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Jason Mesnick dishes about his upcoming 'The Bachelor' journey


By Christopher Rocchio, 12/17/2008 

Although The Bachelor's thirteenth-season premiere is more than two weeks away, Jason Mesnick said he decided to spill the beans about being engaged because it was something he didn't want to try and keep secret.

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"How could I hold something like that back?  When I'm as happy as I am and I feel as transparent as I am -- and there's only certain things obviously I can say with the show not even starting yet --  I just said this is me, and I'm so excited and so happy that I want everybody to know it," Mesnick told reporters during a Wednesday conference call. 

"If people are going to ask me the same question over and over again, there's no way I could hold that back."

Mesnick, a 32-year-old divorced father from Seattle, WA who was rejected by DeAnna Pappas on this past summer's edition of The Bachelorette, recently revealed he got engaged on the reality dating series' thirteenth edition, which finished taping right before Thanksgiving.

"I have to say she's amazing.  I can't say anything else," he told reporters.

Mesnick isn't the first The Bachelor star to gush about the woman he chooses, however he is trying to become the first to actually walk down the aisle with her.  He added that having appeared as a suitor on The Bachelorette helped him come to the understanding that the show does work.

"I knew I fell in love with DeAnna; I knew it was possible," said Mesnick. 

"I just knew that -- regardless of anyone who was watching this -- I just knew it was real.  I mean a real love experience for me.  I think it's one of those things that you've got to experience to really, truly know," he said.  "If that didn't happen to me the first time, there's no way I would have done it before.  I'm sure there's people that go on and have this experience but leave really early on and don't really get to know the full feeling of it."

In addition, Mesnick said that Pappas had a majority of the qualities he was looking for in a potential wife -- except for one.

"What I also learned through that experience is that the person that I need to be with has to have been through kind of their own experience in life to know that she's ready for a family," he explained to Reality TV World.  "It's already [my son] Ty and I; I've already got a family."

Mesnick elaborated that Ty "already has a mother" and he's looking for the woman he selected via The Bachelor to fill a different role.

"I was thinking I'm not looking for a mom for Ty.  I'm looking for somebody that could be a partner for me, that can be a mentor for him with more authority," said Mesnick.

"When I say a parent, I mean of course I want to have more kids.  With that being said, I'm going to have more kids with the person that I've chosen -- we'll have a family, we'll have more kids -- and obviously my expectations with that are that we're going to be parents together."

Despite the large part that Ty plays in his life, Mesnick said his son actually has only a small on-screen role in The Bachelor.

"He plays a very small part in the show," he told reporters.  "I think you'll see that early on, if you see him, it's him and I -- just him and I."

Still, Mesnick hinted that when Ty does make an appearance it will be significant.

"I've said this once before, I just knew there was no way I could truly fall in love with somebody unless they saw my son," he said.

Not surprisingly, Mesnick said it "wasn't an easy decision" for him to star in The Bachelor -- and his son was the main reason why.

"It was the same kind of question that went through my mind the first time going on The Bachelorette -- how would this impact Tyler," he said.  "That was my first question, and I talked to a therapist and I talked to his pediatrician.  They said, 'He's going to be fine and you're probably going to be more impacted by the fact that you're not going to see him as much as you typically do.'  I just said I'm not going to go more than a week without seeing him.  I just can't do that."

Mesnick said the producers were accommodating when it came to allowing him to spend time with his son.

"He was around when he needed to be and went home and saw his mom when he needed to," added Mesnick, who added his family also had some concerns about his own The Bachelor participation.

"They just don't want to see me hurt again, and that started with going through a divorce and then the public thing with DeAnna. But they trust me."

The Bachelor's thirteenth season, which premieres January 5, will begin with Mesnick moving into a Los Angeles bachelor pad and meeting his 25 suitors, which included four single mothers. 

"Honestly it doesn't make a difference either way," Mesnick told reporters about the casting decision.  "I think that I would hope people would view me as a person and not just as a single dad.  So to me -- going into it -- I had no expectations really as to who was going to be there.  But it didn't surprise me that there were single mothers.  But it didn't make me think one way or the other, whether they were a mom or not."

Mesnick said he also had sympathy for the 24 women who ended up getting eliminated from the reality dating show.

"It has nothing to do with my experience on The Bachelorette necessarily, but I think I'm one of those people that no matter what I do in life I don't want to hurt anybody," he explained.  "I think before I say anything and definitely the hardest thing I ever had to do was reject women.  It didn't happen a lot in my regular life because I've had long-term relationships, but going through that [on The Bachelor] it was absolutely horrible having to do that."

Mesnick added that starring in The Bachelor was also more difficult than competing on The Bachelorette.

"It's way tougher being the bachelor -- way, way tougher," he said.  "I wouldn't change that experience for the world and I'm actually glad that I was able to go through both of them because going through The Bachelorette, I learned a lot about myself.  Going through The Bachelor, I was really able to reinforce myself and be proud for who I was."

Another thing Mesnick learned going through The Bachelor was that Pappas and The Bachelorette fourth-season winner Jesse Csincsak decided to call it quits on their engagement.

"When that all happened I was busy filming The Bachelor, so I don't know other than the fact that I thought they were going to make it," said Mesnick about the split. 

"I saw them afterwards -- after [filming The Bachelorette] was done -- and it made me feel really good to see how in love they were.  So when I heard that they were done, I was just completely shocked and sad for both of them because I know they both really, truly wanted it to work because they were in love."

While Mesnick had no problem trying to find love twice on television, he said that showing him walking down the aisle with his The Bachelor pick would be a different story entirely.

"I have not even thought about anything like that," answered Mesnick when asked about a TV wedding. 

"My life is off of TV.  I could not even imagine that happening."

(Photo credit ABC)


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