The Bachelorette – A social analysis from someone with way too much time on their hands

Normally, I can’t stand reality TV (ok, that’s a lie…I’m a slave to anything on TLC).

But I moved to a new city six months ago, and there is no better way to bond with new roommates than a trashy TV show, yoga pants, and a little bit of vino. And so it happened, for the purpose of a little roomie bonding I became invested in The Bachelor. And by invested, I mean outrageously obsessed. We’re talking following the ladies on Twitter (confession: I’ve learned Ashley I. and I get our lashes done at the same place), compulsively checking message boards, developing complete neuroses about accidentally being spoiled. (We’re talking obsessed enough to come out of 2.5 years of blogger purgatory to actually write something in this space…)

HT_BRITT_KAITLIN_150310_DG_16x9_992

It was obvious to me from, oh, maybe week 3 or 4 that Whitney was the winner. To me, the announcement of the Bachelorette was much more interesting. Sure I’d seen the reports online, but what about the big twist?

When Chris Harrison asked who should be the next Bachelorette, the crowd (along with myself) was decidedly pro-Kaitlyn. I’d been checking the internet…Britt was not particularly liked anywhere (I’m calling BS on this split-down the middle debate). So naturally, I was filled with rage (remember: obsessed) when the two girls were announced as co-Bachelorettes. Having been called all sorts of clichés like social media “ninja” “guru” and “maven,” I decided to put my powers to good and find out what the internet actually thought of Britt and Kaitlyn.

First: A look at the numbers.

@BachleorABC introduced two hashtags. #TeamBritt and #TeamKaitlyn. Let’s have a look, shall we?

  • #TeamKaitlyn: 15,418 mentions
  • #TeamBritt: 3,373 mentions

Maybe people were showing their support by tagging the ladies on Twitter instead? Wait…

  • @kaitlynbristowe: 7,072 mentions
  • @brittkarolina: 2,208 mentions

Same. Not 50/50.

Maybe follower count?

  • @kaitlynbristowe: 114,000
  • @brittkarolina: 52,000

Ok..getting closer to that even split, but still not right. (The aforementioned numbers represent the last 7 days as of 3/11 at 10:00PM ET)

I’m a rational person. Just because someone is frequently mentioned doesn’t mean they are the most likable (villains get the love on social too). What people are saying is probably a lot more important.

So I made word clouds. I searched each girl’s first name with the keyword “Bachelorette.” If both girls’ first names were included in a tweet, I excluded that tweet from the cloud. If someone’s Twitter handle, a misspelling of their name, etc. appeared in the tweet, I let it be. Here’s what I came up with.

Kaitlyn’s Cloud

Kaitlyn's Word Cloud

Sort of meh. What you’d expect.

But check out the Britt cloud.

Britt’s cloud

britt

Seems a heck of a lot of people are talking about Kaitlyn, even when talking about Britt. #TeamKaitlyn running wild!

Now, like I’ve said, I’ve never watched The Bachelor or Bachelorette before, but through following this season I’ve come to recognize some of those little blue check marks affiliated with the show. And you’re a little hard-pressed to find any of them saying anything kind about #TeamBritt.

EXACTLY MOLLY! EXACTLY.

It seems like few people (both famous and non) love this dual Bachelorette concept (although seeing very positive remarks around a Bachelorette duel…). I don’t think anyone really had a clue as to how this will work. Are the men actually picking between Britt and Kaitlyn? If that’s the case, let’s have a look at the gender breakdowns of their respective hashtags.

First, #TeamKaitlyn. Second, #TeamBritt.

Gender breakdown #TeamKaitlyn Gender breakdown #TeamBritt

The charts, of course, are open to your interpretation, but I find the gender breakdown pretty fascinating. Will her seeming appeal towards men ultimately give Britt the upper-hand if a Bachelorette is ultimately eliminated?

What does this all mean?

Well, probably not much. Only that it seems like the social internet is pro-Kaitlyn as Bachelorette. But likeable doesn’t necessarily equal ratings, and certainly the controversy will keep reality TV fans interested for at least a little while.

Or maybe…just maybe…Anna Kendrick is onto something.

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