'Golden Bachelorette' revealed as Joan Vassos: 5 things to know about 61-year-old grandmother

Joan Vassos at Disney’s advertising upfront on May 14, 2024. An upfront is a showcase event that brings together all the content corners of The Walt Disney Company on one stage to showcase their latest projects for the upcoming year. (Disney/Michael

"The Golden Bachelorette" has picked their first lucky lady. 

ABC announced on Tuesday that Joan Vassos would be the next person looking for love after being unsuccessful during Gerry Turner's season of "The Golden Bachelor."

Vassos, 61, appeared on Turner's debut season of the "Golden" franchise, but unfortunately, had to leave the show during week three due to a family emergency. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Vassos' season is set to debut in the fall. 


After the news was released, Turner took to Instagram to wish Vassos luck on her upcoming journey to finding love.

"Dear Joan, Congratulations on being named the first ever 'Golden Bachelorette," Turner began. "You will be phenomenal as the new representative of a generation. From one Golden to another… relax, breathe and enjoy, Gerry." 

Gerry captioned the post, "And, ABC makes History, once again!!!" Turner has been dominating headlines since he announced his divorce from Theresa Nist three months after their televised wedding.

Here are five things to know about the upcoming "Golden Bachelorette."

Joan is a grandmother.

According to Joan's social media accounts, she is a mother and a grandmother. 

Vassos is very proud to be a grandma and often shows off her activities with her grandchildren and dog on Instagram. In April, Joan showed off her new wagon she purchased that allows her to take her two grandsons on a walk. 


"I’m excited for lots of stress free walks to the park," she said in her post with her grandchildren.

Vassos will ‘always choose’ her children first.

In October, Joan left the "Golden Bachelor" due to a medical emergency that involved one of her daughters.

After leaving the Bachelor Mansion, Vassos took to Instagram to reflect on her time on the show. 

"My journey to find love took a detour this week as I traded the mansion for motherhood and headed home to be with my family. Family comes first, period. Once a mother, always a mother, I’ll always choose my kids first," she wrote alongside a photo with Turner. 

"Thank you for all of your outpouring love and support, for not only me but also my daughter - everyone is now healthy and happy! As for me and my journey to love… guess we will have to see where it takes me next. Until then, stay golden," Joan concluded.

Joan was married for 32 years.

Joan lost her husband of 32 years, John, to pancreatic cancer, according to Bachelor Nation. After losing her husband, Vassos has found solace "in the music of Elton John, spending time with her dog, and cooking," according to her bio on ABC. 

"Now, as she steps into the golden spotlight and begins her journey to seek love once more, Vassos envisions a future filled with shared moments by the beach and cherished time with family," the bio continued. 

In January, Joan shared a throwback image of her family and her husband John to mark three years since his passing.

"Some days it seems like it just happened and I can't catch my breath, still feeling the shock of it. Other days it feels like he's been gone a lifetime, those days are worse because I'm afraid the memories are fading. I think that's what scares me the most," she captioned her post.

She concluded with, "Please keep telling the stories, don't worry, they don't make me sad...let's be honest, most of them are funny! As the Greeks say, 'May his memory be eternal.'"

She is a school administrator.

Vassos is a school administrator from Rockland, Maryland, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

It took years before Joan was ready to find love.

On May 8, Vassos was a guest on the "Bachelor Happy Hour: Golden Hour," which is hosted by "Golden Bachelor" contestants Susan Noles and Kathy Swarts.

During the episode, Joan admitted that she did not consider dating for several years after her husband's death.

"Year one came, and I wasn’t even close to ready. There was no chance I was dating anybody. Year two came around, and I felt like I wasn’t getting any younger, and it’s been two years, so I felt like I wasn’t getting any prettier or any less wrinkles," Vassos said. 

"I felt like I was wasting good, valuable time and really felt like I needed to start dating. I was at a restaurant at a friend of mine having dinner and looked around the place and everyone there was a couple. It had been two years since John passed away, and I had no idea how to meet somebody."

Vassos continued, "I felt like it was time and I didn’t know how to do it. I so didn’t want to go on a dating app, and we all know it is. I came home that night and was in a mood because every single person at this restaurant was a couple. I sat down on my sofa and I turned on ‘The Bachelor’ and it was like the universe was talking to me.

"There was an ad for a new show ‘The Golden Bachelor’ and it said to fill out the form, so I picked up my phone and filled out the form, and here I am. I got to the mansion and I still wasn’t super ready. I was nervous and wanted to be open to love, but wasn’t really sure if I was. And my heart opened up. In that seven-day period of the first week, there was when the switch flipped for me," Vassos concluded.

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