Gerry Turner’s family had lots of thoughts on The Golden Bachelor premiere. After the first-ever episode of the Bachelor Nation spinoff aired on Thursday, ET’s Denny Directo spoke to the leading man, who revealed what his daughters, Jenny Young and Angie Warner, and granddaughters, Charlee Young and Payton Young, thought about night one, which included him locking lips with a few ladies.
When asked how he’s preparing his family for watching his love journey, the 72-year-old replied, “I’m taking it one step at a time with them. One layer of the onion comes off at a time.”
He added, “There’s enough of a challenge with each episode that we’re kind of breaking it down but I think they’re well adjusted to it. They’ve seen me over the years since [my wife] Tony passed away struggle, not be happy, not be with my person. And I think the overwhelming feeling for them is that they want me to be happy.”
While the new reality TV star said his daughters “loved” the episode, he did confess that they were “having an ick moment at my first kiss.”
“I was like, ‘Come on you guys! I told you this was gonna happen,'” he quipped.
As for whether he cried or kissed more, Gerry admitted, “I think I kissed more.”
The first night was eventful for Gerry, as he met 22 women, all with their own unique personalities. There was Ellen, who went on the show in honor of her best friend of 60 years who’s battling cancer.
“Ellen wears her heart on her sleeve,” Gerry said. “And she has this high, bubbly, energetic personality, very easy to be drawn to her. You know, she was really a wonderful woman. I enjoyed her immensely.”
The foul-mouthed Sandra and the chicken-clucking April followed, both of whom caught Gerry’s attention for different reasons.
“Yeah! It was the f-bomb and man did I feel awkward for a moment,” he confessed of Sandra. “What do I do here? Do I join in? Do I, like, retreat?”
Perhaps the most memorable entrance of the night went to Leslie, who previously dated Prince, as she ripped off an old lady costume to reveal a short black dress.
“So on top of all of those things, Leslie just had a visual energy,” Gerry recalled. “There was a look in her eye and a sparkle that was really undeniable. She was gonna go farther than halfway to meet someone.”
Later in the evening, it was birthday girl Theresa who nabbed Gerry’s first kiss as the Golden Bachelor.
“I think Theresa is just very endearing,” he told ET. “She has a soft heart, a very warm charm. She’s so cordial and curious at every turn. Not just to me but literally everyone in that house she treated with utmost respect. And as I got to know her I looked back and I said, ‘Yeah, I was definitely right to give her the first kiss.'”
No one stood out more than Faith, though, and Gerry proved as much when he awarded her the First Impression Rose.
“The look that she gave me, it was just like warm and soft and really did make me feel special in that moment,” he shared.
While some cattiness is typically to be expected between Bachelor contestants on night one, the ladies vying for Gerry’s heart flipped the script when they broke out into a dance party together.
“I don’t actually remember the full conversation but because [Leslie is] a dance instructor, she wanted to know if I had any moves,” he recalled. “…So that’s kind of how it started.”
The episode wasn’t without heartbreak, though, as Gerry got emotional as he sent six women home. Those emotions will continue throughout the remainder of the season, Gerry teased to ET.
“I’m down to two people and realize that one of those two has to go home,” he revealed. “When you’re down to the last two people over that amount of time and that much investment, you really have strong feelings for them even though you know they’re not the right person. They are so close to it.”
He added, “You’re connected so deeply and then you realize they have to leave. It’s, oh my god, it was an incredibly bad situation.”
As for what else is in store on The Golden Bachelor’s inaugural season, Gerry spoke about the difficulty that comes with being the leading man on the show.
“You have to be genuine but you get in a moment when it’s almost as if you fall in love with the concept of being in love,” he admitted. “And it’s like, yeah, I want to be there. And the excitement and the glamour of a moment and all the energy, all of a sudden you feel it. And then the next day, when you sort it out, you go, ‘Oh geez, that wasn’t the authentic feeling that I was looking for.'”
The Golden Bachelor airs Thursdays on ABC. Follow along Gerry Turner’s journey for love with ET’s coverage of the show.