'Golden Bachelor' finale recap: Gerry finds love, proposes

Gerry Turner's journey on "The Golden Bachelor" has come to an end.

November 30, 2023, 10:07 PM

Gerry Turner, "The Golden Bachelor," is a bachelor no more.

Turner concluded his journey for love with a proposal to Theresa Nist, 70, in the season finale of the hit show, which she accepted.

The episode also saw his heartbreaking goodbye to Leslie Fhima, 64, who was the first woman he said "I love you" to during his journey.

PHOTO: Gerry Turner appears in this image on the finale of “The Golden Bachelor.”
Gerry Turner appears in this image on the finale of “The Golden Bachelor.”

Theresa meets Gerry's family

The finale began with Nist meeting Gerry's family. Theresa met Gerry's daughters first and told them about herself and the similar story she shares with Gerry about the loss of a spouse.

When Gerry's daughters asked if she would say yes if Gerry proposed, Theresa said "yes."

After meeting with Gerry's family, Theresa and Gerry had a final date where they had a deeper conversation about life.

During their date, Theresa expressed her apprehension about Gerry's connection with Leslie but told him that she'd "still want him to be happy" even if he didn't choose her. She also that she wouldn't want Gerry to choose her if he wasn't "1,000% wanting me and overwhelmingly wanting me."

PHOTO: Gerry Turner appears in this image with Theresa Nist on “The Golden Bachelor.”
Gerry Turner appears in this image with Theresa Nist on “The Golden Bachelor.”

"I don't want to have a life without Gerry," she said.

Gerry told her that "There is another woman in the mix" and that he "wouldn't propose" unless he's a thousand percent "committed to what we have."

Leslie meets Gerry's family

Fhima was the first woman Turner said "I love you" to on the show. The two had an immediate connection.

Fhima's meeting with Gerry's family was full of laughter as she and Gerry told them about their connection.

"I'm crazy about your grandfather, I love him," Fhima told Gerry's granddaughters. "Everything about him, he's very heartfelt and sincere, he's a very good person."

PHOTO: Gerry Turner and Leslie Fhima appear in this still image from the finale of “The Golden Bachelor.”
Gerry Turner and Leslie Fhima appear in this still image from the finale of “The Golden Bachelor.”

Gerry's granddaughter, Payton, was enamored by Leslie and touched that Fhima saw the good qualities about her grandfather. Fhima also opened up about her past two marriages to Gerry's daughters and told them that Gerry makes her feel secure.

But following her meeting with Gerry's family, Fhima said she noticed a change in him as they were parting ways.

"Today went really, really well meeting Gerry's daughters and granddaughters but I feel like I could read Gerry now and I could tell that he wasn't quite himself today," Fhima said. "His mannerisms were a little different and so I'm just trying to calm myself down about it and not have the anxiety I feel creeping in. I am putting myself out there so that's all I can do."

"She's a good person and I broke her heart"

During their final night together, Fhima confronted Gerry about how he was different with her that day. He told her that he was stressed by the decisions he'll have to make and apologized for the "low energy" he was bringing.

At the very end of their date, Fhima told Gerry that she loved him, but he didn't say "I love you" back. Instead, he said, "That's such a special sentiment. I can feel it."

After leaving Fhima's hotel room in tears, he came back and came clean to her about falling "in love with Theresa," telling her, "That is the direction I'm going to take."

Fhima replied and said, "Everything you told me the other night was a lie."

"I knew it, I knew it the minute I saw you today. We weren't off, you were off," she told him. "I could tell by your face."

"I'm heartbroken once again," she told him. "And now I have to do it in front of the world. You didn't choose me. The other night, you made it sound like you chose me. You led me down a path and took a turn and left me there. And that's how I feel.

"I'm heartbroken once again," she added.

Despite how heartbroken she was, Fhima told Turner that she still wanted him to be happy.

"Theresa's a great girl," she said. "I'm just blown away."

When Turner left her hotel room, Turner said he "hates himself," saying, "I took a good person and broke their heart."

"I had this whole life planned for us"

During her one-on-one with "Golden Bachelor" host Jesse Palmer, Fhima told him about the vision she had for her and Turner and how she fell in love with his daughters and granddaughters.

"I went and picked out a dress, I wrote my vows, I imagined us having a life together, walking our dogs," Fhima said. "He said he missed restaurants, I couldn't wait to take him to Minneapolis to show him all the great restaurants, I had this whole life planned for us. And then, I don't know… He shot me so up so the fall was so much harder for me."

Fhima and Turner reunited after their heartbreaking goodbye on stage where Fhima told him about how she fell in love with him "for so many reasons" and how she fell in love with his integrity.

"Your words meant so much to me, I didn't take them for granted," she said. "But those words gave me 100% certainty that I was your girl."

"Your words meant so much to me and that's why I was blindsided," she added. "I just don't know where I went wrong."

Turner replied and admitted that he "got caught up in moments" where he said, "I love you." He also apologized for the "pain" he caused her and other women along the way. Fhima said she doesn't know if she accepts his apology, but "understands" it. She also told him that she doesn't regret Turner telling her "I love you" because it "opened my heart."

"You're the person I can't live without"

The finale ended with Gerry proposing to Theresa.

Before popping the question, Theresa told him how she thought she'd spend the rest of her life alone after her husband passed away.

"I'm so madly in love with you, Gerry, and I feel like for us, life isn't over, I think the best is yet to come," she told him. "Now that I found you, I don't want to live without you."

Turner told her, "You're the person I can't live without," and got down on one knee.

"I love you 1,000% and I'm never going to stop believing that I choose you," he said.

Turner also gave her a golden rose as a "symbol" of his love for her.

The proposal ended in a celebration with Turner's daughters and granddaughters.

During the "After the Final Rose" ceremony, Turner and Nist were surprised by Palmer with a trip to Italy.

Turner said that they would use the trip as a honeymoon because they're getting married live on television on Jan. 4, 2024.

Watch Turner and Nist's interview on "Good Morning America" on Friday, Dec. 1.

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