During Tuesday's "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose Part 2" viewers learned that Molly Malaney and Jason Mesnick are still together. Surprised? Fans also discovered that Jillian Harris (who made it to Jason's top three) will be the next bachelorette.
"The Bachelor" host Chris Harrison asked Molly and Jason questions on Tuesday's show about the dramatic outcome of Monday's "After the Final Rose," where viewers watched Jason dump fiancee Melissa Rycroft and ask to date Molly again. This was less than an hour after "The Bachelor" finale aired. In the finale, Jason dumped Molly and presented Melissa with the final rose and an engagement ring. Though the two shows were filmed six weeks apart, they aired sequentially on Monday.
In "After the Rose Part 2," Harrison told viewers that another six weeks had passed between the taping of Monday's "After the Rose" and Tuesday's sequel. When Harrison asked Jason where he and Molly were in their relationship, Jason responded "We're in love." No engagements of wedding plans were announced, but Molly nodded when asked if she was moving to Seattle, Jason's hometown. Does that mean Molly has forgiven Jason for not choosing her first? "Yes," Molly said.
What have Molly and Jason been doing the past six weeks? "(We) became best friends, partners in crime... she's great for me, and she's great for (son) Ty," Jason said.
What does Jason want people to understand about him and Molly? "We both followed our hearts. It's about doing what's right for you and people who are around you." Does that include Melissa? Maybe not. Though earlier in the show Harrison read a statement from Melissa, who said she's doing well and surprisingly has no regrets about being on "The Bachelor." She did decline ABC's invitation to appear on "Part 2," however.
How's Molly been doing since Internet rumors started spreading a few weeks ago that called her intentions into speculation? "It's been an incredibly difficult couple of weeks for us. My morals and my character are being questioned and that's unfortunate."
Has the negative publicity bothered her? It's like a friend recently told her, "People tend to forget that we're not just characters on a TV show... we're real people... luckily, I've had Jason to lean on and we're happier then ever right now."
Jason said he understands that lots of "Bachelor" fans are mad at him right now, and they're not wrong to feel that way, but "I don't feel like my feelings were wrong either." He first started to have doubts about Melissa when he sent Molly home and she said he was making a mistake. He thought, "Oh my god it was her." But when he asked Melissa to marry him, that was real, too. Confused? Maybe ABC will need to have an "After the Final Rose Part 3" to explain.
Jason also told Chris that Melissa would be "the ultimate wife" but that "Molly challenges me. She is my best friend. We have so much fun together. And that's what I need... I need that for me and that's what I need for my son."
Earlier in the show, several of Jason's former bachelorettes discussed his marriage proposal and reversal.
Stephanie Hogan, the widower and single mom from Huntsville, Ala., empathized with Jason's "gut-wrenching" pain. Jason finally made the right decision when he changed his mind because "you have to follow your heart," she said.
Naomi Crespo, who calls Melissa her girl, said she wanted to "punch the screen" when Jason broke up with Melissa. But Naomi, the 24-year-old flight attendant from Carlsbad, Calif., says "we can't really understand what it's like to be in Jason's shoes."
Are they letting him off the hook too easily?
After all on last night's show Jason shocked and angered many viewers when he decided he'd rather date runner-up bachelorette Molly than marry his initial first-choice Melissa. He broke up with a tearful Melissa during Monday's telecast of "After the Final Rose." Moments later he was shown on screen telling a stunned Molly that he wanted to date her and that he made a mistake when he gave the final rose to Melissa.
Melissa's reaction to being broken up with on television? "You're such a bastard."
Talk show hosts and guests seemed to agree. On Monday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" guest Evangeline Lilly, from "Lost," said she didn't even want to be in the same vicinity as the bachelor. "He should not do that women," she said before Jason took the stage.
On Tuesday, "The View's" Elisabeth Hasselbeck, a devoted fan of the show, scolded Jason. "I really thought he was a good guy and he had his act together...I am done with `The Bachelor'."
Jason initially gave the final rose (and an engagement ring) to Melissa on Monday's finale of "The Bachelor," which aired from 8-10 p.m. The Bachelor said he made a mistake choosing Melissa over Molly on "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose," which aired from 10-11 p.m. Monday.
Attempting to explain himself on Monday, Jason told Jimmy that the feelings between him and Melissa were different on the show than they were "in the real world." Real world being the the six weeks between the taping of "The Bachelor" finale and "After the Final Rose" when Melissa and Jason were quietly dating off camera. Jason said the six or seven weeks of dating on the show didn't prepare them for a relationship.
Jason told Jimmy "he's really with Molly" and laughed at Jimmy's question of whether Jason had phone numbers of other contestants from the show in case it didn't work out with Molly. When Jimmy asked Jason if he was going to marry Molly, Jason responded that there was "no talk of that right now." Jason also hoped to be friends with Melissa in the future. "I think at some point, her and I will be friends again, Jason said.
"On no you will not," Jimmy replied. "You and Melissa, Israel and Iraq..."
Earlier Monday during "After the Final Rose," an astonished-looking Molly (who was not sporting her signature ponytail) mouthed the word "what?" to cameras as Jason said he'd made a mistake and wanted to get together for a "coffee or drink."
"This is something I dreamt of but never expected to hear," Molly said.
Before discovering that Jason had changed his mind, Molly said she still got "weak in the knees" when she saw Jason on episodes of the show.
Before Molly appeared on screen, Jason dumped Melissa and admitted to his upset fiancee that he couldn't get Molly out of his mind. He said he tried to work on his relationship with Melissa, but he didn't feel the same passion that he had initially. After spending time with her in New Zealand and during the holidays, he decided that they were just too different and that his feelings had changed.
Her reaction? "You're such a bastard."
Melissa accused Jason of not "fighting" for their relationship and his choice. She gave the ring back and told Jason to never again call or text her. In the limo ride away from the studio, she spoke candidly to the cameras. She said she had no idea what went wrong with the relationship and revealed her anger and disappointment at Jason. How could he, who had suffered a broken heart several times himself, do this to her, Melissa questioned.
Melissa fought back tears as she wondered what she had done wrong and why this kept happening to her. She had previously told Jason and viewers that she was always the dumpee and had survived several awful breakups. (Jason had been married to Hilary Mesnick and after the divorce appeared on the DeAnna Pappas season of "The Bachelorette." Jason came in second to Jesse Csincsak.)
Just an hour earlier, during the airing of "The Bachelor," viewers watched Jason ask Melissa to be his wife. She said Jason made her the happiest woman alive when he asked her to marry him on the finale episode. Still dressed in formal clothes, they jumped into a pool with Ty. The final scene showed an elated Melissa hugging a smiling Jason as little Ty splashed in the water.
In that show it was Molly who was the dumpee. She told Jason that she thought he was making a huge mistake and that he'd end up hurt again. (Jason had been the runner-up bachelor on season four's "The Bachelorette" with DeAnna Pappas.)
During the final episode of "The Bachelor" Jason seemed upset by Molly's insistence that a wrong choice was made. He hunched over a rail and cried before Melissa's arrival.
All this drama happened after viewers had watched almost two hours of "The Bachelor" finale. A surprise drop-in visit by DeAnna, who was regretting not choosing Jason, may have been some foreshadowing that was initially lost on fans who were trying to guess who would be chosen: Molly or Melissa.