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Golden Batchelor Anxieties


BY PAT BURNS

The Golden Bachelor, which debuted on ABC on Sept. 28, expanded its
Bachelor Nation viewers to a more mature audience. Being one of those mature viewers, I invited a few of my single lady friends to join me for a premiere party of The Golden Bachelor.

Two 1966 high school classmates, a retired teacher, and two former beauty queens joined me.  All of us have lost our husbands and have been single for long enough to appreciate matches made in heaven. We all agreed that the chance to watch a collection of attractive and eligible women our age pucker together under one mansion roof and compete for the love of a 72-year-old widower was just too much to resist.

Yes, my friends and I are a fragment of the millions of viewers curious to see how the Bachelor franchise would handle some of the anxieties of a cast 40 to 50 years older than their usual Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants.

Golden Batchelor
The ladies assemble for ‘The Golden Bachelor: The Women Tell All.’  Photo: ABC

With 60 to 70-year-old female contestants, I was anxious about the ladies’ challenges, including getting out of the back of the limousine. When meeting the bachelor for the first time wearing gorgeous evening gowns, will the ladies wear high heels or sensible shoes? What about sleeping arrangements? Sleeping on the top of bunkbeds would be difficult for those needing to pee during the night. I know I couldn’t do it! Would there be pool parties? Who wants to be seen on national TV in a bathing suit when you’re in your 70s?!

And don’t get me started about Gerry, the bachelor. To begin with, why did the show producers want him to have a scruffy beard look? Save it for the younger guys. My girlfriends agreed that it isn’t so attractive on an older dude.

The Golden Batchelor
Gerry Turner and Susan Noles in “The Golden Bachelor.” Noles didn’t move to the final round, but she made a strong connection with the other women on the show. (John Fleenor/The Walt Disney Company)

I could go on about 72-year-old Gerry Turner, but I was more intrigued by the women.

These ladies were all very attractive, had interesting lives, and were generally kind and considerate. Almost all the contestants had children and grandchildren and thought deeply about what it would be like introducing Gerry during their hometown visits. Also, like the bachelor Gerry, most had lost their spouses and given up hope of finding love again at this stage.

These older contestants differed dramatically from previous bachelor shows involving younger women. These “golden” women had all lived through the ups and downs of a mature lifetime and understood that each person had been through a lot. They were kind to each other. They cheered each other on when going on a date with Gerry. Some even helped do each other’s hair and makeup. They took time to listen and then offered compassion and support when needed. These lovely and gracious attributes made this “golden” version enjoyable to watch.

“Clinking our champagne glasses, we’ll toast the unlocking of our hearts and the possibility of finding a lasting love.”

Come the final “Golden Bachelor” episode on Thursday, November 30th, I’ll be hosting a closing party with the same group of girlfriends. Together, we’ll discuss Gerry’s journey of finding love and his final choice of the woman he plans to spend the rest of his life with. Clinking our champagne glasses, we’ll toast the unlocking of our hearts and the possibility of finding a lasting love.

Featured image:  The women of ‘The Golden Bachelor’. ABC/RICKY MIDDLESWORTH

Read more from Pat Burns here

Pat Burns

About the author

Pat Burns is the co-founder of the Orange County Children's Book Festival, a celebrity journalist, film reviewer and a consultant for nonprofits

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