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The Golden Bachelor repeatedly tried to kill its cast—and it’s only episode two!

The Golden Bachelor repeatedly tried to kill its cast—and it’s only episode two!
Gerry driving himself and Theresa to his first one-on-one date on The Golden Bachelor (Image from The Bachelor)

Going on “a date in a diner,” The Golden Bachelor Gerry told us, “is kind of like going home.”

The Golden Bachelor almost sent Gerry and Theresa home to meet the Lord or whoever they think is waiting for them in the afterlife, because the producers made Gerry drive to the date in a convertible, with the top down, at night, without working headlights, on Los Angeles freeways.

Look, I’ve driven on Los Angeles freeways, as a passenger in a Lyft and in my own rental cars, and it’s basically Squid Game. Watching a massive semi roll by and honk at Gerry made me cower and cover my hands so I wouldn’t see the truck smush them.

Once they arrived safely at the diner, Gerry and Theresa shared stories of the dead spouses, but didn’t get any food. They drove all that way and get nothing? They could have done this at the mansion!

At one point, a single glass of water appeared when Theresa said, “I feel lonely.” Maybe that’s dehydration?

Finally, there was a basket of fries and a single milkshake. Is ABC in this much trouble? Can’t we buy them a full meal? This isn’t Love is Blind.

Then the staff started dancing to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” and I felt like I was being punished.

“Tonight, I felt promise. I felt hope,” Gerry said. Notice he didn’t say I felt safe or I felt full.

A person points toward a set of shelves
Sandra examines The Golden Bachelor women’s living quarters, and isn’t thrilled with what she found (Image from The Bachelor)

Earlier, the women spent their first night in the Bachelor mansion. The production has done nothing to adapt the mansion to its participants, so the women have to share bunk beds.

These appear to be the exact same bunk beds that the show’s production designer told me and other TV critics are loathed by the cast: “They hate it.”

If 20-somethings can’t stand them? I’d hate to be the person who has to read the comment cards the women leave when they check out of the mansion.

Between replaced knees and midnight bathroom visits, it’s going to be treacherous in there. Would it kill ABC to bring in a few extra Casper mattresses and frames?

The group date was a romance novel cover photo shoot. “At any age, you can be sexy, you can be attractive,” Gerry said, “and you can do whatever you want.” Except eat on your date, apparently.

Producers made them gather in full sun, in August, in the Los Angeles area. Then a PA blew them with a leaf blower.

Having failed to cause any death, the producers tried to destroy the cast emotionally.

Nancy was an emotional wreck putting on a wedding dress for the photo shoot. “I’m remembering my wedding and how I felt that day” 36 years ago, she told us, adding, “it’s still the best day of my life. … I really miss him, still.”

Then they forced Nancy to talk with Gerry about this, and so they talked about their dead spouses, a recurring theme on The Golden Bachelor and The Golden Girls.

A lot of this is so sweet it verged on painful—some raw emotion and weight I’m not used to from this show.

That’s not just moments like Leslie and Gerry connecting over their hearing aids, but also when Gerry gave Ellen a framed picture of them. “I haven’t felt special in a very long time,” she said. “Any man that can make me feel so special at this stage in my life, is possibly the man that I want to love. And I hope he feels the same.” OH ELLEN! You deserve more than just a photo!

A man drives a convertible yellow classic Ford Bronco
Gerry drives himself to his birthday party, again in a convertible (Photo by John Fleenor/ABC)

On his birthday, they made Gerry drive himself to the mansion in another convertible, this time a classic yellow Bronco. Can’t we get a limo for the guy? Did we spend the entire budget on uppers to keep everyone awake at night for the rose ceremonies?

Anyway, Gerry had to pretend to wonder where everyone was, and then they jumped out and said, “Surprise!” Is it really a good idea to scare old people like that? Even if they know it’s coming?

At his party, women who’d never grilled before grilled raw meat for everyone. At least they get to eat, but they still had to work for their food.

Right as things calmed down, April threatened murder: “I’m going to kill him if I don’t get a rose,” she told us.

Thankfully, there were no killings, just heartbreak. Jeanie, who was eliminated, told us, “A lot of us, we really were kinda giving up on love. With Gerry—there’s nice guys out there, and there’s hope, and that’s all we could ever ask for.”

During The Golden Bachelor’s credits, one of the other women eliminated, Natascha, stopped at the camera on her way out, looked into it, and revealed yet another way the producers were trying to kill them—though she did so by offering advice.

“Guys, do the rose ceremony in chairs,” Natascha said. “You have people in here 60, 70 and above. Do the rose ceremony in the chairs. They have chair yoga, they have chair exercise, they have chair aerobics—chair rose ceremony.”

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

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Happy discussing!


Saturday 7th of October 2023

Hilarious summary, Andy! I haven't tuned in yet. My instincts were correct!


Friday 6th of October 2023

Great recap! As I don't usually watch The Bachelor, I don't know what's normal for this show, but having Gerry drive them anywhere seemed dumb to me, especially in a piece of crap car. And the choreographed dancing and singing was way too over the top for me. I could really go the rest of my life without hearing "Don't Stop Believing" again and be perfectly happy.

I'm still on the fence whether I'm going to keep watching this. The one on one time between Gerry and the ladies is interesting and endearing, but the rest of it is shit.