by Tierney Bricker | Thu., Mar. 1, 2018 9:18 AM
He pulled a Mesnick.
Every fan of The Bachelor knows what that means. Almost ten years ago, Jason Mesnick gave Bachelor Nation one of the franchise's most infamous moments, when he broke up with Melissa Rycroft on live television during the After the Final Rose special, after proposing to her in the finale. His reasoning? He was actually in love with Molly Malaney, who he then asked for a second chance with after ending things with Melissa on the very same couch minutes before.
And that is how your name becomes a verb, something current Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. is about to learn. As E! News reported, Arie has pulled a Mesnick, with sources confirming to us that the 36-year-old race car driver is now dating his runner-up after initially proposing to the other woman in his finale. (Arie's final two women are Lauren Burnham and Becca Kufrin.)
So how does Arie's switcheroo compare to Mesnick's? Well, for starters, he didn't wait until months later to break it off with his winner on live TV, as our sources confirm Arie notified ABC pretty early about his change of heart and broke up with his fiancee in early January (though it was filmed).
As for Jason, he revealed in an interview with The Huffington Post that producers asked him to wait to officially end things with Melissa, who they wanted as their next Bachelorette, until the ATFR special. (They also wanted him not to tell Melissa about his feelings for Molly until they sat down in front of the cameras as well.)
"The biggest thing [producers said to me prior to filming After The Final Rose] was, 'Jason, we [now] want Melissa to be the next Bachelorette," he explained. "Because we're going to let you ask Molly out, and you can't do that away from the camera because you're under a five million dollar contract [to not make contact with the runner-up], we need your help to have America feel for Melissa in the same way they felt for you when DeAnna [Pappas] dumped you. The fans just need to feel sorry for Melissa. Work with us and we'll let you have Molly.' That's what they told me."
(ABC has confirmed the next Bachelorette will be announced during Tuesday's After the Final Rose special, so...take from that what you will!)
Though he went along with it, Jason admitted that he knew it was "the wrong thing to do" and said his biggest regret was not standing up to the producers.
Fortunately, everything worked out in the end, as Jason and Molly went on to get married in 2010, have two children together and recently celebrated their eight-year wedding anniversary. Though she didn't go on to become the next Bachelorette, Melissa went on to marry her former boyfriend Tye Strickland and the couple has three children.
While Arie and his current girlfriend's future remains to be seen, the Bachelor told E! News he hopes viewers will "understand" his decision once the finale airs.
"This is my journey and this is about finding a lasting love and that road is not always the easiest," he told us. "Hopefully people will understand more."
And, like Mesnick, he is ultimately "very happy" with his outcome.
"It's all about the ending and finding that person for yourself and that's the important part," he said. "I'm very happy."
The Bachelor's two-night finale kicks off on Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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