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‘The Golden Bachelor’: Faith Tells All About Why They Were Wrong for Each Other — and Why She Feels Like a Winner

The former front-runner for Gerry Turner’s love lost out, but she has no regrets

spinner image Faith standing in front of a motorcycle on "The Golden Bachelor."
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Faith Martin, 60, was once a homeless Mormon teen who, at 19, married a guy nicknamed Big Papa and Sasquatch eight days after their first kiss. After 21 years, they divorced — he got the Harleys; she got the horse and trailer — and he died in a fall in 2022. A radio host, professional singer, former high school teacher and podcaster on The Dating Chronicles of a Fifty Something Female, she won fame as the initial front-runner on The Golden Bachelor, nabbing the First Impression rose, the first official declaration of affection by bachelor Gerry Turner, 72. She lost out in the end but tells AARP she came out a winner in many ways.

spinner image Faith holding a rose while sitting next to Gerry Turner on "The Golden Bachelor."
Craig Sjodin/ABC

What did you learn about yourself and about Gerry?

Oh my gosh, so many things. The minute I looked into Gerry’s eyes, I noticed that he was somebody different than who I had normally been attracted to.

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So, Gerry was a touchstone who helped you learn about yourself?

All kinds of things. Like, why would this be something I wanted to explore now and not in the past? Why didn’t I explore more of a relationship like this? My connection with Gerry was more on a soulful, spiritual level instead of just a pure sexual chemistry level.

Not that there wasn’t chemistry, but I just instantly had a very heart-to-heart soulful connection with him that I felt very calm and good about, and that felt very heartwarming to me. So I realized it was something I wanted and needed in my life, and maybe that had been absent in my relationships. That was the first big “Aha!”

What other emotions welled up in you?

Other things, like the triggers of insecurity that popped up for me being in a room with all these magnificent, accomplished, gorgeous women that seemed to be very fancy and different than me — who, you know, ride horses, hike, don’t wear makeup, run around barefoot, swim in the rivers and go camping. I went through a feeling of “What am I doing on the show?” This was for, like, fancy people, and I’m feeling very inadequate.

spinner image Eight of the women sitting on a patio set outside on "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/ABC

Did you get anything from being with them, besides glamorous intimidation?

That was an “Aha!” too. Sleeping in a room with four women and then in these group things, I was learning about women in general, and wondering why I had not nurtured enough female relationships in my life. And how wonderful it was to be with these women. Why did I let my life go by without forming relationships with groups of women?

spinner image ABC’s “The Golden Bachelor” stars Faith.
Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

So win or lose, he unlocked something in yourself that you hadn’t really even known about.

Absolutely. And not just that, but I feel like I left the show with all these little heart treasures. People say, “Well, do you regret it? Are you heartbroken?”

Are you?

I’m not gonna lie. Yeah, my heart hurts a little bit. But the gifts that he gave me in my heart that felt so special I will just hold right there and keep with me always, so I have no regrets.

Lots of guys date multiple women. He may be the only TV star who dates a lot at once — and tells them.

It did make me wonder, when you date a guy in the real world, is he really dating three or four other women and not telling you? It’s entirely possible. I love the fact that it was up front, that it was his job to explore relationships with all these women. And I love the fact that we all knew about it and could support each other in it, because it really wasn’t a competition, so to speak.

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But it was a competition!

It was a “Hey, let’s find out truly who has the best connection, in the way that Gerry and they need to sustain a long-term relationship.” That’s not really a competitive thing. We might have been competing for time, but really, the person that’s right for another person — that’s not something you can compete with. It’s something that needs to be explored enough to find out the true relationship love. You know?

spinner image Faith and Gerry Turner sitting on a sofa outside on "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/ABC

Did you learn about what Gerry needs?

I got a great sense of what he needed. He’s very traditional, had been in love with one woman and [remained] married [to] her for 43 years. He grew up with a little more city-type life, even though he considers it rural. It’s not rural like I’m rural. I don’t see him hiking up in the mountains or backpacking. He might have been looking forward to somebody that had very similar activities, passions, traditional home life — Gerry’s very wise and he’s very logical, too. So I think he needed somebody that’s going to be very steady in the ways that maybe I’m not. I did not grow up in what’s considered a normal situation.

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My life has been interesting and twisted, lots of turns and adventures and different things, and I’ve traveled a lot. And I love that about my life. My depth for and capacity for emotions run deep. And I often wondered, would Gerry have the emotional depth to be there for me when I was, you know, in a not-so-good place? Would we be able to relate and talk about things outside the box, which is what I’m so driven to do all the time?

I’m just not a very narrow-minded person that’s traditional. I’m very open to so many things. I think Gerry knew exactly what he was looking for. And hopefully he found it, but I don’t think that maybe I matched up in all those ways that he needed.

spinner image Faith playing a guitar during the talent show on "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/ABC

If they make you the Golden Bachelorette on a spin-off show, what kind of man are you going to be looking for?

I definitely go for the artistic, creative types. I’m a musician, so I gotta say, we’re a weird bunch. And we feel a little deeper than a lot of people. Creative people just tend to feel a little more high and a little more low, and if you’re not in a compatible relationship, I don’t know if you ever feel like somebody fully understands you. And I was searching for that with Gerry and wondering if he had that capacity.

spinner image the golden bachelor gerry turner holds a rose on the abc reality dating show
John Fleenor/ABC

Contestant Susan said that what Gerry needs is somebody who’s needy — not in a bad way, but somebody who’s very into him. Do you think that’s true?

I wouldn’t have said it that way. But I think that he appreciates feeling like, in that more traditional sense, that he has a woman to be at his side to maybe do three-meal-a-day cooking. I mean, I think he wants an equal partner, too, but I think he thinks it’s not a bad thing to feel needed or wanted.

I’m a very independent woman with a lot of hobbies and interests and passions. And that might have made him feel a little bit like he would be on the back burner, though I’ve never let any of the loves in my life feel like they’re on the back burner. But I don’t want to be somebody’s only hobby. I want them to have passions and interests and a life of their own, and I want to have amazing things to talk about at the table.

So I don’t want to be somebody’s everything, and I think that maybe he does want to be somebody’s everything.

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