Who’s Going to Hometowns?

Whoa. Whoa. Whoooooooa, Ray. Wayminit. You’re already talking hometowns after the first episode of the season? You just gonna slide by The Journey – the hours of unnecessary drama, gallons of overwrought tears, moments of spiteful villainy, not to mention the scores of texts from Long-Time Loyal Follower of the These Musings CSP about how dull Bachelor Zach is?

All of those precious events will be commented on in due time (cue In Due Time by Submersed or Outkast; I prefer the former). But I’m going to be looking at this season through the lens of the wonderful analysis of recent seasons by @Bachelordata IG, specifically three categories. The first category is Intro Packages. In recent seasons, one to three of the Final Four girls were given intro packages at the beginning of those season’s Premieres. This year, eight of the 30 cast members got Intro Packages: Bailey, Katherine, Christina, Charity, Greer, Brooklyn, Brianna, and Kaity[1].

The second category is First Five Out of the Limos. This has been a critical distinction: one of the Final Two has come out of this category in recent seasons. The First Five Out of the Limo this year were Jess, Ariel, Charity, Davia, and Gabi.

The reason these two categories matter is that they are controlled by the Evil Genius Producers (EGPs) who are creating narratives for our viewing pleasure (and horror) out of countless hours of tape. What the data is signaling to us is out of 30 women, who the EGPs will be featuring prominently enough that we aren’t surprised at who is still there near the end.

FYI all of the women in these two categories got roses.

The final category is the First Impression Rose (FIP). This one is controlled by the lead and history tells us that FIP recipients tend to get to Hometowns and farther more often than not. Greer got the FIP and she really bears watching because she also had an Intro Package. She also just missed the First Five Out of the Limo cut at #6 but still got extended limo screentime. There was also undeniable chemistry – “sparks” seems to be Zach’s word of choice – between them. In the interest of full disclosure, I think she’s really cute.

So, allow my analytical mind to draw some early predictions about who may be playing prominent roles this season:

  • Katherine – Intro Package; and she was the first one to pull him for a convo at the first cocktail party. The EGPs have a lot to do with who talks to the lead and when. And Zach commented repeatedly on how hot he thought she is.
  • Charity – Intro Package + First Five Out of the Limo.
  • Greer – Intro Package + FIP.
  • Jess – First Five Out of the Limo and he seemed to like her a lot.

Bear in mind that the EGPs already know the end at our beginning. Their choices when they have control are very intentional. They are early indicators of The Journey they intend to take us on. Hopefully, you’ll have fun following the fate of these four contenders along with me.

One other thought about Episode 1: LOTS of BIG personalities among the ladies. Given Zach’s, uh, demeanor, I think this was very intentional casting by the EGPs. This should provide a great pool of Paradise candidates beginning with Christina Mandrell whose aunties are Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell sisters (one of which is her mom Irlene). She’s clearly cast for entertainment value and looks like she will be fun to watch this season. Early-exiting Madison the Cryer may have punched her ticket to Paradise, also.

See you next week.

P.S. This week’s viewing wine: Piatelli Vineyards Grand Reserve Malbec on sale at Costco.

[1] Sorry not sorry about not including pictures. Way too many women for that at this juncture. But here’s a link. Do your own research LOL: https://abc.com/shows/the-bachelor/cast

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