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Jason Mesnick on The Bachelorette


When reality TV gives you lemons, you make prime-time lemonade.

Recent Bachelorette reject Jason Mesnick, whose heart DeAnna Pappas passed over in her own second-time-around quest for love, has signed on to be the new Bachelor when the ABC series returns in January 2009.

The hunky single dad from Seattle had been all primed to propose, ring and everything, when Pappas stopped him from getting down on one knee, leaving him—and plenty of viewers—crushed. Instead, she opted for 26-year-old snowboarder Jesse Csincsak.

Now Mesnick gets another shot at making the perfect match. The hunt is on for 25 ladies willing to bare their hearts, souls and, in some cases, claws on national TV.

Per ABC, the 32-year-old divorcé is "looking for a woman who has a real curiosity about the world, who loves life and can find passion in life’s smallest moments" (and on its smallest screens).

The logistics are still being hammered out, but Chris Harrison, who hosts both The Bachelor  and The Bachelorette, told ifilm.com during the recent Television Critics Association press tour that Mesnick's 3-year-old son, Ty, "would have to take center stage."

When asked after that very public heartbreak whether he'd be up for another go-round, but this time as the decider, Mesnick told RealityTVWorld.com early last month that he'd consider it.

"You go into a process like this and you have no idea what to expect from it—me being this regular single dad from Seattle, you have no idea," he said. "But you can really find somebody in a show like that.  If they look for the right people [to cast], anything is possible."

"I am in a place where I could start dating again, but to be honest, I don't even know how right now. My focus is on getting back to work and just being a dad…Right now, I'm just back to my everyday life with Ty and that's perfect for me."

Here's hoping Ty is ready for his close-up then.