After a groundbreaking debut season that was equal parts heartwarming, hilarious, and hopeful, The Golden Bachelor‘s host Jesse Palmer promised fans a finale “unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.” And boy was he right!
The two-hour conclusion to Gerry Turner’s search for late-in-life love, which premiered on ABC Thursday, November 30, saw the 72-year-old choosing between his final two contestants: 64-year-old Leslie Fhima and 70-year-old Theresa Nist. After introducing both women to his family, having some difficult conversations, and crying a whole bunch of tears, Gerry finally found his happy ending…or did he?
Teasers of the emotional two-hour episode showed the senior stud breaking down to Jesse, admitting that he thought he made a mistake and took a good person and broke them. Then, Gerry sobbed the quote that made Bachelor Nation jaws drop: “The only time I’ve ever felt worse in my whole life is when my wife passed away, and this is a goddamn close second.”
You’ve seen the elaborate fan theories that made cases for each woman winning. Now it’s time to head back to Costa Rica to get the real story. And after the wild ride we’re headed back to the studio to break down the dramatic conclusion in front of a live audience.
Looking for Golden Bachelor finale recap? Wondering if Gerry got engaged to Leslie or Theresa? And if so, are Gerry and his Golden Gal still together? Curious how the “After The Final Rose” special played out? And if Reality Steve’s Golden Bachelor finale spoilers were correct? We’ve got all the answers you seek below.
Who Won The Golden Bachelor? Did Gerry Get Engaged To Leslie Fhima Or Theresa Nist?
As a refresher, during Fantasy Suite Week, Gerry sent major mixed signals to Leslie and Theresa by pledging his love and loyalty to both and making each woman feel like she could be The One. At the end of the episode, Gerry told cameras he felt like he was “dying inside” because he was unsure who to choose. “With each of them I can see a life together. Life with Leslie would be a very exciting life. She’s adventurous, and she looks out for me, and I look out for her. But Theresa and I have this bond. We know what the other person is feeling. We know what they’ve been through,” he explained. “This is an impossible task at the moment. Someone is going to come out of this situation hurt beyond what I can imagine.”
At the top of the finale, the Golden Guy called in reinforcements to help him gain the clarity he needed. By that, we mean his two daughters (Jenny Young and Angie Warner) and two granddaughters (Charlee and Payton) arrived in Costa Rica to meet women who could be joining their family. First up? Theresa, who admittedly hadn’t met someone’s family in 52 years.
Going into the afternoon, Theresa acknowledged that she didn’t think Gerry could move forward if his family didn’t fully embrace his choice, and luckily for her Gerry’s daughters and granddaughters were — in his words — “way enthusiastic” about her. Theresa shared the love and loss stories of her late husband Billy with Gerry’s daughters and assured them if their dad were to propose she would “absolutely” say yes. “I think it would be a great thing, actually. I’d be really happy for him,” Gerry’s daughter Jenny told cameras.
Later that night, Gerry met Theresa for their final date ahead of a potential proposal (wearing a hoodie, might I add) and the two spent the night chatting about their past and what a future together could look like. Theresa admitted she was still nervous because Leslie was still in the picture, and “If I was in a position where it wasn’t me, I’m all in and that would be extremely difficult for me.” Gerry — who, as we now know is a big talker — assured her he wouldn’t propose to anyone unless he was sure. “I want you to know I won’t propose, nor will I give you a rose unless I’m 1000% committed to what we have…It’ll be 1000% or nothing,” he said. HMMM…
Theresa made a solid first impression, but Leslie? Leslie had the fam laughing, crying, and cracking Fantasy Suite jokes. While meeting with Gerry’s granddaughters, Leslie assured them, “I’m crazy about your grandfather I love him and I want to go through life with him.” They were so moved by her that they told cameras they had their hearts set on Theresa but now things had changed. The sole hiccup came when his daughters asked if she was ready for a proposal. A tearful Leslie admitted she was, but she had some anxiety around it because “til death do us part” is something she’s never experienced in relationships.
After the meeting, Gerry told his family that for the first time on his journey he was exhausted, overwhelmed, and unsure what to do. “I absolutely want to make sure it’s a woman that I can’t live without and it’s for the rest of my life,” he said. “This is it…the biggest decision I’ve made in the last 55 years…It’s gotten confusing, it’s gotten to the point where I don’t know where I’m at.” Leslie felt great after meeting the fam, UNTIL, she met up with Gerry again and noticed he wasn’t his usual self. The two shared an awkward goodbye hug, and when they met up later that night for their final date, Leslie questioned why the vibes had shifted so drastically. Gerry told her his anxiety was creeping in, but toasted to turning the page and starting fresh. Leslie gifted him a thoughtful scrapbook filled with memories of their time together, and then….things took a turn. As Leslie was pouring her heart out to Gerry, letting him know how much she loved him, he was cold. Suddenly, there was a mutual understanding that things between them had changed, and he said “Be happy. I think it’s time for me to go.”
The two cried, hugged, and shared a goodbye kiss as Jesse Palmer shook his head from the studio watching the live premiere. Gerry left, reflected a bit on how upset she was, then went back to clarify his feelings. “When I left you asked me if there was something I had to say to you. It’s been difficult and I’ve kind of made a decision about how I want to go about this, and I have fallen in love with Theresa and that’s the direction I’m going to take,” he said.
Naturally, Leslie was crushed and said everything he told her in Fantasy Suites was a lie. “The other night you made it sound like you chose me! You said things to me that made me think this was going to be it. You led me down a path and then you took a turn and left me there and that’s how I feel,” she cried. “It is mind-boggling to be honest, how you could talk to me all night, say you love me, and then one day — not even a day later — you changed your mind.” Gerry saw himself out, then had the infamous breakdown we saw in the previews, where he cried to Jesse Palmer and said, “I took a really good person and broke their heart… I hate myself and I hate everything right now… The only time I’ve ever felt worse in my whole life is when my wife passed away, and this is a goddamn close second.”
When proposal day arrived, Gerry suited up, spoke to his late wife Toni, and met Theresa at the iconic platform. She told him he renewed her sense of hope in love and feels that the best is yet to come. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” she said. And the guy “from nowhere Indiana” poured his heart out next, reminiscing about their journey together. “You’re not the right person for me to live with,” he said, causing her to cry. “You’re the person I can’t live without.”
Theresa screamed, laughed, and cried. And Ger Ber got down on one knee and popped the big question. She accepted and the two embraced before she accepted the final GOLDEN rose. Gerry’s fam ran down to celebrate with them and the first Golden Bachelor season concluded!
Were Reality Steve’s Golden Bachelor Spoilers Correct?
Several days before The Golden Bachelor finale, Bachelor Nation’s favorite spoiler Reality Steve finally reported that Gerry and Theresa would be endgame. “It’s taken a while, but I have finally been able to find out who Gerry chose…Gerry is engaged to Theresa Nist,” Reality Steve wrote in a November 21 Instagram post.
The uncertainty ahead of and throughout Gerry’s finale kept Bachelor Nation on the edge of their seats, but in the end, Reality Steve’s intel was correct! Gerry and Theresa got engaged and they’ve been together ever since!
When Will The Golden Bachelor Finale Be On Hulu? How To Watch The Golden Bachelor Finale Online:
Like other episodes of The Golden Bachelor, the finale and After The Final Rose special will be available for next-day streaming on Hulu. So if you missed The Golden Bachelor finale live, you can watch online Friday, December 1.
Last season of The Bachelorette, the finale had yet to be added to Hulu at 9:40 a.m. ET, so there may be a delay. But rest assured, the episode will be loaded at some point during the day.
You’ll need to be a Hulu subscriber in order to watch The Golden Bachelor the day after episodes air on ABC. The good news is you’ll have access to the episode with any version of the streaming service. The streamer’s least expensive ad-supported plan costs $7.99 a month (or $79.99 a year), while its ad-free option is $17.99 a month. If you choose to add Live TV to your plan you can select an ad-supported Hulu + Live TV now with Disney+ and ESPN+ bundle for $76.99 a month or go ad-free for $89.99 a month.
The Golden Bachelor Is Over…Now What?
We may have said goodbye to Gerry’s season of The Golden Bachelor, but the franchise is still going strong. Next up on Bachelor Nation’s watchlist? Bachelor in Paradise Season 9 airs its three-hour finale on Thursday, December 7. And after a quick holiday break The Bachelor Season 28 starring Joey Graziadei premieres Monday, January 22, 2024 on ABC. So be sure to mark your calendars!