Thursday, March 5, 2009


Bachelor producer MIKE FLEISS continues to shoot down rumors the show had a hand in star JASON MESNICK'S decision to dump fiancée MELISSA RYCROFT on Monday's The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special, which was taped six weeks ago. By now, you probably know Jason told Melissa he was ending their relationship because he was still in love with the show's runner-up, MOLLY MALANEY, who agreed to take him back. In a teleconference yesterday, Fleiss said, quote, "The great thing about unscripted television is that it's unpredictable and that's what this was. It caught us off guard. It caught the viewers off guard."

Jason has repeatedly said he had to break up with Melissa on camera because of his obligation to The Bachelor, but Fleiss didn't seem to back up that claim. He said, quote, "There was no contractual obligation. You can check the contract...How would you put that in a contact anyway? Like, everything you do in your life must be shown on ABC. It's impossible."Since the broadcast, Jason has come under fire for dumping Melissa in such a public forum. Fleiss, however, said Jason and Melissa clearly had problems before he made the announcement. He said, quote, "It just wasn't working out for them. She knew it. She didn't know that it was about Molly -- I think that was the thing that caught her off guard."

Bachelor host CHRIS HARRISON, however, said on yesterday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show news of the split wasn't a total shock to Melissa and she may have even sensed Molly had a role in it. He said, quote, "Melissa wasn't completely blind-sided...she knew something was going on. And she had a hint -- a woman's intuition, whatever -- it might have been about Molly." Harrison also stood by the decision to broadcast the breakup. He said, quote, "We can't just let America watch this show and have this proposal with Melissa and go, 'By the way...that didn't happen -- he's actually with that other girl!'"

Like Harrison, Fleiss defended the decision to air Jason and Melissa's split. He said, quote, "It's a TV show and that was really the defining moment of this series and to not put that on TV seems strange, really, when you consider that we are making a TV show and these people signed up to do a TV show." Fleiss also said he wanted Melissa to star in the next edition of The Bachelorette, but she wanted no part of it

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