I've been reading a bit of this board and I have to say that you guys have uncovered so much -- I am so impressed! Still, I have no idea which thread to post this in response to, so I hope this thread is the right one!
I have to admit, a little embarrassedly, that I have watched every single season of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette since it first premiered and it has become an interesting game of trying to figure out, despite the heavy editing, whom the Bachelor/Bachelorette truly connects with and who he/she doesn't fall for. I do not consider myself any sort of expert, but I think there are general themes and indicators that you see season after season. It was pretty clear from the way she greeted the 5 men on their HTDs whom she was closer to: (I hope I get this right) I recall she kissed Reid, Kiptyn and Wes when she first saw them in their hometowns, but just hugged Michael & Jesse. I don't think Jillian is acting much, so I feel like we can sort of get a good sense of what she is feeling for these guys. Anyone else notice that she's let go of the younger guys and kept around mainly the 30/31 y.o. men?
ASIDE: I also think Jillian ended up with a lot of good-hearted, good-looking and sincere men in her batch. I would love to set my sister up with so many of the final 6 -- they are really cool guys!
So, my inexpert take on the remaining 4 men:
The best Bachelor analogy I can think of for Wes is Graham from Deanna's season with a little bit of Ian from Meredith's season. You've got a guy that the Bachelorette is drawn to from the start. However, like in the case of Graham/Deanna, the guy who would have been a no-brainer contender is not going to make it all the way because there is *something* that keeps things from getting there. I think that the fact that many of the other men did not like Wes is an indicator that he is not totally being above-board with Jillian.
ASIDE: I think he is let go in one of the next two episodes but comes back to propose to Jillian in the finale; I think that will happen as the big dramatic twist in during the FRC and that Jillian has to think it over. I believe he is whom she refers to as the one "hard to let go", but she will ultimately let him go again because that seed of distrust has been planted and their relationship will never be healthy.
I think she is very much attracted to him (heck, I picked him out to be in the top 6, if not top 3, from just his pre-show photos he's that cute) but I don't recall seeing much emotional connection or in-depth conversations being shown between them. I think they definitely have a spark, but we're not seeing much of another type of connection on-screen, so I don't think he'll be F1. Also, after the HTD, I get the feeling that Jillian's family would not be not quite a perfect match with his family in terms of how they are (so chic and polished -- his sister is a good example -- she was just so together and almost aloof) versus how her family is (a little more low-key and home-grown, if you will, very salt-of-the-earth and very demonstrative emotionally). So there is something in what we're being shown that makes me think they are not meant to be.
I would not have picked him out as a front-runner from their first meeting, but watching their body language in the last few episodes, there is a totaly camraderie and familiarity that cannot be disguised. I don't get a sense of deep passion (the way I see Jillian drawn to Wes), but there is a low-burn flirtatiousness that is there between them, so there has got to be chemistry. Also, I love how he had cups of coffee for them when he was meeting her in Philly -- it is very much an "us" sort of thinking. I think he'd got a shot to be final one.
I got the feeling she definitely liked him, but the whole leaving and coming back to the show threw me for a loop -- I felt like he has not had enough airtime for me to properly assess, so I will have to watch carefully on their next date. From what I recall of their first few dates, he is definitely on her radar and she could fall for him. But he might be too late b/c Jillian is further along with Reid, at this point.
I'm going to have to re-watch the first episode to see what Jillian's initial meetings with Reid and Ed were like...
Can't wait to read more about your sleuthing finds!