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Golden Bachelor’s Ellen Reveals Why She Almost Backed Out of Show

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Bachelor Nation’s Ellen Goltzer almost never made it on the Golden Bachelor — but her late friend Roberta offered up some major motivation.

“I never told anybody this. … I developed an abscess on my cheek, and it was three weeks before I was supposed to go,” Ellen, 71, revealed during the Friday, December 22, episode of “The Ben & Ashley I Almost Famous” podcast, noting that she couldn’t go on television with something on her face. “It was really like a golf ball.”

Ellen traveled from Florida to her doctor in New York, who was determined to get the “really scary” situation figured out before the Golden Bachelor started filming.

“Roberta kept saying to me the whole time — that’s where I get this from — never say never,” Ellen recalled, sharing that her face “cleared up enough to cover it with makeup.”

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Golden Bachelor viewers heard about Ellen’s late friend Roberta during the show’s premiere. The best friends had watched The Bachelor franchise for 20 years before Roberta pushed Ellen to apply for The Golden Bachelor. At the end of the episode, it was revealed that Roberta had died of cancer before the show aired.

“I knew I wasn’t going to go. That’s how bad it was,” Ellen said on Friday’s podcast about her face. “But she kept motivating me.”

Of course, Ellen filmed the Golden Bachelor and felt Roberta’s “presence” with her the whole time. “When I got home and I couldn’t communicate with her because she was in a semi-coma state, it was really difficult.”

During the Women Tell All special last month, Ellen shared a very special tribute to her late friend. Roberta’s daughter, Courtney, even surprised Ellen in the crowd. On Friday’s podcast, Ellen said Courtney is “like a daughter to her” and they still spend time together at Roberta’s home — where Ellen is staying.

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“She had bought a condo in my community. It was her wish to live near us with her fiancé. He bought her a condo in my community. She said, ‘I’m retiring so you can use my office as a bedroom,’” she explained, noting that Roberta compared it to “camp” for the summer. “We had one summer together, and it was done, and I’m still there, and she’s not. It’s really freaky.”

It’s still hard for Ellen, who lost her “go-to person” when Roberta passed. “There was something about Roberta, it was a true honest to goodness sister friendship. It really was,” she continued. “If anybody’s ever lucky enough to have something like that, they are blessed.”

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