'Golden Bachelor' Gerry Turner, Theresa Nist talk upcoming wedding, what's next

"I found my person," Turner, 72, told "Good Morning America.”

December 1, 2023, 8:17 AM

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist have found their "person" in each other.

"I found my person. And the process works," Turner, 72, told "Good Morning America.”

Last night’s finale saw Turner proposing to Nist, 70, instead of Leslie Fhima, 64.

Not only did Nist find love, but she also said her time on the show was a "life-changing" experience for her -- and the other women too -- because it made them "feel seen."

"We did feel like we were important, and that they were telling our story," Nist said, adding that it was "amazing that this is happening at this time in our lives."

    Turner said Nist and the other 22 women "brought that genuine feeling of support and love for each other."

    PHOTO: Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist appear in this image together for an interview with "Good Morning America."
    Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist appear in this image together for an interview with "Good Morning America."

    "And it's like, we are not invisible. We are someone, a generation that has much to offer," he said. "We may be old. But we've generated some wisdom along the way. So, listen to us once in a while."

    During Turner and Nist's interview with "GMA," they opened up more on their love story, describing their journey to the proposal, their marriage plans and what's next.

    When sparks flew for both of them

    Nist was Turner's first one-on-one date on the show, which was at a diner where they split a milkshake and joined a flash mob in a dance.

    "It was so thrilling. So exciting," Nist said. "You mix a really great conversation, really great spark, and we were very attracted to each other. It was wonderful."

    "We're sharing the milkshake and both of us talked nonstop for probably 30 minutes," Turner said. "And yet, we both heard the other person. And that's so unusual. I watched that back and I go, 'Oh my god, we're so cute.'"

    How they connected over shared grief, lost love

    Also during that first date, the couple opened up about the loss of their spouses.

    Turner was previously married for 43 years to his high school sweetheart Toni, who died in 2017. Nist was married to her late husband of 42 years, Billy, who was also her high school sweetheart.

    Turner said the shared grief was an "icebreaker."

    "You have this shared experience that will naturally draw you together," he said. "But from there on, it's like, just like any other dating relationship, you have to find if you have things in common, if you have the chemistry, if you're drawn to each other. So, it gives a relationship a head start."

    "We understood what he had gone through," said Nist about Turner's loss.

    Nist on how 'it could have gone any way'

    Despite their shared connection, Nist wasn't sure if Turner would choose her because of the other women in the mansion, whom she said she admired.

    "Getting there on that first night was so incredibly exciting, to get to meet the women, and getting in a limo with four other beautiful, gorgeous, articulate, wonderful women was just… I mean, I was looking forward to that," she said.

    "It could have gone any way," said Nist, who said she has a "lasting bond with many women in the house." "We had beautiful, wonderful women there -- Faith, Leslie -- they're amazing."

    Among the 22 women to whom Turner was introduced, he said "I love you" to three of them -- Nist, Fhima and Faith Martin -- but it was Nist with whom he said he had a strong connection.

    "The sense of humor we share is huge," Turner said. "I'm finding that she is very good at keeping me grounded. I think I tend to be impatient, and she can be very patient. So, there's a number of things where we're counterpoint with each other, and it works really well."

    "I think we just understand each other," he added. "I can give her a hard time about something, poke fun just a little bit, and she thinks it's hilarious."

    "And I do the same," Nist said.

    The proposal and what's next for the couple

    Turner said that proposing to Nist in the show's finale was nerve-wracking.

    "I was nervous. For the first time in the entire season," he said.

    "I knew she was going to come down this walkway and I was going to see someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with -- for the first time I was going to propose in 50 some years," he continued.

    The couple is now planning for a wedding, which they said will be a live television event. Nist said it will have "lots of flowers" in shades of peach, cream, pink and yellow. She said she is keeping details about her dress a secret.

    The pair is also planning on moving to South Carolina together.

    "I just think it's time for me to find my last house, warmer climate," Turner said. "I think South Carolina might be the place. I never quite pulled the trigger. So, when we were in fantasy suites, we're talking about compromise. And she goes, 'Well, you know, I have a son and three grandsons in South Carolina.' There we go. Situation solved."

    "The Golden Wedding" of Turner and Nist will air live on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, on ABC. It will stream the next day on Hulu and Disney+.