The Golden Bachelorette announces 61-Year-Old Joan Vassos as first leading lady

The Golden Bachelorette announces 61-Year-Old Joan Vassos as first leading lady

Joan Vassos has been announced as the first lead for The Golden Bachelorette.

The 61-year-old former Golden Bachelor contestant has recently been named the titular bachelorette of the newest instalment of the Bachelor franchise.

She had developed a strong connection with Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner until week three of the show. However, she ultimately chose to go home upon learning that her daughter was having a medical emergency.

Vassos was widowed after 32 years of marriage. She’s also a mother of four and a grandmother of two. Currently, she works in her hometown of Rockland, Maryland, as a school administrator. According to ABC, she enjoys spending her free time jamming out to Elton John, cheffing it up in the kitchen, and playing with her dog.

Following the success of the first season of The Golden Bachelor, ABC ordered a season of The Golden Bachelorette, hoping for another ratings boon. The former was lauded as one of the highest-rated series of the 2024-2025 broadcast season, with adults between ages 18 to 49 tuning in at record numbers across seven days. Since its premiere, the inaugural series has reached more than 43.5 million viewers.

The Golden Bachelor concluded with Turner proposing to Theresa Nist, whom he later married during a live special on ABC in January. However, the pair unfortunately shared that they were divorcing three months later in April in an interview with Good Morning America.

“Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations, and we’ve looked closely at our situation, our living situation, so forth and - and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s probably time for us to - dissolve our marriage,” Turner revealed to GMA host Juju Chang.

When Chang asked if the pair planned to divorce, the 72-year-old lead replied: “Yes.”

“I don’t think we can tell you how many people told us that it gave them so much hope,” Nist admitted. “We want none of that to change for anybody.”

The 70-year-old financial services professional noted that their search for a home ultimately led to their marriage falling apart. Although the pair had been looking for houses in South Carolina and New Jersey, they never finalised their plans.

Nist added that she’d also, unfortunately, have to give back the vintage-inspired Neil Lane engagement ring Turner proposed with back in the November season finale. She admitted, “I think that’s the rule, I think I have to give this ring back. Sad to say. But, you know what, we don’t have to give back the memories.”

Even though they stressed that they had found their forever person, referring to one another as each other’s “best friends.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind, I still am in love with her,” Turner admitted. “I root for her every day.”

The Golden Bachelorette will reportedly air on Wednesday nights starting at 8 pm, slated to be a part of ABC’s fall schedule.