Bachelor Finale Tonight: A Jawdropper or a Fleecing?

Update: Shorter version: It was a complete trainwreck. Blogger Reality Steve had it right. Here's a pretty good recap of the finale. Show Host Chris Harrison tries to justify Jason's actions and how ABC decided to portray it.


Yes, I'm still following the twists and turns on ABC's The Bachelor and Jason Mesnick's seemingly never-ending search for a wife. And I'm still talking to Jesse Csincsak, my favorite contestant and the final, but not everlasting choice of Bachelorette Deanna Pappas last season. (My earlier interviews of Jesse are here and here.)


It will take ABC three hours tonight and one tomorrow night to tell the story behind the ending to Jason's quest. But, will it be producer Mike Fleiss' story or Jason's? Will it be as shocking as ABC has promised? And, is the viewing public being fleeced or is this is just the way this particular journey unfolded?

Here's what Jesse, who is in L.A. today, told me over the phone this afternoon: [For the record, Jesse does not know the outcome of tonight’s show but he’s familiar with the internet rumors and media reports that Jason leaves New Zealand engaged to Melissa but breaks the engagement on-air during tonight's After the Final Rose show that was filmed in January and ends up with Molly.]

How will Jason be viewed after tonight’s show?

If the rumors and speculation [that he ends the engagement with Melissa on-air and ends up with Molly] are unfounded, he’ll be viewed as a 30-something guy who’s found true love. If they are true, the media and some fans will pick him apart.
If the rumors are true, will the criticism be fair?
The show is about the buildup of relationships. The people that go through it can’t help how they feel. There’s a lot of stress and anxiety while its being filmed. You don’t know what he goes through. Anybody who has been through the experience knows this and realizes you can’t judge him by the decisions he made.
Will what we see tonight be real?
Jason has the final say. The decisions are his. The producers may try to influence him one way or another, but it’s up to him in the end.
Who if anyone gets thrown under the bus tonight?
The show will portray Jason in the best possible light. He’s their primary interest. They will also show his final choice favorably. In the past, the final three have always been shown in a good light.
Does that extend to Melissa if Jason breaks up with her on-air?
Good question, we’ll have to watch and see.
Will we get the full story tonight?
I think they need another episode. We’ll get a taste tonight but the full t-bone steak will be tomorrow night.
If he ends up with Molly, how can they create a love story for tomorrow night that no one saw all season?
If that’s what happens, it was there, people just missed it. It began with the night they spent in the tent early on. This is the first time the Bachelor has had an overnight date before the fantasy dates at the end. Jason had to ask for that – or at least want to do it if they suggested it. He had a connection with Molly early on and it was there for people to see.
What about Jason saying he and Molly only got to “first base” on the overnight date in the tent?
What is he supposed to say? Of course he’s going to say that.
If Jason had a change of heart, what do you think caused it?
Maybe the post-filming rendezvous that ABC sets up. After filming ends, the producers get the couple together every ten days or so to spend time together. They’re by themselves, in hiding, for up to four to five days. During that time, you really get to know the person, you may find out things that irk you or show you that you’ve made a wrong decision.
Who do you think Jason is with now?
Whoever his final, final choice was.
Any hopes for Jason?
I wish Jason the best. I’m looking forward to talking with him, it’s been about two weeks since we last spoke. I hope he’s happy with whoever he is with and that things are great for them and Ty.
What about the hurt to Melissa, if she’s chosen and then rejected on-air for Molly?
That’s the nature of the show. There is always collateral damage. This is love and war, and someone is always going to get hurt. Love hurts.
Speaking of that, have you spoken to Deanna lately?
Not lately, although I’d like to hear what she thinks after tonight’s show.
What advice would you give Jason?
You made this choice. Be confident in it. Be yourself – just do you.

As for Jesse, he’s still dating former Bachelorette contestant Holly Durst. It’s a long distance relationship as Holly is in L.A. and Jesse lives in Breckenridge, Colorado. They see each other every couple of weeks.

Will he be our next bachelor? No one from the show has approached him about it, and if he’s in a serious relationship at that time, probably not. He still wants to get married and have kids by the time he’s 30. The petition for him to be the next bachelor closed with more than 4,000 signatures.

Jesse will be on John Walsh’ America Most Wanted this Saturday night. Jesse wants to help solve the murder of snowboarder Ben Bradley, who was killed for his snowboard outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Finding Ben's limited edition board could lead to the killer. Jesse’s psyched about the show and hopeful that leads will come in once it's aired so that Ben’s family can finally have some closure.

You can keep up with Jesse though his website, his My Space or Facebook page or his You Tube channel. He is very appreciative of his fan support, spends hours a day online and answers his emails. (Not to mention telephone calls from people like me seeking last-minute interviews. Thanks again, Jesse. )

One last thing: Jason will be live on the Jimmy Kimmel Show tonight. Kimmel gave him a pretty tough time (video here) when he appeared in early January(when he was engaged to Melissa before the supposed switch) so it will be interesting to watch Jimmy try and make him squirm tonight.

And now, finally, only an hour to go until the drama or the fleecing, whichever we get, unfolds.

This thread is for Bachelor-related comments and people interested in the show. An open thread for other topics is here.

< Monday Night Open Thread | Tuesday News and Open Thread >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    You should be the producer (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by samtaylor2 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    (or at least the advertiser)- I am sold.

    Although I haven't followed the show, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 07:50:05 PM EST
    other than here through reading your updates and interviews, Jeralyn, I just want to say that I have found myself hooked on shows I never thought I would get caught up in; I think it's pure escapism, and Lord knows, we can all use some of that these days!  I read Date Lab every Sunday in the WaPo - it's not The Bachelor, but it's still an attempt to get people together; I look at the pictures and particulars about each couple and wonder why such nice-looking and -sounding people haven't found The One yet.

    I'm curious about your opinion on one thing, Jeralyn - how much longer do you think The Bachelor can continue without an actual marriage?  Am I right that there hasn't been a single one so far?

    I watched The Bachelorette years ago, when Trista and Ryan got together, watched The Wedding - what a production that was!  They're still married, and have a child, which is some measure of success, I think.

    All I can say is that I'm glad I'm married and not out in the dating scene (at my age, I think it would be kind of grim, lol).

    Grim it is Anne! (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:23:18 PM EST
    Many days I wish I had married my college boyfriend!

    there has been one (none / 0) (#5)
    by progrocks on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:41:20 PM EST
    displayed on ABC and everything

    Melissa (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:23:10 PM EST
    couldn't have been better (under the circumstances)  

    I still don't get how he thought it was appropriate to do this on tv!?!  The whole thing is so staged, something is up...  

    She did get a grip in the limo (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:35:53 PM EST
    At first when she was telling him off I thought she was a bit unreasonable - would she rather he lie to her and stay with her? She must have seen it coming on some level unless he is that good of an actor.

    Mind you, this is the only five minutes of this show I have ever seen!


    I'll give him this. I wouldn't have done that (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by coast on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:33:00 PM EST
    unless there were a few officers of law nearby.  I have to thank the guy though, my wife thinks I'm pretty damn good right now.

    Ok, this is only the second time I've ever (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Teresa on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:30:51 PM EST
    seen this show. I watched the finale last time because of Jeralyn and her rooting for Jesse. I think, having seen that, it helps to understand (a little) what happened tonight.

    In the other show, Jason was the one with a broken heart. He had had his heart broken by his ex-wife and came off as insecure and a bit of a victim (a real victim) to me.

    I think he made the safe choice at first with the Melissa girl. She seemed to me to be too sweet to ever hurt him and that made him feel safe. I think Molly intimidated him and he didn't really think she was a safe choice. He was afraid the confident career woman would hurt him as opposed to the sweet girl.

    That's just the way it came across to me. Melissa seemed like a little girl and Molly seemed like a grownup woman. He chose the safe one and then couldn't forget about the one who he fell for but didn't feel good enough for.

    That's just how Dr. Teresa feels about it. I could be totally wrong. I know one thing, people who go on these shows are crazy. I feel like a peeping tom after watching that.

    Good analysis (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:57:27 AM EST
    and very charitable towards Jason.

    Also, his mother told him to avoid the career woman and Deanna told him to avoid the wild card and go for the safe and steady one.


    Teresa, I'm with you (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:06:06 AM EST
    Hasn't anyone else ever seen Neil Simon's Chapter Two?
    The way I see it, Jason didn't know his own heart until after he made the first choice, and as Dr Teresa suggests, he was scared.  I also think he was perhaps allowed himself to be influenced but others' opinions. Perhaps Molly's parting words to Jason about his initial choice also had an impact. This is by way of explaining, not justification. I do not like the public hurt to Melissa, but perhaps the show will figure out a way to make it up to her.  As for the guys here who see Jason as a fickle kid in a candy store who could fall in love so easily, do you know how long middle aged divorced/divorcing men stay single?  In my experience, not very long.  

    Just a reminder (none / 0) (#1)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 06:45:08 PM EST
    If you aren't interested in the Bachelor, please comment on an open thread. Don't tell us here. I don't expect TalkLeft readers to be interested in the show. And it's okay if this thread generates no comments.

    I'm here Jeralyn (none / 0) (#6)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:47:20 PM EST
    just a bit late--I've drv'ed the whole thing, but the After is what I'm really looking forward to.  I'll comment as soon as there's anything interesting :)

    Molly doesn't cry (none / 0) (#7)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 08:48:20 PM EST
    just as she promised her father she wouldn't....

    What is going on? (none / 0) (#8)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:07:27 PM EST
    Now he's all I'm thinking about Molly--it is going to happen!  

    I love it how 'a long time' is really a couple of weeks.  These people haven't know each other for more than 6 months, right?

    Six weeks (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:52:05 AM EST
    These people haven't know each other for more than 6 months, right?

    The show is only six weeks long and they start with 25 contestants on day 1. Jason proposed to Melissa on the last day of taping, Nov. 25 and 6 weeks after that, dumps her and says he can't stop thinking about Molly, whom he rejected six weeks earlier because Melissa was perfect.

    In July, three months before the show started taping, he had proposed to Deanna.

    So in one year, he fell in love with three women, two of them in a six week period.


    You make a very valid point Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by NJDem on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:02:02 AM EST
    I had a feeling I was being generous with the 6 months--just wasn't sure  how much time there was b/w the ending of the show of last night.  

    I guess time will tell with Jason and Molly...but I hope Ty doesn't get hurt in the process.

    I'm sorry I missed Jimmy Kimmel--that's a great line about trading in Ty for a blond kid!


    Dude is a jerk (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:17:11 PM EST
    this should have been taken care of beforehand.

    Of course I started thinking he was a jerk the first night when he kept saying he was just looking for a "good heart". Almost implying that was a hard thing to find in a woman. And then constantly referring to them as girls . . . .


    OK, I can't resist (none / 0) (#10)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:20:24 PM EST
    turning on the TV!

    This guy! (none / 0) (#13)
    by daria g on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:26:10 PM EST
    Makes me want to smack him.  Nobody figured out he was kind of a selfish jerk until now?  (Note, I haven't even watched this show before but.. it seems pretty obvious)

    Man... (none / 0) (#16)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:51:47 PM EST
    I have never watched this show before but does this guy always talk in such stilted cliches?

    I don't think Molly was in on it, FWIW.  She's seems pretty gobsmacked.

    Wow... (none / 0) (#17)
    by jsmooth995 on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 09:53:25 PM EST
    My first time watching this..don't know what to think about how real it is, but the guy is coming off to me as tremendously UNsympathetic! Egads...


    Well (none / 0) (#18)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:02:29 PM EST
    I guess I'm happy for Molly--if he's for real...she seemed stunned.  The whole thing is too weird...

    They seem like a happy couple (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:06:24 PM EST
    But then I never saw him with Melissa in better times...maybe they looked happy too.

    Anyway, that was interesting. She seems shocked. Not sure if the producers were in on it, but I'd bet what's left of my 401k that Molly was not.

    To take the 50,000 foot view, as they say these days, what does it do to The Bachelor if the final choice does not have to really be the final chioce? Obviously that was always true - no one could ever make the guy marry the girl he picked, and I'm sure he could find the other girls again if he tried hard enough. But will the show be as satisfying to the viewers in the future if that fantasy ending is shattered?

    I'm just skimming the comments (none / 0) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:12:31 PM EST
    because some of you are on the East coast and seeing the ATFR before me and I want to see it all for myself yet.

    Jason is one of the most clueless human beings ever.

    Ok, they are bringing Melissa out, I'll be back.

    That makes sense (none / 0) (#21)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:23:25 PM EST
    If he really was that clueless during the course if the season. Both Molly and Melissa may be too good for him.

    He sure cries a lot.


    Melissa will win out and get her own show (none / 0) (#23)
    by S on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:36:51 PM EST
    almost too predicable...my guess is that Melissa will be the next bachelorette...

    unless Molly is suddenly 'free' also...

    Jason seemed like a 'good guy' but not very emotionally stable...

    I wonder if Melissa was (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:42:59 PM EST
    offered the Bachelorette and declined. They will announce tonight or tomorrow night it is Jillian. (She was number 3.)

    I like Jillian (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 10:57:57 PM EST
    She seems very centered to me.

    Jillian - next? (none / 0) (#26)
    by S on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:06:37 PM EST
    that's interesting...having worked in casting and TV, personally I do not think Jillian's persona is strong enough to pull off a whole show based around her...I do think Melissa's is much more camera friendly...

    ...but who knows...the quest to find love goes on...


    Agreed and she's also (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:00:35 AM EST
    a bit lacking in sex appeal although with great stylists, maybe that can be fixed. She's more the friend type.

    I don't know Jillian (none / 0) (#37)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 05:54:34 AM EST
    but based on the little bit I saw of Melissa tonight I would not be at all tempted to watch a show built around her. I felt sorry for her and she may be a fine human being, but as a first time viewer I did not come away interested in her at all.  

    I'm going to be adding an update (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 02, 2009 at 11:21:29 PM EST
    to my post to answer my own question: were we fleeced or is the way it unfolded? My answer, without a doubt, is this was a total fleecing.

    Very misleading editing. They didn't lie, but they didn't tell the truth. Which is what upsets followers of the show, even those like me, that didn't have a favorite.

    Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are being inundated with insults to Jason. Not a great way to reinvigorate the series.

    I'll be collecting some quotes and posting them later or in the morning.

    Jimmy Kimmel is great (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:11:06 AM EST
    I'll try to find a clip and post it. Evangeline Lilly had some harsh words for Jason too.

    Jason saying he had to do it on TV (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:19:23 AM EST
    struck me as somewhat false. If he had a spine, he could have spared Melissa. None of the other breakups had to be done publicly on TV. Even if they all agreed before this happened (original agreements) it was just downright tacky and mean. What would have been wrong with Melissa not being there, him explaining and then going on to see if Molly was still interested? After all, that's what it boiled down to . . .  

    I don't buy it and (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 12:24:11 AM EST
    either do the sleuthers who have been following every screencap since episode 1. She knew somethng was up but not that she was going to be humiliated by a breakup on national tv.

    Jimmy Kimmel's best line: Jason says he is becoming an activist for single parents. Jimmy asks him if he'd dump Ty for a blonde kid.

    Jason is toast.


    Yeah, that whole "we were talking . . ." (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by nycstray on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 02:02:39 AM EST
    BS did not fly with breaking up with her on national TV. I was surprised Molly went for his bait. No way in hell I would considered going out with a guy who had moments earlier dumped his "girl" on national TV. Yes, love may be blind, but it doesn't have to be THAT blind or freaking stupid.

    Gotta give Melissa props. And I do hope she gets past it's "something wrong with me".

    And yes, Jason is toast.


    You were right (none / 0) (#31)
    by kaybeel on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 01:11:21 AM EST
    And I was wrong.
    I'll still hold out and say there's a wedding tomorrow (I'm stubborn)

    Well, Jason seems a little unstable to me. He is (none / 0) (#39)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 07:51:33 AM EST
    dependent on his family, for sure, and that's not a bad thing.  But he doesn't seem to have control of his emotions and understand his own self.  He was distraught when DeAnna dumped him, but then less than a year later he "falls in love with two women at the same time."  I think he's a needy, self-indulgent jerk.  What he did to Melissa is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.  Molly better take a second look at him and think long and hard if she really wants to be with a man who can't make up his own mind.  But then again, maybe he needs someone like Molly to lead him around and tell him what to do.  

    ABC/Bachelor (none / 0) (#40)
    by indy in sc on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:14:12 AM EST
    can't really be blamed for airing this.  It is their sole purpose to provide "compelling" television.  Jason has to bear the blame for the way he handled this situation--for dumping his fiancee on TV and making out with another woman minutes later with only a commercial break to separate the two events.

    It seemed as though Molly really had no idea what had just happened with Melissa.  I wonder if she has changed her mind about Jason after viewing the show.  

    I don't really blame Jason for falling in and out of love (or believing he did) so easily--I do blame him for handling it like a jerk.

    Only her hairdresser knows for sure (none / 0) (#42)
    by SOS on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 10:30:58 AM EST
    Will this guy add up to anything?

    How much has he wasted in overdraft fees?

    If we got married, does he make enough to provide child support?

    Why does he weigh so much? Why is he staring at me like that?

    Why does he have so little in his wallet?

    Doesn't he know he'll have to get up and go to work in the morning? Can't he tell time

    I'm so glad it's over (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 12:01:27 AM EST
    Has any male ever cried as much or as many times on national television? And he's going to do what all social pariahs do to regain favor -- launch a charity venture.

    He needs to go back to Seattle and fade into the obscurity from which he came. He should be looking for a shrink, not a wife.

    I still like Jesse though.

    I thought of you when hearing Mika B. (none / 0) (#44)
    by andrys on Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 06:00:03 AM EST
    who was carrying on about how she couldn't believe people would watch such a stupid show.

      Willie Geist said she didn't know what she was talking about :-)   He's into the show, from what I saw.  I didn't watch the season but after reading you before the show tonight I did watch the final one.  It all became something you just have to watch.  It's psychologically so interesting.

      Mika needs to take herself less seriously -- what a pain she was.