Monday, March 14, 2011

"The Bachelor" Alums: Where Are They Now?

An edited version of this story appeared in The New York Post yesterday. Here is my full report:

Chances are someone will get engaged on tonight’s season finale of “The Bachelor,” but the odds of Brad Womack actually walking down the aisle with the woman he picks are pretty slim. (Especially since this is his second time on the show) In the ten years on the air there have been only two weddings – both televised, of course -- to come from fifteen ‘Bachelors’ and six ‘Bachelorettes.’ Still, series creator Mike Fleiss says, “In terms what we do, it’s a miracle. It’s hard to find true love in eight weeks of shooting.” While there have been countless hook-ups and couplings among the shows’ tear-stained rejects, only the original ‘Bachelorette’ Trista Rehn and Ryan Sutter married as a result of a rose ceremony. But Fleiss says the show is on a “hot streak” now with “two out of the last four couples” getting married. (Jason Resnick actually married runner-up Molly Malaney; Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez haven’t set a date yet).

Looking back on the series’ boulevard of broken hearts Fleiss says, “A million things get in the way. For some of the men the fact that they become celebrities and are very popular with the ladies goes to their head.” And, of course, there are those cads who are looking for a career boost, not a wife. “There were several bachelors that I knew were full of it and were never going to commit to a relationship.” Shocking, but true.

Here’s a look at what some of the series’ most infamous alumni are up to today:

Bob Guiney
(Season 4)
After being rejected by “Bachelorette” Trista Sutter, Guiney became the show’s hot tub king and gave Estella Gardinier a ‘promise ring’ but spilt with her shortly after the show wrapped. Guiney wed soap star Rebecca Budig who he met when she was hosting “The Bachelor XYZ,” a recap show on ABC Family. “I fell in love on “The Bachelor,” it just wasn’t the way everyone thought it would happen.” The couple, who were married for five years, officially spilt last summer. “Now we both share a studio lot,” says Guiney who lives in Los Angeles. “We’re still really close.” He’s managed to parlay is “Bachelor” fame into regular TV gigs on TLC and The Game Show Network. So how’s his love life? “I’ve been married and divorced and now I keep my personal life personal,” says Guiney who’ll only say he’s “dating.” “No matter where I go, I’m still ‘Bachelor Bob.’”

Jason Mesnick
(Season 13)
Divorced dad Jason Mesnick became the most hated “Bachelor” ever when he dumped fiancé Melissa Rycroft on national television and minutes later asked runner-up Molly Malaney to take him back. “My dilemma was that producers told me Molly was the next “Bachelorette.” We had these contracts. They told me if I wanted to talk to her, I had do it on air.” Despite having Fleiss foot the bill for his TV wedding to Malaney last year, Mesnick says, “The ‘I love yous’ on the show aren’t real.” That isn’t stopping the former insurance agent-turned-social media consultant from launching a “Bachelor” trivia game on Facebook later this year.

Melissa Rycroft
(Season 13)

The best thing that ever happened to Rycroft was getting dumped by Mesnick. Just days later after being humiliated on national television she was swirling around in sequins on “Dancing With the Stars.” She reunited with her ex, Tye Strickland, who she married last year. Rycroft gave birth to the couple’s first child, Ava Grace, last month and will soon return to her cushy gig as a contributor on “Good Morning America.”

Jake Pavelka
(Season 14)

Forget about romance, flighty pilot Pavelka says the best thing that came from being on “The Bachelor” was landing on “Dancing With the Stars.” “It’s one of the funnest things I’ve ever done in my life,” says the aspiring actor who has appeared on “The Bold & The Beautiful.” Pavelka insists he “absolutely” thought he would find love on the show. These days he’s dating wedding planner Megan Jones. “We’re not exclusive. She sees other people and so do I.” Does that mean Pavelka would pull a Brad Womack and return to “The Bachelor”? “I’d never say never, but I wouldn’t do it for free this time.”

Vienna Girardi
(Season 14)

After her relationship with toxic bachelor Pavelka went down in flames on national television last May Girardi says, “It took me months before I could watch that break-up interview. I’m still getting over it.” Today Girardi is living with a roommate in Los Angeles trying to jump start an acting career and is “dating someone who has done the TV thing and knows what it’s like to be talked about and hear lies about themselves.” She still believes that you can find love on television – and would like Fleiss to put her on “Bachelor Pad” to prove it. “Even though a lot of people didn’t find love on the show, I absolutely believe you can find love from the show like so many people have.”

The Bachelor airs tonight on ABC at 8 pm ET followed by After The Final Rose


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