The former season 25 Bachelor took to social media on Wednesday, August 30, to cheer his mom on after it was revealed that she would be part of the senior-led ABC dating series, which follows Gerry Turner in his quest for a second chance at romance.
“I ccc uuu mama,” Matt wrote above Patty’s headshot via his Instagram Story, adding a heart on fire emoji while SZA’s song “Snooze” played in the background.
ABC revealed earlier on Wednesday which women would be vying for Turner’s heart. While most of the group are new to reality TV, Patty made her first appearance on Matt’s season of The Bachelor in 2021.
“Sooo exciting…” Patty, 70, wrote via her Instagram alongside a photo of the cast following the big announcement on Wednesday. Matt, meanwhile, continued to show his mom support by posting three more red heart on fire emojis via the comments section.
Patty was previously married to Manny James but the pair split when their children were little, according to a 2019 Wake Forest Magazine article. (In addition to Matt, Patty and Manny also share son John.)
During a January appearance on The Tamron Hall Show, Matt admitted that his past dating struggles stemmed from his parent’s divorce.
“I saw what infidelity looked like at a young age. I saw family members that were against the relationship and doubling down on it after seeing the infidelity between my dad and my mom,” he explained, noting that he consciously signed up for The Bachelor “not wanting to perpetuate that behavior.”
Matt made history in 2021 as the franchise’s first Black Bachelor and ultimately found love with his season 25 finalist, Rachel Kirkconnell. Prior to giving his final rose, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Matt was looking for a woman who “he can bring home to his mom. Someone who’s intelligent, smart, big sense of humor. … Someone who cares about their physical well-being and their health. He’s a man with very high standards.”
In July, Kirkconnell, 26, exclusively told Us that she “truly, truly, truly” didn’t know if Patty signed up for The Golden Bachelor, but she’s “rooting for [Patty to find] love any day, whether it’s on TV or off.”
Matt’s BFF and former roommate, Tyler Cameron, also gushed about the prospect of seeing Patty find romance on TV. “I think she’d be great. I think she’d be fun [to watch],” Tyler, 30, told Us earlier this month “She’s the sweetest lady ever, though. Don’t know how that fairs for people on the show being really sweet and nice.”
The Golden Bachelor was greenlit in May and ABC announced Gerry, 71, as the lead two months later. The news came after a search for senior contestants went on for years, leading some fans to wonder whether the spinoff would happen at all.
Prior to looking for love on reality TV, Gerry was married to his high school sweetheart, Toni, who died in 2017. The couple shared two daughters, Jenny and Angie, who — along with granddaughters Charlee and Payton — are all “very excited” about his upcoming Bachelor Nation debut. “They send me a lot of positive reinforcement,” he told Variety earlier this month.
While Gerry’s run as the Bachelor will follow almost all of the normal rules of the dating series, there will be one major difference — the Fantasy Suite date nights.
“I just think that a Fantasy Suite for someone of my age may look quite different,” Gerry told Entertainment Tonight in an August interview. “The activities could be quite different than for someone in their 20s and 30s.”
Gerry 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.”
In typical seasons of the Bachelor franchise, a lead will invite their three finalists on individual overnight dates to further explore their connections sans cameras. While it is not known exactly what occurs in the suites, many former stars of the show have revealed the evening is often used to get intimate or have more in-depth conversations.
The Golden Bachelor premieres on ABC Thursday, September 28, at 8 p.m. ET.