'The Golden Bachelor' plans TV wedding with 2nd love of his life after brutal breakup with runner-up

ByJennifer Matarese OTRC logo
Friday, December 1, 2023
Golden Bachelor Gerry proposes to the second love of his life
Gerry proposes to the woman he chose on "The Golden Bachelor." Clip courtesy of ABC.

NEW YORK -- After a long wait, we finally got to see the conclusion to Gerry's time as "The Golden Bachelor." But, for him and the woman he chose, it's really just the beginning of their golden years together.

Theresa Meets Gerry's Family

Jesse Palmer led the live show but didn't waste much time in getting us back to Gerry's journey in Costa Rica with Leslie and Theresa. Gerry and his daughters and granddaughters chatted for a bit about his remaining two women. He then ran off to get Theresa. She arrived with flowers and she was a little nervous because she said she hadn't met someone's family like this in 52 years! Interestingly enough, they both have a daughter named Jenny. Theresa told his daughters about how she and Gerry had their first kiss on her birthday and even his "moves." It didn't seem to be TMI for them, they thought it was hilarious. As Theresa told them about losing her husband and how similar it was to what their father went to, it brought tears to all of their eyes. His daughters loved her! They asked him if he "knocked the boots" and he said, "We're not talking about that!" And they said, "Ooh!"

Before they parted. Gerry said to Theresa, "I just want to remind you that I love you." She was overjoyed. His family seems all in on Theresa! But, as we know, there's still another woman for them to consider.

Gerry and Theresa's Last Date

Gerry met up with Theresa in her room and she lit some candles and was standing there waiting for him. She was dressed up all beautifully and he was in a hoodie, classic guy. Some things don't change with age, haha! They were laughing that the orange juice they had earlier had vodka in it and it made them feel a little loopy. She kissed him hello and then Gerry was wearing lipstick this whole segment, it was pretty funny. Theresa told him a story about how the first thing she had to drink was a screwdriver and she was going to be sick and Billy told her to go to bed because if her parents found out they would never let her see him again. Gerry said that he loves hearing her stories about him because it helps him know her better. It was very sweet. Then, Theresa told him that she understood if he picked someone else and she wanted him to be happy but she would be devastated. But she only wants him to pick her if he really, really wants her. Gerry said it would either be 1,000% or nothing. They had a serious talk, but said their "I love yous," and then that was it.

Leslie Meets Gerry's Family

Leslie also showed up looking beautiful and carrying a similar bouquet to Theresa's. She hugged his family and told them that Gerry gets her humor and she loves that about him. She told them that it was breath of fresh air on their overnight date when he finally swore because that meant she could too. They thought her stories were really funny.

Leslie spoke with his granddaughters and they loved how much she loved their grandpa. They had their heart set on Theresa and now they don't know who they like better. She told his daughters that she wanted to travel and see the world with Gerry. Leslie said that she's never had a true love and she found it scary to think of forever, but that it's something she really wants. "He is the man of my dreams," she told them. His daughters like how free-spirited she is, but they do question whether or not she is ready for marriage. But at the end of the day, they told their father they really liked both of them and they don't envy him having to make this decision.

As they sat on the bench, he didn't say I love you to Leslie. He just said, "OK think you are ready to go?" And it seemed like he couldn't get rid of her fast enough! What!? This wasn't the same level of goodbye that he just gave Theresa. They have their last date tonight and Leslie is hoping she can figure out what's going on, because she said she feels something is off with Gerry.

Gerry and Leslie's Last Date

They sat down and drank some red wine together. He told her that he is feeling the stress and pressure of the situation and he's cognizant that time is running out. Leslie said she understood. "I didn't mean to bring the low energy and have you feel like things weren't right," Gerry said. He did a restart and said, "Here's to you, and here's to me, and here's to us." She then pulled out a gift for him. Inside it was a book of their memories together. There were a lot of sensitive moments and then a kiss against a wall and Gerry said, "That was a hot moment!" They did some kissing and Gerry said he really appreciated everything. "It has been so much fun, and meeting you has been a blessing." Sounds a bit like a goodbye, doesn't it?

Gerry turned red and teared up when Leslie said, "I love you so much." Gerry said it was such a special sentiment, but did not say I love you back to her. Leslie burst into tears. He hugged her...you could tell this was not going well. "Be happy," Gerry said. "I want you to be happy too," Leslie told him. He didn't explain anything. Gerry simply said, "I think it's time for me to go." "Is there anything you want to tell me?" Leslie asked him. "Just that I have a very tough decision to make," Gerry said. They shared a final kiss and he walked out. Gerry sat in the stairwell and cried. Leslie cried on the couch inside her room. "I'm definitely not confident now," Leslie said. "I know why he was off today, I know exactly why."

Gerry and Leslie Breakup

"I need to go back and talk to her," Gerry said. He and Leslie sat on her couch and she cried. "It's been difficult and I've kind of made a decision about how I want to go about it, and I've fallen in love with Theresa and that's the direction I'm going to take," he said. "So everything you told me the other night was a complete and utter lie," Leslie said through her tears. He said it wasn't, "things evolved." Leslie said she knew the minute she saw him. "Where did it go wrong?" Leslie asked. He told her that it didn't go wrong and that they were both wonderful but only one of them was right. "Leslie I am so sorry, if I knew this was how much pain I would cause someone I never would have taken the first step in this journey," Gerry said. Leslie sobbed. He told her not to think she's broken, but she said she could think whatever the F she wanted. The live audience clapped. "You led me down a path and then you took a turn and left me there and that's how I feel," Leslie said. "It's mind-boggling how you can say you love me and then a day, not even a day, 12 hours later change your mind." She went on to say, "The only good thing is that I don't have to wear that $60,000 dress in diamond earrings and get humiliated on a platform, so that I thank you for." He realized there wasn't anything else he could really say except that he was sorry. "I'll see myself out," Gerry told Leslie. "OK," she said.

So everything you told me the other night was a complete and utter lie.
Leslie Fhima

Jesse Talks to Distraught Gerry

Jesse Palmer then came out to console Gerry. "I took a really good person and broke her heart," he said. "I hate myself, I hate everything right now." Then he says the line about how it was the second worst moment of his life, only after his wife's death. He said the look on Leslie's face would basically haunt him.

Leslie Live with Jesse

Back to the live show, Leslie was on the stage with Jesse. The audience gave her a rousing round of applause. "The heartbreak that I experienced, the blindsidedness that happened to me, those emotions that I felt, I'm feeling them again, I was devastated, I was devastated," she said. It was really hard for her because she said she hadn't fallen in love in a really long time and she let herself be vulnerable.

"I was 100% certain that I was his girl," Leslie said. She said that she felt like she really fit in with his family and loved them. I didn't expect it. She said she initially tried to justify the way Gerry was acting by thinking he might be tired or still trying to figure out his choice, but she knew. "He shot me so up that the fall was so much harder," Leslie said.

Gerry and Leslie Speak on the Live Show

Gerry and Leslie hugged and she immediately started to cry a bit. Jesse told her to go first and say what she needed to say to Gerry. She said it was emotional watching it back, and after having time to process everything, she wanted to tell him that she fell him love with him for many reasons - which she rattled off to him. She also talked about how their hands would always find each other and that she just wanted to make him happy and she really wanted to give him the "to death do us part" so bad. She really fell in love with his integrity. "Only you and I know what was said in our overnight, but those words gave me 100% certainty that I was your girl," Leslie said. She said that she wasn't worried after he left for his date with Theresa because she thought she was the one.

She didn't know how it all went wrong in a day. "You also had the choice not to tell me those things," she said. Gerry apologized but he didn't think his heart was ready to go through the breakups on this show. He really didn't want to hurt anyone, and he was trying to compartmentalize his relationships and said that he really meant what he said. "You were my person, I thought you were my person until I suddenly realized you weren't," Gerry said. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." "I don't know if I accept your apology, but I understand it," Leslie said. Why not accept it? It is what it is...but it is her choice. Gerry talked about how he didn't love saying goodbye to the other women and mentioned Ellen and Faith, who were in the audience, and Ellen rolled her eyes! Yikes. But, Leslie said that she doesn't wish that Gerry didn't say that he loved her because now she knows that she deserves that. She wished him the best and said, "I'm happy for you."

Gerry Chooses Theresa

Now that the tough, hard goodbye is over, Gerry was hoping for his happy ending. He picked out a beautiful diamond ring. Gerry said a prayer that his wife Toni would guide him on this day as he proposed to the second love of his life. Theresa was nervous walking down to Gerry because she didn't know she was the only one left. "I have an equal partner, someone to share the joy, someone to share the sorrow, and I love her and I know she loves me. I see it in her every look. That's what will make me calm, is that I have a partner," Gerry said. "You look so handsome!" Theresa said as she walked down to him. "You did that so gracefully!" Gerry complimented her.

Theresa talked about how some people think that love is only for the young, but he gave her hope for the future and that the best is yet to come. She said that she is madly in love with him! "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," Theresa said. Gerry recapped their relationship a bit and joked about her "naked" entrance and their amazing first date. "You're not the right person for me to live with, you're the person that I can't live without!" Poor Theresa thought that Gerry was going to dump her, but she laughed and said, "That was so good!" "I love you 1,000%, I'm never going to stop believing that every day I choose you. Will you marry me?" Gerry said. "Yes!" Theresa shouted. Did you notice as this played, in the little picture in picture Gerry was crying as he watched the proposal. Gerry offered her the golden final rose and she accepted it! It was so sweet! "It's like every dream I had come true!" Theresa said. Gerry's family then rushed in to congratulate the happy couple.

I love you 1,000%, I'm never going to stop believing that every day I choose you. Will you marry me?
Gerry Turner

Gerry and Theresa on the Live Show

They are so cute!!! Theresa was radiant and Gerry was just beaming. They are so happy together! She happily showed off a princess-cut Neil Lane diamond. It's beautiful! They were so happy they could tell the world now. Theresa said that she didn't know who Gerry was going to choose and when he made the joke about not being able to live without her.

There were moments in conversation that were subtle realizations. "This is a woman who knew how to nurture and maintain a successful relationship. More and more with every passing moment, she showed her passion and adventurous side. Any red flag she addressed before I even questioned it," Gerry said. Theresa then joked about the fantasy suites saying, "I knocked his boots off - with my kisses!" The grandkids in the audience shook their heads.

Jesse talked about how popular Gerry and "The Golden Bachelor" became and Theresa said it just gave hope to so many people. "It was a cultural movement," Theresa said. "It wasn't just a show." Joey our next "Bachelor" said that he wanted to bring the same love and want into his relationship and he told them that they were inspirational. Then we got a sneak peek, looks like some classic "Bachelor" drama!

It was a cultural movement. It wasn't just a show.
Theresa Nist

Big Announcement

Theresa and Gerry say they talk for an hour to two hours everyday. His daughters said they are so happy for their dad and they love Theresa. Jesse told Gerry and Theresa that they were going to Italy! They had mentioned wanting to go together on their first date. Gerry then announced that Gerry and Theresa would be getting married on TV in "The Golden Wedding" on January 4th! Yay! A real "Bachelor Nation" wedding!

The only thing missing was a "Golden Bachelorette" announcement, so I guess we'll still have to wait for that! Jesse Palmer said that he's still waiting for word but he would love it!

Don't miss the premiere of "The Bachelor" with Joey Graziadei on January 22 on ABC and streaming the next day on Hulu.