Gerry Turner never stopped believing.
The Golden Bachelor came to its—wait for it—dramatic conclusion on Nov. 30 and the franchise's first-ever senior citizen lead struggled with having to make the difficult decision of choosing between his final two: Theresa Nist and Leslie Fhima. So, who accepted Gerry's finale rose? (Spoiler alert!)
The 72-year-old widower ultimately picked Theresa, the 70-year-old financial services professional who joined him for the first one-on-one date of the season. And clearly, the New Jersey resident made a lasting impression as Gerry also proposed to Theresa during the two-hour finale.
"Through the course of this journey, I said to myself, ‘How lucky would I be to find a second true love in my lifetime?'" he told the cameras. "And today I'm going to get down on one knee, look at Theresa, and ask her to marry me."
Before he popped the question, Theresa told him, "As time went on, I felt it more and more to the point where I'm so madly in love with you, Gerry. And I feel that for us that life isn't over, that the best is yet to come. I think you are the most wonderful man in the world. Now that I've found you, I don't ever want to let you go. I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
However, Gerry kept her on her toes, telling her during the proposal, "I came to the realization that you're not the right person for me to live with." After a pause, he added, "You're the person that I can't live without."
After he asked for her hand, she said yes!
While Theresa was an early frontrunner, thanks to her memorable "birthday suit" entrance on night one and ability to bond with Gerry over their shared loss of a spouse, many viewers believed the retired restaurateur was going to pick Leslie prior to the fantasy suite dates, after he told the Minneapolis-based personal trainer (who once dated Prince!) that she was the one.
Gerry ended things with Leslie during the finale, saying, "I have fallen in love with Theresa. And that's the direction I'm going to take."
"So everything you told me the other night was a lie?" she asked. "I knew the minute I saw you today. We weren't off. You were off."
He denied lying to her and clarified, "Things have changed, things have evolved." Gerry further explained that nothing went wrong: "You're both wonderful, but only of you is right."
Basically, Gerry's alone time off-camera with each woman seemed to have changed everything for him, something he explained to E! News before the season began.
"Believe me—when I say that it was the most important time of the journey, I'm not exaggerating," Gerry said of the fantasy suites. "And it has to do with the conversations that happen behind closed doors and not a physical activity."
In fact, Gerry said these talks created a whole new level of intimacy.
"If I had gone behind the locked door for the physical intimacy, I wouldn't have come out with the right decisions that I made after those nights," he shared. "I would have missed some very, very important information that was exchanged."
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