Married ‘Bachelor’ Winner Confesses She Was Supposed to Be the Next Bachelorette


If things hadn’t worked out the way they did, Jillian Harris would not have been “The Bachelorette” in season five; Molly Malaney would have. “Bachelor” favorite Jason Mesknick’s wife and second choice on his season of “The Bachelor” admitted to People magazine in 2020 that before her husband changed his mind about who he wanted to marry, she was slated to be the next Bachelorette.

As fans may recall, Mesnick originally chose and proposed to Melissa Rycroft at the end of season 13 in 2009.  However, after filming ended, he started to have second thoughts.  On “After the Final Rose” Mesnick stunned Bachelor Nation by publicly announcing that he was not in love with Rycroft, but was actually in love with runner-up, Malaney.

Rycroft and Mesnick were interviewed on “After the Final Rose” by Chris Harrison before Malaney was brought out on stage.  As Mesnick made it clear that he no longer wanted to be engaged to Rycroft, she cried, “I’m so mad at you!” When he tried to apologize, she responded, “don’t call me. Don’t text me anymore.”

Once the breakup was over, Malaney was invited on stage. She thought she was just there to discuss Mesnick’s rejection of her at the final rose ceremony, she told People. Instead, Mesnick confessed to her in front of a live audience, “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. My heart hasn’t let go.” (WATCH below)

‘After the Final Rose’ Was Not Pretty

Jason Rejects Melissa for Molly – The BachelorThat time Jason Mesnick changed his mind. Subscribe:

After Mesnick revealed his true feelings, Molly had a decision to make.  She told People, however, that the decision was not that difficult: “Me agreeing to be the Bachelorette, it was a really big deal. I was hesitant, I didn’t think I was right for it, so it was easy to let that go.”

Executive producer of “The Bachelor,” Mike Fleiss disagreed, telling People in 2009, “I thought she would be a fantastic Bachelorette, so likeable and beautiful and telegenic.”  Fleiss further explained that Malaney was starting to warm up to the idea, and had even told her family about it.

Mesnick was already aware that Malaney might be the next Bachelorette when he opted to try to pursue a relationship with her. According to the People 2020 interview, the producers warned him, “You can have this chance with Molly, but we’ve already asked her to be the Bachelorette.”  Mesnick was willing to take his chances.

Mesnick faced a lot of backlash after the show aired, particularly in regard to why he didn’t break up with Rycroft in private. In a 2009 interview with The Seattle Times, Mesnick explained, “I knew everybody’s going to judge because I did what I decided to do on a TV show. At the time I felt like I didn’t have a choice. [… ] Retrospectively, would it have been better if I just didn’t show up? That was my alternative.”

There was also speculation that Mesnick’s change of heart was scripted and staged. Fleiss, however, maintained, “That’s patently untrue. It was Jason’s choice in New Zealand who he proposed to. He was not in love with Melissa anymore and he was in love with Molly and he needed to make a change,” People reported.

A Happy Ending for Jason and Molly Mesnick

Today Jason and Molly Mesnick remain happily married. Bachelor Nation reports that the couple celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary in February, 2022. Mesnick’s son Ty, who was just five when his dad’s season aired, is now a teenager.  The Mesnicks also have an 8-year-old daughter named Riley. Rycroft is happily married as well, to Tye Strickland.

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