“I just think that a Fantasy Suite for someone of my age may look quite different,” Gerry, 71, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Saturday, August 12. “The activities could be quite different than for someone in their 20s and 30s.”
Gerry — who spoke with ET ahead of his first night of filming — noted that he’s not nervous about the overnight dates, but his family is more wary. “[It makes] my daughters a lot more nervous than me,” he quipped, referring to daughters Angie and Jenny and granddaughters Charlee and Payton.
In typical seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, a lead will invite their three finalists on individual overnight dates to further explore their connections without cameras. While it is not known exactly what goes down in the fantasy suites, many former show stars have revealed that the evening can be used to get intimate or talk in-depth about important conversations.
Gerry’s children, whom he shared with late wife Toni Turner, are also not on board with watching him make out with his contestants on the show.
“They said absolutely none of that. They said don’t do it,” he joked to ET, revealing that he’s “been ignoring that part of the advice.” Gerry added: “They said pick your moments. They said enjoy every minute you can.’ They are very much fans of the show. They got me started watching it. They were the ones that motivated me to respond early on to the casting call.”
The Golden Bachelor, a senior version of the long-running ABC dating show, was greenlit in May. Two months later, it was announced that Gerry would be the first star to hand out the golden roses.
Many existing members of Bachelor Nation have been excited to learn more about the Indiana native’s season — and gave Us Weekly the exclusive scoop about why they were keen to watch.
“Any Bachelor [show], I tune in. I’m very grateful for them. They definitely get my viewership,” Andrew Spencer exclusively said during a July episode of Us’ “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. “I literally would rather put bleach in my eyes than watch my mom making out with someone.”
Another Bachelor Nation mom, Matt James’ mother Patty James, also has her eye on Gerry. “We truly, truly, truly don’t know … if she’s on it or not,” Matt’s girlfriend from his season of The Bachelor, Rachael Kirkconnell, told Us last month, responding to rumors that Patty had been cast for Gerry’s season. “I’m very excited to see whatever happens. I’m really excited for Gerry. I think he’s going to be a great Bachelor. I mean, he seems like the absolute perfect candidate, so I’m really excited to watch. … I’m rooting for love [for Patty] any day, whether it’s on TV or off.”
While the cast for season 1 of The Golden Bachelor has not been revealed, Gerry himself told Variety earlier this week that he was fine with producers “blurring the lines” in terms of an age range between 60 to 70.
The Golden Bachelor is currently filming and is slated to premiere on ABC this fall.