Before Joey Graziadei took the reins on his season of “The Bachelor,” premiering Monday night, his visit to a group date on “The Golden Bachelor” helped him enter the right mindset to begin his journey finding love.
“I met Gerry [Turner] for their date, and he was the only one that was able to know that I was in the ‘Bachelor’ role at that time — none of the women knew anything yet,” Graziadei told TheWrap. “The guy was great. It was more exciting to talk to him about him being halfway through the season, how things have been going for him and make that early connection.”
What shone through the most for Graziadei was Turner’s excitement while exploring his connections with the 22 senior women. It’s an attitude that Graziadei, previously a “Bachelorette” runner-up, aimed to embody as he met the 32 women he would be courting.
“He had this energy that he was so grateful, and was taking every moment in,” Graziadei said of Turner. “For me, I know that can be tough. Sometimes I’m very critical of myself — I want everything to go perfectly. But his joy and his excitement was hard not to notice, and I really tried to remind myself of that whenever I could.”
Graziadei added that Turner’s support was instrumental throughout his time on his season, including after filming and ahead of the season’s January release. “He’s obviously got a lot of wisdom to give to me, so I just took whatever I could.”
Turner wasn’t the only member of Bachelor Nation that shared words of wisdom with Graziadei, as the new Bachelor connected with both former Bachelor Ben Higgins and Jason Tartick. Graziadei said he knew Tartick in a “past life” when the men lived in Nashville and golfed together.
“I also talked to a lot of guys from my season [of ‘The Bachelorette’], because they get it,” Graziadei said. “It’s great to connect with the leads, and I’m learning more and more how much it’s really helpful to talk to them, but in the ‘Bachelor’ world in general, it’s nice to have people that can support you.”
Looking back at his season, Graziadei noted his advice to himself would be to “have fun with it,” embracing a similar lesson to the “joy” he observed from Turner.
“You put pressure on yourself, so it’s hard sometimes,” Graziadei said. “I would just tell myself that, ‘It’s a tough role — you’re not going to do it perfectly. Enjoy yourself and try to give yourself grace where you can.”
“The Bachelor” premieres Monday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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