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Joan Vassos’ journey was cut short on “The Golden Bachelor.” As the Golden Bachelorette, she “hopes we change the perception of aging.”

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Joan Vassos’ journey was cut short on “The Golden Bachelor.”  As the Golden Bachelorette, she “hopes we change the perception of aging.”

It looks like Bachelor Nation is ready to start a new journey to love, this time with new Golden Bachelorette Joan Vassos.

ABC announced Tuesday that the 61-year-old private school administrator from Rockland, Maryland, would hand out the signature roses during the network’s first season. The Golden Bachelorette.

Vassos discovered she had been cast, telling CNN, “It almost felt like I was floating over my body, it was quite surreal.”

“In our culture I feel like growing old is not a dignified thing, you’re just supposed to fade into the background, take a back seat to the next generation. And I hope we change that a little,” she told the channel in an interview. “There is a lot of knowledge within us because we have lived life.”

Fans of the senior dating series will recognize the familiar face from Vassos’ time last fall The golden bachelor was demolished.

“I got a text this morning and I think I need to go home and be a mom,” Vassos told Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner after her daughter, who recently gave birth, contacted her while she was on the series. “So as much as I don’t want to leave, and I don’t want to leave our trip, I need to be a parent and I need to get home to my kids.”

A visibly shaken Turner acknowledged that he understood.

“I understand,” Turner, 72, told her. “But I can’t tell you how disappointed I am.”

Vassos endeared herself to Turner and viewers when she performed her original poem “I Just Hope I Don’t Vomit on Your Shoes” at a talent show during his season. Turner even said he felt like Vassos was “just talking to me and no one else around.”

Although the teacher seemed like a strong contender for Turner’s heart, her unexpected departure in Week 3 sent Turner and the show in a different direction.

The golden bachelor watched Turner woo 22 women before finally getting down on one knee to Theresa Nist, a financial services firm from Shrewsbury, NJ. While the two tied the knot in a televised ceremony in January, they shocked viewers when they announced their divorce in April.

According to the Golden bachelorette At the announcement, Turner Vassos offered his congratulations “from one Golden to another.”

Choosing Vassos as the first Golden Bachelorette wasn’t a complete surprise, but she did have some competition for the role. Runner-up Leslie Fhima, 65, who said Turner broke her heart by not choosing her, was seen as a strong contender.

Fhima was ready to step into the hot seat.

“What if they asked me? Yes, I would,” she said on a May 10 episode of the series Playing the field podcast. “I think I would be great [lead]. Because I did this. I was at the show, so I know a little more about what to expect and what not to expect and all that. Besides, I think I’m fun! I descend from a waterfall, I get into a hot tub, I go on a quad bike. I will do everything.”

Golden bachelor fan favorites Susan Noles and Kathy Swarts, who recently launched a podcast together, told Yahoo Entertainment in April that both Vassos and Fhima were on their list of possible Golden Bachelorettes.

The excitement is building for future iterations of the golden franchise since Turner’s season ended and his wedding was televised.

ABC announced spinoff The Golden Bachelorette in February, saying: ‘After a historic first season in which Gerry and Theresa found love The golden bachelor, this all-new version of the hit series will highlight a radiant woman’s second chance at love in her golden years.

The golden bachelor co-showrunner Jason Ehrlich told TheWrap in November 2023 that a female version of the show would be “very different” from Turner’s iteration.

“We are very curious to see how that will turn out, but hope that we get the opportunity and that we get the same genuine feeling from reasonable people looking for love,” Ehrlich told the outlet.

ABC has not yet announced a premiere date for the spinoff, but the network has confirmed it The Golden Bachelorette airs this fall on Wednesdays at 8pm ET. Not only that, but the episodes will be expanded from one hour to 90 minutes.

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