With viewers still buzzing about how Jason Mesnick dumped fiancee Melissa Rycroft for runner-up Molly Malaney on the Bachelor: After the Final Rose special that aired Monday night, ABC rolled out part two of After the Final Rose (which was filmed six weeks after the first special) during which Jason and Molly gave fans -- and detractors -- an update on the status of their relationship.
On the Defensive: First Jason took the hot seat solo. He seemed worried that he might be booed on arrival, but the audience played nice. He explained his actions once again but revealed nothing new. He reiterated: “It was nothing I planned on. It was not the classiest thing in the world, but I had to follow my heart. I don’t regret where I’m at; I’m really happy. Everybody is entitled to feel however they want but that’s what was going on with me. I don’t feel like my feelings were wrong either.”
He did get teary (again… this guy is a crier) watching a clip of his dumping of Melissa. “I’m not proud of what I did to her," he said. "Nobody deserves to feel that. But I made the right choice for all of us because things were different. All the pressure was worth it. I’ll stand by that forever.” A Message from Melissa: No surprise, Melissa was not ready to face the cameras yet (can you blame her given that the last time she showed up she was dumped on TV?) but sent a statement for host Chris Harrison to read aloud: “I am doing really well. I don’t regret anything that happened over the past few months because I know I wouldn’t be where I am today had none of it happened.”
Molly Takes the Stage: Then it was Molly's turn. She clarified that she has now forgiven Jason, but that they didn’t immediately get back together after Monday's ATFR shocker. “We had plenty of serious conversations," she revealed. "That night I grilled him: 'What happened with Melissa? Why didn’t he know I was The One in New Zealand if he knew now?'” She also acknowledged that it has been "an incredibly difficult couple of weeks for us. There’s a lot of rumors going around and my morals and character are being questioned. People are quick to judge and forget that we aren’t characters on a show. We are real . They don’t realize the damage that their words can do. Luckily, I have had Jason to lean on and we are happier than ever now.”
Happy Couple No. 2: Jason joined Molly for the last segment --and even if you’re mad -- you couldn’t deny the chemistry between the two. They were constantly touching or nuzzling or kissing as they explained that they’d spend the last six weeks talkingon the phone and stealing away to a locked-down house for a few weekends. She also said she planned to move to Seattle soon. “We’ve become best friends and partners in crime,” Jason said of their relationship. “The passion’s still there and she challenges me more than anybody ever. It’s all stuff I need in my life. The path has been of the most resistance but we’re in love. We’re so happy. I couldn’t be any better.”
And it came as no surprise that Molly stood firm by her boyfriend Jason and his decision-making (which, after all, reunited the two). “I don’t regret how everything came to be because we have a stronger appreciation for each other having gone through everything," she said. "I give him a lot of credit for doing what he had to do to get where he is today.”– Carrie Bell
Tell us: Did Jason's explanation for his actions sit better with you in light of how happy he and Molly seem to be?