It’s been nearly three decades since The Bachelor debuted on ABC and single-handedly altered the reality television landscape. Within that pivotal timeframe – America was introduced to heartthrobs, beauty queens, fairytale-like storylines, but not a wholesome senior citizen longing for love. Until now.
In late July, the networking giant related the first taste of their latest installment – the Golden Bachelor. The binge-worthy season is a refreshing twist and is expected to follow 71-year-old Gerry Turner.
The highly anticipated series will take a deep dive into the senior dating scene, as Turner embarks on his journey to find his long-lost lover. Similar to The Bachelor or Bachelorette, 20 women will be vying for Turner’s heart of gold. The contestants entering the mansion will be 65 and older.
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Although many members of Bachelor Nation are skeptical about the franchise’s next step, Ashley Laconetti Haibon believes it’s exactly what the show needs. Reality TV junkies first met Haibon in 2015, when she appeared on season 19 of The Bachelor. She later participated in The Bachelor Winter Games and escaped to Mexico for Bachelor in Paradise. While on the beach, she got engaged to Jared Haibon. The two tied the knot in 2019 in Rhode Island and welcomed their first child together shortly after.
“I will definitely be watching,” Haibon told Celeb Secrets full of excitement. “I think it’s exactly what the franchise needs as kind of a pick me up.”
Following the exit of longtime host Chris Harrison, the franchise witnessed a drastic decline in viewership. According to The U.S. Sun, season 25 of The Bachelor had under five million viewers. In years before, nearly six to eight million people tuned in to watch. Haibon said that ABC’s unorthodox approach would be their saving grace.
“I think it’s going to be gold. Like truly golden,” stressed the reality star. “It has sparkles just surrounding it, because it is just so new and exciting. It’s like a breath of fresh air that we need. When Bachelor in Paradise came out, the ratings of The Bachelor were obviously a whole different beast. But people were still looking for a different form of Bachelor content. Now we just need a little something else. This is going to satisfy and give us everything we want.”
America is destined to fall in love with Turner, as he is the total package. Turner is an Indiana native and a father of two. He married his high school sweetheart Toni in 1974, but she sadly passed away in 2017 after falling ill.
“It’s never too late to fall in love again,” said Turner on Good Morning America.
Haibon continued to advise Turner to reach out to Ben Higgins before his debut. Higgins served as the leading man of season 20, and has had an active role in the franchise since.
“My advice for the lead is literally reaching out to Ben Higgins,” explained Haibon. “Production in the back is already being like, ‘this guy is like our older Ben Higgins.’ I can’t think of anybody else to be your guide through this experience than the wonderful Ben Higgins,” she added.
ABC has yet to announce the premiere date for the Golden Bachelor. Will you be watching? Let us know by leaving a reaction below or by tweeting us at @celebsecrets.