Sadness Grips Nation As Golden Bachelor And Wife Split

The above headline is totally sarcastic, which seems to be the only correct approach to writing a commentary on the pending divorce of “Golden Bachelor” Gerry Turner and the golden bachelorette he wed on live TV in January.

A straight-faced lead on this story would have been something like this: “The pending divorce of ABC’s ‘Golden Bachelor’ Gerry Turner and the woman he wed on live TV raises serious questions about reality TV’s ability to help lonely seniors find love in their golden years.”

Not only is that lead sentence dull and way too long, but the real snag is the word “serious.”

For who could really take “The Golden Bachelor” seriously in the first place? Maybe some people did, but just as many watched the show last fall with a combination of curiosity and cynicism leading to laughter.



Sure, the vast majority of Americans, a citizenry well known for sentimentality and goodwill toward all couples who meet on reality TV, hoped for a happy ending for Gerry, the 72-year-old widower from Indiana, and Theresa Nist, 70, of New Jersey, the woman he chose to marry out of a field of twenty-two 60-plus bachelorettes.

But now, in the aftermath of the couple announcing their split in a joint appearance on “Good Morning America” on Friday, a disillusioned nation (again, sarcasm) is issuing an anguished, collective cry: “We wuz robbed!” Or possibly, “We wuz bamboozled!”

Bamboozled? By a reality TV show? No one should be surprised by that since TV is in the bamboozle business, especially in the reality-TV space. 

Oops, they did it again. But to be fair, it is doubtful the powers that be at ABC planned for their golden couple to get divorced.

But they apparently knew about it before the rest of us because the exclusive announcement that made news around the world on Friday wound up on “GMA.”

I don’t know if the split could have been foreseen by the millions at home who watched the show and then the two-hour prime-time wedding.

Speaking for myself, I first began having suspicions that something wasn’t right about “The Golden Bachelor” when I learned last August that Gerry’s name was pronounced GAIR-ee, like “Gary,” instead of “Jerry” like every other Gerry who ever lived.

But I put that aside and forgot about it. Besides, the divorce reportedly has nothing to do with any confusion on the part of his new wife about how to pronounce his name.

Instead, the issue has to do with a disagreement on the kind of house they would live in. 

So, basically, their divorce comes down to a conflict over real estate, which might not even be grounds for divorce except, maybe, in Nevada.

“We looked at homes in South Carolina, we considered New Jersey, and we just looked at home after home, but we never got to the point where we made that decision,” Nist divulged on “GMA.”

There was no word on whether they considered counseling or going on “House Hunters” before deciding to pull the plug after just three months of marriage.

The truth is, getting out now likely preempts a lot of heartache later on when they’re living in a house that they both agreed to buy, but one of them hates.

In any case, three months is not a very long time to be married. “That’s not a marriage, that’s a date!” commented someone close to me when we heard the news on Friday.

Incredibly, their three-month marriage is not even the shortest in the history of reality TV. That title goes to Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger, star-crossed couple from “Who Wants To Marry a Multi-Millionaire?,” possibly the greatest TV show ever made.

At the conclusion of this outrageous, live, two-hour special on Fox on February 15, 2000, Rockwell and Conger, who had just met less than two hours previously, were legally wed. The marriage was annulled one month and 21 days later.

I went in search of divorce data on “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” but found incomplete and conflicting tallies in a Google search -- the usual result for me.

But the consensus seemed to be that far more marriages that came out of those shows over the 28 seasons of “The Bachelor” and 20 seasons of “The Bachelorette” failed than succeeded.

Well, as they are fond of reciting around the corridors of ABC, “if at once you don’t succeed, try, try again,” which is exactly what ABC is doing.

The network announced plans in February for a new wrinkle in the “Bachelor” franchise, “The Golden Bachelorette,” to be seen next fall.

The possible tagline: “Seniors looking for love, before time runs out!”

1 comment about "Sadness Grips Nation As Golden Bachelor And Wife Split".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Steve Beverly from Union Broadcasting System, April 16, 2024 at 4:39 p.m.

    Adam, again, you knocked it out of the park with this one.

    "The Bachelor" and "The Golden Bachelor" reduce the act of finding marriage partners to the same kind of level as eliminations in the NCAA basketball tournament.  I'm surprised ABC hasn't begun showing brackets and brought in Bracketology experts from ESPN for commentary.

    That, in itself, is a major reason why the percentage of enduring marriages from that show is low.

Next story loading loading..