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Three ‘Golden Bachelor’ Cast-Offs Dish About Gerry: ‘Now Comes the Hard Part’

Sandra, Susan and Ellen tell all about their hearts (and what Gerry really wants)

spinner image "The Golden Bachelor" contestants Sandra, Susan and Ellen
(Left to right) Sandra, 75, a retired executive assistant from Doraville, Georgia; Susan, 66, a wedding officiant from Aston, Pennsylvania; Ellen, 71, a retired teacher from Delray Beach, Florida.
Ricky Middlesworth/ABC (3)

The Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner, 72, is one of the only TV stars in Hollywood who dates multiple women and is upfront about it. Three women he liked but rejected tell AARP how they deeply feel about him, the show and their future in romance — and, they hope, a spin-off show!

Susan, 66, sounds off on grownup romance and gas without shame

spinner image Susan and Gerry Turner talking to each other in an episode of  "The Golden Bachelor"
John Fleenor/Disney

Susan, you’re a wedding officiant and hair and makeup expert. How would you feel about officiating Gerry’s wedding, and doing hair and makeup for the bride?

I would love it! I already offered. And if you decide you’re getting married, I’m your girl. When I helped [fellow Golden Bachelor contestant] Theresa for her first date, she was trying to tell me how to curl, and I said, “Can you just trust me? I’ve been doing this for 38 years!”

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Like the Oscars, The Golden Bachelor is a drama about anguish and triumph. But how do you have fun and romantic anguish at the same time?

So that’s who I am as a person. I was my true authentic self. I like to make people smile. I am a girls’ girl. I never meet a stranger. So when it’s gettin’ gloomy or somethin’s going on, you just lighten up the mood, you know? Cook a good meal and everybody forgets.

And for the record, it was not your own cooking that gave you the gas problem the girls complained about.

It was not the meatballs!

Do you agree with Benjamin Franklin, who actually said, “Fart proudly?”

Fart proudly! Yeah, absolutely! We all do it. But the problem for me was I hadn’t gone in a lot of days and then that delicious guacamole was so good I made a little pig of myself.

I hear you want to do a spin-off show.

We are the ASKN Crew — that’s April, Susan, Kathy [another contestant who went home roseless] and Nancy — and we need the modern day Golden Girls. I’m telling you it will be a hit. We have four separate personalities and we’re all fun.

What is Gerry like, and what is his type? What does this guy want?

He’s a big-hearted Midwestern gentleman. He is always paying attention and present. Those beautiful blue eyes, I get it, everybody gets lost in them — but he’s really a kind soul. He shows emotion.

I feel as if Gerry, what he did best with was not such a strong personality. Some of us, including me, I have a big personality. And I think he likes somebody that just falls in love with him and looks at him and follows him around. You know what I mean? Not someone that takes the bull by the horns, like me. Not that we weren’t friends — we were in the friend zone, we love each other and I’ll be his friend forever. Because we have a bond.

You know, sometimes there’s more chemistry, sometimes it’s just a friendship.

And that’s sometimes more lasting.

Yes, it is. It is.

What’s next for Gerry?

Now comes the hard part. I feel for Gerry. He’s falling in love with three different women. So this has to be the most difficult part for him. For all of them.

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What do you most want people to know about you?

That I am just who I am on TV. I love people and I have a heart of gold. I’ve never hurt anybody. And I want people out there who feel like they’re old and they’re never going to find anybody to stop feeling that way. Get up and get out! Maybe you’re not going to meet the man of your life. Or you might just make a new friend to do things with. Just start living again — because our life is not over at 60, or 66.

Sandra, 75, compares her experiences on The Golden Bachelor and Wheel of Fortune

spinner image "The Golden Bachelor" Gerry Turner and Sandra smiling together while looking at a smartphone
John Fleenor/ABC

Like Susan, you’d like to star in a Golden Girls or Golden Bachelorette show, right?

I think the market is ready for it. And hungry for it, even. I think they’ve whet everyone’s appetite for this kind of reality.

And you’ve already starred on two iconic reality shows, The Golden Bachelor and Wheel of Fortune, in 1988. What’s the difference between them?

Wheel of Fortune was kind of the original reality show. But like The Newlywed Game a million years ago, it was filmed in a day. Golden Bachelor was filmed over weeks, so it was more in-depth in the challenges and relationships, plural.

Doesn’t the extra time make a reality show more real?

Yes. But you know, I won money on the Wheel. I didn’t win any money here.

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Do you feel like you won something, though?

Intangible things — friendships, relationships. I have sister wives, pen pals, phone pals now that I didn’t have before. I met a great guy on television and I think he found what he was looking for, and he deserves it.

For me, it was just meeting a great guy and I can move forward. I’m more motivated now. I know that if there’s one great guy out there, there are others and my time will come.

Your daughter got married during the show. Doesn’t her happiness prove that after 50 one can find love?

You can find love after 80. I mean, what’s the limit? The limit is within yourself.

You look younger than you are — what’s your secret?

I don’t drink alcohol. It’s not a moral thing, it’s just yucky. I don’t worship the sun — it can damage you in the long run.

Do you feel like a loser?

Are you kidding me? This opportunity came to 23 women out of over 29,000 applicants. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am blessed beyond to have been there. Wow!

Ellen, 71, says the passion you see on reality TV is really real

spinner image Ellen holding hands with "The Golden Bachelor" Gerry Turner
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Honestly, definitely yes. I feel opened up, I feel free. I feel much more open to meeting someone and loving someone again. And I was sort of burying those feelings for a very long time.

What was Gerry looking for?

I think Gerry was looking for what ignited his love button. Someone that was compatible with his feelings. He might project a certain way, but nobody really knows what a person really needs deep down inside. He did mention towards the middle of the show that he felt most comfortable with me. That was very flattering. But he was true to his feelings with everyone.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about the show?

People don’t really feel that someone could get attached in such a short period of time, and I’m saying this on the record, that is so not true! It really does happen. These are real feelings that people have. It’s just a matter of them believing that it could happen. And I’m a big Bachelor fan from the beginning. That’s how it worked for me.

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