All of Bachelor Nation, me included, has had Sept. 28 circled on their calendar for months. Not only would we get the premiere of a new season of “Bachelor in Paradise” for us to devour, but we’d also get the season premiere of the long-awaited “The Golden Bachelor.”
Gerry Turner, a 72-year-old widower, has the distinction of being the first “Golden Bachelor,” the newest spinoff of the long-running “Bachelor” franchise. As the name hints at, this is an older, wiser reality show, and that includes Gerry and the women picked to go on a so-called journey to find love.
As I watched Gerry introduced on Thursday night’s premiere, when we learned about his marriage with his high school sweetheart, I wondered: Did the producers at ABC say, “Hmmm, let’s take ‘The Bachelor’ and make it more mature, but also heartbreaking?” Turner’s wife of 40-plus years died after a sudden, but brief illness, and the story brought him and viewers to tears. (This wouldn’t be the only time I felt tears come to my eyes.)
At least this season, I’m hoping everyone is there for the “right reasons,” because, of course, the number one goal is that Gerry finds love again.
I’m just hoping it’s with Patty James of Durham. She’s the mother of Matt James, who was the lead “Bachelor” in 2021 and found a relationship at the end of his season. I don’t think any of the other contestants had the pleasure (and misfortune, I suppose) of watching their son go through the very same process. She may be Matt James’ mom but I hope she handles the journey a bit better than he did.
Was there instant chemistry out of the limo? What was Patty and Gerry’s initial conversation? And who got the coveted first impression rose?
Here’s how everything went down. Warning: spoilers ahead.
PATTY AND GERRY FOREVER?
Well, I won’t go THAT far. Patty showed up out of the limo with her gorgeous short hair in a black dress and took Gerry by the hands. And by the heart, of course. (Or so I thought.)
It did not take her long to mention her son and his journey. And, just as I figured she would, Patty told Gerry how she understands the process of being the lead Bachelor better than most.
These women did not come to play. More than anything, I was blown away by the amount of perfect hairstyles. Even Gerry said, “Watching the women arrive is the best experience” he’s ever going to have.
So if Patty does hope to walk away with Gerry, she’s up against some tough competition.
First out of the limo was Edith, who maybe had the best hair I’ve ever seen and sparkled in a gold dress.
Leslie tried to trick us into believing she had gray curls and used a walker, only to reveal a corset LBD with FEATHERS. She also revealed that she dated Prince. Hmm.
And Ellen, well, she commanded Gerry’s attention by being passionate and talking about her best friend Roberta, who is battling cancer. She’s here for Roberta, and Gerry is here for what she has to say.
Lastly, Faith pulled out a guitar and sang to Gerry. When asked what he wanted his next few decades to look like, he looked to Faith and said, “More of this.”
Before you ask if I cried, yes I did.
FIRST IMPRESSION (ROSES) ARE EVERYTHING
The biggest question during every premiere of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” is: Who gets the first impression rose?
Host Jesse Palmer walked in on the women chatting, dropped a bomb in rose form and walked out.
As Joan mentioned, the air in the room changes immediately when the first impression rose appears.
Gerry ended up giving that very special rose to Faith. Not because she sang but because she made him feel “special.”
What happened with Patty James on ‘The Golden Bachelor’?
Well, we barely got to hear Patty talk with Gerry beyond 30 seconds in the limo introduction sequence. This is what happens when the premiere is only one hour, not the typical two hours. We caught a glimpse of her talking to Gerry during the cocktail hour, but it wasn’t impressionable enough for us to even hear the conversation.
When the rose ceremony came, alas, Gerry sent Patty back to North Carolina.
HOW TO WATCH ‘THE GOLDEN BACHELOR’
“The Golden Bachelor” airs at 8 p.m. Thursday on ABC. You can also stream on Hulu. Next week’s episode will begin the one-on-one dates and group dates. Plus we have a season full of older women and Gerry crying and screaming at each other. Which seems even more appealing than when the 20-somethings do it.