What did Molly Malaney potentially give up to be with fiance Jason Mesnick? A starring role in the next installment of The Bachelorette! Also considered: Melissa Rycroft.
In this week's cover story, Mesnick reveals to Us that show producers -- a week after his ill-fated proposal to Rycroft -- "kept asking me if I thought Molly would make a good Bachelorette."
But ultimately, the Bachelor "realized I was not willing to let Molly go on TV and have 25 guys fight over her."
What about Rycroft? "Melissa is a great girl, but there wasn't any chemistry," he admits. "So I broke up with her after Christmas, about a month after we wrapped."
Mesnick insists to Us that when the pair taped the After the Final Rose special in January -- in which he dumped a visibly shocked Rycroft and begged Malaney to take him back -- they had already split in private, despite appearances to the contrary.
One key party still in the dark? Would-be Bachelorette Malaney, whom Mesnick was contractually prohibited from contacting until The Bachelor had completely aired. "And at that point, she already would have started filming The Bachelorette!" Mesnick says of his logistical dilemma.
He admits that the controversial After the Final Rose taping (complete with tears and a broken engagment) wasn't the ideal venue to rekindle things with Malaney and win her back. "Obviously, I didn't want it all on TV, but I had to take the chance if it meant getting her back. I'd rather have picked up the phone, trust me!"
Recently engaged to Malaney, the groom-to-be insists that he and Rycroft "were still on good terms after we taped After the Final Rose. Producers asked her to be the next Bachelorette, so we talked about that for weeks. We don't talk anymore, but I wish her nothing but the best . . . I never intended to humiliate her."
Pick up this week's issue of Us Weekly to find out all about how Jason and and Molly reunited, how he proposed, wedding ideas, what it's like living together, whether his son Tye, 4, should expect any little brothers and sisters, and much more!