For a week, the celeb gossip universe has been obsessed with The Bachelor's "After The Final Rose" special, which some perceived as pure public humiliation.
While the show's season finale and the reunion special were shown back-to-back, six weeks of real time had elapsed between the finale, when Jason Mesnick chose Melissa Rycroft as his bride, and the special, during which he announced that he had changed his mind and professed feelings instead for runner-up Molly Malaney.
As Rycroft fought back tears, and as Mesnick turned to Malaney, many fans became enraged, decrying Mesnick as a "jackass," "playboy" and "bastard."
This particular chapter of reality TV struck some as a little too real.
Yet The Bachelor creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss says the March 2 spectacle reflected not the worst, but the very best of reality TV.
"I'm not really surprised by this, it's just a sign that the show is working," he told Time magazine. "That's really your job, to create television that the whole country will sit down at one time and watch together."
"Honestly, I really don't see the difference between [Jason Mesnick] dumping Molly in New Zealand and then dumping Melissa [weeks later] in Glendale."
Some say the difference is that Malaney knew there was a chance she could get kicked off the show during the competition, while Rycroft's departure occurred long after she had already been picked as the winner and gotten engaged.
But Fleiss insists Mesnick's actions came as no shock to Melissa.
In the weeks leading up to the special, Fleiss said he started to hear word from other producers on the show that Rycroft and Mesnick were not getting along.
Two weeks before the reunion, Fleiss heard Mesnick was still interested in Molly Malaney - whom Fleiss had approached about starring in The Bachelorette (third-place finisher Jillian Harris would eventually be tapped for that role).
All of of which set the stage for the most unpredictable "After the Final Rose" event in The Bachelor history - as host Chris Harrison accurately hyped it.