Melissa Rycroft Dishes on ‘Bachelor’ Run, Pressure to Be ‘Bachelorette’

Melissa Rycroft

Heavy/Getty Melissa Rycroft shared scoop on her true Bachelor Nation experience.

Former “The Bachelor” star Jason Mesnick will always be known as the first lead in the franchise to have a truly crazy end to his season. At the end of the season, which aired in 2009, Melissa Rycroft received Mesnick’s final rose and accepted his proposal.

However, Mesnick soon realized he still had feelings for his runner-up, Molly Malaney. During a pre-taped “After the Final Rose” special, Mesnick broke off the engagement with Rycroft and reunited with Malaney. Mesnick and Malaney eventually went on to marry, and Rycroft reunited with her ex-boyfriend, Ty Strickland. They eventually married too.

In a recent podcast appearance, Rycroft dished out some new details on how everything went down with that “Bachelor” ending. Rycroft realized by that point that the relationship with Mesnick would not last. Despite that, she admitted the split completely blindsided her.

Here’s what you need to know:

Melissa Rycroft Admitted, ‘Things Were not Great’ Prior to the Split

Rycroft joined former “Dancing with the Stars” pro Cheryl Burke for the December 17 episode of the “Sex, Lies, and Spray Tans” podcast. The two ladies had plenty of tea to spill, and Rycroft did not hold back.

The former “Bachelor” winner recalled she was just 22 years old when she joined Mesnick’s cast. She noted, “I was not in a good place at home. I had just quit Cowboys cheerleaders for Ty, who is now my husband, and he broke up with me a week after that.”

She added, “I did not like the job I was in, I was just kinda in one of those ruts.” A friend nominated her for “The Bachelor,” and she left filming engaged. “I will be honest, that in the moment, I really thought I was in love with this guy. I really thought this is where I’m supposed to be,” she said of how filming ended.

Unfortunately, Rycroft shared, just about two weeks after filming, producers wanted to bring the couple together to pre-tape the “After the Final Rose.” She had no idea what was about to happen.

Before taping the episode, Rycroft said she and Mesnick had still been talking and she had asked if there was anything she needed to know before the cameras started rolling. “Things were not great, I’m gonna be honest.”

Despite the relationship already being rocky, Rycroft thought they’d “put on a united front for the camera.” She recalled, “I think I knew at that point, it’s not happening, but this is a show we made,” so they had to make it seem that all was well.

“The Bachelor” star had no idea Mesnick had remained in touch with Malaney. To make the experience even more difficult, she technically could not tell anybody about anything that had happened – neither the engagement nor the split.

Producers Tried Hard to Get Rycroft to Take on ‘The Bachelorette’

As soon as the cameras stopped rolling, producers tried to sign Rycroft up to be “The Bachelorette.” She shared, “I’m gonna be honest, they sent, I got gifts, I got enticed with a lot of money.” However, she wanted no part of it.

Rycroft told producers, “I don’t trust you people. I don’t want anything to do with that.” They told her they protect their lead, so things would go better for her as “The Bachelorette.” She told them, “You threw me under the bus, why would you not do it again if I was the lead.”

Of the idea they protected their leads, Rycroft also told them, “But ya didn’t, ’cause you just threw Jason under the bus and made him look like an idiot.”  She continued, “You don’t protect your lead. I understand what you’re doing and I’m not going to put myself back in that situation.”

Soon after Rycroft convinced producers there was no way she would take on “The Bachelorette,” they connected her with a producer for “Dancing with the Stars.” She turned that down too, initially.

“Their whole thing at ‘Bachelor’ was that they wanted the audience to see I was okay. Show the world, it’s not a horrible franchise, we’re not bad people, she’s okay,” she said. Rycroft doesn’t think she would have been allowed to do “Dancing with the Stars” if the network hadn’t been so eager to show she was doing okay after Mesnick dumped her.

Although her “Bachelor” experience was a heartbreaking one, some good did come out of it. Rycroft explained, “If I can credit ‘The Bachelor’ with anything, personally, the confidence that I gained of ‘I know what I’m worth, I know what I want, and I know what I’m not gonna put up with’ kind of stuff” stuck with her.