The Golden Bachelor moved into the actual dating portion in its second week, and the show’s first-ever date got off to a “stressful” start thanks to some busy Los Angeles freeways.
Thursday’s episode also included a missing cast member, an emotional group date, a surprise birthday party and more emotion at the rose ceremony where three ladies were sent home. And much like last week’s premiere episode, viewers were left wanting more.
Here’s a look at how week two unfolded.
First date speed bump
For the first first date in Golden Bachelor history, Gerry arrived at the mansion in a light blue 1958 Corvette convertible. He was there for a one-on-one date with Theresa, a 70-year-old financial services professional from New Jersey.
But right off the bat things got a bit tense as the small classic car made for a tough match-up against a busy L.A. freeway, especially after Gerry noticed that his headlights weren’t working. The camera footage appeared to show the lights cutting off and on.
“Believe me, I’m not a California driver,” Gerry said in a confessional interview. “I’m from Northern Indiana, this is my first time driving on a California freeway and they are notoriously insane.”
Gerry said he was struggling to see road markings and road signs because of the lack of headlights, as viewers saw them getting honked at by big semi-trucks. Both Gerry and Theresa appeared nervous.
“I hope this is the worst part of the date, because right now I’m scared to death,” Theresa said in a confessional.
She told him he was doing “a wonderful job” and put her hand on his shoulder at one point which he really appreciated. They eventually exited the freeway safely but both agreed it was a “stressful” drive.
“Your hand on my shoulder meant a ton, I mean seriously,” Gerry said.
The flash mob
After the 1950s car safely got them to a 1950s diner, they shared a milkshake and some genuine conversation before he said the magic words — “don’t stop believing” — and a flash mob broke out to the famous Journey song.
The fun or potentially awkward moment for all involved seemed to split viewers on social media, with some loving it and others saying they could have gone without it.
Group date tears
Next up for Gerry was a group date that consisted of a photo shoot where they recreated romance novel covers. Nancy, a 60-year-old retired interior designer from Virginia, became emotional during a portion of the photo shoot when they had to put on wedding dresses.
Nancy said the dress brought up memories of her late husband as it was a reminder of her wedding day. Gerry was able to comfort her and ultimately the pair bonded from the moment, and Nancy ended up with the group-date rose.
Surprise cocktail party
The cocktail party portion of the day turned out to be a surprise birthday party for Gerry, who turned 72 while filming. The party featured things like Susan popping out of a giant cake, Gerry gifting Ellen a framed picture from their photo shoot earlier in the day, and a moment with Joan and Gerry discussing their late spouses.
An emotional rose ceremony… for the women too
The cocktail party gave way to the second rose ceremony of this young season, and they’re not getting any easier for Gerry, who once again cried his way through three goodbyes at the end of it.
He handed out roses to Ellen, Sandra, Leslie, April, Joan, Edith, Faith, Susan and Christina, leaving Jeanie, Natascha and Peggy empty-handed.
A fourth person gone
Viewers may have noticed that Marina, a 60-year-old educator from L.A., was not on the show this week. Fans learned via an ABC Instagram post where host Jesse Palmer pays a visit to Gerry, that Marina chose to leave the show to attend to a family matter.
“I’m a single mom, and I had to choose my family and support my family’s needs at this time,” Marina told Gerry via a FaceTime call. “I am sorry that I had to leave, but at the same time I had to get my priorities straight.”
Gerry, a father of two, of course understood and the two had a pleasant goodbye where she wished him nothing but the best.
A look ahead
The preview for next week shows that viewers will get to see a hot air balloon date, some jealousy brewing between some of the women and, of course, more tears from Gerry.
Carol Dennis is an entertainment aficionado with an eye for all things pop culture. She dives into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, from movie premieres to music festivals. Carol’s passion for storytelling extends beyond her reporting, as she’s an aspiring screenwriter in her free time.