On last night’s The Bachelor finale, doe-eyed dummy Jason Mesnick chose the sweet ex–Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, Melissa, over preppy, feisty Molly. In typical Bachelor fashion, there were many over-the-top declarations of love — “soul mate” is an oft-used term — many tears, and then a romantic proposal and a satisfying conclusion. But then, in the hour-long follow-up to the finale known as the “After the Rose Ceremony,” filmed six weeks after the show ends, The Bachelor actually delivered the shock on par with what it had promised in the promos.
Normally in this postscript, the new couple talks dreamily about their wonderful budding relationship, and the Bachelor is bitterly confronted by the runner-up about his decision. Last night, Jason came on alone and told host Chris
Hanson Harrison (a paler version of Kermit the Frog) that after spending time with Melissa, he decided he’d made the wrong choice. “The chemistry changed,” he said, all sad eyebrows. Melissa then entered, gave him back the ring, and called him a “bastard.”
Jason cried … again. (He went on a disturbing jag after saying good-bye to Molly six weeks prior.) Molly came on set, and Jason delivered the news. Molly, to her credit, didn’t start screaming with delight, but instead kept repeating how “confused” she was. In the end, though, they kissed, and exited holding hands. The great thing was that this all happened onscreen, in real time. And while we’re pretty sure Melissa knew what was about to go down, the emotions were genuine, unlike the annoyingly fake declarations of seasons past. All these couples eventually break up anyway, but it was totally fun to see it happen live. And while we do feel for poor Jason — clearly duped by producers into looking like the bad guy — that’s the risk of finding your “wife” on reality TV. Please, Bachelor, continue to give us a reason to spend an hour watching every Monday night.