'Bachelor' star Jason Mesnick eliminates Jillian Harris, picks Final 2
By John Bracchitta, 02/17/2009
Despite her hope that she had found the "best friend she could marry," Jillian Harris found out that thirteenth-season The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick only saw her as a "best friend" when she was eliminated from last night's broadcast of the ABC reality dating series.
"Before I came here I kind of had this jaded feeling about love and that I would never find what I was looking for, and I did find what I was looking for here," the 29-year-old interior designer from Peace River, Alberta, Canada said following her elimination.
"I think with Jason the one thing I've never ever had in my entire life was looking somebody in the eye and having that connection like you're the only one in the room, and I felt that with him... I wore my heart on my sleeve and that is not the way I wanted it to end. This decision that he made today has broken my heart."
The Bachelor's seventh thirteenth season episode began in Queenstown, New Zealand as Jason prepared for his three fantasy dates with Jillian; Molly Malaney, a 24-year-old department store buyer from Grand Rapids, MI; and Melissa Rycroft, a 25-year-old sales representative from Dallas, TX. In addition to seeing the three remaining bachelorettes on individual dates, Jason was also excited by the fact that he and women would have the chance to take their relationships to a more personal level.
"This is a time where we can spend some real quality time," Jason said. "And more than that, we get to spend the night together."
For his first of the three dates, Jason met Jillian in a helicopter and took her on a scenic tour of New Zealand's mountain ranges. Following her hometown date with Jason, Jillian later said that she had only grown more infatuated with him.
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"I think after the hometown date, and after I saw how much Jason bonded with my family, It honestly intensified my feelings for him," she said. All I have are all these thoughts in my head about how amazing it is that I built this connection with someone and how overwhelming it is. I am on top of the world right now."
After their scenic tour, the helicopter landed on mountain side where the two had a picnic. During the picnic, Jillian explained how she wanted to marry her best friend and cited her grandparents as an example of a successful couple who always had an element of friendship. However, while both Jillian and Jason realized that they both possessed the same element of friendship in their relationship, they later added that they disagreed on whether their friendship was a good thing or not
"I have an amazing connection with Jason. I feel like he could be my best friend, I feel like he could be the one I spend the rest of my life with, and I feel like I've never connected with somebody more in my entire life than I've [connected with] him," Jillian said. "I think its safe to say that I'm falling in love with him."
"Everything is great with [Jillian]," Jason added later. "She's somebody I could be friends with forever. [The] fun, romantic, the conversation, everything's kinda developed at the same pace, but what I'm looking for is more of having a [passionate] connection too and seeing how serious we can get as a couple."
Jason also added that, in regard to potentially marrying his best friend that he would "want more than that," and hoped that the reminder of the date provide more answers for him.
That evening, Jason and Jillian continued their conversations at a local winery. Sensing that Jason wanted to see her more passionate side, Jillian made every attempt possible to show her interest in him while also explaining why she may have been less showy in her affection in the past.
"I think when I'm not with you I felt super overwhelmed. I can't believe that I'm here and that I'm away from my life, and I love it," she told him. "I love that I'm okay being away from it because I'm with someone really special."
"It's just something different than I've ever had before," she added later when describing her feelings for him, "I love it, I'm crazy about you... I've never felt in my entire life that anyone was meant more for me than you are."
Jason apparently heard what he wanted to hear from Jillian and offered her the chance to spend the night with him in his suite.
"Do you think you can handle a whole night with me?" Jillian asked.
"Oh, without a doubt," Jason responded with a smile.
After going to their suite, the couple resumed the night in a hot tub. Jason added later that he had been more than happy with how the night went.
"I saw a side of her that I hadn't seen before... I think we both really wanted that," he said. "I mean, we both were really getting passionate and into each other. It was steamy in there because of us."
Jason's second date with Molly began with the couple meeting on a rainy field. Having noticed that her relationship with him had been more playful than passionate, Molly went into the date looking to open up to Jason more emotionally and honestly than she had previously.
"I feel like our relationship has been very goofy and silly and sarcastic, I'm hoping to open up to him a little bit more, show him a bit more of my emotional side," she said. "I think things are definitely gonna change after today."
Luckily for Molly, her date with Jason began with an activity that almost guaranteed an emotional reaction out of its participants: bungee jumping.
Both Jason and Molly took separate turns being scared prior to their jump. However, after getting over their worries, they both took the jump together.
Molly later equated the jump and the worries involved in it to the same emotions that one goes through when falling in love.
"You're sitting on the edge, you're scared, and you just have to let go and do it," she said later.
After sitting down together for a meal following their jump, Molly surprised Jason with a list of 20 questions for him about small obscure facts about him, such as his favorite ice cream flavor (peanut butter and chocolate), car (a Mustang) and the one concert he could go to if given the choice (Elvis). She later added that she had decided to come up with the questions because knowing the little things about the person she may be marrying was important to her.
"I think it's important in a relationship to know the little things about people, and if Jason proposes to me, I don't know how I'm gonna feel about that if I don't know what his favorite flavor of ice cream is," she said with a smile.
That evening, Molly admitted to being nervous prior to the date because she knew that, in order to remain in the competition, she would need to open up to Jason emotionally.
"It's hard for me to talk about my feeling and talk about my emotions, and I think he wants to see my emotional side, and he needs to in order for me to be here in the end," she said.
Prior to the date, Jason also admitted that he wanted to see her open up emotionally to him.
"My only question with Molly is will she show me that she does care about me, because I can't give myself [to] her and not give anything back," Jason said. "My biggest worry tonight is that she's going to curl up and not share anything."
After Jason had to initially pull answers out of her, Molly eventually began opening up more and detailing why she was not very outgoing with her emotions. She described her family as not a "mush gush family" after Jason said he had noticed that her parents and sister were not very affectionate towards each other.
"Just because we don't act that way doesn't mean I don't feel it," Molly said, before adding that she was more affectionate with the men she dated before adding that she could kiss Jason "All day every day."
"Just because I'm not showing it doesn't mean I don't feel it," she added. "I want to let my guard down for you, that's not always easy for me to do. That's just the way I am, but I want to."
Molly eventually laid it out as clear as possible for Jason when she said that "I really think I'm falling in love with you," which Jason said caused everything he thought about her to change.
"It meant a lot [to hear that]. Especially from someone who wasn't so emotional. It was awesome. I needed to hear."
Molly, having felt like she had finally begun to break down the emotional wall between she and Jason, then beat Jason to the punch and asked if he would like to spend the night with her.
He accepted, and later said how much he had appreciated Molly's ability to open up during their date.
'I just really wanted to thank her for being herself and opening up in ways that were really tough for her," he said. "She's pushing herself to the limits and I really wanted to acknowledge that I appreciated that."
For Jason's third date with Melissa, both parties entered the date knowing that they would need to talk about why Melissa's parents had declined to take part in the hometown dates.
"After the hometown date I kind of let my emotions shift a bit form being so excited [and] so happy to being completely scared because Jason did not get to meet my parents," she said, before saying that she felt she would be at a disadvantage against another bachelorettes that had introduced her parents to him.
"I just kinda keep hoping and crossing my fingers that [it] doesn't weigh enough to affect our relationship that [we] have," Melissa added.
After meeting at a sheep farm, Jason and Melissa went to a nearby lake and boarded a boat that used to be owned by Winston Churchill. Once they were on the boat, Melissa began to talk about how scared she had been since the hometown dates.
The conversation finally shifted to her parents after the boat ride as they relaxed together in hot pools.
Melissa said that she had not talked to her parents about the hometown dates since they happened -- and noted that they usually talked on a regular basis. However, she added that they would've liked Jason if they had met him and said that she knew they would like him because of how he treated her.
"If you make me happy, and they know you make me happy, they just accept it," she said. "I just wanted them to see how happy you make me."
Following Melissa's explanation of the situation, Jason said that while he was still disappointed he hadn't met her parents, it was far from a deal breaker at this point in their relationship.
"Falling in love with Melissa doesn't have anything to do with her parents, it doesn't at all," he said. "I mean, you fall in love with somebody, and the family could be a part of it but it doesn't have to be. "There's nothing that her parents can do or say that would make me feel different about Melissa."
However Jason also reasoned that the pair's relationship could "only go so far" under those circumstances.
That evening, the couple went to Queenstown Hall and walked around the city's waterfront before settling in a private room at a nearby restaurant where they talked more about Melissa's family.
After reiterating how she was close with her parents and brother and saw them at least 2-3 times a week and adding how "terrified" she was to tell Jason that they would not be participating in the hometown date, she asked Jason straight up whether or not his lack of meeting them would eventually come back to hurt her in his eyes.
"It's hard because I've met everyone else's families, and its really important to meet your parents," he responded. "But I didn't get to meet anybody else's friends, and I saw your real life, so I've got this whole other balance that I see and I know."
As with his first two dates, Jason invited Melissa to spend the night together with him. However, after arriving in the suite Melissa took things to a whole new level when she admitted that she was "absolutely falling in love with [Jason], head over heels." She added that she was "terrified" by her feelings for him, but was cut off when Jason leaned in and kissed her.
"When Melissa told me that she loves me, I just felt really happy because I can't open myself up completely until I know that they're there as well, and Melissa is completely there," Jason said later. "It just feels amazing."
"I am completely falling for her, I think I have been for a long time, and by her saying that to me it just lets me open up even more," he added. "Any doubts that I had about her are gone."
Following the three dates, Jason met with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and said that he could see each of the final three bachelorettes as his wife.
"I have fallen for three girls who could be great in Ty's life and great in my life," he said.
After watching personal videos shot by the girls offering one last plea as to why they should make it through to the Final 2, Jason met the three girls to announce his decision.
"You three are the most beautiful women I've ever met, inside and out, and I mean that," he told them. "I am falling for all of for different reasons, but somebody has to go home today. I have to do the most selfish thing I've ever done and that's break on of your hearts tonight, and that really hurts me."
Jason than revealed that Melissa and Molly had received roses to make it to the Final 2, while Jillian had been eliminated. After walking her out of the room, Jason reiterated to Jillian that her elimination had not been for a lack of feelings for her.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I don't want you to ever doubt I had strong feeling for you, because I do. I've never met anybody like you before, like ever."
However Jason added that he felt that both of their lives were still in different spots and Jillian "deserves somebody who can" keep up with her -- which was something he didn't feel he could do.
"I have to be perfectly honest, I feel like I've totally fallen in love with you, which I've never been able to do ever in my entire life," Jillian responded, before adding that she had recently had "the best dream ever" where she and Jason had been married.
"I'm looking for someone who loves me for me," she added.
"And you deserve that more than anybody," Jason responded before leading her to her limousine.
The season finale of The Bachelor will air in two weeks on Monday, March 2 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC.
(Photo credit ABC)
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