Much of America was steamed when the latest television Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, dumped Molly Malaney to propose to Melissa Rycroft, only to subsequently give Rycroft the heave-ho in order to pursue a relationship with Malaney -- a roundelay that took place entirely in front of TV cameras. And Vail's Ryan Sutter is included among that number.
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Sutter, as you know, is half of the only couple from the Bachelor franchise to actually get married and stay that way; he wed Bachelorette star Trista Rehn in 2003, and they have a young son, Max. Shortly after last week's finale, Sutter posted an entry titled "The Bachelor" on his personal website, RyanSutter.com -- and he doesn't hold back. He says he hasn't watched The Bachelor for years because, in his view, "I don't believe the show holds a very high moral standard," before saying that Messnick wound up looking like "a jackass." He adds that if Messnick had truly cared about Rycroft's feelings, "he would have disregarded the request of the show to hold a public break-up." Instead, "Jason crumbled under the pressure of the production and in the process walked down a path cast with shadows of shame for which he will always be remembered."
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Because I actually watched the last hour of the Bachelor last night I thought I would jump into the popular conversation and offer my two cents. Prior to last night I had not watched a Bachelor series since the Bachelorette that I was on seven years ago. Why? I don't believe the show holds a very high moral standard and quite frankly I don't enjoy reliving a very stressful and exhausting time in my life. That said, I would not change my experience and find my personal hardships a very small price to pay for the resulting life they afforded me. You see love is not easy to come by. Sometimes it embarrasses you. Sometimes it humbles you. And sometimes, as in Jason's case, it makes you look like a complete jackass. Jason took part in a show that preys on those of weak spine and spirit. He fell victim to a program of intense emotional overload intended to create a narrow tunnel of vision from which only rash and irresponsible decisions could possibly be made. I have no doubt he made the decision he felt was right when he chose Melissa. I'll buy his explanation that when the real world with all of its real world influences and realities came back into play he had second thoughts. At some point, however, Jason needed to realize that the re-entry of the real world meant that he needed to resume his role as a real man. If his feeling for Melissa had changed he should have told her. There is absolutely no excuse for the savage treatment Jason laid on Mellisa's heart. If he truly cared he would have disregarded the request of the show to hold a public break-up. Jason crumbled under the pressure of the production and in the process walked down a path cast with shadows of shame for which he will always be remembered. Jason had to know the consequences of his choices. His cliche laden explanations, though weak and uninspiring, are his attempt to justify a decision he is convinced he made for love. If that is truly the case, can we really blame him? I get emails all the time from people desperate to find love. It seems some people are willing to do most anything for a chance at the queasy stomached emotion. Still, I would like to believe that when it came right down to it, the majority of the broken-hearted would stop short of blatantly and quite publicly torching the feelings of someone they laid claim to caring for simply to further their own desperate quest for love. Love is a powerful force, capable of providing us with both the cause for stupid decisions and the strength to overcome them. For Jason's sake I hope he found it.