The Golden Bachelor
November 2, 2023
WELCOME TO THE DREADED HOMETOWNS. For those of you who are new to my Bachelor recaps, first of all: welcome, and I’m pleased to see you’ve stuck around this long despite the confusing nicknames.
But second, let me explain why the Hometowns are my least favorite episodes of this entire experience.
For one thing, they are terribly repetitive and boring. Our Bachelor meets four (or in this case three) very nice families where he has the exact same conversations about his intentions and the fact that they are skeptical because he’s dating three (or in this case two) other women. In the end, they give their blessings and the Bachelor moves on to the next family. Occasionally you get a disapproving father or brother for a little spiciness, but now that we are twenty-something seasons deep into this franchise, most families realize that none of this is for real and that they will come off to the American public better if they just go along to get along.
For another thing, I hate the way this show drags a bunch of family members who most decidedly DID NOT sign up for this nonsense in front of the camera. I just have so much second-hand embarrassment for everyone, especially the awkward siblings and the moms who can’t help but burst into tears. It’s too much.
And I’m here to inform you that just because the Golden Bachelor is in his 70s, we still stumble into these pitfalls: the visits are boring and repetitive, and all of the families deserve better.
As we begin, Gerry reminds us that he has three ladies left: Birthday Suit, Biker Chick, and Prince Groupie, and that he will be meeting their families. He makes sure to point out that these visits will be different than a regular Bachelor Hometown in that he will be meeting grown children and grandchildren instead of kids, but I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t actually make that much of a difference.
First stop: Shrewsbury, New Jersey to meet Birthday Suit’s family. Once reunited with Birthday Suit, Gerry reminds her why he felt a connection with her early on: because she patted his shoulder when they were driving to their date that one time.
Birthday Suit then takes him to meet her two sisters, her daughter, her son-in-law, and three grandsons. There, Gerry and Birthday Suit tell them about her little nude bodysuit stunt on the first night (that certainly was the producers’ idea) before splitting up for different conversations.
Birthday Suit first chats with her sisters where she assures them that he’s wonderful, and they agree that they can see their chemistry. Birthday Suit worries that she’s competing with women who are 10 years younger than her, but her sisters insist age shouldn’t make any difference even though they’ve spent all of five minutes with Gerry and have nothing to base this on.
Meanwhile, Gerry talks to Birthday Suit’s three adorable grandsons who tell him that 1. their Nana is lonely, 2. she spends a lot of time at their house because she’s lonely, and 3. she makes a duckface when taking selfies.
And this is a crucial point of conversation that needs to be had in these hometowns — not the duckface, but the fact that if things work out between Gerry and one of these women, someone is going to have to leave their families behind so the two of them can be together. Birthday Suit is at her daughter’s house almost every day according to her grandsons; is she really ready to move to a different state and lose that contact? BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEEM TO BE DISCUSSING IT AT ALL.
Fortunately for my sanity, Birthday Suit’s daughter Jennifer does bring it up, noting that they are a close-knit family and that it would be a challenge to not have her in their lives every day. But Gerry is like, “We’ll figure it out if it comes to that?”
OK BUT WILL YOU?
So let me get this right…
Gerry lives in Iowa.
Teresa lives in New Jersey.
Faith lives in Washington.
Leslie lives in Minnesota.
— CP (@NativeSheWolf) November 3, 2023
(Gerry lives in Indiana, but the point stands.)
Jennifer then asks Gerry if he’s falling in love with her mother and Gerry is all, “I mean … what even is love? And would I know what falling in love feels like since I haven’t done that since 1968? But maybe?”
Gerry then chats with the sisters who assure him that he’s making their sister very happy, and that she’s on “cloud nine” right now. And I think this is interesting and telling: Gerry says it’s these comments from Birthday Suit’s sisters that make him realize that maybe this could really be a thing between him and Birthday Suit, that he might be able to fall in love with her.
Sir, shouldn’t it be about your feelings for her, instead of what other people are telling you are her feelings for you?
Birthday Suit chats with Jennifer about how she’s falling for Gerry and that she’s been waiting for him. Her daughter says in an interview that she is happy to see that her mother is falling in love and that she hopes it works out before becoming teary and insisting that this doesn’t change how much she loves her father who has passed.
So that’s a gut punch.
Birthday Suit and Gerry go to a Ferris wheel where Birthday Suit tells him that after seeing how much her family loves him, she’s realized that she’s in love with him, too. Pointedly, Gerry does not return the sentiment.
Next stop: Benton, Washington to meet Biker Chick and her family and her horses. Before they meet the family, they meet the horses, and they ride the horses, and Biker Chick talks about the horses, and about how one of her horses is buried here. I have questions, but I will allow her to move on, because Biker Chick also adds that being here, being in this small town in south-central Washington state and close to nothing but her horses, alive and dead, and her sons, this is Very Important to her, and she hopes he can hang.
They then go meet Biker Chick’s sons, her sister, some friend, and her grandkids. The group is very boisterous and excited to learn that their Mom won Gerry’s first impression rose by riding into the mansion on a motorcycle and doing the whole hair shake when taking off her helmet.
Biker Chick chats with her sister first, and tells her about how she was open to Gerry about her difficult childhood and how he sees her in a “different way” and that she is head over heels for him.
Gerry visits with Biker Chick’s sons who inform Gerry that their mother falls hard and fast, and that they hope he can be there to catch her. When they ask him if he’s in love with her, Gerry hesitates a beat before he says, “I kind of think I am.”
Gerry then chats with Biker Chick’s sister who informs him that she’s very protective of her baby sister …
— Heather Cothran (@HeatherHlynhart) November 3, 2023
And Gerry assures her that he and Biker Chick want the same things out of life, and that she brings him great “peace.” Big Sister starts crying, saying that she hopes that he takes this very seriously and keeps Biker Chick’s heart “safe,” because Biker Chick is a very special person.
Then, when Gerry and Biker Chick are sitting there with her ENTIRE FAMILY, this man tells Biker Chick to her face that he is in love with her …
… and they start making out. SIR, YOU DO NOT DECLARE YOUR LOVE IN FRONT OF SOMEONE’S GRANDCHILDREN UNLESS YOU ARE READY TO PROPOSE. DO YOU HAVE A RING? BECAUSE YOU BETTER HAVE A RING IN THAT POCKET IF YOU ARE GOING TO PULL THAT MOVE.
Instead, Gerry is off to Minneapolis for his final hometown with Prince Groupie. Unfortunately, she does not take him to Paisley Park to ask her deceased boyfriend for his blessing, but instead, they sit on a park bench where she explains her relationship with her older brother.
Prince Groupie explains that when she was 16 years old, her father dropped her off at school one day, but never picked her up. Instead, her brother Stuart did, and when he told her that she needed to get into the car, she protested that their dad was going to get her. “I’m your dad now,” was her brother’s COMPLETELY INSANE REPLY. The point is, her brother became a defacto father figure to her, that he’s a good man, a mensch. And, Prince Groupie adds, Gerry’s a mensch, too. “That’s so cool,” Gerry says in his doofy voice.
Anyway, Gerry will be meeting Brother Dad, her three children, and her grandchildren today at some weird loft space in downtown Minneapolis. Upon arriving, her kids immediately ask their mom if she is bothered by the fact that he’s dating two other women and she’s like, “OBVIOUSLY,” but that’s the last we talk about that, before moving on to how good they “look together,” and whatever.
Prince Groupie and her daughter talk alone and Prince Groupie admits to the whole thing being exciting and scary and how there is the potential of having her heartbroken, but adds that when she told him that she was falling in love with him, he grabbed her, and kissed her, and it was great.
Gerry endures some questioning from Prince Groupie’s adorable grandchildren who want to know if he and their “Glamma” are a couple and telling him that their Glamma really likes him.
Gerry also chats with Brother Dad who tries at first to put on a tough show of being the protective older brother before admitting to Gerry that he’s different from the other men Prince Groupie has been with — and that’s a good thing. Brother Dad also gives Gerry his blessing to marry his SIXTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD SISTER, which …
When they are alone again, Prince Groupie tells Gerry that she had previously told him that she was falling in love with him, but after seeing him with her family, she is IN love with him.
Gerry then tells her that he loves her, too, and GERRY. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Because GUESS WHAT, GERRY. There is a Rose Ceremony, and you’ve got to send one of these women home.
Before we get to the Rose Ceremony, we get a little recap from the women as they arrive one by one:
Prince Groupie: Got an “I love you.”
Biker Chick: Got an “I love you.”
Birthday Suit: Did not get an “I love you.”
And so you would think that the math would make this ceremony pretty easy! But instead, after Gerry hands out the first rose:
Rose #1: Prince Groupie
Gerry flees the room in sobs, unable to continue.
And that’s where we are going to leave it until this week’s “The Women Tell All” special, which I suspect will have a lot less yelling than other “Tell All” specials.
OH! AND A THEORY JUST OCCURRED TO ME:
It has to be Birthday Suit who is eliminated in this rose ceremony because she’s the only woman who had any beef with anyone else in the house. You can’t have a “Tell All” special without beef. THERE ARE NO VEGETARIAN “TELL ALLS.”
… Unless he sends Biker Chick home, who can say.
Here are the ladies who have been eliminated along with their very not good nicknames:
Here are the women along with their dumb nicknames who are still “dating” Gerry:
The Golden Bachelor airs Thursdays on ABC at 7/8 p.m. and streams on Hulu.