Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette has begun, and fans are already trying to pick out her final rose recipient. At this early point in the season with still so many contestants, it can be difficult to really get a sense of how the lead feels or where the true connections lie. But fans know there is at least one major hint that can provide some insight into the Bachelorette’s feelings: the first impression rose. Nayte Olukoya received Michelle’s first impression rose, and so now fans think Nayte wins The Bachelorette. So, does he?
Any longtime member of Bachelor Nation will tell you that the first impression rose is a great indicator of who will win The Bachelorette. Former Bachelorettes JoJo Fletcher, Rachel Lindsay, and Clare Crawley all ended up with the guys who got their first impression roses. If history repeats itself, then Nayte better get ready to sit down with Neil Lane, because he may have to pick out an engagement ring for Michelle very soon.
Nayte was actually the very first man to meet Michelle during the Oct. 19 premiere episode. Sparks flew between them the moment he made his limo entrance. After they met, Nayte told the cameras, “Michelle is amazing. People say they have butterflies. I had, like, pigeons in my stomach." It was clear Michelle felt the same way, since she wanted to make sure he definitely sticks around for another week.
Nayte actually didn’t fully appreciate just how special that first impression rose was when he first received it. He went on the podcast Bachelor Happy Hour on Oct. 20 to talk about how confused he was at first. “Obviously, you can assume that it’s just who Michelle had a really good first impression of, right? But, like, the world of Bachelor Nation? I didn’t have a clue,” Nayte said. But later that night, Nayte said his Bachelorette roommate, Rodney Matthews (perhaps better known as the guy who showed up in an apple costume), explained to him just how much weight that first impression rose carried.
Perhaps even more of an indication that Natye goes far on the show? Not only did get he the first rose, but he also received the first kiss from Michelle of the season. “I’m not a smooth individual,” Nayte said on the podcast. “She kissed me. I was not expecting that, but boy, am I ever happy.”
Now, many fans are rooting for Michelle and Nayte to make it all the way. If they follow in the footsteps of previous Bachelorettes, then there’s a good chance they could.
Season 18 of The Bachelorette airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.