Gerry Turner had to take an STD test before becoming the first Golden Bachelor — but he didn’t know what to expect from the process.
During a Tuesday, November 21, appearance on Justin Long’s “Life Is Short” podcast, Gerry, 72, recalled hearing from producers while on a February vacation in Florida.
“I was actually traveling with an old girlfriend — we were just friends — and I got a call from ABC wanting me to initiate the process to go get a STD test,” he said.
Gerry, who was married to his late wife Toni for 43 years prior to her death in 2017, admitted that such testing was a foreign concept to him at the time.
“That may have been my very first STD test. I had no idea what was gonna happen. I didn’t know if they were gonna look in the iris of my eye, take a urine sample [or] a blood sample. I had no idea. Did not know,” he said.
The sexual health checkup wasn’t the only test Gerry had to pass to land the gig.
“I had to send my fingerprints to the FBI, there were numerous background tests. There was a psychological evaluation that was like 360 questions and then another hour of interview. The vetting process is ridiculously thorough,” the retiree revealed.
Despite the in-depth casting process, Golden Bachelor host Jesse Palmer doesn’t think there’s any way to know for sure how someone will respond to the circumstances of the show.
“[Gerry’s] the guy that knows what he wants, and I think he was feeling a lot of things and experiencing a lot of things throughout this season for the very first time. And I think navigating this part of the journey was something that I don’t think he or anybody can really prepare for when you find yourself in these moments,” Jesse, 45, exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, November 20.
Gerry will have to choose between finalists Leslie Fhima and Theresa Nist — both of whom he has told he loves — during the season finale. Palmer told Us that Golden Bachelor fans should prepare themselves for an emotional conclusion.
“Throughout the course of the season, [the goodbyes are] easily the most difficult part. And I think it usually is for most leads, but I think people are really going to see an emotional goodbye come the finale that they just haven’t seen yet. It’s pretty intense,” the television personality teased.
In a trailer for the upcoming final episode, Gerry can be heard telling Jesse that he hasn’t been so emotional since his wife’s death.
“The only advice in those situations is just trying to reassure him that it’s all going to be worth it and that there’s an amazing woman that he gets to spend the rest of his life with on the other side of all of that,” Jesse told Us of the moment. “But that was about as intense, as real and as raw as it gets. And it was probably the most raw moment that I think I’ve been a part of since hosting the franchise.”
The Golden Bachelor season finale airs on ABC Thursday, November 30, at 8 p.m. ET.