The Golden Bachelor: Gerry Turner Surprises Retirement Home Residents for Premiere Screening

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Following the premiere screening of 'The Golden Bachelor,' Gerry Turner joined a group of residents at a California retirement home.

For the residents of The Village at Sherman Oaks, a boutique senior living community 15 miles north of Los Angeles, they thought Thursday night would be a fun, group viewing of “The Golden Bachelor” in the screening room.

Around 25 residents lined up to get a front row seat in the theater, which was decorated with gold streamers and balloons and filled with snacks, from sparkling cider and popcorn to Werther’s and Ferrero Rocher chocolates. In fact, “The Golden Bachelor” was screened at 200 retirement homes across the country on Thursday night, all of which were set up with similar decor and treats.

The excitement was palpable. Meryl, a 91-year-old resident, has watched many seasons of “The Bachelor” and feels it is “time” for the spinoff. “He’s very good looking,” she said of Gerry Turner. “I’m exactly 20 years older than he is. If I were 20 years younger, I would have gone on the show.”

When assured she could have gone on — age is just a number! — she quickly shared that she was married for 75(!) years and lost her husband two years ago, so she isn’t quite ready.

She also wasn’t ready for what happened next: Gerry Turner walked in the door.
The Golden Bachelor: Gerry Turner Surprises Retirement Home Residents for Premiere Screening

“I heard you guys wanted to know a little bit about ‘The Golden Bachelor,’” the 72-year-old lead told the group as they loudly applauded. When they eventually settled down, he answered a few questions from the audience — which included 82-year-old Judy S., a resident who was hopeful that he’d date her daughter. When he laughed and asked if any one else wanted to set him up with their daughters, Meryl chimed in and asked if, instead, he could instead be set up with one of them.

The group did their best to get some spoilers — Meryl even asked whether he was in love and pointed out that he looked “very happy” — he played coy and told them they’d have to keep watching.

After chatting with the residents, Turner shared with Variety how this journey has been thus far and reflected on the toughest part of the first night — during which he kissed two women, Theresa and Faith.

“Hypothetically, if I found someone at the end of my journey and that wasn’t the person that I put a liplock on, hypothetically, what would that person think of that episode? That was my biggest concern,” Turner said.

Ahead of filming, his daughters told him not to kiss anyone on the first night. He warned them that he’d “failed” at that, but they still were uncomfortable watching the episode with him.

“I was shocked. They had an ick moment,” he said. “I had primed them for this… My youngest daughter was the worst. She was rolling her eyes back!”

During the first episode, Turner got emotional when sending home the first batch of women. Something that, he says, only gets tougher as the weeks go on.

“The rose ceremonies, each and every time, got more difficult. By the end, I was having to walk out in front of the mansion doubled over. You could just feel the weight on your chest because you’ve developed such a connection, you really love them,” he said. “You know somebody’s heart is gonna get broken and I know the sacrifice that they made. So it was really tough.”

While he couldn’t give away too much, he promises that many of the “iconic moments that are attached to ‘The Bachelor’ still occur on ‘The Golden Bachelor’”. And yes, that means there are still fantasy suites.

The Golden Bachelor: Gerry Turner Surprises Retirement Home Residents for Premiere Screening

‘Golden Bachelor’ Gerry Turner Says Fantasy Suites Are Different at 72

Just hours before making his “Golden Bachelor” debut, Gerry Turner caught up with “Extra’s” Billy Bush for a game of pickleball and a courtside chat.

Gerry opened up about his emotional journey to find love again after losing his wife of 43 years.

He reflected, “The first time I told the story to ABC was at my own house and I choked up and couldn’t finish, I had to leave the room. I was really sobbing hard, because saying those things out loud, it’s different than carrying it around silently. When you actually hear the story, you release what you’ve been feeling. It’s awful, it is and in a very, I think, cathartic way, it’s gotten better because I’ve been forced to talk about it a little bit.”

Gerry felt the spiritual support from his late wife while filming the show.

He shared, “Absolutely. We had conversations before she passed, long before she passed. We wanted the other person to be happy after one of us leaves. It did take me a long time to come to grips with that, a couple years of grieving. But after that, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I know she’d want me to do this.’”

Turner was happy to meet all the women on the first night of “The Golden Bachelor.” He dished, “I was looking forward to that night for months… it’s like Christmas… twenty two times all in a row.”

When Billy noted that most of the women seem to be there for the right reasons, Gerry pointed out, “They’re not there to be influencers, they’re not there to write a book, they’re there really for the genuine hope of finding love and that’s why, I mean, I fell in love with that group so hard right from the get-go because they were genuine… and they were elegant and poised, and educated. They were just a wonderful group.”

He went on, “Some of the comments [I]’d see online were hilarious… ‘Are they gonna set this guy up with 30-something women?’ It’s like, ‘Do I need anything but age-appropriate women when they’re that beautiful and composed?’ They were the perfect representation of our generation.”

While they were vying for his heart, Gerry noted that the women were “supportive of each other,” adding, “They were helping each with jewelry and makeup and everything. They were like sorority girls.”

The big question… how are the fantasy suites on “The Golden Bachelor”?

Turner answered, “I’ll just speak for myself, the priority is more of an emotional connection, more of an intellectual connection… It’s the first time in that whole process that you get to speak to someone without a microphone and without a camera. I couldn’t wait to get behind closed doors to really learn about the person, ask the hard questions… Questions about their marital history, the details of what they have done on the past, maybe a little about their financial situation…Do you have any black sheep in your family?… In your thirties, I think it’s lust, and in your seventies, I think it’s love.”

As for finding love on the show, Gerry commented, “Anyone that is in the lead in that franchise, if they give themselves up to the process… they will not be disappointed.”

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Source: Variety

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