Jason Mesnick: I Had No Choice

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He did what he had to do.

That was Jason Mesnick’s explanation for proposing to, then publicly dumping Melissa Rycroft in favor of runner-up Molly Malaney on The Bachelor season finale.

Jason says he would have preferred to have delivered the news to Rycroft off camera, but the contract he signed with The Bachelor’s producers and ABC spelled out that he had to make this painful declaration on national TV.

“That was part of the deal. I signed up for it in my contract. Your relationship is - good and bad - in front of everybody,” says Mesnick. “If I could have, I would have seen Melissa the night before. It killed me. It kills me now.”

After a romantic final date in New Zealand, the single dad, 32, proposed to Melissa Rycroft, 25, in the two-hour season finale of The Bachelor. She was happy.

But on the "After the Final Rose" special, filmed six weeks later but airing just minutes after the finale, he gave a seemingly unsuspecting Melissa the boot.

Moreover, he confessed he still had feelings for Molly Malaney.

Jason Mesnick in the Bachelor Finale

Jason Mesnick ponders his final decision on the finale of The Bachelor ... and how he's going to sleep at night after pulling off the elaborate ratings stunt concocted by ABC.

Supposedly having no idea about this, Molly was then informed by Jason that he just dumped Melissa, and accepted Jason's offer to give it another shot.

Mesnick knows what Bachelor viewers must think of him:

"‘That guy is a jerk.’ ... I’m not proud of what I had to do.”

Offering only a vague explanation of why - which lends credence to the Bachelor spoilers that suggest this was all contrived - Mesnick said only that after The Bachelor cameras stopped rolling, the chemistry with Melissa began to fade.

“After we got back into the real world, all of a sudden, we had less to talk about and I didn’t know why. I started thinking wow, what’s happening with us? Why aren’t we communicating the way we did when the show was going on?” said Mesnick.

“I didn’t say something right away because I wanted to figure out what was going in inside of me. There was part of me that wanted things to work out with Melissa so bad. But the other piece was I had these crazy feelings for Molly.”

Finally, Jason Mesnick says, he could not deny the truth: “Melissa and I just have different ways of communicating. We’re not right for each other.”

Yeah. For more half-hearted insight from America's Most Hated Bachelor, check out Jason's interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night ...

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The Bachelor Quotes

There’s still a lot of growing to do in our relationship. We will not tie the knot until I am mentally and physically prepared as well as Matt.

Shayne Lamas

It was a fairytale proposal like I’ve always dreamed about. I forgot that there [were] cameras around. In that moment, it was just Matt and I and it was the most amazing moment of my entire life.

Shayne Lamas [on proposal by Matt Grant]