‘The Bachelor:’ Winning the First Date Rose Might Not Be as Good as You Think

What you really want to win is the first impression rose

Fans of “The Bachelor” have long theorized on early signs of a winner — earning the first impression rose, for example, has long been thought to be a signal that contestant will make it far into the season.

FiveThirtyEight compiled data based on the first 15 years of the show, including 21 seasons of “The Bachelor” and 12 seasons of “The Bachelorette” — which adds up to 856 contestants and 280 weeks of competing for love. The stipulations on the study are that all contestants are assumed to be there for the right reasons — that is, that they’re all there to find true love. FiveThirtyEight looked at which contestant went on which date (i.e. a one-on-one, group date, or two-on-one date), who received roses, and who was sent home for each week of competition on each season.

Here’s what we can learn about the chances of the 18 women remaining in the game for Arie Luyendyk, Jr.’s heart, according to FiveThirtyEight’s findings.

First of all, fans are right — winning the first impression rose does historically signal a long run on the season. When looking at the 23 seasons in which the first impression rose was given to a single contestant, four recipients of the coveted prize went on to win, and four went on to be runner up — that means that 35 percent of first impression rose winners make it to the finale of their season.

Just over half of contestants who took home the first impression rose make it to the final four — for example, last year’s “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay won the first impression rose on Nick Viall’s season, and made it to the final three.

While winning the rose on the first one-on-one date isn’t a sure sign of impending failure, the chances of winning the show after receiving the first date rose have plummeted in recent years. Of the past eight seasons, not a single contestant who won the first date rose went on to win an engagement ring. Overall, winning a date rose gave that contestant a 10-point advantage over contestants who were simply given a rose at the rose ceremony.

That being said, the earlier a contestant can snag a one-on-one, the better. If a contestant had a one-on-one six weeks before the final rose ceremony, they had a more than 95 percent chance of surviving their date.

So what does this information tell us about Arie’s season? Becca K. won the first date rose last week, so we’re expecting her to make it far, but not win. The drama-inducing Krystal won the other one-on-one rose, so we also expect her to survive for a while, but chances of her winning are more slim. Chelsea, who won the first impression rose in week one, has a far better chance at making it to the final four or the finale.

It’s still early in the game, so tune in to “The Bachelor” on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. to see how these predictions hold up.