Meet April Kirkwood

Catching up with Port St. Lucie resident and The Golden Bachelor contestant April Kirkwood

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April Kirkwood. Photo by ABC/Ricky Middlesworth
April Kirkwood. Photo by ABC/Ricky Middlesworth

Last year, Port St. Lucie resident April Kirkwood made quite the impression when she went looking for love on the first season of ABC’s The Golden Bachelor, providing much of the humor on the show (and faking a pickleball injury to get some extra attention). A mom to two grown children and grandmother of two, the former schoolteacher and current mental health therapist had a blast filming the show, but golden bachelor Gerry Turner failed to give her a rose in week four and she left the bachelor mansion. Here, 66-year-old Kirkwood talks about her experience.

What was your love like life prior to your appearance on The Golden Bachelor?

My first marriage lasted 18 months (I was in college). My second husband and I had two children together and divorced after 17 years of marriage. Most recently, I was dating Ralph for 20 years until his passing two and a half years ago. I was very depressed [after he passed away], and everyone kept sending me applications for The Golden Bachelor. I was just sitting here feeling sorry for myself, so I thought, let me fill this out. And, lo and behold, they called me.

April Kirkwood receives a rose from Gerry Turner before being eliminated from the show in week four. Photo by ABC_John Fleenor
April Kirkwood receives a rose from Gerry Turner before being eliminated from the show in week four. Photo by ABC/John Fleenor

You didn’t get the chance to go on a one-on-one date. If you could have gone on one of the other women’s dates, which would you choose? 

I really loved the beautiful one where Ellen [Goltzer, of Delray Beach] went up in a hot air balloon. I do think that people who get a one-on-one with the bachelor have an advantage. 

How has appearing on the show changed you?

It’s been a real process of reawakening for me, a healing force. I’ve cried a lot, and I’m more open now…. I’m back to myself! I hope I get to fall in love again. I don’t know how many chances people get to have the real thing, but if it comes to me, my heart is ready.

Kirkwood greets Turner for the first time with humor. Photo by ABC_Craig Sjodin
Kirkwood greets Turner for the first time with humor. Photo by ABC/Craig Sjodin

Now that you’re back home, are you dating?

Not yet. The Bachelor has kept me so busy that I really don’t have time. When I was in the mansion, I could see that even though we were older women, we were all still being triggered by unhealed issues. I wanted to go back and just see—am I over Ralph? Do I have issues with dating? I had not dated [since losing Ralph] until I met Gerry, and I immediately noticed his sensitivity. He has such a beautiful way of saying goodbye to his [deceased] wife, and there were times he got very teary about her. That gave me a lot of food for thought. How will I feel if a new man moves into the house I once shared with Ralph? I’m doing a lot of introspection and getting ready to date.

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