The Bachelor Fans Think They Already Know Who The Next Bachelorette Is, And I’m Here For It

Christina Mandrell on The Bachelor.
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the January 30 episode of Zach Shallcross’ season of The Bachelor, so consider yourself warned!

With any new season of The Bachelor, fans always try to get an early start on guessing which contestant might be a good lead for the following season of The Bachelorette. Most of the time, it takes until later in the run — Hometowns or Fantasy Suites maybe — to get a really good idea of who it seems like the show is trying to promote as a good candidate for a second shot at love. However, after Zach Shallcross’ first one-on-one date, many Bachelor Nation fans on Twitter think they already know who might be leading The Bachelorette Season 20, and honestly, I hope they’re right.

Christina Mandrell was the recipient of Zach Shallcross’ very first one-on-one date, which included a helicopter ride and a big party, where the content creator spent the day meeting his family (no pressure). They ended the date with an intimate dinner, where she told him she has a 5-year-old daughter. When the Bachelor expressed apprehension about being ready for that kind of responsibility, many on Twitter predicted Mandrell was being set up to lead her own season: 

The blonde Southerner with a little girl at home reminded longtime Bachelor Nation fans of a previous Bachelorette, Emily Maynard, and this fan tweeted that even though Zach Shallcross seemed nervous about the prospect of being a stepfather, his decision to keep Christina Mandrell around improved her chances of making it far enough to be the next lead: 

Christina Mandrell has been a standout in these first two weeks, rolling up to Bachelor Mansion in a party bus and showing genuine flashes of humor in her conversations with the other women in the house. Those are great qualities when you’re on the lookout for someone to frame a season around.

The Nashville, Tennessee resident also has celebrity connections, as her aunt is country music singer Barbara Mandrell. That’s not a fact they’re trying to hide, either. While The Bachelor refers to all of the other cast members by first name only, Christina Mandrell is always identified by her full name, so maybe she’s leaning into some “nepo baby” energy? 

She even seemed to introduce a viable theme for her season, one Twitter user pointed out, when she expressed to Zach Shallcross how serious she was about finding love: 

Fans also seemed impressed that Christina Mandrell didn’t “kiss and tell,” so to speak, after meeting Zach Shallcross’ family on their first date. The Bachelor didn’t realize that and spilled the beans himself (much to the horror of several of the women). The whole episode had fans declaring the search for the next Bachelorette over, with one tweeting

There’s one pretty big obstacle, however, that could put an end to our hopes for Christina Mandrell: The Bachelorette Season 20. The end of the January 30 episode featured a small rivalry brewing between Mandrell and America’s Rose recipient Brianna Thorbourne, and the promo for next week’s episode appeared to show that friction spreading to other women in the house. One fan tweeted our collective reaction to that revelation, saying:

Say it ain’t so! Tune in at 8 p.m. ET Monday, February 6, on ABC to see if Christina Mandrell can avoid elimination and power through a possible villain edit. The Bachelor is also available to stream the next day with a Hulu subscription, and see what other premieres are coming soon with our 2023 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.