Before the Nick Vialls and Arie Luyendyk Jr.s of The Bachelor franchise, there was already plenty of drama in the early days. The drama I’m referring to, of course, is that of The Bachelor Season 13, when Jason Mesnick broke up with Melissa Rycroft during After the Final Rose. But since it’s been years since then and Arie may be in a similar position soon enough, what is Melissa Rycroft doing now? The Bachelor star may have been humiliated at the time, but flash forward to today and she’s living her best life possible and actually found love with a former boyfriend not long after being jilted by Jason on After the Final Rose back in 2009.
Back in June of 2009, Melissa appeared on Good Morning America to announce her engagement to Tye Strickland, an insurance agent whom she’d previously dated sporadically for two years. And although she’d been hurt by Jason just months before, she seemed more than ready to move on with her life, which I expect she’s done tenfold since then. "Sometimes the stars align, and the clouds part and everything works out the way it should," she said at the time. She also told Us Weekly of the seemingly sudden reconnection and engagement, "We've been really good friends, but the timing was never right. With all this going on, he's my support system. It's funny how things happen."
But besides finding love with someone in real life who she’d already known, Melissa has been pretty busy since The Bachelor cameras stopped rolling.
In 2009, she competed on Season 8 of Dancing With the Stars and came in third with pro partner Tony Dovolani. But the pair went on to compete and win in the following All-Stars season of the show and she was even part of the DWTS Perfect Ten Tour in 2015.
Now, Melissa is co-host of the Morning Dose talk show, which airs in Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Portland, and Washington, D.C. She’s also still married to Tye and the couple have three children now, with the first being Ava Grace, who’s now seven. They also have Beckett Thomas, 4, and Cayson Jack, who’s not quite two just yet.
Judging by Melissa’s Instagram, her life is pretty busy and full these days, so much so that I highly doubt she has any wonder about what might have been, had Jason not broken up with her and ended their engagement on After the Final Rose so many years ago.
Melissa has mostly kept quiet about the details of the televised breakup since it happened, however, she did open up about Jason in February 2017 during an interview on the podcast Reality Life With Kate Casey. She revealed that although they weren't in the best place as a couple going into After the Final Rose and may have been on the brink of officially splitting up, the breakup still shocked her. "I wasn’t expecting him to be like, 'Oh, yeah, peace out. I have feelings for Molly [Malaney], I’ve been talking to her and I’ve been seeing her,'" she said on the podcast. "That was when I was humiliated." Regarding the way he chose to break things off with her, she added, "You could have at least warned a chick before he walked out here. We talked minutes before I went out on that stage, and he never said anything."
Despite the way things ended, Melissa also said at the time that "there is no other place in my life that I would rather be," and since she’s clearly moved on from the whole incident, I’m very much inclined to believe her. The whole Jason/Molly/Melissa triangle is definitely one of the more notable events in Bachelor history, especially for diehard fans, but it looks like all parties have moved on completely.
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