Ladies, your laser vision is spot on. You never know how much of those shows are Hollywood hype, and I'm kinda nosy, so I had to find out for myself. But after spending an hour talking with Kirkland resident Jason Mesnick, from this season's "Bachelorette" on ABC, I came to the conclusion that this guy really is the sincere, positive, upbeat super Dad he appeared to be. There were no camera tricks here.
I was curious about the show and how things really happen. Like, how do you get on the show in the first place? Turns out Jason's friend Bevin Powers was on The Bachelor (runner-up, in fact!) and he thought it was something he'd be willing to try. He filled out the application and didn't hear anything for a year and a half! They kept him in the dark until the last minute. By the way, the finale for him was on May 9th, so there's actually about a 2 month lag time from when it 'really' happened to when we all saw it happen. Could you imagine falling in love, asking someone to marry you and getting turned down without being allowed to talk to ANYONE about it?!? I call my husband if I find a shiny quarter on the sidewalk. Jason confirmed, "You really can't say anything b/c you have to assume everyone trusts at least one person." He did mention that the producers were really supportive and strongly believe in the process and love. How about those cameras? "For the first kiss I felt the cameras, but not after that." I thought it was interesting too that Jason didn't see the show until it aired. He would be completely entitled to watch it at home in the dark with a bottle of Jack Daniel's, but he viewed the episodes with family, then work friends, even with a group of guy friends that left happy hour early to go see it. What a good sport!
Jason said it gave him closure to see DeAnna and Jesse so happy. "They are so into each other. You have to be happy for them- they really are in love," he says. I call him out on his very kind but overly PC answer and he concedes in his chipper tone, " I still wish she would have picked me." But then he explained when he saw how DeAnna looked at Jesse, he knew she didn't look at him like that. "And I need that look," he said. The post finale show was when he got to see the last episode re-play, and even though he thought he did his healing, it was difficult to see it again. And then to have to go out and face DeAnna (in front of all of us!) must have taken some real strength. Our bachelor raves about the experience and all of the new friends he's made along the way. He still maintains friendships with many of the guys including Graham, Jesse and Brian.
And now to the juicy stuff you're waiting for. :-)
Jason has not had a date since the show because he wants to make sure he's over DeAnna, but thinks he's getting close (I know--how close!? a week? a month? close enough?) He's looking for someone he has a connection with, someone with a "life spark, a passion for life. Someone OK with meeting new people, enjoying new places, things, kids." When asked if he wants more kids I barely finished my question before he exclaimed "definitely more kids!" And Kirklanders- he promises he's not going Hollywood on us, so keep your eyes peeled around town. If you are lucky enough to go out with him, he'd likely be in a shorts and a tee shirt with plans to head to Santorini (one of our faves too!) for some Greek food and a walk in the park. If you see him out, I might advise you to send him a beer or a scotch to start up a conversation. Or you could talk about how Ty's favorite color is red and Jason thinks orange and brown deserve a chance. Or what kind of Michael Jackson dance moves he might have since he loves 80's music.
This guys is the real deal- so down to earth I felt like he was an old friend by the time we wrapped up. When I was asking how he'll go about selecting other women to go out with he said, "What would you do if you were me?" Uh-I don't know- so many choices but how do you go about it? I offered to be his personal dating supervisor-haha-that might be fun (no, my friends do not get priority!!). I wouldn't be all that surprised, though, if we saw him as the next Bachelor. There's a poll on the website and Jason's got 64% of the votes right now. "Nobody has said anything to me," says Jason, "but it would be a cool experience. I wouldn't leave Ty for long, but I would definitely consider it."
There are a couple of ways you can reach out to Jason- firstname.lastname@example.org (he wants you to know he didn't choose the name, LOL) or he also has a Facebook Fan Support Group. This big hearted guy wants to respond to everyone, but I can't keep up with his fan mail on this blog so I can't fathom how he could. And I think I'm over being mad at him for not having any shots of Kirkland in the 'home visit' episode. Production timing, crews and coordination didn't work out that way, so I told him he owes us, the people of Kirkland, some photos of him from around town and we'd forgive him. ~j