Jason Mesnick’s season of The Bachelor had, in the words of Chris Harrison, a shock ending no one saw coming, but still managed to conclude with the fairytale the show promised. Jason started his Bachelor journey on season 4 of The Bachelorette. The then-single father to Ty Mesnick made it to the final two and even got down on his knee to propose to DeAnna Pappas. After she turned down his proposal, Jason had captured enough American hearts to land him the opportunity of being the 13th Bachelor.
With the reigns in his hands, Jason narrowed more than 20 women down to the final two: former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Melissa Rycroft and department store buyer Molly Malaney. Ready to make a decision, Jason turned to his mother for advice on which woman would make a great wife and stepmom to Ty. While Molly seemed great, his mom advised, she wanted someone more family-oriented and less focused on their career for her son. Mom’s words seemed to weigh heavy on the Bachelor and propelled him to choose Melissa.
Click the button below to start this article in quick view.
Before he proposed to Melissa, Jason said goodbye to Molly, leading to a meme-able and memorable moment in the Bachelor franchise. Jason started what became known as the “Full Mesnick,” during which he grasped the balcony edge, hung his head over, and had himself a hard cry. Six weeks post-proposal to Melissa, Jason realized he’d made a mistake and broke up with Melissa on After the Final Rose. To say viewers were shocked is an understatement. Adding to the excitement, Jason proclaimed he’d love a do-over and wanted Molly back.
Molly agreed to take him back, explaining the feelings were mutual. Less than one year later, Molly walked down the aisle to Jason Castro singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to meet her future husband, Jason, at the altar. ABC aired the entire February 27, 2010 ceremony with Chris Harrison as the host. It also featured fellow Bachelors, Bachelorettes, and their significant others, including Charlie O’Connell and Sarah Brice, Trista and Ryan Stutter, and Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski.
This all occurred in 2009 and Netflix released Jason’s season for streaming in early 2020. ABC also recapped season 13 in August as part of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons Ever, the network’s fill-in for The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise after COVID-19 made the two nearly impossible to film. The day Jason’s episode was set to air, Molly took to Instagram to praise Melissa for her resiliency and strength to turn a bad situation into a good one. “We went through something together that no one else has ever experienced…It shaped us, changed us, and made us the people we are today and THAT, my friends, is why I am grateful to have gone through this experience.” Jason himself posted images from the season, captioning it, “A big shoutout to all 25 women who joined this journey with me 12 years ago-it wouldn’t have been the same without each and every one of you.”
Revisiting Jason Mesnick’s season left old and new viewers with one question: what is the entire cast up to now? Us Weekly reported the whereabouts of multiple cast members from Jason’s season.
Jason and Molly’s story ended just as The Bachelor promised—with a wedding and a happy ending. The Seattle-based couple has been married for about 10 years since their wedding aired on television. On their 10-year anniversary, Molly wrote a tribute to her husband on Instagram, “Tackling life, hand-in-hand, for 10 years straight! I don’t think anyone really knows how incredible @jasonmesnick is.” Although the two have had successful careers outside of the franchise—Jason as a real estate agent and Molly as a host on 106.1 KISS FM’s “Bender and Molly”—they’ve maintained a connection to Bachelor Nation and reality television. They’ve appeared on an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with fellow franchisees Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici and regularly offer commentary on the current seasons of the Bachelor.
Adding to their family, they welcomed daughter Riley in 2013. Today, Riley is 7 and Ty is 15. Above all, it seems family is at the forefront of their relationship. A quick scroll through Jason’s Instagram can find him coaching one of his daughter’s sports teams or turning a story he told his son into a children’s book called What’s Your Poo Poo Face? Similarly, Molly often posts her daughter and stepson, both of whom she’ll be helping remote learn this fall.
Despite the harsh breakup Jason put her through, Melissa became incredibly successful, turning her bad situation into motivation to propel her career and personal life forward. Not long after her public breakup, Melissa reconnected with an old boyfriend, Tye Strickland, who later became her husband. The couple now have three children: Ava, Beckett, and Cayson. The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has maintained a career in front of the camera, working on Access Hollywood Live, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, and FabLife. In 2012, Melissa decided to share her experience with love and heartbreak through her book My Reality. A few years later, she and her husband started the Logically Irrational podcast, which covers relationships and family, pop culture, and reality television.
Four days before Jason’s season re-aired, the couple discussed whether or not they would be watching. Melissa said she didn’t want to watch the recap episode because it would be like “watching a train wreck.” Tye agreed. On August 10, the day Jason’s season was set to be recapped on ABC, Melissa addressed the heartbreak and her feelings toward Jason and Molly in an Instagram post. She asked viewers to “be kind” to Jason and Molly, explaining she is no longer upset about the situation as everything worked out for the best. She expressed gratitude for having gone through such hard times, claiming “it made us all so much stronger!”
Jillian Harris made it to the final three of Jason’s season. While doing so, she was able to cultivate a fanbase with her carefree, fun-loving attitude. Because she was able to captivate the Bachelor audience, she was chosen to be The Bachelorette on season 5. During, she accepted a proposal from Ed Swiderski. The two attended the Mesnicks’ wedding in early 2010, but ended the relationship later that year. Although she didn’t find love on TV, Jillian found her fairytale ending off-screen. In 2016, she got engaged to Justin Pasutto and announced her first pregnancy with Leo George. Two years later, she gave birth to her second child, Annie Marjorie Bea. Jillian and Justin had a date set to get married this year, but it was pushed back due to COVID-19.
The Canadian native has been an interior designer since 2006 but has transformed her career similar to how she transforms homes on HGTV’s Love it or List it, Too and Love it or List it: Vancouver. She’s also appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Canada’s Handyman Challenge. She briefly launched a brand of interior décor goods and most recently partnered with Saje Natural Wellness to design diffusers for the home. In 2017, she and her fiancé developed a limited series documentary about their lives called Jillian and Justin. Two years later, Jillian branched into the food world, co-authoring a vegan cookbook with Fraiche Living.
Jillian has also increased her online influence with 1.2 million Instagram followers. She created the Jilly Box, a quarterly box with her favorite wellness, self-care, and home products. The former Bachelorette launched Jilly Digital as well, selling photo presets and offering editing tips and tricks.
Flight attendant Naomi Crespo made it to week 6. Everyone remembers Naomi’s hometown date where her mom asked Jason to say a eulogy for a bird she hit with her car. Did she ever get her happily ever after? She did. In 2011, Naomi married David Goodale, a data systems specialist and her childhood friend. Two years later, she gave birth to her daughter Hannah. “To say I’m mildly obsessed with you is putting it lightly,” she wrote in her blog about Hannah.
Naomi’s final blog was written on August 10, 2014. Similarly, her Twitter account hasn’t seen activity since 2011. She hasn’t created a Facebook or Instagram account, forgoing the influencer lifestyle most former contestants lavish in. However, her husband’s Facebook page states he lives in Portland, Oregon instead of California, and has three daughters. It’s unclear if he and Naomi are still married.
Stephanie Hogan, a medical marketing representative, was eliminated in week 5. Not much is known about the Huntsville, Alabama, native today other than that she raises her now-teenage daughter, Sophia, in Alabama. She doesn’t have active social media accounts.
Lauren Wagner, a New Jersey teacher was eliminated week 4. Today, she lives in Florida with her husband Brian, son Aaron, and daughter Adriana.
Megan Parris, previously a lacrosse coach in Pennsylvania, now lives in New York City. Having changed career paths, she sells organic CBD and clean-crafted wine.
Megan is also a mom to son Deacon. Dental hygienist Shannon Bair was eliminated week four of Jason’s season. A few years after Jason’s season, Shannon suffered multiple injuries from a car accident including a broken collarbone, sprained wrist, pulmonary and head bruises and back strain. Bustle reported she has seemed to heal just fine and has found love in quarantine. Now going by the name Shannon Gibbons, she lives in Kansas City and has enjoyed spending time with her new boyfriend Jeff Haus. Her social media feed is filled with images of Jeff and images from Kansas City Chiefs and Royals games.
Nikki Kaapke was eliminated in week 4. She joined the cast of the first season of Bachelor Pad but was sent home in episode 5. Not much more is known about the Illinois native.
There is very little known about the contestants who were eliminated in weeks 1 through 3. Many of the women seemed to have dropped off Twitter a few years later and stayed off social media since then. Fans can only hope these women found the love they were looking for on The Bachelor. The contestants that have seemed to drop off the face of the earth include account executives Erica DeSimone, Kari Fajen and Shelby, Illinois native Natalie Getz, Brazilian medical student Raquel Medeiros, New York teacher Sharon Staebell, public relations associate Lisa Gonzalez, flight attendant Ann Lueders, medical sales rep Dominique Carta, Washington resident Emily, wedding coordinator Jackie Hickley, Ohio teacher Julie Dermotta, menswear buyer Nicole Mah, jewelry designer Renee Simlak, charity accountant Stacia Mann, and nurse practitioner Treasure Morgan.
Although it’s unclear how all the contestants fared after Jason’s season, it seems that those who were eliminated in later weeks found love and developed an online following. Many grew their careers and found success in other aspects of life whether it be podcasting or writing. While they’ve transitioned to new life stages, most haven’t forgotten their roots, actively participating in Bachelor Nation, whether appearing on an episode or offering their commentary.
Hopefully, future Bachelor cast members can experience a similar level of success. Contestants in recent seasons have been able to turn their Bachelor or Bachelorette fame into a lasting brand. Today, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll have more than 200,000 Instagram followers after your time on the franchise, which typically leads to business opportunities and partnerships or collabs with brands. Many have gone on to write books, start podcasts, partner with brands for ad campaigns, design clothing lines, and model. Here’s hoping Clare and Tayshia’s men and Matt James’ women can find love and success after the show—even if they’re not given the final rose, a Neil Lane diamond, and a time slot on Jimmy Kimmel.
Next: The Bachelorette: Chris Harrison Says Clare Has ‘Blown Up’ the Show In New Teaser
Sources: Us Weekly, Bustle
Among Us Crewmates Take Over Super Smash Bros. Ultimate In New Mod
About The Author