchise's first black Bachelorette, so maybe this will help shake up the race odds for future seasons to come.
The Most Likely Men
If you think you have what it takes to win the heart of someone like Rachel Lindsay, JoJo Fletcher, or Andi Dorfman, you better be able to check off a few boxes about yourself if you’re going to beat the odds and earn that final rose.
Although “The Bachelor” winners were mostly blond, women chosen to be “The Bachelorette” have a history of choosing men with brown hair as their fiancé. In fact, three out of every five winners on the show so far have had brown hair, brown eyes, and a clean, short haircut with no beard in sight. There have been a few exceptions, of course, but as past winners Jordan Rodgers, Josh Murray, and Chris Siegfried will tell you, it helps when the odds are in your favor.
While younger ladies who compete on “The Bachelor” tend to last longer on the show than their older counterparts, male contestants aged 30 to 32 tend to have the best luck when it comes to extending their journey while looking for love on the “The Bachelorette.” Of course, if you don’t win, maybe you’ll get a chance to be the next “The Bachelor,” or make it out to sunny Mexico for “Bachelor in Paradise” where your odds of finding love might be even greater.
In Loving Color
If you’re going to bet on who will make it to the end of “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette,” you’ll have to be color blind not to notice a racial trend when it comes to the contestants and winners.
While the show has made some effort to vary the cast at the beginning of the show, every single winner on “The Bachelor,” and all but one winner on “The Bachelorette,” has been Caucasian. While former non-white contests have generally admitted to having a good time on the show, they don’t have a good history of winning.
More than that, getting to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette on either of these rose-filled love fests has nearly always been in favor of white contestants – until now. After 33 combined seasons of the show, Rachel Lindsay will be the first black Bachelorette this year. We’ll just have to wait and see what that does to the odds of winning the show if you’re black, Hispanic, Asian-American, or any other race or ethnicity.
For All the Right Reasons
Playing for love is tricky business on “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.” It takes time, commitment, and requires you to build an emotional connection with someone while they’re dating up to 30 other people. Regardless of your hair color or if you have a beard, there can only be one winner. Oh, and you might not find love after all you’ve been through anyway.
We sourced publicly-available online images of each contestant over 10 full seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” and manually catalogued their physical characteristics. Percentage of season completed was calculated for each contestant based on dividing the episode number on which they were eliminated by the total number of regular episodes in the season.
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