Joan Vassos has shared if she initially hesitated to accept ABC's offer to star on The Golden Bachelorette this year.

Joan revealed to Entertainment Tonight that ABC had informed her in April that she'd be starring on The Golden Bachelorette's inaugural season.


While filming Jenn Tran's The Bachelorette season, The Bachelor franchise host Jesse Palmer apparently Zoom chatted with Joan to let her know that producers had selected her for The Golden Bachelorette role.

"I was like, 'Oh! Isn't this weird that Jesse is Zooming me?' I was like, 'Alright, something is going on here.' And then he goes, 'I hope you have some time this summer because you are the first-ever Golden Bachelorette,'" Joan told ET in an interview.

"It was crazy! [I] screamed of course."

Joan admitted of the big decision, "I didn't have to think about it for one second."

But that's because Joan had "already thought" about potentially being cast as the lead -- "long before" the gig was officially offered to her.

"When they first said they were considering me, I had a lot of time to think about it," Joan explained.

"And I even talked to my family about it, to make sure that they were okay with it. Because I went from being one of a lot of people [on The Golden Bachelor] to being the one, and this is a little scarier for them too."

Joan pointed out how this opportunity pushed her entire family into "a much bigger public spotlight."

However, Joan assured ET that her children and loved ones "were all wonderful about it" and really "wanted" her to do it.

"Maybe they're a little worried about me kissing someone on TV. I promised I wouldn't do it, but I think I lied," Joan quipped.

"They shouldn't have even asked me that! That's not fair!... I might kiss a man or two on TV, it might happen!"


The 61-year-old school administrator also joked about how she's anticipating the students at her all-boys school are going to give her a hard time about her The Golden Bachelorette journey when it airs on Wednesday nights at 8PM ET/PT this fall on ABC.

(An exact premiere date for The Golden Bachelorette has yet to be released, and fans are still waiting for the official cast of bachelors to be announced).

"There's going to be a lot of ridicule and people are going to make a lot of fun of me when I go back to work, but I signed up for this and I don't care!" Joan said.

Joan had quit The Golden Bachelor starring Gerry Turner a couple of weeks into filming last year to help her daughter recover from postpartum depression at home.

Joan was then announced as The Golden Bachelorette star in May, and her journey began filming earlier this month.

Joan was apparently "excited" but also "nervous" to date multiple men at once following the death of her late husband John in 2021.

"I so thought that I was going to be that girl who left that nobody remembers. I truly believed that was going to be the outcome," Joan told ET, reflecting back on her early The Golden Bachelor departure.

"I really was sad about that, honestly, because I loved being here. I think the process worked. I was sad when I had to leave, so having the opportunity to come back and [having] people actually remember me a little bit [is amazing]."

Joan told CNN on May 14 that she was "open" to ending her season with an engagement, believing that "this process works" and has resulted in successful marriages.

Joan elaborated, "I probably won't rush into a marriage right away -- and not only because of what happened with Gerry and Theresa. I think it takes some time to really get to know somebody. Out in the wild, in the real world, you need to spend some time there."


ABC previously teased that Joan will bring "grace and charm" to viewers' television screens this fall.

"She is a remarkable woman whose life has been defined by her resilience, zest for adventure and strong family values. It was those family values that led to her heartbreaking decision to leave The Golden Bachelor," ABC wrote in a press release for the show.

"Despite that and other challenges she's faced along the way... [Joan] remains an embodiment of strength and grace as a devoted mother of four, grandmother of two, and school administrator, while finding solace in the music of Elton John, spending time with her dog, and cooking."

On The Golden Bachelor: The Women Tell All late last year, Joan got emotional when watching her journey back on the show, and she told host Jesse Palmer how she felt really bad about disappointing and hurting Gerry.

"If circumstances had been different and you stayed, you think it might've worked out with Gerry?" Jesse asked the bachelorette.

"I think we had a good chance," Joan replied.

"Gerry helped make me feel visible. He looked at me and he cared about what I was saying and he wanted to get to know me. Society makes us feel like we've had out chance, we've had our children, and now it's time to support the next generation and kind of take a backseat. And Gerry opened my heart."

Joan told The Wrap in November 2023 that, after leaving Gerry during Week 2 of The Golden Bachelor season, she briefly considered returning to the show and resuming filming once she helped her daughter because she felt like she had "unfinished business."

However, Joan soon came to realize that her daughter's mental health was still suffering after giving birth and she needed to stay by her side.

Even though Joan didn't return to The Golden Bachelor, she admitted to Jesse on The Women Tell All that she "held out hope" Gerry would also quit the show and chase her down.

"I did think a couple times maybe I would come around the corner, coming home from work, and [Gerry] would be sitting on my front porch," Joan confessed.

Joan said she sometimes caught herself thinking about what could have been with Gerry.

"I went from wanting to find somebody to craving it now. It was such a good feeling and I'm working hard to find it; I'm not giving up," Joan shared.

Joan took to Instagram shortly after The Golden Bachelor episode featuring her exit aired on ABC, and she hinted that she'd like to continue her journey to find love on TV, writing, "Sometimes the timing doesn't work out with finding love. I hope one day I will get the chance at love again."

Gerry ended up selecting Theresa Nist as his The Golden Bachelor winner. The couple got engaged during the finale, which aired in November 2023, and then they wed in a live televised special on January 4 on ABC.

Gerry and Theresa, however, announced their split on April 12, and Gerry filed for divorce that same day. An Indiana judge has since finalized the pair's divorce.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.