Why Leslie Fhima Briefly Considered Leaving The Golden Bachelor

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Originally appeared on E! Online

Golden Bachelor contestant Leslie Fhima is on the hunt for a love that's gonna last.

Which is why the Minneapolis-based personal trainer—the self-described inspiration behind former flame Prince's "Sexy Dancer"—is still enjoying the journey with the Bachelor spinoff's inaugural lead, Gerry Turner. "There's lots of sparks," she confessed to E! News' Francesca Amiker during a recent set visit to the famed Bachelor mansion. "I'm cuckoo crazy about him and we definitely have chemistry. I'm in it to win it."

But as much as the 64-year-old is definitely there for the right reasons, there's one potential thorn.

Much like Joan Vassos, one of her "best friends in the house," Leslie got a phone call from home that nearly threw her love story off course, she revealed to E!. Mere days after Joan left to tend to her newly postpartum daughter, "I called my son and he needed me," shared the mom to Elijah, Chloe and Zack (and "Glama" to three grandchildren).

But Leslie's son is also eager for the two-time divorcée to finally get her happily ever after, telling her, "Please stay,'" she recalled. "'You have to stay.'"

Bachelor & Bachelorette Status Check: Find Out Who's Still Together

More from E! Online

Should her son have asked her to leave, though, Leslie would have packed up quicker than a final four contestant accepts an invitation to spend a night in the fantasy suite.

"With our age comes life," she explained. "And just because your kids are bigger doesn't mean they don't have problems. So we're a mother first and if my son had said, 'I need you now,' I would have left. Because that's who I am."

Golden Bachelor, Leslie Fhima
Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

Instead, she was able to literally ride off into the sunset later that day with Gerry on their one-on-one ATV date.

"I am a little bit more down to earth," noted the former professional figure skater and national aerobics champion, explaining why the outing that aired during the Oct. 19 episode was tailor-made for her and the 72-year-old pickleball enthusiast. "I like activities, adventure, all that stuff."

Naturally the two "had the best time," she continued of the date, wrapping up the day Bachelor-style with "a hot tub in the middle of nowhere."

Presumably, they did raise at least one toast to Leslie's son, who insisted his mom continue her journey. "He gave me the gift of staying and having an amazing date with Gerry," she said, "which I think changed our relationship, took it to a different level."

Her daughter Chloe, meanwhile, offered the initial nudge.

The two often enjoyed the ABC stalwart together, Leslie shared, "and about five years ago we were watching and she's like, 'Mom, you should be on the show.' I'm like, 'Well, they're 25.'" When Chloe suggested they needed a more mature version, continued Leslie, "I'm like, 'Oh, right. That's gonna happen.'"

But somewhere, somehow Bachelor execs were listening in and when The Golden Bachelor finally came to fruition, "She's like, 'You better audition.' And I did."

Once selected, said the 10-time marathon runner, her daughter sent her to the starting line with some sage advice. "She told me to be open-hearted because she knows I'm a little closed off at times and I happened to be a little pickier for good reasons, of course," says Leslie. "And she said, 'Just be yourself. Go for it. Go get your man.'"