The Golden Bachelor featured Joan Vassos quitting the show and disappointing Gerry Turner, Kathy Swarts slamming Theresa Nist for being "possessive" and possibly "dumb as rocks," and Susan Noles calling Leslie Fhima "a little much" during the episode that aired Thursday night on ABC.

Joan, a 60-year-old private school administrator from Rockland, MD, had to leave The Golden Bachelor after a romantic one-on-one date with Gerry for a family emergency involving her daughter back home.


"My heart maybe got a little fixed from Gerry," Joan said in her final words. "He helped... because as you get older, you become more invisible. People don't see you anymore, like, you're not as significant as when you're young."

And at the third Rose Ceremony of The Golden Bachelor season, Gerry eliminated Christina, a 73-year-old retired purchasing manager from Sierra Madre, CA, and Edith, a 60-year-old retired realtor from Downey, CA.

The Golden Bachelor broadcast began with 12 women in The Bachelor mansion who all had feelings for and established connections with Gerry.

Leslie, a 64-year-old fitness instructor from Minneapolis, MN, was afraid the bachelorettes were going to become catty soon, especially since they were still trying to protect their hearts.

Kathy, a 70-year-old retired educational consultant from Austin, TX, could tell Gerry really liked Theresa, a 69-year-old financial services professional from Shrewsbury, NJ, and that made some of the women a little jealous.

The Golden Bachelor host Jesse Palmer then arrived and shared how there was going to be a one-on-one date and a super fun group date that was going to start immediately.

For the group date, all of the ladies were invited to perform in a talent show.

Since Leslie performed her whole life as a professional dancer, she wasn't nervous at all. But Joan wanted "to throw up," saying she didn't have any talents at all.

The Golden Bachelor star was hoping to see a different side of the women's personalities, and the talent show was hosted by former The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe.

Kaitlyn declared how a lot was on the line because the winner of the talent show was going to receive a very special and romantic dinner with Gerry that night.
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Sandra, a 75-year-old retired executive assistant from Doraville, GA -- who admitted she's not a comedian -- told some funny jokes. Susan, a 66-year-old wedding officiant from Aston, PA, wore a karate outfit and kicked a piece of wood in half.

Ellen, a 71-year-old retired teacher from Delray Beach, FL, said her talent is teaching Sex Ed to middle school students, and Faith Martin, a 60-year-old high school teacher from Benton City, WA, sang a song while playing her guitar.

"I would've paid to watch this show!" Susan said.

April Kirkwood, a 65-year-old therapist from Port St. Lucie, FL, got The Golden Bachelor crowd pumped with a motivational speech, Kathy did push-ups, and Nancy, a 60-year-old retired interior designer from Alexandria, VA, bounced a dollop of whipped cream off her wrist and into her mouth.

Leslie then performed a sexy hip-hop dance like a pro -- and she involved Gerry by giving him a lapdance.

"Leslie is a very talented dancer, but she got a little dirty there, a little sexy there at the end. It was maybe a little much," Susan told the cameras.


Leslie's performance ended with her feeding The Golden Bachelor star a cookie and boasting, "And I bake too!"

Joan was clearly not excited for her turn because she claimed to have no skills.

Joan told Gerry that she was scared and being onstage was way out of her comfort zone, and she recited a beautiful, heartwarming and funny poem she had written about Gerry that was titled "I Just Hope I Don't Vomit On Your Shoes."

Gerry told Kaitlyn that he felt like Joan was speaking directly to him and his heart. The Golden Bachelor star therefore asked Joan to accompany him to dinner that night.

Leslie said she was happy for Joan but also really disappointed for herself. Leslie lamented about how no one ever picks her and there's a lot more to her than just being a sexy dancer.

That night, Joan wore a gorgeous red dress to dinner with Gerry, which appeared to take place in a quaint antique store.

Joan told The Golden Bachelor cameras that she could see a glimmer of what life would look like with Gerry, and Gerry told Joan that putting herself out there like that was very attractive to him.

Gerry spoke to Joan about how he waited a year after Toni's death to start dating again, and both he and Joan agreed that you can't put a time limit on mourning, healing and feeling ready to open your heart again.

Joan -- a mother, grandmother and school administrator -- said going on The Golden Bachelor was something she finally did for herself.

"I need to make a toast to you, and I want to tell you that I'm as excited to spend time with you as I've ever been with anyone," Gerry gushed to the bachelorette. "And so here's to you -- and here's to a future."

Gerry felt this was the first step of a very strong connection. She had sacrificed a lot to go on the show, and so that meant the world to The Golden Bachelor star.

Gerry chose to give Joan a rose on their date for being vulnerable and making him feel some type of way.

Joan said they had connected on "so many levels" and she could truly envision herself being with Gerry for the long haul.

Suddenly, Joan received a message from her daughter, who apparently needed her.

Joan was able to call her daughter on the phone, and Joan shared with The Golden Bachelor cameras, "My daughter just had a baby, and it wasn't a normal everyday delivery, at all."

Joan explained how "things go wrong" and she needed to put her family first. Joan announced to all the women how her family needed her but her heart was "breaking" to leave Gerry. Susan even cried, knowing how much this experience meant to Joan.

Gerry woke up that morning feeling like "a million bucks," mainly because his night with Joan was "revealing" and they definitely bonded. But he was about to find out that Joan was going to depart.


When Gerry arrived at The Golden Bachelor mansion to pick up his date, Joan asked to speak with him first and she broke the bad news about having to leave the show prematurely.

Joan told Gerry that he had healed her heart but the things that were wrong at home weren't getting any better. Joan shared how she had received a text message that morning informing her she must go home and be "mom."

"As much as I don't want to leave our journey, I've got to be a parent, and I've got to go home to my kids," Joan explained.

Gerry began crying, saying that he totally understood but he was also extremely disappointed to lose her from The Golden Bachelor.

Gerry said he had hopped out of bed dancing that morning but they both shared the same moral compass and that sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest.

"Although I know I'm doing the right thing for my family, I feel like I'm doing the hugely wrong thing for us," Joan explained.

Gerry reiterated how he understood Joan needed to go but he was very hurt and sad. The Golden Bachelor star said he'd be with her in spirit at home, and it was an emotional goodbye for them both.

Joan said she wanted Gerry -- an "incredible" man and "a really, really good guy" -- to find happiness, but she left him crying in his hands outside The Bachelor mansion.

That night, fashion designer Michael Costello showed up at The Bachelor mansion and informed Ellen that she'd be going on a one-on-one date with Gerry.

Gerry looked forward to pampering Ellen, which is something he thought she deserved. Ellen got to try on different gowns, and she tried on a beautiful hot pink dress with sparkly heels and accessories.

The Golden Bachelor star said the big smile on Ellen's face completed her look.

"Ellen is the one I can be most myself with, but will there be a more romantic connection?" Gerry questioned. "That's what I will really be looking for today."

Meanwhile, Theresa said the process was getting seriously hard because she genuinely liked Gerry a lot.

For Gerry and Ellen's The Golden Bachelor date, they enjoyed champagne in a couch in front of a beautiful landscape, and they talked about their wedding days.

Gerry then gave Ellen a pair of diamond earrings designed by Neil Lane. She said she had never received a gift like that before, and Gerry noted how every moment of their day together was a gift.

They even kissed during a hot air balloon ride, and Ellen acknowledged how there was "a fire" in that balloon.

"There's just something about her personality that pulls me in," Gerry told the cameras. "She could be the one that I share the rest of my life with."

The Golden Bachelor star ultimately decided to give Ellen a rose at the end of their date.

Meanwhile, Theresa spoke to Kathy about how her date with Gerry was "off the charts" and "absolutely amazing." Theresa even told her that Gerry was talking about their future together.

"I think she thinks she's got this," Kathy complained of Theresa in a confessional.

Kathy said while she came across like a very strong woman in The Golden Bachelor house, Theresa's eyes were telling her that she didn't "stand a chance."

Kathy noted, "I don't like it. I don't like it at all."

Kathy then broke down into tears, and Edith acknowledged how tension naturally arises when multiple women date one man. Edith said people were getting jealous and that may create some chaos.

At The Golden Bachelor cocktail party preceding the Rose Ceremony, April announced how it's appropriate to keep your mouth shut about intimate moments with Gerry out of respect for him and everyone else. Theresa immediately got upset, wondering if April's little speech was about her.

After all, Theresa was one of few women who had intimate time with Gerry thus far.

After Faith and Gerry shared a kiss, Theresa approached April, who advised Theresa to take it up with Kathy.

Kathy spoke to Gerry about working hard and being a good person, and she cried about her father in Gerry's arms. Kathy confessed she had a rough day, telling The Golden Bachelor star that she had dealt with some meanness and people weren't "necessarily very nice."

Kathy told Gerry that she was trying to keep it together and he needed to look out for Theresa.

"I think what you initially see isn't what is, and I don't want you to make a mistake," Kathy told Gerry. "My biggest goal for you is to be happy."

Kathy didn't throw Theresa under the bus, and Gerry said her maturity shined through and it said a lot about Kathy's heart.

"I've seen a whole new side of Kathy, and I've developed some real feelings for her," Gerry said.

The Golden Bachelor star then gave Kathy a rose, and she was absolutely ecstatic.

Kathy announced how Gerry is a wonderful guy who deserves the best, and Theresa declared, "And so do you."

Theresa then pulled Kathy aside, and Kathy admitted she felt like Theresa was dismissing her.

"You made me feel like you and Gerry are going to ride off into the sunset and I need to pack my bags because I'm going home," Kathy explained to the confused and shocked bachelorette.

Theresa apologized and then Kathy continued, "You've made me feel like it's a foregone conclusion and you say things like, 'We have a huge connection.' I think that's the kind of stuff that sounds possessive, territorial and 'get the hell out of my way, he's mine.' That's not a pretty picture."

Theresa said she was just trying to be open and honest, but Kathy said she wasn't buying that and she'd like Theresa to take accountability. Theresa seemed horrified and insisted that she felt horrible.

Leslie, on a similar note, didn't want to hear about other women's relationship with The Golden Bachelor star.

Theresa then left the room and bawled her eyes out. Theresa vented to Faith about how the others thought she had been boastful, but Faith didn't think Theresa ever had ill intent.

Gerry then found Theresa crying in her bedroom, and Gerry thought it was very unfortunate the bombshell was about Theresa, whom he considered kind and tenderhearted. The Golden Bachelor star, feeling like he knew Theresa pretty well, asked her to just let it go.

Gerry was upset about "the disturbance" in the house, and he worried this was going to be "a real stumbling block" in his relationship with Theresa.

Kathy wasn't sure whom Gerry was going to pick, but she insisted in a confessional of Theresa, "She is not Mrs. Turner yet."

The third Rose Ceremony of The Golden Bachelor season then commenced.

Gerry handed out roses to Faith, Sandra, Leslie, Nancy, Susan, April, and Theresa.

As a result, Gerry eliminated Edith and Christina.

Edith wished Gerry all the best on her way out, and Christina thanked him for a nice time.

Theresa then admitted she had said things she shouldn't have said and she planned to go forward with all good feelings.

With that being said, Theresa bonded with Kathy after the Rose Ceremony about how Gerry was such a nice person and how he had comforted her when she was crying in her bedroom.

"Theresa, that has got to stop. You've got to keep that to yourself," Kathy told her.

Kathy appeared stunned that Theresa had just divulged Gerry was in her bedroom and sought her out for a chat.

"I really think Theresa had no clue [she was bragging again]. I don't. I run my mouth all the time... but I also am intuitive," Kathy explained to The Golden Bachelor cameras.

"I think Theresa is a nice person, but can't figure out if she's dumb as a rock or knows exactly what she's doing. I don't want to take the gloves off; I don't want to be mean. But zip your lips!"

Theresa, meanwhile, thought everything was fine and hoped she and Kathy could become good friends again on The Golden Bachelor.


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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.