Whenever a contestant on The Bachelor has something to say, a little bar pops up, with some bare-bones information: A first name, sometimes a last initial, a "job," and a hometown.
So in honor of the final episode of the 20th season of The Bachelor airing tonight on ABC—featuring Lauren B. (Oregon) and JoJo (Texas)—we broke down which states are sending the most contestants to find love on reality TV, and which states are most successful. (Full disclosure: Fusion is partly owned by ABC)
For this map, we analyzed the 11 seasons of The Bachelor that have either digital episodes online or reviews of episodes that contained contestant information. Because it does not include the first eight seasons of The Bachelor, we cannot say that no contestants from New Mexico or New Hampshire, for example, have competed. But we can say that some states are truly heavy lifters.
We found that 44 contestants were from California. That's 15% of the contestants we analyzed. In other words, California alone created 2 seasons of Bachelor contestants. This makes sense, considering that the show is filmed in Los Angeles, and (in theory) participation on the reality show requires less of a life change for people who already live nearby.
Texas, Florida, and Indiana—not to be outdone—have each contributed a full season of contestants. Those four states made up more than half of the women who appeared on The Bachelor.
But what about the men on The Bachelorette?
The guys are from California and Texas too! But the men that participate on the Bachelorette span a bit more of the country. Interestingly, male contestants heavily hail from the Northeast and Colorado. This might be because early seasons of the Bachelorette (we looked at seasons 2-11 since data from Trista's first season was unavailable) skewed heavily Northeast.
Also note that The Bachelorette attracts a few more men from the gentle southern state of Georgia, and many more Missourians.
When we combine the maps, they look like this:
Here we see the big four—California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois—come on strong, with the addition of New York. In fifth place? Colorado, where the current Bachelor, Ben Higgins lives.
The states that don't have a contestant represented in the seasons we counted are Wyoming, South Dakota, Delaware, and New Hampshire. Clearly these sad states hate love.
But the folks who really matter on this show are the final three. So we mapped those, too:
For The Bachelor we see the continued dominance of the big players: California, Florida and Texas. But the West Coast makes a strong showing, pulling 11 final three positions, with both Oregon and Washington sending 50% of their contestants into the final 3 spots. Looking at you, Lauren B.
Maine, though, has the best track record: Sending only one contestant, Ashley Hebert in Brad Womack's Bachelor (season 15), who placed third and became The Bachelorette in season 7. She picked J.P, one of the many New Yorkers.
I have no idea what to make of that line drawn by the winning states that divides the country in half. If you have ideas, let me know.
On The Bachelorette, there are fewer single-win states. Where The Bachelor represented 20 different states in its top 3, The Bachelorette only has 17, with three states carrying 3 contestants, instead of the 5 person dominance of The Bachelor's final women.
The West Coast takeover has also disappeared from this map, which instead favors the Great Lakes states.
And who are the big winners?
Despite producing four full seasons' worth of contestants, California has done very poorly—winning only 3 seasons, the same number as Florida. The real champ, in terms of percentage of winners, is Georgia, which has produced 2 winners (Deanna Pappas and Josh Murray), despite only sending 9 total contestants.
Remarkably, West Virginia, though, is batting 1.000 in the game of love. The little mountain state has only sent one contestant in all of the seasons we analyzed: Emily Maynard, who won Brad Womack's season.
What does this mean for tonight's finale? Probably nothing. But as far as states go, the balance seems to lean toward Oregon-based Lauren B, and not Jojo, who hails from Texas. Both states have produced a single winner. Washington's Catherine Giuduci is still happily married to season 17's Bachelor Sean Lowe and expecting her first child. Texas's only winner, though, was Melissa Rycroft, in season 13—Bachelor Jason Mesnick dumped her on national TV to marry the woman he hadn't chosen, Molly Malany, from Wisconsin.
Here's hoping history doesn't repeat itself.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.