Leslie Fhima, who was Gerry Turner’s runner-up on The Golden Bachelor, was admittedly “blindsided” when he chose Theresa Nist over her – especially because she didn’t even think Theresa was going to make the top 2. The fitness instructor admitted that she “really, really thought” she and Faith Martin would be the two women in the finale.

“I was shocked [when Faith got eliminated],” Leslie, 64, admitted on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast on Tuesday, December 5. “And I wish I could have [held] her and cried with her a little bit.”

Gerry, 72, said “I love you” to all three women. Leslie said she was aware that he expressed those feelings to Faith, 70, but didn’t know he had done the same with Theresa, 70. The retired restaurateur sent Faith home after hometown dates and went to the fantasy suite with Theresa and Leslie during The Golden Bachelor finale. He then eliminated Leslie before the final rose ceremony and proposed to Theresa.

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist kiss after getting engaged.
Disney/John Fleenor

“He made plans with me for [the] future,” Leslie said on Monday, December 4, while discussing her time with Gerry behind closed doors. “He said kind of, like, ‘Save the date, this is what we’re going to do. I can’t wait for us. [In] two more days, we’ll be done with this [and] be together, start our life.’ Did he say, ‘Will you marry me?’ in there? No. But he all but said that. I would’ve been happy with just, ‘I love you,’ but he took it to a different level.”

Based on Gerry’s comments, Leslie said she was sure she was going to get engaged to the widowed dad of two. “He didn’t want to leave [the next morning],” she continued. “That’s why I wasn’t worried that he was going on a date [with Theresa]. I just knew that he had to get through the motions of it. And I mean, I was 100 percent sure that I was it. He didn’t say, ‘I have such a hard decision to make.’ Nothing like that.”

Leslie admitted that she doesn’t “respect” what Gerry did to her and how he handled the situation. “Do I respect him? That’s such a hard question,” she said. “Because I want to say I do. But it’s hard. He hurt me.”

Gerry and Theresa are getting married on January 4, 2024, in a live, televised wedding on ABC. The financial services professional said she would love to invite Leslie to the ceremony.

“I don’t know if she would come,” Theresa admitted. However, she reflected on her close friendship with the Minneapolis native. “We sat and talked a lot,” she shared. “We, all the time, cried together. So this isn’t fun to have that happen to any other human being. I didn’t like that. And along those same lines, I was really good friends with Faith. I would say the people I was the closest with in the house were Faith and Leslie. How does that happen?”