Ahead of Thursday’s premiere of The golden bachelorstar Gerry Turner joined friends and Bachelor Nation fans for an exclusive soirée celebrating his history-making debut in the ABC franchise.
At the Tuesday night event, held at Nicholas Braun’s Jac’s On Bond bar in New York City’s NoHo, Turner seemed to have quickly adjusted to his newfound fame, snapping selfies with Instagram-popular influencers, quirky fashionistas and rubbing elbows with Love is blind alum Nancy Rodriguez.
“I don’t want to look back and feel like I wasted time by not enjoying something. So I want to enjoy every minute of it,” Turner said The Hollywood Reporter. “These events and everything else that comes my way, I want to drink it in. I love it. I want to feel like I’m part of it. But I also know it will be short-lived.”
Although the 72-year-old retired restaurateur is enjoying his self-proclaimed “15 minutes of fame,” he joined the Bachelor franchise with the sincere hope of finding love. His 43-year-old wife, Toni, died in 2017 from a bacterial infection. Three years later, while struggling to get back into the dating field, Turner decided to apply to become the first senior bachelor.
“I didn’t have a good circle of friends. I wasn’t in a relationship with anyone,” he recalls. “I saw the advertisement The Bachelor advertising for (it). I answered the ad, but things went away due to COVID. It became quiet.” It wasn’t until February this year that Turner got the call back, confirming he would be getting a second chance at love.
As someone who married his high school sweetheart and hadn’t been in a relationship with anyone else, Turner was ushered into the ultimate crash course in dating. He followed the advice of his daughters Jenny and Angie, who guided him in courting the 22 women.
‘One of the pieces of advice my daughters gave me was to be sincere and stay true to myself. So as I was going through it, whether it was the rose ceremonies, the dates or just the one-on-one conversation, I really tried my best to just be myself,” he said. “My emotions were often very close to the surface. I’m not really going to apologize for it because I feel like I was sincere and honest. What people see is what I am.”
Throughout the show, Turner was surprised to learn that he could compartmentalize his feelings for each of the women better than he thought. “If I was talking to a woman one day or one afternoon, I would learn about her, and then I would put that piece of information aside and start a whole new box for the next woman to learn more about. person without thinking about the previous one,” he explained.
Anything else he learned about himself? “That I tear up quite easily,” he admitted.
During the event, the bar received a Bachelor Nation makeover, making it feel like you were stepping into the villa from the show.
Guests were greeted with two themed cocktails, The Ger-Bear (vodka cranberry with a rose-shaped ice cube) and The Golden Hour (a classic margarita with gold flecks), as well as champagne. Attendees were also presented with an assortment of hors d’oeuvres, including shrimp and avocado slaw wraps, artichoke tarts and jamón serrano bikinis. The stairs to the lower level of the bar were lined with gold petals and led guests to a cozier spot with a photographer taking Polaroids, charcuterie and a second bar.
The golden bachelor premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC.