The Golden Bachelor has come to an end, with Gerry Turner giving out his final rose. On Thursday night’s finale, Gerry was faced with choosing between Leslie Fhima and Theresa Nist. Viewers were shocked at how the live finale unfolded. Fans seemed split about whether he made the right decision, and how he went about the breakup is sure to have fans talking for days to come.
Gerry Turner’s mind seemed made up before the dates began.
After last week’s Fantasy Suite date with Theresa Nist, which Gerry Turner said made him feel as if “it’s the first day of the rest of my life,” he proceeded to have his family meet Leslie Fhima — the fan favorite who seemed most likely to walk away on top.
Leslie got along great with Gerry’s daughters and granddaughters, but she noted that the 72-year-old didn’t seem “quite himself.”
Gerry candidly admitted, “I know time is running out and I have to make a decision that is life-changing, and that’s kind of getting to me,” but was determined to forge ahead. Leslie presented Gerry with a heartfelt scrapbook and admitted she was in love with him and didn’t get the same showing of affection in return.
Gerry hugged Leslie, crying as he told her to “Be happy.” She said the same back and offered him a long hug goodnight.
Before they parted, she asked, “Is there something you want to tell me?” Gerry replied, “I have a tough decision to make. It’s harder than I ever thought possible.”
No sooner did the two part ways than Gerry broke down. In a confessional, Leslie told cameras, “I’m definitely not confident now. I know why he was off today. I know exactly why.”
When Gerry went back to Leslie’s room, things took a turn.
Gerry called the decision “difficult” as he went back and told Leslie, “I have fallen in love with Theresa, and that’s the direction I’m going to take.”
A heartbroken Leslie wondered if it had all been a ruse, to which Gerry told her his feelings were genuine when he expressed them.
“Had I known this is how much pain I would’ve caused someone, I never would’ve taken the first step in this journey,” he said, which Leslie wasn’t receptive to.
“You made it sound like you chose me. You said things that made me feel like this was going to be it,” she leveled.
Through tears, she continued, “You led me down a path, and then you took a turn and left me there. That’s how I feel. It’s mindboggling, to be honest.”
Leslie Fhima doubled down on those feelings on After the Final Rose.
Though she said she felt “much better” about the breakup since it happened, Leslie Fihma made sure to let The Golden Bachelor know how she felt about how he handled things.
“I just want to tell you, Gerry, that I fell in love with you for so many reasons. I really did. The way you looked at me, and your eyes sparkled — the way your nose prickled when you talked to me, the way we made each other laugh all the time. You got my stupid humor. I was myself with you completely,” Leslie said.
Leslie said she fell in love with Gerry’s “integrity,” which was why she felt shattered by how he ended things.
“Because of your integrity, your words meant so much to me. I didn’t take them for granted. I took them and I put them in my heart, OK? And everybody knows what you said on camera, but only you and I know it was said overnight. And I would never share that with anyone,” she continued.
“It’s our private time. But those words gave me 100% certainty that I was your girl. … And your words just meant so much to me, and that’s why I was blindsided. Because I wasn’t sure how it changed or what happened.”
Gerry Turner apologized again for hurting Leslie.
After letting her say her piece, Gerry apologized and shared, “When I came onto the show, my head was ready to go through the process [and] send people home. But what I realized is my heart wasn’t ready. And with each passing rose ceremony and, especially with you, it became more and more difficult.”
“You were the person I believed was my person until I suddenly knew you weren’t,” he said to mixed reactions. “And you asked, or you mentioned, that you don’t know where it went wrong. It didn’t really go wrong, Leslie.”
She added, “It just was better with someone else. It was the right person in another direction.”
Fan reactions online are debating the manner of the breakup and the apology. Most of all, they’re eager to find out if Leslie Fhima will be the first Golden Bachelorette.