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‘Golden Bachelor’ Vote: Here's Who You Think Gerry Should Pick

Will it be Leslie, Faith or Theresa?

spinner image "The Golden Bachelor" Gerry Turner holds a champagne glass alongside the final three contestants vying for his love, Theresa, Leslie and Faith.
(Left to right) Theresa, Leslie and Faith with Gerry Turner after they each received a rose from him on "The Golden Bachelor."
John Fleenor/Disney

When The Golden Bachelor premiered this fall, we fell in love. Not just with single septuagenarian Gerry Turner, 72, but with the contestants, the stories and the authenticity.

Our friends at Katie Couric Media were equally smitten.

When we bonded over our shared obsession with this show, our editors realized a collaboration was in the cards.

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So as Turner prepares to choose between the final three of the original 22 women out to get him: high school teacher Faith, 60; financial services pro Theresa, 69; and fitness instructor Leslie, 64; we've teamed up with Katie Couric Media to offer our finale predictions. Who will Gerry select? Will there be a Golden Bachelorette show? Who should be on it?

And most importantly — we want to hear from you — who do you think is the best pick for Gerry? Do you want to see a Golden Bachelorette show? And if so, who should be the lucky lady?

Who will win?

AARP Entertainment Editor Tim Appelo:

spinner image Theresa receiving a rose from Gerry Turner on "The Golden Bachelor."
Theresa (left), 69, is a financial services professional from Shrewsbury, New Jersey.
John Fleenor/ABC

Gerry’s best choice would be Leslie, who says she inspired Prince’s song “Sexy Dancer” and had the sense to dump him. She’s the only one who made Gerry utter guttural noises while whispering in her ear, “You’re my girl.” He loved the fact that she’s got “that soft, gooey inside.” “Like a lava cake,” she replied, trying to turn up the erotic heat.

Faith can forget about that white dress for now. Gerry felt guilty at first because he was only attracted to her physically, and even though he liked her better once he got to know her, he still confessed ambivalence about their connection: “Is it something that will grow and blossom? Or is it something that maybe has maxed out at this point? Of all the women here, Faith is the big question mark.” Ominous words!

Leslie will also be relegated to the friend zone, and Theresa will absolutely win — because she radiates neediness, which is evidently what Gerry really needs. As vanquished candidate Susan astutely told AARP, “Gerry, what he did best with was not such a strong personality [like hers]. 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?” We do. Bottom line: Theresa is the only one who told a guy she was falling in love with him at age 17, and then waited 52 years until she said it again, to Gerry.

Katie Couric Media editor Sara Levine:

spinner image Faith receiving a rose from Gerry Turner on "The Golden Bachelor."
Faith, (left), 60, is a high school teacher from Benton City, Washington.
John Fleenor/Disney

I’ll be the first to admit that I have, at times, been fooled by ABC’s producers — early on, I thought Joan was going to win, and then later, I felt pretty confident it might be Ellen. Now, we have a strong final three: Faith, Theresa, and Leslie. Faith's a strong contender. On their last date, Gerry was looking at her with googly eyes. Until then, I hadn’t seen him look at any of the other women like the physical embodiment of the heart-eye emoji. He and Faith have a physical attraction, and last week they delved deeper into an emotional connection. I see something there, but it might not be deep enough — although there is a common trend on some of these shows that whoever gets the First Impression rose ends up winning the whole thing.

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Then again, I could also see the final rose going to Theresa. She’s another one whom Gerry connected with early on, and those early connections can be pretty tough to beat. Plus, she has the kind of wounded-bird energy Gerry seems to really go for.

spinner image Leslie and Gerry Turner holding each other on "The Golden Bachelor."
Leslie (left), 64, is a fitness instructor from Minneapolis.
John Fleenor/Disney

But ultimately, I'm going to choose the wildcard: Leslie. Truthfully, I'm a little surprised Leslie has made it this far, and I think that's by design. I've noticed The Bachelor producers sometimes give a weird edit to the final pick, so that viewers are kept guessing. Gerry is physically attracted to Leslie, and she's been opening up to him a bit more. She doesn't quite bring the same sob story as Theresa or Faith, but I could see her spunky energy (and younger age) win out in the end.

Who you voted for:

spinner image The results of "The Golden Bachelor" poll
Katie Couric Media

When we polled you all about your picks for Gerry’s final rose, you were eager to share your thoughts. Leslie won by a landslide, with 54 percent of the votes, while the rest were split almost evenly between Theresa and Faith.

Should there be a ‘Golden Bachelorette’ spin-off?

Appelo: Duh! Of course there must be one. Viewers obviously want to watch it. “I think the market is ready for it,” said castoff bachelorette Sandra, 75, “and hungry for it, even.” In love, turnabout is fair play — and it’s high time to let the women decide who wins.

Levine: Well, this might be getting ahead of ourselves a bit since we don’t even know if there will be a Golden Bachelorette — but given the public response to The Golden Bachelor, ABC would be stupid not to do a spin-off.

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Who should be the Golden Bachelorette?

spinner image ABC’s “The Golden Bachelor” stars Sandra.
Sandra, 75, is a retired executive assistant from Doraville, Georgia.
Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

Appelo: One fun option would be a multiple Bachelorette panel — and wedding officiant Susan has volunteered herself, therapist April, retired educational consultant Kathy and retired interior designer Nancy for the job, arguing that their distinct personalities would make great television — hey, they already have. Retired executive assistant Sandra also advocates a Bachelorette show, and she’s smart, younger than her 75 years, and likely the most levelheaded of Gerry’s dates, a reality-show veteran who won $30,350 on Wheel of Fortune in 1988 (about $80,000 today, or $2,150,843 if she’d invested it in, say, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock). Sandra’s Golden Bachelorette show would be a wise investment.

spinner image ABC’s “The Golden Bachelor” stars Ellen.
Ellen, 71, is a retired teacher from Delray Beach, Florida.
Ricky Middlesworth/ABC

But this is a show about deep emotions, and nobody’s were more touching than the upbeat yet heartbroken Ellen, 71. She was his early favorite, but he cooled on her — yet paradoxically, the experience made her feel more open to new love than ever. Of the 29,000 women who auditioned for The Golden Bachelor, she may be the one whose romantic reawakening would fiddle America’s heartstrings most beautifully..

spinner image Susan and Gerry Turner talking to each other in an episode of  "The Golden Bachelor"
Susan (left), 66, is a wedding officiant from Aston, Pennsylvania.
John Fleenor/Disney

Levine: I’m one of many people who would love to see Susan as the Golden Bachelorette. She’s hilarious, she’s kind and I want to see her find love! Plus, I could easily watch her for an hour a week (or more). But if I’m being honest, I don’t see ABC picking her simply because she doesn’t fit the traditional beauty mold the network seems attached to. That’s not to say she isn’t beautiful — she is, inside and out! — but what are the chances ABC will stray from their pattern now? I’m not hopeful, but hey, I’d love to be proven wrong!

spinner image Gerry Turner holds hands with Joan on "The Golden Bachelor."
Joan (right), 60, is a private-school administrator from Rockville, Maryland.
John Fleenor/ABC

I genuinely think Ellen’s a front-runner for Golden Bachelorette because she made it far in the process, her elimination was pretty shocking and she’s got a ton of personality. Not to mention, she has no problem getting vulnerable in front of the cameras (which, at the end of the day, is what viewers are here to see). It’s tough being the lead, but I think she could carry the show with ease. I could also see Joan getting the spin-off since she and Gerry had a strong connection and she had to leave the show early, breaking Gerry’s heart in the process. Who knows how far they would have made it had that not happened? Plus, she’s beautiful and poised — I’m sure there’s no shortage of men who’d be lining up for the chance to date her.

Who you picked:

Three ladies led the pack when it came to selecting a potential Golden Bachelorette:

  • Ellen 20.1 percent
  • Joan 19.4 percent
  • Faith 17.5 percent

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