— Disney/John Fleenor
Hometowns are always a major step in the Bachelor/ette process — but the stakes feel even higher on The Golden Bachelor, where Gerry Turner will come face to face with the children and loved ones he may one day call “family.”Sadly, not every contestant gets a hometown date, and in the show’s Oct. 26 episode, Gerry said his most emotional goodbye yet to Florida retiree (and fellow pickleballer) Ellen Goltzer.So, why did Ellen leave The Golden Bachelor? Here’s a recap of her heartbreaking farewell — and a look at what she’s doing today.
A Golden Bachelor Twist
When viewers first met Ellen in Week 1, we learned that she and her best friend Roberta Zaktzer (who passed away after filming ended) loved watching The Bachelor together. So when Jesse Palmer told the remaining women that there would be three hometown dates, she knew better than anyone this was a departure from franchise tradition.Ellen was visibly surprised by the twist. “Knowing that there’s not four hometowns but three, I’m very scared,” she said in a confessional. — Disney/John FleenorThe retired educator was nervous throughout the carnival group date — and during a conversation with Gerry, she decided to lay it all out on the table.“I am absolutely falling head over heels in love with you,” she said. “And I can’t wait to have my children, my best friend Roberta... I know that they would adore you as much as I do. Because you’re a man of character. And not too bad on the eyes.”
Gerry’s “Most Difficult Decision” Yet
— @ellengoltzer/InstagramGerry said Ellen’s words touched him. However, by the time of the rose ceremony, he did not give her a rose — so there would be no hometown date. Sandra Mason and Susan Noles were also eliminated, but Gerry said Ellen’s departure was “the lasting memory of the night.”He offered to walk Ellen out, and told her it was his “most difficult decision” yet.
Based on Gerry’s reaction, it seems that Ellen would have got a coveted hometown date had The Golden Bachelor followed franchise tradition with four dates. The show didn’t provide an official explanation for the departure — but given the season’s shorter run (and shorter episode times), it could be a simple practical change.
She’s Still Smiling
Despite the emotional exit, Ellen was already looking on the bright side of her Golden Bachelor journey on the car ride home. “This experience has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said, adding that it renewed her “optimism about love and possibility of finding love at this stage in [her] life.” — @ellengoltzer/InstagramEllen has had fun recapping her time on the show on social media — shouting out Gerry and the friends she made along the way.“I’m all smiles. This experience is just so surreal,” she wrote in an Oct. 20 Instagram post, adding that she got to watch “the process really work.”