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Will You Accept The Senior 'Bachelor' Season?

- The Bachelor -
Will You Accept The Senior 'Bachelor' Season?

Eighty-five years ago, in February 2016, JoJo Fletcher's mom, Dr. Soraya Fletcher, was caught by cameras chugging a bottle of champagne during her daughter's hometown date on Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor. The blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment spurred many "it me" memes — remember, this is peak 2016 — and even though JoJo didn't end up winning Ben's heart, her mom won the collective heart of the internet, which is, quite frankly, worth way more. Sorry, Ben.

A little over one year later, Rachel Lindsay met the jovial Verna Myers, the aunt of final three contestant Eric Bigger, who went viral for her appearance on The Bachelorette. Then there was Madison Prewett's very young looking dad that stole her hometown episode. And I'd be shunned from Bachelor Nation if I didn't just say the word: Barb. (Who is on Cameo for $59.)

This is all to say, Bachelor Nation is obsessed with parents — or seniors, if you will. (Except for Madison's dad, who may or may not be rushing Sigma Chi this coming fall.) And like any good TV executive will tell you, you give the people what they want. Enter: The Bachelor: Aged To Perfection, Seniors Edition. (Name not confirmed.)

Back in February 2020, ABC announced that it was looking for seniors for a new dating show by the producers of The Bachelor.

"Are you entering your golden years and looking for romance?" producer Lindsay Liles shared on her Instagram early 2020. "The producers of The Bachelor are looking for active and outgoing single men and women age 65 and up for a new exciting dating show. If you're ready for a committed relationship, apply today at SeniorDatingShow.CastingCrane.com."

The site asks pretty general casting questions — name, age, height/weight, job, have you ever killed someone, etc. — but there's one question that obviously stands out for this casting call. "Do you have any grandkids?" Aww.

While COVID-19 stalled production for The Bachelor: Baby Boomers, Variety confirmed in July that the show was very much still a go. Robert Mills, the big boss on The Bachelor, shared at the time, “Some of the casting interviews we got, they were just so touching ... It’s such a different way of doing The Bachelor because these people are just at a totally different place in their lives."

Now, in February 2021, the Senior Edition has risen again, and we deserve a look at what the season has in store. Or at least, what it should have in store — a girl can dream!

Week 1: Meet Our Bachelor & His Contestants

Herbert, 72, retired, and single, is looking to live his third act in life with a kind lady. (He'll call them ladies the entire season, just stick with it, he means well.) Herbie, as his friends call him at the club, heard about the the show when his granddaughter, a minor TikTok influencer with 84,000 followers, saw the ad during The Bachelor, and thought she had to nominate her Pop Pop.

Herbie lost his wife nine years ago — he literally lost her in a Costco, never to be seen again — and his family just wants him to have a companion to share his great joys in life: questionably offensive Facebook posts and golfing! The internet will lose it when they see Herbie putting on the suit he wore to his vow renewal with his late wife — Chris Harrison helps straighten his bow tie — and just like that Herbie is all of Our Pop Pop.

As for his contestants, prepare to say "I LOVE her," every other minute. We've got some Caroles, Joannes, and believe it or not six Karens, all hopeful to find the man they can spend the rest of their life with. They're all so cute and are wearing the little beaded shrugs over their (maybe!) mother-of-the-bride dresses. Everyone brings photos of their grandkids... they just need to find their readers to show you them. You! Will! Cry!

After giving his first impression rose to local Floridian Evelyn thanks to her golf-themed limo exit, Herbie is given the difficult task of eliminating a handful of the women. But for Herbie, it's not really that difficult, because as a 72-year-old man, he knows what he wants, so instead of memorizing everyone's names, he just goes around the room and points to women and says "yes" or "no."

The rose ceremony wraps at 4 p.m., and they all head to a group dinner. Chris Harrison teases next week's episode by saying, "It's never too late for love."

Week 2: Boca Raton

Since the season is filming in Naples, Florida, where 75% of the contestants currently live ("The Bachelor: Snow Birds! "), the first cast trip is only a quick two-hour ride across the Sunshine State to Boca Raton, even though they have to stop 15 times for bathroom breaks. (Honestly, it's relatable, ladies.)

In Boca, Herbie has his first 1:1 with Laura, a retired English teacher from the Chicago suburbs who keeps busy with her five long-haired dachshunds and her 479 successfully completed levels of Candy Crush on her iPad. They go to the beach and people watch, and share their first, bashful, kiss. Laura locks in the rose.

On the group date, Herbie and 10 of the women go to a test kitchen where the women compete in a Christmas Cookie-Off. Janet is convinced someone sabotaged her oven and self-eliminates from the show because she'd rather go out on her own time than with a bad cookie to her name.

Herbie says goodbye to six more women through the "yes" and "no" method. Chris Harrison teases next week's episode by saying, "It's never too late for love."

Week 3: Grand Canyon

This week, the cast goes to their second favorite state: Arizona. The 25% that didn't live in Florida are glad to be home, and during one of the group dates, four different women are stopped on the street by women wearing so much turquoise to ask how things are going. Like, just in general.

Herbie takes Peg and Marge on the dreaded 2:1 date overlooking the Grand Canyon. After Marge started a rumor that Peg was still — gasp — married according to an anonymous email Marge got to her (you guessed it) iPad, Herbie is committed to finding out the truth. He eventually learns through some live Facebook stalking that Peg isn't married anymore, but she did just recently divorce Marge's second husband after meeting him in their 55+ community in Sarasota, Florida. Marge doesn't get the rose and Peg moves on to Hometowns. Chris Harrison teases next week's episode by saying, "It's never too late for love."

Week 4: Hometown Dates

The numbers are dwindling after five more women choose to leave, because they don't want to miss their grandson's graduation/their first great-grandbaby being born/Judge Judy, and there are only four remaining: Doris, Joanne R., Karen T., and first impression rose receiver, Evelyn.

Lucky for Herbie, Doris, Joanne R., Karen T., and Evelyn, all live within a three-minute golf cart ride from each other, so hometowns are a walk in the park for him and production. During hometowns, Herbie is grilled by grandchildren about his intentions with their grandmothers as well as what really happened in that Costco nine years ago. (Coincidentally, true crime podcast, Up and Vanished, has also taken on the case of Herbie's missing wife.)

Herbie eliminates Joanne R. based solely on the amount of ladybug decor she has in her house, while Doris self-eliminates realizing that Herbie isn't who she wants to spend the rest of her sun-tanning days with. She locks in her spot as the next Bachelorette after the hashtag #DatesForDoris goes viral with hundreds of eligible singles vying for her attention. (She's not on Twitter, but her nephew calls her up and tells her all about it. Her response? "Who is Twitter?") Chris Harrison teases next week's episode by saying, "It's never too late for love."

Week 5: The Ladies Tell All

Chris Harrison sits down with the ladies where Peg and Marge go head-to-head in an all out pointing match. Turns out, after the show, Marge remarried her second husband (also Peg's ex) and the ladies all are convinced she appeared on the show for the wrong reasons, just to make her ex jealous. ("It worked, didn't it?" she says with a smirk.)

Joanne R. sits down with Chris for a raw conversation about how she felt like she was falling in like with Herbie and how she got matching Adirondack chairs for her deck in hopes of Herbie sitting by her side for the rest of time. Hannah Brown makes an appearance to talk Joanne R. through her breakup and give her advice on how to move on, as if Joanne R. hasn't been around three times longer than Hannah. Still, ever the lady, Joanne R. smiles and says, "Thank you dear," before we cut to commercial. Chris Harrison teases next week's episode by saying, "It's never too late for love."

Week 6: The Final Rose

Everyone travels to Palm Springs to meet Herbie's family in what is bound to be the most dramatic episode of The Bachelor ever.

During Karen T.'s lunch with Herbie's grandchildren, his now-kind-of-famous TikTok granddaughter (she now has 174,000 followers) asks Karen T. to do the "Toxic x Love Shack" TikTok dance, and when she doesn't nail the timing on "the whole shack shimmies," his granddaughter forces him to kick her out on the spot. "There's no place for that in my household," the 17-year-old who has never held a job says to the camera.

After "receiving messages" that Herbie's granddaughter was going to test her on a TikTok dance, Evelyn locks herself in her hotel room until she can perform the choreography with her eyes closed. Everyone approves and Herbie gets down on one knee — OK, not actually on one knee, he just got it replaced last November — and proposes with a Neil Lane ring. The hashtag #PopPoppedTheQuestion trends worldwide. The two plan on getting married, live on ABC the next week, because they don't want to miss a moment of life with the other. During the ceremony, Up and Vanished host Payne Lindsey shows up with the reveal that they have located Herbie's missing wife and in unison, he and Chris Harrison deliver, "Tune in next week for the most dramatic episode yet." And then Chris adds, "It's never too late for love."

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Image: ABC

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