'Bachelor' Jason Mesnick picks Melissa Rycroft, then Molly Malaney
By John Bracchitta and Steve Rogers, 03/03/2009
Monday night's broadcast of The Bachelor's thirteenth-season finale ended with the ABC reality dating series' first flip-flop, with Jason Mesnick rejecting bachelorette Molly Malaney in favor of Melissa Rycroft but later deciding to dump Melissa and ask for a second chance with Molly.
The Bachelor's two-hour finale episode ended with Jason proposing marriage and getting engaged to Melissa, a 25-year-old sales representative from Dallas TX, during last fall's taping of the season's finale in New Zealand.
However after returning home and continuing their relationship via secret telephone calls, text messages, emails, and getaway trips, Jason decided that his relationship with Melissa just wasn't working out and broke up with her during The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special that was taped in Los Angeles six weeks later.
The Bachelor: After the Final Rose's broadcast began with The Bachelor host Chris Harrison meeting with Jason to speak about his wishes to not go through with his engagement to Melissa, which viewers had seen conclude the two-hour finale that immediately proceeded ABC's broadcast of the After the Final Rose special.
"Since this all ended, things have been different and we're not right for each other," an emotional Jason told Chris. "We've spent a lot of time together, we spent some time afterwards in New Zealand together we've had a couple of trips together and we spent all of the holidays together, And as easy, as beautiful, as wonderful as we all just saw and I lived it, since then the chemistry has been completely different and I started trying to think of why, what was in me? I've done a lot of soul searching and digging inside me and for that love and passion to not be there just breaks my heart."
"She knows things feel completely different," Jason responded when Chris asked what Melissa knew about his plans. "After the last few weeks, I haven't been able to stop thinking about Molly. I've tried for Melissa's sake, for our relationship's sake, but I can't. I'm doing all I can to make this work with Melissa but I can't control how I'm feeling -- the real, honest true feelings -- and I wish they weren't there."
"Ya," Jason responded when Chris asked if he was saying that he was still in love with Molly, but added that he hadn't spoken with Molly since he proposed to Melissa.
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"I had to give Melissa a chance. I fell in love with Melissa, I was engaged to Melissa, and all my attention and all my focus was with her," Jason said. "If I could change the way I feel...I would do that, but I can't."
"I have to [end it]," Jason told Chris. "I can't live my life with any regrets and I would have always regretted not asking Molly what if?"
After the discussion, Chris brought out Melissa for Jason to break the news to her.
"I came here to find someone to spend the rest of my life with," a somber Jason told Melissa. "And we're not right for each other."
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"Maybe I wasn't the right person to come and do all this because I didn't think there was any capacity in the world to fall for two people at the same time, but I do still have feelings for Molly," he explained to Melissa.
Visibly angry, Melissa said she couldn't believe Jason's decision to give up on their relationship after the first signs of trouble instead of trying to work on it.
"I do not see how you can sit there and do what you said to me." Melissa said. "'I love you, I wanna spend my life with you, I wanna make you happy, I wanna do this, I wanna do that,' and then the second you start having doubts, not talk to me about it and say 'Let's work on this, let's fight, you know I just put a ring on your finger and that means forever so let's see what we can do to fix this.'"
"[Instead] it's 'I'm just gonna pull away. Whoa, things are different and I don't wanna try.' Do you see where I'm a little irritated?" she added.
Jason attempted to justify his decision by telling Melissa that he had attempted to put aside his feelings for the good of their relationship, but added that in the end he did not want to spend his life with her and have the regret of never knowing what could have been with Molly.
Melissa, however, was not accepting of the explanation.
"You're such a bastard," she muttered under her breath while Jason spoke. After giving her ring back to him, she cut off Jason's goodbye with some choice words of her own before departing the set.
"You know, I've been through a ton of heartbreak, you've been through a ton of heartbreak, and that's why I'm baffled by this, I mean it doesn't make sense. You should know better than to do something like that," she told him angrily. "So good luck in the future, good luck with Molly, there you go. Don't call me and don't text me anymore. Leave me alone please."
After getting into a limo waiting for her, Melissa said that Jason's decision to decide to dump her and go back to Molly had a deeper emotional effect than she had let on while she was on the After the Final Rose set.
"I put up that wall of being so angry so he can't see how much her really hurt me," Melissa said as she cried.
After Melissa departed the set, Molly, a 24-year-old department store buyer from Grand Rapids, MI, came out for a brief interview with Chris in which The Bachelor host asked if she ever hoped Jason might change his mind.
"Chris, that is a thought that goes through my mind every single night," she said. "All I've wanted since I've been back from this experience is for him to call me or knock on my door and say 'I made a mistake, I want you back.' And my feelings have not changed for him since I got back. But I think I would need few more answers first from him before hearing him say that. If he wanted me back, why then didn't he choose me at the end?"
Jason then came back out on stage and surprised Molly -- who was only expecting to be able to get some answers to her questions about why he decided to propose to Melissa instead -- with the news that he had broken up with Melissa and was in fact interested in a second chance with her.
"What you need to know that you don't know is that Melissa was out here [on stage] earlier and I ended things with her because I haven't been able to stop thinking about you," Jason told a shocked and confused Molly. "I think the most insincere thing I could do it jump real fast from one thing to anything but I was hoping we could have a shot -- you know, see if we could go out for coffee or a drink and see where things [go]."
"I did everything -- I thought -- right at the time and like all the feelings that I had are still here and it's unbelievable with everything going on, there was never a doubt that you were in my heart even 'til the last moment -- even after you left, obviously," Jason told Molly. "They've never ended, I was falling for you early on, and I still am."
After alternating between stunned silence and awkward laughs as well as expressing her concern for Melissa, Molly finally told Jason she was willing to give him a second chance.
"I'm very confused," Molly responded. "I think we still have a lot to talk about, but my feelings never went away. What I was feeling for you the day that I left New Zealand until today, those feelings never went away. I think we can see where things go."
"This is something I dreamt of but never expected to hear... I'm so excited about it," Molly added before she and Jason shared a reunion kiss. "I think there's bigger discussions that we need to have -- obviously I went through a very difficult situation having left the way I did in New Zealand and I think I need to have a better understanding of why that happened -- but I would be lying if I said I wasn't glad this was happening right now."
"What's most important is we're both following our hearts and doing what is right for us, even though it is impacting other people," Jason told Chris. "I think if people can see us truly following what is inside us, everybody will understand because you have to follow your heart. And if some people don't like it, I get that -- you know, it's not the classiest or coolest thing to do in the world, it's not -- but you can't control wasn't inside you."
Prior to the After the Final Rose special, The Bachelor's two-hour finale had begun with both Molly and Melissa meeting Jason's son Ty as well as his parents, two brothers and sister-in-law in New Zealand.
While Ty took more time to warm up to Molly than he did with Melissa, both bachelorettes ended their time with Jason's son by the end of their time together.
Both Molly and Melissa handled themselves well when faced with intense questioning from Jason's family, who wanted to ensure that whomever Jason chose would not break his heart yet again. However, both girls won over the affections of Jason's family -- particularly his father who said that he didn't envy the difficult decision that Jason would ultimately have to make.
The following day, both Molly and Melissa went on their final dates with Jason before he made his decision. While Molly treated Jason to a sensual massage, a relaxing dinner and the gift of a scrapbook and fairytale chronicling their time together, Melissa surprised Jason with a phone number for her parents and said that she had spoken with them and that they had agreed to talk with him before he had to make his Final Rose Ceremony decision.
"I'm excited because I'm completely falling in love with their daughter and I need to talk to them about it," Jason said later.
As Jason pondered the dates after their completion he was treated to one more surprise when DeAnna Pappas -- who had rejected Jason in favor of Jesse Csincsak in the finale of last summer's The Bachelorette edition -- suddenly paid him a visit. Newly single following her breakup from Jesse, DeAnna told Jason that she had come to regret her decision and seemed to offer him a second chance at a relationship with her.
"If I was to go back and really follow what I wanted, I would have made a different decision," DeAnna told Jason. "I could see myself having a relationship with you. You haven't proposed yet, you still have a chance. And that's why I'm here."
After a brief period of awkward silence, Jason politely declined her offer at reconciliation.
"I guess all I can do is thank you for giving me this opportunity," Jason told DeAnna. "I mean I hated being hurt because I did fall in love with you, but I found two girls that I'm completely falling for."
Before leaving, DeAnna -- who said she'd made the mistake of following her heart and picking "the wild card" over Jason -- told The Bachelor star to "be smart" and offered him some advice she wished she had received.
"I wouldn't say follow your heart. I'd say lead it," DeAnna said. "I followed my heart."
The following day, after choosing out an engagement ring, Jason prepared to meet the two bachelorettes for the Final Rose Ceremony. Jason first met with Molly, whom he tearfully declined and sent home after saying that he loved someone else.
"Every time you look at me with those eyes you have me, you've got me locked in and its place I never wanna leave," he told her. "You're amazing in every way possible, absolutely stunning and amazing and I don't know how I could ever let you go, but I have to."
"I guess I just don't understand, I think you've made mistake. A big one," a disappointed Molly said following Jason's rejection. "I just don't get it, I just don't get it. I truly care about you. I just think you're making a huge mistake and I think you're gonna end up hurt again."
Jason then met with his Melissa and revealed that he had chosen her to not only receive his Final Rose, but also an engagement ring to be his wife.
"I came into this looking for somebody exactly like you. I said to myself early throughout all this, that I don't know if I could ever say goodbye to you," Jason said to Melissa with a smile. "You make me happier than I've ever been in my entire life, and I've wanted to tell you something for a very long time now. I am completely in love with you."
"Melissa I love you. Will you make me the happiest man? Will you marry me?" he added.
"You wanna marry me?" Melissa asked in delight.
"I would love to marry you," he responded.
After Melissa accepted the proposal, the couple celebrated their new engagement with Ty, who joined them following the ceremony.
"I can't believe I engaged! Melissa Mesnick. I'm gonna be a Mesnick!" Melissa screamed.
"Uh oh, watch out for that," an eerily prophetic Jason responded.