WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Do not read on if you haven’t seen The Golden Bachelor Season 1 finale.
During Thursday’s season finale, Turner, 72, had the option to pop the question to either Leslie Fhima, a 70-year-old financial-services professional from New Jersey, or Theresa Nist, the 64-year-old fitness instructor from Minneapolis.
Though both women tried to win Turner’s affections through nine weeks of TV flirtation, it was Nist who stole Turner’s heart in the end.
Turner popped the question in Costa Rica. Prior to getting down on one knee, Turner’s daughters Jenny and Angie, as well as his granddaughters Payton and Charlie, helped him make the seemingly difficult decision.
He told his family both Nist and Fhima separately confessed their love to him, and he had returned the sentiment to each of the women.
Then finally, in the big reveal, Turner asked Nist to be his wife. On a large, flower-covered outdoor stage, Turner got onto one knee and presented Nist with a sparkling princess-cut diamond ring from jeweller Neil Lane. He then presented Nist with the season’s final golden rose.
“I love you 1,000 per cent, and I’m never going to stop believing,” Turner said as he proposed. “Every day I choose you.”
When Turner asked Nist to marry him, her answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!”
During an in-studio filming session after the proposal, Turner said he and Nist would be marrying in January.
“We’re going to do it as quickly as we can because at our age, we don’t have a lot of time to waste,” he said.
The Golden Bachelor fans will be able to witness the ceremony during a live TV special, called The Golden Wedding, set to air on ABC on Jan. 4.
Where did things go wrong with Leslie Fhima?
For Fhima, the ending wasn’t nearly as sweet. Though Turner once told her she was “the one” during the show’s Fantasy Suite week, that didn’t prove to be true when it came time to propose. As part of the two-hour finale special, Turner also had to call off his romance with Fhima. While standing outside her hotel suite, Turner told Fhima that he’d decided to propose to Nist.
Fhima, through tears, accused Turner of lying to her about his earlier feelings.
“At that time, that was the truth. Things have changed; things have evolved,” Turner defended, also visibly emotional.
“I’ve worked hard to learn as much about you and about Theresa as I possibly could,” he explained. “You’re both wonderful, but only one of you is right. Leslie, I am so sorry. Believe me, had I known this would be how much pain I would cause someone, I would’ve never taken the first step on this journey.”
Fhima said Turner’s decision not to choose her was “mind-boggling” given he’d earlier said he loved her. “You said things to me that made me think that this was going to be it,” she said. “You led me down a path and then you took a turn and left me there and that’s how I feel.”
After their emotional breakup, Turner walked away from the hotel to embrace The Golden Bachelor host, Jesse Palmer. Turner said he hated himself for breaking the heart of a “really good person.”
“I think the only time I’ve ever felt worse in my whole life was when my wife passed away,” Turner said. “And this was a goddamn close second.”
Later, during an “After the Final Rose” segment that saw the pair reunite, Fhima said she was “blindsided” by Turner’s decision.
“I picked out a dress, blue like your eyes. I wrote our vows. It was the happiest day of my life, except for the day I thought was coming,” Fhima said. “Right now, I’m heartbroken.”
Turner said he “got caught up in moments” while filming the show.
“You were the person I believed was my person until I suddenly knew you weren’t,” he explained.
Turner said their romance did not “go wrong,” but rather his connection was “better with someone else.”
What do Bachelor Nation fans think?
As usual with Bachelor Nation, not all viewers were satisfied with the end result. Much of The Golden Bachelor‘s audience had seemed to prefer Fhima over Nist.
Sorry, Bachelor Nation fans, but the heart wants what it wants, and Turner made his choice.
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