Joan Vassos announced as ‘The Golden Bachelorette’ star, season to air this fall

Reality

ABC has announced it’s first-ever The Golden Bachelorette star, Joan Vassos, who had appeared on Gerry Turner’s season of The Golden Bachelor.

Joan, a 61-year-old grandmother and school administrator from Rockland, MD, will star on The Golden Bachelorette when the spinoff premieres this fall.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

The Golden Bachelorette will air 90-minute episodes on Wednesday nights at 8PM ET/PT this fall on ABC. An exact premiere date for the series has yet to be announced.

When ABC aired Gerry’s The Golden Bachelor season last year, each episode was only 60 minutes.

After failing to find lasting love with Gerry, Joan will begin her own televised journey to find love again when she steps into the historic role as the first Golden Bachelorette.

“The fan-favorite will bring her signature grace and charm as she embarks on a search for her next person, showcasing that everyone is worthy of more than just a second chance at love,” ABC said in a statement.

“[Joan] 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.”

Joan quit The Golden Bachelor during its October 12 episode because she had a serious family matter to attend to at home.

Joan revealed during that episode that her daughter had recently given birth via c-section and it wasn’t “a normal everyday delivery at all.”

Joan therefore decided she must put family first and leave The Golden Bachelor, and her exit resulted in Gerry crying and feeling deflated after feel sparks on their one-on-one date just hours before.

“Despite that and other challenges she’s faced along the way — including the heartbreaking loss of her husband after 32 years of marriage — [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,” ABC shared of its new Bachelorette.

Joan hopes to find a partner with whom she can go to the beach and spend quality time with her family.

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RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ COUPLES NOW: WHOM DID ‘THE BACHELORETTE’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELOR PICKS ULTIMATELY END UP WITH?! (PHOTOS)  

The Bachelor franchise’s casting director Jacqui Pitman teased that the lead had already been chosen during a March interview with ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV, according to Us Weekly.

“I can tell you nothing! But she’s amazing,” Jacqui teased, adding that the team was “looking for single senior men” for the show.

More than 43 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of The Golden Bachelor, and many fans quickly fell in love with Joan, a blonde beauty, in the first several episodes.

On The Golden Bachelor: The Women Tell All, 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.

When Jesse asked Joan how her daughter and baby granddaughter were doing, Joan said everything was great at home.

“My daughter had a really serious case of postpartum depression, and she needed me. She needed her mom, and I didn’t think twice. I knew I had to be there. I heard it in her voice and I could not get on that plane fast enough,” Joan explained.

But Joan confessed that her goodbye conversation with Gerry was heartbreaking because he had met her dating expectations and really impressed her. Joan also said that Gerry’s understanding and empathetic personality made quitting The Golden Bachelor “even worse.”

Joan told Jesse that she could tell Gerry is a wonderful father and that they might’ve had a bright future together.

“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.”

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ COUPLES NOW: WHO DID ‘THE BACHELOR’ STARS AND THEIR BACHELORETTE PICKS ACTUALLY END UP MARRYING? (PHOTOS)

Joan told The Wrap in November 2023 that she briefly considered returning to The Golden Bachelor 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 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 announced.

Joan took to Instagram shortly after The Golden Bachelor episode featuring her exit aired on ABC, and she gave “a huge thank you” to viewers for “expressing their concern” about her family.

“It’s a privilege to be a mom to four amazing kids and a grandmother (they call me Jojo) to two beautiful grandchildren. But once a mom, always a mom and sometimes the timing doesn’t work out with finding love,” Joan said, according to Us.

Joan went on to say, “I hope one day I will get the chance at love again.”

Gerry ultimately selected Theresa Nist as his winner and the couple got engaged during the November 2023 season finale.

The Golden Bachelor couple got married in a live televised special dubbed The Golden wedding on January 4 on ABC, but they announced their decision to divorce just three months later on April 12.

While The Golden Bachelorette will be airing this fall, Bachelor in Paradise was noticeably absent from the network’s 2024-2025 fall primetime schedule.

Bachelor in Paradise typically premieres in August or September. The show’s ninth season debuted in September 2023 and wrapped that December. It’s therefore possible ABC has postponed the new season or maybe even canceled it.

RELATED LINK: ‘THE BACHELOR’ FRANCHISE COUPLES NOW: WHO IS STILL TOGETHER?? (PHOTOS)

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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.

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