Who Will Be the Next Bachelorette? A Spoiler-Free Analysis

Well, folks, we’re in the home stretch - Colton Underwood’s season of “The Bachelor” is almost over. On March 11th and 12th, we’ll sit through a TWO NIGHT finale and oh dear God, I hope it will be worth it because this season hasn’t exactly been my favorite. May I never hear Colton whine about his “greatest fears” ever again.

Honestly, though, I’m still invested in the drama. Quick recap: the last episode, Colton was down to three women. Cassie, who spent half the season complaining that people didn’t think she ready for marriage, decided she wasn’t ready for marriage. Colton told her he loved her, she left anyway, he had a meltdown, and finally jumped over the fence to escape the cameramen. Yikes. Soon, we’ll know what happened to our Bachelor - did he chase after Cassie? Try to make it work with the other women, Tayshia and Hannah G? End up alone?

But even more important, we’ll know who will be crowned our next Bachelorette. The past few seasons, trying to predict the next Bachelor has not been easy, because we’ve gotten some absolute wildcards (Did any of us see Nick getting the gig over Luke? Colton over Blake/Jason? ARIE over PETER?). But all of our recent Bachelorettes (Becca, Rachel, JoJo) have been no-brainers. This year, though, the choice won’t be quite so easy. I feel like ABC is stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do. As someone who has been watching this show for way too long, I like to think I have some insight into which girl has the best chance, so let’s jump right in and try to figure out who will be handing out the roses a few months from now.

Firstly, every Bachelorette we’ve ever had has placed at least fourth on a previous “Bachelor” season. So that means the final four women on Colton’s season - Caelynn, Cassie, Tayshia, and Hannah G - are the most likely contenders. But they don’t all have equal chances.

Who is almost definitely out of the running?

Tayshia

Tayshia is by far the most qualified to be the Bachelorette out of the final four. She’s gorgeous, confident, engaging, and at 28, she’s actually at an appropriate age to get married. Unfortunately, she’s also one of the least likely to get the role. Part of it is that she ran into some drama this season after telling Colton she didn’t think Caelynn and Cassie were there for “the right reasons” (Recap: Katie, a girl who had been eliminated the week earlier, allegedly overheard the two of them talking about being the Bachelorette and other post-show opportunities, and Katie told Tayshia about it). A large part of Bachelor Nation is #TeamCaelynn&Cassie, and thinks Tayshia was just jealous and lying to sabotage them. Personally, I’m more on Tayshia’s side of this feud, because Caelynn and Cassie both come across as kind of fake to me, or at the very least not mature enough for marriage (a fact Cassie eventually proved). Whether or not Tayshia was right to tell Colton, she stayed calm and poised throughout the whole conflict. Caelynn and Cassie, meanwhile, both got very defensive and were shown saying some sorta nasty things. But the fact that Caelynn and Cassie are still very popular despite being involved in drama, while Tayshia been much more widely slammed for it, I think points to the real reason she will not be the Bachelorette: Tayshia is black.

Let’s be real, y’all. The audience of “The Bachelor/ette” is mostly white, and it can still be pretty racist. Season 13 of “The Bachelorette”, which starred the franchise’s first-ever black lead, Rachel Lindsay, suffered a dip in ratings from the previous season. Rachel is the only Bachelorette from the past five years to have less than a million Instagram followers. She was just as good a lead as Becca, JoJo, Kaitlyn, and Andi - the only difference is that they’re all white. Tayshia herself lags behind the rest of the final four in Instagram followers, and even some (white) girls who were sent home before her have more. Let’s face it, even if Tayshia was completely drama-free, she probably still wouldn’t be as popular as the others, and it’s not hard to figure out why. She would be the best Bachelorette of the four, but unfortunately, I just can’t see ABC having another black lead so soon after Rachel. It’s dumb, because they had no issue with having 12 straight seasons of white leads before her, but it’s just not going to happen. Sorry, Tayshia. Maybe you’ll find love on “Bachelor in Paradise”.

Cassie

Lol. There is literally no way it can be Cassie. She was so not ready to get engaged that she just left the show. Some people have speculated that this was all a ploy to be the Bachelorette - she realized Colton was crazy about her, knew she couldn’t be the next lead if he picked her, and decided to self-eliminate instead. But honestly, I don’t think Cassie is that calculated. I kind of dragged her earlier, but I doubt she’s a bad person. She just still has a lot of growing up to do, and that’s exactly why she won’t get her own season. The producers have been showing us moments to make us question her readiness and maturity this whole time, and it all came to a head the last episode. If you aren’t ready for marriage (or willing to pretend you are), you won’t be the Bachelorette. Thank you, next.

Who does it come down to?

Okay, y’all. This is where it gets tricky. I’m pretty sure Tayshia and Cassie are out of the running, so that leaves Caelynn and Hannah G. But neither of these girls are perfect candidates, and not just because they’re only a couple of years out of college. So let’s go point by point and try to figure out what direction ABC may take.

Caelynn

On one hand, Caelynn has a very compelling and socially relevant story. She is a rape survivor and advocates for sexual assault awareness while competing in the Miss USA pageant. It was really brave of her to share her experience on the show, and she clearly has a lot of inner strength...but. I just don’t buy that she was there for “the right reasons”. Like Cassie, I don’t think Caelynn is a bad person. But she has definitely had some petty moments, like referring to Tayshia as a “stupid bitch” and feuding with her Miss USA roommate, Hannah B, earlier in the season. Hannah B told Colton that Caelynn has a history of being fake and manipulative, though they made up later. Who knows, maybe Caelynn really is perfectly innocent, and everyone else was just jealous because Colton liked her. But the fact is that where Caelynn goes, drama follows, and that’s not what ABC tends to look for in a lead. For the most part, the contestants are supposed to be the messy ones, and the Bachelorette is supposed to be America’s sweetheart. The producers have also edited out fights involving a Bachelorette candidate before - on season 21 of “The Bachelor”, Rachel clashed with Vanessa Grimaldi, who ended up winning. Even though it would’ve been SO entertaining, the entire fight got cut out the show, likely to protect Rachel from criticism since at that point they were probably already eyeing her for Bachelorette. If they left all of Caelynn’s fights in, does that mean she’s not their first choice for the role? Or was it just the only good storyline they had? But if it was, couldn’t they still have left out some of her meaner comments? Or did they think viewers might be more likely to forgive Caelynn for possible cattiness than Rachel? (Hmm…)

Hannah G

On the other hand, we have Hannah G, who is obviously ridiculously beautiful. Like, this girl looks like an actual Barbie doll. The problem is, that’s kind of the only thing I can say about her. She seems sweet, and even though she’s the same age as Cassie (23) she comes across a bit more mature. But the most personality we’ve seen from her is when she tried to freestyle rap in a credits scene, and that was really...uh...something. She’s still well-liked by fans, just because she’s pretty and conflict-free, but not many people seem super invested in her. Plus, she’s a very young Instagram influencer/model, which doesn’t exactly scream “right reasons”, either.

So the question is, do the producers want a somewhat controversial Bachelorette like Caelynn, who has a lot of people questioning her authenticity? Or do they want a safe but possibly boring Bachelorette like Hannah G? It’s worth noting that Colton was definitely a controversial choice for Bachelor, so maybe they would rather make a choice people get mad about than one people just shrug their shoulders at. And though Caelynn has her haters, it’s not like she was a villain. She has a ton of fans as well. At this point, I’m gonna say Caelynn has the best chance of being the next Bachelorette because we’ve seen much more of her than we have of Hannah, plus any backlash would at least create headlines. Things may change next episode, and if Colton dumps Hannah G in a really devastating way it might be enough to push her ahead. But for now, the role is Caelynn’s to lose. And though she has said she doesn’t want the gig, I just don’t believe her, because who turns down the Bachelorette?

Could it be someone outside the final four?

Maybe. They’ve never done it with a Bachelorette before, but we’ve also never had a season where none of the girls got an ideal “Bachelorette edit”. I’ve seen a lot of people pulling for Hannah B, who placed seventh, and I even read a pretty compelling argument on why ABC might be strongly considering her. We definitely got to see more personality from Hannah B than a lot of other girls, and she seems very sweet and genuine. On the other hand, she’s kind of awkward, and I just can’t see her having the confidence or charisma to handle the role. Not to mention she was involved in drama with Caelynn, too. I’m not convinced that her chances are as high as some think, but I guess we’ll see.

Could it be someone from a different season?

Well, it’s happened before. Emily Maynard got engaged to Brad Womack on “The Bachelor” in 2011 and then came back as the Bachelorette in 2012 after they broke up. But Emily, with her tragic backstory and Southern belle charm, was also one of the most popular contestants ever. All the really popular girls from the past couple years, like Raven Gates, Amanda Stanton, Tia Booth, etc, are either in or rumored to be in relationships, and I don’t think there’s anyone else memorable enough to justify bringing back. Rachel recently suggested Kristina Schulman or Danielle Maltby, who competed on season 21 with her. Both of them have gone through some rough public break-ups, which could earn them some sympathy, but again, I don’t think they’re compelling enough to carry their own season.

Overall, there is no easy choice for Bachelorette this year. There’s always been at least one girl in the final four who is mostly drama-free, seems to be genuinely looking for love, and has an interesting personality, but this time around, nobody really checks all those boxes. It’s been a weird, juvenile season full of catty fights without clear “villains”, which means there isn’t anyone who is universally beloved in the way Bachelorettes have always been. In a way, it feels like Colton’s season has been an unfortunate turning point for the franchise. We got an immature, disingenuous Bachelor with a cast of immature, disingenuous girls. If Caelynn becomes the next Bachelorette, and I think she will, I doubt next season will be much better, because she was never able to convince me that she had true feelings for Colton. Plus, she’s so young (24) that her cast of guys will probably be very young as well, keeping the cycle going. Caelynn has a very tragic, unfair past, and I really respect her advocacy. But that doesn’t mean I want to watch her try to fake connections with a bunch of dudebro personal trainers. Whatever ABC decides, one thing’s for sure - it has never, ever been this hard to choose a Bachelorette.

Image credits:

https://abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelor/news/updates/the-bachelor-2019-sea...