The weeks are counting down until the premiere of The Golden Bachelor as the latest entry in the Bachelor Nation franchise in the 2023 TV schedule, with the search for love centering on 71-year-old retiree Gerry Turner. ABC has now announced the names of the women who will be vying for his heart on the new show, and one of them has appeared in the franchise before: former Bachelor Matt James' mom Patty is looking for love!
Patty Cuculo James previously appeared in Season 25 of The Bachelor in 2021 to give her son advice during his search for his future wife, but now she'll be hoping for roses in the first Bachelor Nation series centered on older singles. So, after his Bachelor journey, how does Matt James feel about his mom stepping into the spotlight? The former leading man expressed his feelings via Instagram story:
Way to be a supportive son! Matt James, who made history himself as the first Black lead of The Bachelor, didn't have a ton of words for the announcement of his mom joining The Golden Bachelor, but I think his feelings are pretty clear. It looks like Patty Cuculo James has the full support of her son, which suggests that he's still a fan of the franchise despite a tumultuous experience in his own season.
Of course, he did find love with Rachael Kirkconnell, with their relationship seemingly going strong (based on their social media presences) circa 2023 despite an earlier breakup due to the same controversy about race that led to the end of Chris Harrison's tenure as Bachelor Nation host.
As it turns out, Matt James did have more to express about his mom joining The Golden Bachelor after Patty Cucolo James posted about the news on her own Instagram account. Take a look at her celebration of her upcoming search for love:
A photo posted by on
In the comment section of her post, Matt James chose some fiery emojis that really could speak louder than any words he might have chosen. See for yourself:
Patty Cuculo James also got some support from another Bachelor Nation alum: Rachael Kirkconnell, who presumably has spent a significant amount of time with the family since restarting her relationship with Matt. She commented:
she’s ready to find love ♥️♥️
The excitement on Patty's behalf wasn't limited to Bachelor Nation familiar faces, either. Former Dancing with the Stars pro Lindsay Arnold may not be returning to the ABC show for Season 32, but she was Matt James' dance partner in Season 30, and she dropped by his mom's comment section with some sweet words of encouragement:
Oh my goodness!!!!!!!! I am sooo excited for you!!!!
Patty Cuculo James is one of 22 women who will try to win the heart of Gerry Turner, who was given a proper introduction beyond a catchphrase during the "Men Tell All" episode of Charity Lawson's season of The Bachelorette, and Lawson herself was immediately all-in on Turner. In ABC's announcement of the 22 women of The Golden Bachelor, Patty is described as "a retired real estate professional from Durham, N.C."
All of the contestants (and Gerry Turner himself) are between the ages of 60 and 75, with seven of the women at the age of 60 and two of them at 75. At 70, Patty Cuculo James is right in the middle of the age range. Turner is 71, and time is running out before Bachelor Nation fans get to see this new crop of singles begin their Golden Bachelor journey.
Somewhat hilariously, ABC's fall schedule has paired The Golden Bachelor with Season 9 of Bachelor in Paradise on Thursday nights, and I think it's already safe to say that no two Bachelor Nation shows have been more different than The Golden Bachelor and Paradise. Find out how they compare when they premiere on Thursday, September 28 on ABC!