Reality TV

The Golden Bachelor Fans React To Kathy & Theresa’s Fight

That rose ceremony comment was A LOT.

'The Golden Bachelor' cast at a group date talent show. Photo via ABC
ABC/John Fleenor

Between its brisk one-hour runtime and the contestants’ emotional backstories — several involving loss — there hasn’t been much room for conflict (or cattiness) on The Golden Bachelor. However, as co-showrunner Claire Freeland told Entertainment Weekly this summer, “Any time you have multiple people vying for the attention of one person, there’s going to be some drama that comes with that.”

The show’s Oct. 12 episode served up the first taste of that. It began with the formation of a clique: April Kirkwood, Susan Noles, Kathy Swarts, and Nancy Hulkower, aka ASK’N. “Our motto is, ‘You’re ask’n, we’re tellin’,’” Kathy explained in a confessional. (Genius.)

It’s not really a Mean Girls group. So far, the primary function of ASK’N is to make playful, gently snarky observations about their castmates and discuss gas-inducing meatballs. These are essential conversations in any society — and certainly in the Bachelor Mansion. But the clique does foreshadow the drama to come.

First, here’s a recap of Episode 3’s many ups and downs, as told by viewers who watched it all (and, yes, picked sides).

The Group Talent Show Got Steamy

This week, The Golden Bachelor women competed in a talent show to win a romantic dinner date with Gerry. Some of the most memorable moments included Sandra Mason’s stand-up routine, Susan’s karate chops, and Leslie Fhima’s electrifying routine that ended with a lap dance for Gerry.

Fans on X (formerly Twitter) celebrated the women’s skills and supportive vibes, with one viewer comparing Susan’s reactions to Kris Jenner’s “You’re doing amazing, sweetie” moment from Keeping Up with the Kardashians. (Susan proudly endorsed the reference, BTW.)

One user even called for a Golden Bachelor “traveling talent show.” When do tickets go on sale?!

A Text Sent One Woman Packing

Ultimately, Joan Vassos’ original poetry won Gerry over in the talent show. He brought Joan on the coveted dinner date, where the pair discussed their experiences dating after loss. Joan also shared that her daughter recently went through a difficult childbirth experience — and Gerry was moved that Joan “sacrificed so much” to go on The Golden Bachelor.

The next morning, Joan received a worrying text from her daughter and realized she was needed at home. “I think that I need to go home and be a mom ... as much as I don’t want to leave, and I don’t want to leave our journey,” she told Gerry.

Joan and Gerry were in tears as they parted ways — and so, too, were viewers at home.

They were equally moved by the other women sending Joan their love. “The way the women are heartbroken for Joan,” wrote one user. “[I] can’t take it.” Several even started the campaign for Joan to be the inaugural Golden Bachelorette. Co-sign!

Gerry Refereed The Show’s First Feud

Gerry’s hot-air balloon date with Ellen Goltzer was a break before the drama between Kathy and Theresa Nist escalated. So, what happened?

Kathy wanted to hear less about Theresa’s “off-the-charts” date with Gerry (you know, the one that ended with a “Don’t Stop Believin’” flash mob). During a private conversation with Gerry, Kathy tearfully said she’d received “meanness” and “daggers” over the last 24 hours without naming Theresa specifically.

Afterward, she voiced her qualms to Theresa directly. “I feel like you’re dismissing me — like, ‘He and I are going out for the sunset. Go pack, ’cause you’re going home,’” Kathy said, describing Theresa’s behavior as “territorial.” Some users were skeptical of Kathy’s assertions, with one viewer pointing out that “Theresa didn’t say/imply all of that,” and another suggesting that Kathy was “just jealous.”


Theresa fled to her bedroom in tears, and Gerry came to see what happened. He didn’t get too involved but offered some advice: “If, in your heart, you don’t believe that you were boastful, you don’t believe that you were doing anything to hurt someone, then I think you should let it go.”

While the “disturbance” bothered Gerry, both Theresa and Kathy got roses anyway. After the rose ceremony, it seemed like the pair might be OK — before Theresa whispered that Gerry told her “the most wonderful thing” in her bedroom.

He came up to your bedroom?” Kathy repeated, shocked. “Theresa, that’s the kind of stuff you need to keep to yourself.”

The exchange quickly became a contender for funniest moment in Bachelor Nation history.

But it also helped Kathy arrive at an important conclusion: Theresa wasn’t oversharing for some ulterior motive. Instead, she “had no clue,” Kathy said.

While most users seemed to side with Theresa, a few noted that she wasn’t completely “innocent” and could keep things to herself.

Either way, Bachelor Nation feuds tend to linger for a few weeks, so this probably isn’t the end of Kathy and Theresa’s drama.