Watch Smarter

How to Know Who’s Going to Win The Bachelor

It’s all in the limo arrivals.

Watch Smarter is Slate’s series that teaches you to spot hidden tropes in pop culture and beyond. Watch all episodes.

Whether The Bachelor is your guilty or proud pleasure, ABC’s long-running matchmaking reality empire retains its mythical hold on viewers. And all those seasons and finales have given us some data. To figure out what to expect when the new season debuts tonight, we asked former producers and crunched the numbers. Cognitive psychology comes into play. Never bet on the 22nd contestant to get out of the limo. It’s science.

In this episode of Watch Smarter, we deconstruct how producers stage the appearances of contestants in real time. There’s an 85 percent chance you can guess the winner in the first episode.