In Bachelor Nation, a first impression can go a long way.
The Bachelor, which premiered in 2002, introduced the first impression rose during season 5 in 2004. After skipping the first impression rose during season 6, it became a premiere staple from season 7 on. The first-night rose has played a bigger role, however, on The Bachelorette.
DeAnna Pappas was the first lead to pick a first impression rose winner — Jesse Csincsak — during the season 4 finale of The Bachelorette in 2008. Two years later, Ali Fedotowsky got engaged to Roberto Martinez, who got the coveted rose on her season.
“If it were up to me when I was the Bachelorette, there would have been no season … [or] there would have a season and it would have been Frank [Neuschaefer] and Roberto the entire time,” Ali recalled on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast in August 2020. “I knew night one, it was Frank and Roberto for me, I knew it, one or the other.”
While the twosome got engaged during the August 2010 finale, they split in November 2011. Rachel Lindsay, however, is an example of a lead who went on to marry her first impression rose winner.
“The men get caught up in the fantasy of the woman that they probably could never get in real life … it’s very easy to do,” the season 13 Bachelorette told Us in September 2020 about why The Bachelorette has more success stories than The Bachelor. “Women, I feel like we pull our heads out of the cloud a bit and we say, ‘Who can make sense in real life?’ And I think that’s why you’ve seen more success with the women because we take that into consideration.”
Other first impression rose winners’ journeys — including Hannah Brown’s Luke Parker and Ben Higgins’ Olivia Caridi— took a turn for the worse after opening night. Tyler Cameron, for his part, told Us in October 2020 that he wishes he had been bolder on night one when he was pursuing Hannah on season 15 of The Bachelorette.
“The only regret I had was not speaking to her night one, you know, that’s my biggest regret,” Tyler, who was the runner-up, dished on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “My relationship started slower than everyone else’s. And so, I think that could have definitely helped speed things up and get things rolling.”
Scroll through for a complete list of first impression rose winners: