Reality TV

Joan Vassos Will Be The First Golden Bachelorette

The fan favorite made her mark on Gerry’s season.

Joan and Gerry on 'The Golden Bachelor.' Photo via ABC
ABC/Craig Sjodin

When The Golden Bachelorette premieres this fall, Joan Vassos will be going on her own journey for love. On May 14, ABC announced that the fan favorite from Gerry Turner’s Golden Bachelor season will lead the inaugural season of the spin-off series.

“The secret is out!” Joan wrote on her Instagram story, adding that she was “honored” to be selected for the role. The official announcement video features Joan, 61, sporting a glimmering gold dress and matching rose — all set to an anthem for new beginnings, Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten.”

Joan’s Journey To The Golden Bachelorette

If you watched The Golden Bachelor (as record numbers of viewers did), you’re probably familiar with Joan’s story. She and Gerry forged a strong connection on the show, both looking for love after loss. “For the first time in my life, I thought, I am really gonna do something for myself,” she told him. “I think I’m ready, and this is an opportunity that I just can’t let go.”

However, the timing just wasn’t right. Joan’s daughter had a baby shortly before production began, and she needed her mom’s support back home. At the time, Joan wrote on Instagram that she had no regrets about leaving when she did. “As for me and my journey to love… guess we will have to see where it takes me next,” she added.

Disney/Ramona Rosales

Joan also previously told Bustle that she’d be open to a dual Golden Bachelorette season, specifically pointing to her bunkmate Sandra Mason as a potential co-lead, just like Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia. It seems Joan will be going the solo route, but given the close-knit bonds forged on The Golden Bachelor, you can likely expect some familiar faces showing their support for the Maryland-based school administrator.

Gerry’s Sweet Message For Joan

Speaking of support, Gerry was one of the first members of Golden Bachelor Nation to wish Joan well on her next adventure. “You will be phenomenal as the new representative of a generation,” he wrote in an Instagram post, encouraging her to “relax, breathe, and enjoy” the experience ahead.

John Fleenor/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

While the timing didn’t align with Gerry, Joan previously said on The Golden Bachelor that meeting him renewed her faith in dating. “My heart maybe got a little fixed from Gerry,” she said. “He helped ... because as you get older, you get more invisible. People don’t see you anymore. Like, you’re not as significant as when you’re young.”

The Golden Bachelorette premieres this fall, but don’t tune in on your usual Thursday night. The spin-off will actually air in an all-new slot: Wednesday nights from 8-9:30 p.m. ET.