Here are my latest power rankings for Matt James’ season of The Bachelor.
NOTE: These power rankings account for everything that happens in the actual episodes. They do NOT take into account future episode previews or any spoilers floating around the Internet.
WARNING: SPOILERS from the seventh week coming.
- Rachael, 24, a graphic designer from Cumming, Ga. (no change) — Rachael continues to be the clear frontrunner. As I mentioned in my power rankings for week #5 and week #6, Rachael is the only woman who Matt has said he is falling in love with. He further affirmed his strong feelings by giving her the group date rose this week — Rachel is the only woman who has gotten two group date roses. Matt even tells her “when I’m not around you, I’m thinking about you.” In one of her interviews, Rachael says “I’m head over heels in love. Get on one knee right now and it’s a done deal.” It’s pretty hard to make the case for anyone else being the frontrunner.
- Michelle, 27, Teacher, Edina, MN (no change) — I went back and forth between Serena P. and Michelle, but ultimately I gave Michelle a slight edge. The strongest case for Michelle right now is what we saw in her one-on-one date with Matt in week 4. I noted in my power rankings that week that they had very natural chemistry and felt like they had known each other for a long time. The case against Michelle is that we haven’t seen as much screen time of her since. We also haven’t seen her tell Matt she is falling in love with him, while we have seen that with Rachael and Serena P. I do think Michelle is falling in love with Matt, but we’ll have to see how much their relationship progresses during Hometowns.
- Serena P., 22, a publicist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (no change) — Normally I’d say that getting a second one-on-one date is a very strong signal, but I have somewhat of an opposite take here. As they start their date, Matt says “it’s important to have Serena in the second one-on-one because I’ve worked my way into the friend zone…[but] we haven’t had that breakthrough moment.” This suggests that their romantic connection hadn’t totally developed by that point. The fact that she survives the one-on-one date and gets the rose is certainly a positive, but there is clearly still some progress to be made. At the end of their date, Serena tells Matt “I am falling for you” while Matt says in an interview “I could 100% see myself falling in love with Serena.”
- Bri, 24, a communications manager from San Francisco, Calif. (+1) — Bri started out extremely strong with the first one-on-one date, but we’ve seen much less of her in recent weeks. Screen time is one of the main factors I use for power rankings — if someone makes it to the end, we usually see a lot of them. This could definitely change though — it’s possible that Bri has flown under the radar simply because she doesn’t want to get involved in the drama. One positive for Bri is that when she tells Matt that she had to resign from her dream job to continue her journey on the show, he reacts very positively, saying “I’ve heard all I need to from Bri…she’s here for me.”
Sent Home: Of the ten women remaining at the end of last week, the ones who advanced to Hometowns were in positions #1, #2, #4, and #5 of my power rankings last week.
- Serena C., 24, a flight attendant from San Francisco, Calif. (previously ranked 11) — As I mentioned two weeks ago, Serena C.’s connection with Matt never seemed particularly strong, and she was getting involved in a lot of the house drama as one of the “OG Girls.”
- Heather, 25, a social media influencer from Carlsbad, CA (previously ranked 10) — As I noted last week,
It’s very late in the process, and the prospect of Matt meeting someone and proposing 3–4 weeks later seems unlikely, especially when he already has strong connections with other women.
There’s definitely a chance though that if things don’t work out between Matt and the remaining women, he could end up pursuing Heather outside the show. He did say that he values his good friend Hannah Brown’s opinion that they would be a good match.
- Jessenia, 27, a social media marketer from San Antonio, Texas (previously ranked 9) — As I mentioned two weeks ago:
Historically it’s very tough to simultaneously have your first one-on-one date in week 7 and advance to hometowns.
While Jessenia’s long-awaited one-on-one date this week went well, Matt’s relationships with the other women in the house had just advanced so much further. I haven’t done the exact math, but based on what I’ve seen in recent seasons, the rejection rate for contestants who get their first one-on-one date in week 7 is pretty high.
- Chelsea, 28, a runway model from Brooklyn, N.Y. (previously ranked 8) —Although Chelsea seemed to have decent chemistry with Matt, the writing had been on the wall for a while — she never got a one-on-one date.
- Abigail, 25, a client financial manager from Beaverton, Ore. (previously ranked 7) — Abigail’s fate on the show has truly been heartbreaking. After getting the first-impression rose, she waited week after week for the coveted one-on-one date. But in the end, Matt formed stronger connections with other women and never invited her on a one-on-one date. Matt’s explanation for Abigail was…quite something. “I was so comfortable in our relationship that I explored other relationships. In exploring those relationships with other women and going on those one-on-ones, I did grow strong feelings for them.” Personally I just think that Matt was never particularly interested in Abigail, and might have given her the first-impression rose at the suggestion of the producers. It just seems strange that she would get the first-impression rose but not get a one-on-one date in seven (!) weeks. Abigail has a strong chance of being the next Bachelorette — she is definitely a fan favorite.
- Kit, 21, a socialite from New York City, N.Y. (previously ranked 6) — I predicted that Kit would not make it to the end two weeks ago based on the coverage of their one-on-one date:
The other thing I would note about Kit’s date is that it was probably the fastest one-on-one date (in terms of screen time) that I’ve seen in a long time. That reduces the probability of her making it to the end — if she was F1 or F2, I would think the producers would have devoted more air time to their first one-on-one date.
Ultimately, Kit just wasn’t 100% sure about an engagement yet with Matt and sent herself home. It makes sense — she’s only 21 years old and has a lot ahead of her with school, travel, and figuring out her career path.
- Pieper, 23, a graduate student from Happy Valley, Ore. (previously ranked 3) — The biggest surprise this week, although I had Pieper, Serena P., and Bri all pretty close together in last week’s power rankings. Perhaps we should have seen this coming — Pieper got very little screen time the first three episodes, which actually made me think her chances were pretty low early on.