Before current Bachelor Nick Viall made himself at home within the franchise, appearing on the show four times, Bachelor Nation’s biggest scandal was when Bachelor Jason Mesnick chose runner-up Molly Malaney over his initial pick Melissa Rycroft…on live TV. Although things ended up fine for both sides—Jason and Molly are now married and have a daughter, and Melissa is also married with kids—the controversy is back in the news because apparently, Jason has a bone to pick with Ellen DeGeneres. Um, what?
Refinery29 reports that Jason mentions in his upcoming memoir an awkward rift with Ellen that arose during his post-final rose press tour. In a preview of the book, Jason writes that he was afraid to stand up to show producers when they began encouraging him to keep up a relationship with Melissa so she would have others’ sympathy when he broke up with her and be a likable Bachelorette (a position she didn’t even get). “When I go back to it, I wish I would have stood my ground and never did anything that was against my morals or hurt anyone,” Jason reveals.
When Jason visited The Bachelor’s go-to talk show host Jimmy Kimmel after choosing Molly, the two took time off air for Jimmy to give Jason “advice” for his appearance on Ellen the next day. Because anyone who watches the show as faithfully as Jimmy is automatically qualified to give advice to a stranger, right?
“He said, and I’m paraphrasing, 'Ellen is going to really attack you because she needs to do it for her audience,'” Jason shares. “'Here’s what I would say if I were you, based on your experience…' And so I took his advice and I went on Ellen and was just like, 'Look, I don’t really know anything about this industry. I’m just trying to be myself.'”
“Ellen was kind of harsh…but I remember that between takes on commercials she said something like, ‘I know how this show works. Don’t worry about it. I’m just kind of doing my thing,’” Jason writes. “So she had to lash into me based on TV stuff, but when the camera stops rolling, she says, ‘Don’t worry, it’s all for TV.’ It was just one of those things where I thought why can’t we have an honest conversation where the truth is the same as when the cameras are rolling as when they’re not rolling?”
Taking the time to call out Ellen doesn’t really put Jason’s book in a positive light, but I guess any news about him means remembering a simpler time in Bachelor Nation—you know, before Corinne was the only real reason to watch the show.