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Joan Vassos will be ABC's first 'Golden Bachelorette'

The 61-year-old competed for love on "The Golden Bachelor" last fall but had to make a sudden exit to be with her daughter over a medical concern.
Joan Vassos
Posted at 8:31 AM, May 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 09:31:16-04

Will you accept this rose?

“The Golden Bachelorette” has revealed its first leading lady.

Joan Vassos, a 61-year-old contestant from “The Golden Bachelor,” will embark on her journey for love in the fall as ABC’s first Golden Bachelorette.

Vassos, a school administrator from Rockland, Maryland, captured hearts as she vied for Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner’s heart last season. Sparks flew after an intimate date between the pair, leaving Turner — and audiences across America — wondering if Vassos was the one. But her time was cut abruptly short after an urgent text from her daughter, who was back home with a newborn and dealing with a medical issue.

“My family will always come first,” Vassos said, announcing her sudden exit.

“I have to go back and be a mom,” she said. “My family needs me.”

Vassos has four children and two grandchildren. Her husband John, whom she was married to for 32 years, died in January 2021 of pancreatic cancer.

On the three-year anniversary of John's death this year, Joan posted to Instagram: “He was the husband that always made me feel safe and cherished. He was the parent that was always the fun one because that's all he knew how to do...lucky kids because fun in his book was generally epic. I could go on for hours."

Vassos enjoys listening to Elton John, spending time with her dog, and cooking, according to ABC.

“Vassos is a remarkable woman whose life has been defined by her resilience, zest for adventure and strong family values,” the network said in a press release.

ABC greenlit a female-led version of the show after “The Golden Bachelor” became a major hit last season — with more than 43 million viewers across platforms tuning in for the debut. The show inspired viewers of all ages that "it's never too late to find love."

Turner, 72, proposed to contestant Theresa Nist, 70, in the show's finale that aired in November. The pair got married in a live televised wedding in January. Unfortunately, the two called it quits about three months into their marriage.

“The Golden Bachelorette” will air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC when it premieres in the fall.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist wed during a televised ceremony

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