Note: The following story contains spoilers from “The Golden Bachelor” “Women Tell All” episode.
Joan Vassos said she crafted a plan to return to “The Golden Bachelor,” shortly after she exited the ABC reality series to tend to a family matter. An early favorite among Gerry Turner’s suitors, Vassos left production of the show early to help her daughter, who was suffering from postpartum depression.
“I got home, and my plan was to give [my daughter] some care — I needed to get her some mental health care,” Vassos told TheWrap during the taping of the “Women Tell All” episode. “I was in the process of doing that, and I was approached and they said, ‘Do you want to come back?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to come back, let me see how I’m doing with my daughter.’”
Vassos thought she was in the clear to return to the show, and production booked her a flight to return to the “Bachelor” mansion and continue dating Turner.
“I was going to come back, maybe four or five days after I left,” Vassos said. “And then my daughter wasn’t good again. We just hadn’t made it far enough — I hadn’t gotten her a doctor yet; I had calls in but it just couldn’t unfold quick enough.”
After eventually finding mental health care and a good doctor, Vassos said her daughter is doing better now, though her recovery took longer than the family anticipated.
“It wasn’t in the cards,” Vassos said of her potential return to the show.
Vassos’ exit was a particularly emotional one, as it followed a romantic one-on-one date with Turner after Vassos wooed the leading man with her down-to-earth poetry during a group date talent show.
Dating Turner wasn’t the only experience Vassos regretting missing out on, as she longed to share the “Bachelor” mansion with the vibrant group of senior women.
“I felt like I found my tribe,” she said. “I found these people that were just like me, and I haven’t had that since my husband had passed away, and leaving them was as hard as it was leaving Gerry, honestly.”
“The Golden Bachelor” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.