I don't watch The Bachelor. In the realm of crappy reality television I subject myself to, that is where I draw the line. Okay, most dating shows are where I draw the line, though I admit to getting a somewhat unhealthy kick out of watching Bret Michaels leave skanky trannies on the side of the road in butt-f**k nowhere on this season of Rock of Love (Bus). But I have never watched The Bachelor, save for like half an episode during the season with Charlie O'Connell and only then because I remembered a friend from high school telling me stories about how he and "his goofy brother Jerry" used to baby-sit her as a kid, and I kind of just wanted to see how he had turned out.
Still, this season had me somewhat intrigued, even if only because the guy was a single dad, and news media everywhere were gushing about that fact. As if having offspring automatically makes you ready, willing, and a viable candidate to settle down! Everyone from Bonnie Hunt to Dorothy Lucey were weighing in on who this guy would pick, and quite a few of them were surprised by the season finale...but not more surprised than what went down on the reunion show!
To sum up something that I did not witness even second hand (I merely read a quite outraged, if I do say so, response to the events), the dude (Jason Mesnick) gave his final rose to Melissa Rycroft, only to announce at their special "After The Rose Ceremony" episode that he wanted to do a swap-out for runner-up Molly Malaney. Apparently, after spending some time with Rycroft (presumably through phone calls and Facebook chats, considering they couldn't be seen together while the show was airing, lest the spoilers of his pick leak), he realized he may have "made a huuge mistake." Rycroft, needless to say, didn't take the public dumping so well, as she gave him back his ring and stormed off the set (she should have kept the ring in this case; he didn't even pay for it! Stick it to ABC! It's their fault you're humiliated; it's better for ratings!). Malaney, on the other hand, accepted his offer to give them "another try."
While yes, I agree with most bloggers on this day that Mesnick used poor judgment in his tactless way of "letting Rycroft down gently" (in that he basically dropped her flat on her face in front of the nation-- well, at least the part of the nation that prefers semi-scripted reality shows over scripted-comedy shows anyway!), in the end, I don't think what he did was so horrible. After all, how many relationships (let alone "TV relationships") end in happily ever after? And please don't use Trista and Ryan as an example! I, myself, have been in his shoes at least half a dozen times (though never with a diamond at stake!), and I find it far less cruel to let the other person go so he can pursue a relationship that will make him happy rather than stay in one with me if we're not (happy). Granted, none of the guys I've ever dated have had our relationship broadcast via satellite into strangers' and family and friends' homes, but still... I don't think Mesnick's actions were douchey, I think it was the way he went about them that were a bit misguided.