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CONFESSIONS OF ‘THE BACHELOR’ DEVOTEE: With season conclusion in sight, expert gives final tips for predicting outcome

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The 21st season of “The Bachelor” began on Jan. 2 and will end on March 13. After nine seasons of watching the show, freshman Jackson Margolis has become an expert at predicting the winner. This is part three of a three-part series.

Week six is “Hometowns.” At this point the bachelor has narrowed it down to four contestants. So he goes to all of his contestants’ hometowns to meet their families.

This week is crucial for predictions. Whom do the editors not show as much? What presumed important conversations are not included? These are all questions you need to be asking.

The editors are sneaky; they want the winner to not be obvious.

If it is clear with whom the bachelor has the strongest connection, the editors try to make the playing field appear to be more balanced.

Also around this week the contestants start to say that their feelings have turned to love.

However, the bachelor is not allowed to return this emotion until the end.

Week eight is the overnight date. Nothing interesting really happens except certain clues are given.

Do the conversations seem to never really talk about anything? Is there only kissing and no talking?

These are signs of a contestant that will be packing her bags soon.

In the final episode the last two contestants meet the bachelor’s family.

And, surprisingly, in almost every season that I have watched, the contestant whom the family liked either much less or felt indifferent about was the contestant who ended up winning.

This season’s final episode airs on Monday, March 13, and will mark the end of what host Chris Harrison has called the most shocking, controversial and dramatic season yet.

Of course, Harrison says this every season.

The final contestants this season are Raven Gates and Vanessa Grimaldi.

Raven Gates is a 25-year-old, likeable and energetic fashion boutique owner from the small town of Hoxie, Arkansas. Her three greatest passions are family, faith and football. Her Southern attitude and delightful personality have managed to keep her around.

Vanessa Grimaldi is a 29-year-old special education teacher from Montreal, Quebec. Compared to Raven, Vanessa is more to-the-point and traditional. She has lunch with her family every Saturday and is not willing to compromise that.

All this aside, the show has set it up so that Vanessa is the obvious front runner. She has had more screen time, more one-on-ones and, above all, more voiceovers throughout the show.

Thus, the viewer has seen more of bachelor Nick Viall’s relationship with  Vanessa..

Raven has received far less screen time. On one group date she won the group-date rose, but we were never shown that and only heard about it during the rose ceremony.

This is an example of the editors being sneaky and trying to get the viewers to forget about Raven’s relationship with Viall.

The contestants that win the bachelor are the ones that were not early front runners, have continued to fly under the radar for viewers and have an equal kissing-to-talking ratio.

So I’m predicting that Raven Gates will win “The Bachelor” and get engaged to Viall.

In the finale, the first contestant to talk to the bachelor goes home, while the second is almost always proposed to.

Be sure to tune in to the season finale on ABC from 8-10 p.m. on Monday, March 13, to see to whom Nick Viall gives “the final rose.” Will it be Vanessa or Raven?

By Jackson Margolis

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