'The Bachelor' Exec: "Jason Didn't Have to Dump Melissa On Camera"
If you haven't heard by now, the ending of this season of The Bachelor has been one of the most shocking yet. Jason Mesnick proposed to Melissa Rycroft in New Zealand in the season finale, only to break up with her on camera six weeks later for her primary rival, Molly Malaney.

Jason and Molly, the ostensibly happy couple, were supposed to take questions today, the day after The Bachelor 13: “After the Final Rose” Part 2 aired, in which they reported that things have been just peachy with them during the six weeks since “After the Final Rose” Part 1. However, due to “last minute schedule changes,” neither Jason nor Molly was able to participate in the press conference, and executive producer of The Bachelor, Mike Fleiss, filled in instead. I wonder if “last minute schedule changes” is code for “didn't want to face public scrutiny.”

Executive producer Mike Fleiss didn't have much to say about the controversial ending to The Bachelor, but he does insist that Melissa was not blindsided in “After the Final Rose” Part 1.

“They had been talking. I think it was clear to both of them that there were problems with the relationship. The way I understand it, they were all but broken up,” Fleiss said.

Something that Jason Mesnick has been claiming, ever since his interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! the night of the season finale is that, due to a contract he signed with ABC, he had no choice but to dump Melissa on-air. (You can watch the interview right here.) However, according to Fleiss, “There was no contractual obligation. How would you put that in a contract, anyway?”

Something isn't right here. Did he or didn't he have a contract stipulating a public breakup? If Fleiss is to be believed in this matter, Jason deserves every ounce of backlash that he has been getting.

When asked whether events of this season of The Bachelor were stage-managed, or outright scripted, Fleiss replied emphatically, “That's not true. We don't do that. We've never done that. Unscripted television is unpredictable.”

Melissa understandably didn't want any more publicity around her love life, and chose to present a written statement, rather than taking questions from reporters. She wrote:

“Although I could not be here, I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive throughout this process. This has been such an overwhelming experience, and I really do appreciate the support system behind me. This was definitely one of those experiences that changes your life, and makes you so much more aware of who you are and what you want out of life. Strange as it may sound, I am doing really well. I'm back in Dallas, pursuing the teaching thing, and attempting to get my life back to normal (if it was every really normal to begin with). I still have my same life mottos: Live life with no regrets, and keep smiling no matter what happens. I'm in such a good place in my life right now, and I really couldn't be happier. I don't regret anything that happened over the past few months; because I know I wouldn't be where I am today had none of it happened. I have, however, decided to move on from my reality television days, and get some sense of normalcy back to my life. As wonderful of an experience as The Bachelorette would be, I think it's time for me to move on from my television days, and see what my future holds back in Dallas. I have no doubt it will be an amazing experience for whoever assumes the role, and I wish them the best of luck!"

There's good news for Melissa fans, however. She will be stopping by The Ellen Degeneres Show tomorrow, Thursday, March 5, for an exclusive interview that no other talk show will get. (The following day, Jason and Molly will appear on the talk show, as well.)

Read related Bachelor articles:
The Bachelor 13: After the Final Rose, Part 2, Live Thoughts
BuddyTV Digital Video: Debbie Explains The Bachelor Finale to Oscar
Jason Mesnick = Jerkface
Jason Mesnick Finds "The One"
The Bachelor 13: Season Finale Live Thoughts
The Bachelor 13: After the Final Rose, Part 1, Live Thoughts

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Source: EW.com, ABC
(Image courtesy of ABC)