22 Seasons of The Bachelor Data: Which Qualities Rose to the Top?
Yes, Bachelor fans, it’s that time of year again: season 22 of The Bachelor began on January 1, 2018. It’s hard to believe the show is entering its twenty-second season, but what a way to ring in the new year (although ABC might be trying a little too hard with its #JanuArie campaign).
If you haven’t heard, this year’s bachelor is race car driver Arie Luyendyk, Jr. You might recognize Arie from season 8 of The Bachelor’s companion show, The Bachelorette, which aired in 2013. Arie was the runner-up on that show, but now he’s taking finding love into his own hands in the role that calls the shots for season 22.
But there’s one thing about season 22 that has us scratching our heads: there are four Laurens on the show. Four! That got us wondering: is the name Lauren always this popular on The Bachelor?
Of course, being The Bachelor nerds we are, we got a little carried away with the research. We tracked down all the contestants except the ten eliminated the first night of season 6. Despite scouring the internet, their information was nowhere to be found. (They obviously didn’t make much of an impression.) But with the data we did find, we noticed some fascinating correlations. Keep reading to get all the juicy details!
The Most Popular Bachelor Contestant Names
Before we get too twitterpated about sharing what we found, we need to say that we took a few liberties with the spelling of names for data analysis purposes. For example, we combined Ashleigh and Ashley, since they’re basically the same name. Ok. Now we can get down to the real business.
Contrary to our original theory, the most popular name for Bachelor contestants is not Lauren. It’s actually Christina! Since the show first aired in 2002, the name Christina has appeared 18 times on the show, while the name Lauren has appeared 12 times, tying with the name Ashley, which has also appeared 12 times.
And, like we said, there are four Laurens on this year’s season alone! Interestingly, despite being so popular, no Ashley or Christina and only one Lauren has actually made it to the finals of the show. It seems that even though these names were popular with baby boomers, the Generation X and millennial bachelors have different tastes!
The real dark horse in the competition is the name Sarah, which was among the top five most common names on the show. In fact, a Sarah won in seasons 7 and 8! That makes Sarah the most common name among the winners of the show—every Sarah that made it to the finals went on to win. Go, Sarah!
The Least Popular Bachelor Contestant Names
Before Disney made it a princess name, Moana was the runner-up on season 8. She wasn’t from a remote tropical island, but she was from California. Here’s a list of some other interesting and less popular names that have appeared on the show:
And then there are some names that are fairly common in the real world but appeared on The Bachelor only once:
The Average Age of Bachelor Contestants
Overall, the bachelors tend to be older than the women vying for their affection. The average age of the bachelors is 32, while the contestants average around 26. But that doesn’t mean that all women over 30 steer clear of the show.
Take Jane and Cynthia from season 6, for example. Both women were 37 years old, making them the oldest contestants to participate on The Bachelor. This makes sense, since the main man that season, 40-year-old Byron, was the oldest bachelor to ever be on the show. They didn’t win, though. The oldest winners of the show are 29-year-olds Whitney Bischoff and Vanessa Grimaldi from seasons 19 and 21, respectively.
On the other hand, the youngest that Bachelor contestants get is 21 (probably to avoid any age-related trouble with alcohol). The youngest contestant to make it to the finals and win was Jessica Bowlin from season 5, who was 22. But she wasn’t the only one! Shayne Lamas from Malibu, California, won season 12 at age 22 as well.
The Most Common Home States of Bachelor Contestants
More contestants hail from California than any other state—and by a large margin. While it’s no shocker that the land of Hollywood is in first place, we’re surprised to see New York so low on the list (and Illinois so high)! Here’s the breakdown of all the most commonly represented states:
There doesn’t seem to be a major correlation between the casting call locations and the states where most contestants come from, but Mike Fleiss, an executive producer, is from California. Maybe he’s playing favorites with ladies from the Golden State . . .
Either way, hopeful contestants can either go to a local casting call or fill out an application online and send in a homemade casting tape. Local auditions are held in cities around the US—the exact cities tend to vary from year to year, although New York City seems to be a mainstay. For more details on Bachelor contestants and their home states, check out our piece on Which States Boast the Highest Number of Bachelor Contestants.
Bachelor Contestants from Outside the US
Finding love on TV isn’t just for Americans—there have actually been several contestants from outside the US. Canada, particularly Alberta, seems to produce a lot of Bachelor contestants. Here’s the breakdown for international Bachelor contestants:
There have also been two winners from outside the US: Mary Delgado of Cuba in season 6, and Vanessa Grimaldi of Montreal, Canada, in season 21. Unfortunately, neither relationship worked out in the long run, which makes us wonder if television-induced international love is destined for ultimate failure. Given the disheartening record of TV-induced love in general, however, its success seems to have little to do with where its participants come from.
The Name for Winning True Bachelor Love
In the end, despite their popularity, contestants named Christina or Ashley are probably not going to win The Bachelor—based on these stats, at least. The name with the most Bachelor wins is Sarah, so if you’re looking for a baby name that will make your child successful on the show, that’s what we’d go with.
But if you want your child to find lasting love on the show, don’t even look at the winners. Instead, turn your attention to a runner-up. The very first one, in fact.
Trista Rehn, the runner-up from the first season of The Bachelor, went on to be the first Bachelorette. She and her chosen contestant, Ryan Sutter, are still together all these years later and now have two kids of their own, making them one of the few couples that have actually built a lasting relationship following the show. So, if you want true TV love, go for Trista.
Tell us, was your favorite contestant a Christina, an Ashley, or a Lauren? Or was it something more unique, like Kindle? Leave a comment and let us know!
Dave is a freelance writer with a passion for tech and how it improves our lives. His work has been published on a variety of sites around the web.