The Bachelor franchise just dropped a new show — and we’re here for it!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the premise of the original reality dating show, the narrative revolves around a single man who has to select a fiancé from a pool of participants. His options are constantly narrowed down during the season, until he’s finally left with the one he wishes to marry. Viewers live for the drama, romance, and competition that the show offers — but this time, the franchise has shaken things up!
While every season of the popular franchise has featured younger participants, the series is now featuring 72-year-old Gerry Turner and his quest for love. In an interview with Good Morning America, Turner stated that he was previously married to his high school sweetheart before she unexpectedly passed in 2017, and that it was daughters that inspired him to join the show (though it didn’t take much convincing on their part!). He mentioned to PEOPLE Magazine that “[joining the show] was a back-and-forth in my head before I decided to actually fill out the questionnaire online, but I’m certainly glad I did.”
He also told PEOPLE that after his wife’s death, he sold the lake house that they planned to reside in after retirement, and sought therapy soon after, which proved to be a transformative experience. Joining The Golden Bachelor was a huge step forward, and it’s evident that he’s excited to find someone he can spend the rest of his life with.
“I think she would approve of this,” Turner said on GMA regarding his late wife when asked to reflect on this new experience. “It’s positive, it’s energetic, it’s a way of communicating and finding the connection with a number of people, but specifically with one special person.”
Joining him on the screen are twenty-two women ranging in ages 60 to 75. All of these lovely women have incredibly diverse backgrounds and a vast range of interests (with pickleball being the common interest among them), and they’re all equally as interested in finding someone they can spend the rest of their years with.
Interestingly enough, one of the contestants has a familiar face. 70-year-old Patty is the mother of season twenty-five’s bachelor Matt James, who was The Bachelor‘s very first Black lead. Patty expressed in an interview with Inside Edition that she’s “looking for someone that cares about family” just as she does.
Competing against Patty for Turner’s affection include: Anna, a retired nutritionist; Leslie, a fitness instructor; Natascha, a pro-aging coach and midlife speaker; and Renee, a former Chicago Honey Bears cheerleader, just to name a few! The cast is full of energetic and charismatic people, making The Golden Bachelor a season to remember!
In another interview with PEOPLE, Turner also revealed what he’s looking for in a partner that he hopes to find on the show.
“I’d love it if I found someone who is high energy. Someone who maybe plays pickleball; someone who maybe plays golf,” he said, reflecting on his ideal partner. “I think sense of humor ranks very high, and if that sense of humor extends to where they can laugh at themselves, that’s even better. And I think I need to see strong family values, something that’s similar to my own.”
When it comes to “red flags,” however, Turner admits that he’s trying to keep an open mind. “Something may look like a red flag on its surface, but when you explore it a little bit further, you might find that it’s not a problem at all.” Turner’s willingness to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to “red flags” is greatly appreciated, but he still has his own relationship deal-breakers. For instance, smokers are out of the question, and if there’s a great geographical distance between him and another woman, then it wouldn’t work in practicality.
“I hope at the end of [the show], I find the person that I’ll spend the rest of my life with that will complete our family,” Turner added at the end of PEOPLE’s exclusive interview. “The person who can lay down beside you at night, not have to say anything to and you feel it.”
Turner’s quest for love has had fans of the franchise raving about this new, unique experience, and with the first episode already out on ABC Network, you can watch all of the sweet moments (and drama) unfold!