The Golden Bachelor‘s highly-anticipated Season 1 finale is right around the corner, which means on November 30, there’s a chance that ABC could make Bachelor Nation dreams come true by announcing another exciting franchise spin-off: The Golden Bachelorette.
As Decider noted when making our extremely compelling case for The Golden Bachelorette earlier this year, Gerry Turner’s search for love has warmed hearts, helped restore faith in late-in-life love stories, and set record ratings with more than 11 million Week 1 viewers. The decision to shift focus to older contestants has helped revive the franchise that longtime fans described to Decider as “stale and tired” just last year. So why wouldn’t we keep the franchise’s golden era going with another series that gives one lucky senior woman the spotlight and a group of 20+ senior men to date?
When asked about a possible Golden Bachelor spinoff, Gerry told Bustle, “I have no say in that but I would love to see it happen. I think several of the women on my season would be excellent on The Golden Bachelorette.” And he’s right! From contestants we didn’t see enough of (like Bachelor mom Patty James and early fan-favorite Edith) and sweet seniors who left too soon (Marina and Nancy) to The Golden Bachelor‘s sassiest contestant Kathy or Jimmy Kimmel’s Aunt Chippy, there’s no shortage of potential Golden Bachelorette leads among Gerry’s gals.
In hopes that our Golden Bachelorette dreams become a reality, here are eight top contenders who we’d love to see follow in Gerry’s shoes.
I think it’s safe to say that April Kirkwood wouldn’t be Bachelor Nation’s top choice for The Golden Bachelorette, but there’s no doubt she’d lead one of the most entertaining seasons. Since the 65-year-old therapist from Port St. Lucie, Florida stepped out of the limo with a basket of eggs to do a chicken dance, it was clear she had spunk. Over the first four episodes we watched her get her flirt on, comfort upset women in the house, crack jokes, and even sage the mansion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: In all my years watching the franchise’s shows, I’ve never seen anyone give a gift more delightful than April’s “Every Month Is April” calendar, nor have I witnessed a greater stunt than her staged pickleball injury. The spicy, sexy, witty queen of Never Have I Ever may not have been Gerry’s gal, but she still deserves to find love. And we’d love to go along for the ride.
Susan Noles, a 66-year-old wedding officiant from Aston, Pennsylvania, was another star of Gerry’s season who was outgoing, caring, glamorous, maternal, and delightfully comical. Remember when she popped out of a cake for Gerry’s surprise birthday party? How about when she broke a wooden board during the talent show? Or comforting pals Joan and Ellen when they were down? She’s got range! Plus, you just know Susan would welcome lookalike fan Kris Jenner to the mansion if she was The Golden Bachelorette. And she’d fry meatballs and cook chicken piccata for her fellas, potentially giving the entire mansion gas!
Natascha may have been eliminated in Episode 2, but the warm, hilarious 60-year-old aging coach from New York City remains one of The Golden Bachelor‘s most memorable contestants for good reason. After leaving the mansion, Natascha stopped to tell producers, “Do the rose ceremony in chairs. You have people 60, 70, and above. They have chair exercise [and] chair aerobics. Chair rose ceremony.” Decider previously called out The Golden Bachelor for doing its senior contestants dirty, noting a glaring lack of accessibility with late-night driving dates, bunk bed sleeping accommodations, and the standing rose ceremonies. And even after Natascha’s comments, producers failed to bring chairs to the rose ceremonies for the remainder of the season, so Natascha wore “charrings” (chair earrings) to the Women Tell All special like the queen she is. Give Natashca her own Golden Bachelorette season — or at the very least, honor her wishes for sitting rose ceremonies!
Joan Vassos, a 60-year-old private school administrator from Rockland, Maryland, had her Golden Bachelor journey cut short due to a family emergency, but Bachelor Nation couldn’t help but wonder how far she would have made it with Gerry under different circumstances. During the recent Women Tell All special, Joan watched a supercut of her time on the show back and told host Jesse Palmer, “I look at the journey that I left and it was so abrupt, and I feel like I had unfinished business.” Though Joan confirmed everything at home is great now, she explained she left the show because her daughter had a serious case of postpartum depression. “She needed me. She needed her mom. And I didn’t think twice. I knew I had to be there. I heard it in her voice,” she explained. “I could not get on that plane fast enough, but as I went upstairs to pack the gravity of the whole thing kind of hit me — that I was leaving for good.” Ultimately, Joan thinks she and Gerry could have been endgame, but she expressed her gratitude for helping her feel visible. “Society makes us feel like we’ve had our chance and we’ve raised our children and it’s time now to support the next generation and kind of take a backseat and Gerry opened my heart…” she said. With a new outlook on late-in-life love, its
If you miss your daughter’s wedding for a group date on The Golden Bachelor you should automatically get to be The Golden Bachelorette in my opinion. That’s one of many reasons why Sandra Mason, a 75-year-old retired executive assistant from Doraville, Georgia, is a top contender in my heart. As noted in our Goodbye Sandra article, the contestant had us at first “****.” She spent the season speaking her mind, but never showing malice. She showed her comedic chops in a stand-up comedy set, she showed her sneaky athletic ability during the pickleball group date, she showed her perseverance by powering through an ice cream eating game of Never Have I Ever despite being lactose intolerant, and she did it all with two artificial knees! From beginning to end, Sandra was a spritely, witty gem who made The Golden Bachelor‘s season brighter, and her conversations with Gerry proved she’s ready to expand her family. So why not give her another golden opportunity?
The Bachelor franchise frequently looks to the second or third runner-ups when casting a new lead, but if The Golden Bachelorette were open to breaking tradition, I think Ellen is our Golden Girl. As noted in our Golden Bachelorette plea, though Ellen didn’t receive the first impression rose, her limo exit resonated with so many, because she dedicated her entrance to Roberta Zaktzer, her longtime bestie of 60 years who had cancer and sadly passed away before the premiere. Ellen was the first to tell Gerry she was falling in love with him, and though she wasn’t afraid to get deep, she also served as the group’s cheery, hilarious pickleball pro. During the Women Tell All special, Ellen expressed genuine gratitude for the show and Gerry, saying, “This has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have a lot more optimism about love and the possibility of finding love at this stage in my life…I can enjoy my life and live it to the utmost and find happiness. I’ll tell you the truth, I can’t wait to get started.” And what better place to get started than back at the Bachelor Mansion?
I’ve already written 1,000 words on why The Golden Bachelor‘s Faith Martin deserved better, so of course I’d love to see the 60-year-old high school teacher from Benton City, Washington return to the mansion for a second shot at love. After her devastating elimination post-Hometown Dates, Faith reunited with Gerry for the first time since saying goodbye on the Women Tell All special and reflected on their journey together. “It’s gut-wrenching. It’s hard, because for the past 20 years I didn’t really open myself up to love, so going into this I thought, ‘OK. If I feel anything at all I’m going to go all in.’ And it shattered me,” she said. Despite the heartbreak, Faith had only kind words for Gerry. It’s clear she loves hard and believes in this process, so she deserves another shot at a golden love story.
Leslie Fhima or Theresa Nist
As is often the case within the Bachelor franchise, a show’s runner-up is the most obvious choice to lead a new season, because no contestant is crushed harder than the one who makes it to the literal proposal platform only to be turned away. In Gerry’s case, if all goes according to plan, The Golden Bachelor runner-up will be either Leslie Fhima or Theresa Nist, two contestants who captured Gerry’s heart from the start. We’ll have to wait and see how the finale pans out before we give one of these final two women the endorsement she deserves, but as far as we’re concerned, ABC has enough top-notch women from Gerry’s season for several seasons of The Golden Bachelorette. So what are we waiting for!?