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Meet the Contenders to Be the First Golden Bachelorette

After Gerry Turner's season of The Golden Bachelor came to an end with a proposal, Bachelor Nation is hoping to see one of these ladies named the Golden Bachelorette.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 01, 2023 4:33 PMTags
Watch: Why 'Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner Was Initially "Reluctant" About the Show

And the first Golden Bachelorette is...

Okay, okay, we know we are getting ahead of ourselves as ABC has yet to officially announce if there will be a female-helmed spinoff of The Golden Bachelor. And we still have to attend Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist's wedding, which will be the televised live on Jan. 4, after the couple got engaged in the finale

Still, Bachelor Nation is certainly hoping to see one of contestants from its first season hand out the roses in the future. And the inaugural lead himself Gerry Turner is ready to cheer them on.

"I absolutely do hope that is something that happens," Gerry told E! News in an exclusive interview at the Women Tell All taping. "But there's no way I could recommend one out of those 22 women that would be better than any of the others. They'd all be wonderful candidates for it."

But would they accept the offer? 

Well, if you ask Kathy Noles, who was eliminated in week five, there would be multiple leads.

"Let me just say this to you so you don't have to ask it again with everyone that comes up," Kathy told E! News, "everyone would want to be the Golden Bachelorette."

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While that would be our dream season, ABC will likely only anoint one woman to be their star and they are spoiled with several amazing options, including finalist Leslie Fhima, who felt "blindsided" by Gerry after he gave his final rose to Theresa.

So, grab a pint of ice cream (or perhaps a bowl of guacamole?) and dig in as we reveal what some of the fan-favorite ladies from Gerry's season had to say when we asked how they felt about possibly handing out roses as the first Golden Bachelorette:

Leslie Fhima

The Minneapolis-based personal trainer—who said she is the inspiration behind Prince's "Sexy Dancer"—was left devastated when Gerry Turner chose to propose to Theresa Nist in The Golden Bachelor's finale...after telling Leslie she was "the one" during their fantasy suite date.

“The other night, you made it sound like you chose me,” she told Gerry. “You said things to me that made me think that 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. It’s mind-boggling, to be honest, how you can talk to me all night, tell me you love me and then one day—not even a day, 12 hours later—you changed your mind."

Now that sounds like a Bachelorette, no?

And during the live special, Leslie explained to host Jesse Palmer that she felt "blindsided" and had "100 percent certainty" that she was going to be engaged to Gerry. So, if anyone deserves a second chance at televised love, it might just be Leslie. 

Faith Martin

After receiving the First Impression Rose from Gerry, Faith became the early frontrunner to be his final pick.

So, it was devastating when Gerry eliminated her after the hometown visits, where he told Faith he was in love with her in front of her family.

While the high school teacher is still processing the breakup, she told E! News she's more optimistic about finding love after her time on the show.

"I'm going to still need a minute before I go out there and do that," Faith told E! News at the Women Tell All taping. "I'm just not sure how I would navigate dating. I haven't had a lot of luck in the past. But I feel like I'm hopeful about the future for sure, more so than I ever have been about what I would look for. It's different than what maybe I used to look for."

And she would be willing to search for it as ABC's first Golden Bachelorette, should the network decide to do another spinoff.

"I would love to find out more about it," the 60-year-old said. "I mean, to have 25 men to choose from? I would have to say yes, I think."

Ellen Goltzer

Fans were just as devastated as Ellen—the first to tell the Bachelor she was falling in love—when Gerry said goodbye to the retired teacher before hometowns. 

While Bachelor Nation is rooting for Ellen to be the next lead, she told E! News she is trying to stay present. 

"I don't want to think about anything in the future," the 71-year-old explained. "I just want to enjoy this moment and we'll think about that tomorrow, like they said in Gone With the Wind. I'm just really taking it all in right now and enjoying it."

But Ellen is rooting for the Golden Bachelorette to happen, whether or not she is a part of it, "because then it shows that it was successful," she said, "and that people are looking for it and people want to see it. And that, to me, is the most exciting part of it."

So while she would likely accept ABC’s rose, "Regardless of who it is, it means that the public wants more. And that to me is very flattering in itself."

Joan Vassos

After making the difficult decision to self-eliminate when her daughter was suffering from postpartum depression, the private school administrator shared that she is willing to look for love on TV again.

"I would be open to it," Joan, 60, said. "I believe in the process. Oddly, I kind of came into this as a little bit skeptical and I see how it worked. It's like speed dating on steroids. And people find love on the show and I want to find love still."

Sandra Mason

Aside from her memorable expletive-laced limo exit, Sandra made headlines when she revealed she missed her daughter's wedding to vie for Gerry's love. So, yeah, she's serious about finding love and would love to do so as the Bachelorette.

"Well, I think Sandra would be a great fit," the retired executive assistant cheekily told E! News when asked for her pick, "so the answer's emphatically yes."

However, if she doesn't receive ABC's golden rose, the 75-year-old, revealed, "I also think Edith would be a great Bachelorette."

Kathy Swarts 

The retired education consultant had no plans to zip it when it came to her thoughts on being the Golden Bachelorette.

“I don't think they could find 22 guys who could keep up with me, so there's that," Kathy, 70, told E! News. "But who wouldn't want to be? I mean, the chance to find love, the chance to meet great people. Who wouldn't want that?"

Susan Noles

A wedding officiant, a hair stylist and the mansion's resident chef (The key is garlic!), Susan was a scene-stealer thoughout her run on The Golden Bachelor

 And Susan told us she would "love" to be the next lead, especially after she failed to find a romantic connection with Gerry. Still, she was more than happy to leave with 21 new friends.

"We came out to find love and I didn't," the 66-year-old said. "I got friendship. But I want a man. So yes, they should give us another chance."

Natascha Hardee

Though she didn't find a lasting connection with Gerry, the pro-aging coach is rooting for the franchise to do another season, with Natascha telling E! News, "I would love for them to do a Golden Bachelorette."

As for who it should be? The 60-year-old said, "I feel like Bachelor Nation should decide on who the next Golden Bachelorette is."

For now, Natascha is just basking in the positive response The Golden Bachelor has received.

"My niece told me, 'Enjoy the moment, Natasha, where you are. Don't think about the future. Enjoy now,'" she shared. "And I've been taking that in since she said that."

April Lynn Kirkwood

One of the more eccentric contestants, April's most notable moment was faking an ankle injury during the pickleball group date to score extra time with Gerry.  (That knowing wink!)

Alas, the retired therapist was eliminated in week four, but we think the 64-year-old would make for an unpredictable and fun lead.

The Golden Bachelor finale airs Thursday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

(Originally publishe on  Nov, 12, 2023 at 7 a.m. PT)