The Bachelor producers promised a shocking ending to Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season and they delivered. Now, Arie is ABC franchise’s latest villain as he deals with the aftermath of his decision to dump his fiancée weeks after he proposed to her in Peru.
Warning: If you didn’t watch Part 1 of The Bachelor finale, spoilers are ahead.
On The Bachelor Season 22 finale, Arie Luyendyk Jr. struggled to decide between Becca Kufrin and Lauren Burnham. In the end, he chose Becca and proposed to her with a Neil Lane sparkler. But weeks later when the couple was back in L.A., Arie had a change of heart and he broke up with Becca as The Bachelor cameras rolled. The awkward incident was captured with two cameras that never stopped filming as Arie repeatedly returned to Becca’s hotel room after she asked him to leave.
ABC heavily advertised the “uncut, unedited, unbelievable” ending, but as the breakup footage aired, many Bachelor fans—and franchise alums— were blown away by the fact that Arie dumped Becca in such a public way. Several stars from The Bachelor franchise took to Twitter to react to Arie’s change of heart, including Melissa Rycroft Strickland and Molly Malaney Mesnick, two women who know how Becca is feeling all too well.
Melissa posted to Twitter to note Arie’s upcoming “switcharoo,” while Molly pointed out that Arie should have learned from the mistakes of those before him and maybe “NOT filmed the breakup.”
In addition, Molly’s husband, Jason Mesnick, who was in Arie’s shoes when he was The Bachelor Season 13 star in 2009, wrote that there is “no way” Arie wanted the raw, awkward scene filmed. Jason said that while it likely wasn’t a contractual obligation, Bachelor producers are very convincing.
“I do not like that they filmed this,” Jason Mesnick wrote. “I think they humiliated her… with that being said they want the audience to feel for Becca so everyone will watch next season (just a guess).”
Other Bachelor alums, including Sean Lowe, Olivia Caridi, and Vanessa Grimaldi, took to social media to react to Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s on-camera breakup with Becca. Nick Viall’s ex-fiancée called the extended scene “a new low” for the ABC reality show.
Former Bachelor star Ben Higgins also spoke about Arie’s unconventional breakup with Becca, questioning the gut-wrenching unedited scene that aired on ABC as millions watched.
“Why does this have to happen with cameras around? ” Higgins said to Entertainment Tonight.
“Why can’t this just be done in a private moment away from everybody? I also get the idea that he’s committed to allowing us into his love story, and part of his love story involves this… but we got to see some unedited video of a breakup that will definitely affect Becca probably for a long time, and Arie also. It felt like I was watching something that I did not need to be a part of.”
Higgins added that that fact that Arie “wouldn’t leave” was the most awkward part of the exchange.
Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s decision to reconcile with his runner-up over his initial pick has fans remembering Season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick’s on-camera breakup with his then-fiancée, Melissa Rycroft, during that season’s taping of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose. The 2009 Bachelor blowup featured a tearful Melissa learning that Jason still had feelings for Molly and had been in contact with her behind her back.
While Becca Kufrin was clearly blindsided by Arie’s “switcharoo,” Jason Mesnick later told the website MomLogic.com that his relationship with Melissa was Rycroft done over before it was announced on the live After the Final Rose show.
“Melissa definitely knew before going on,” Mesnick said. “I mean, our last conversation was: ‘Are you gonna to wear the ring? Because you know we’re not together.’ I think that she probably had some hopes still that maybe I was gonna change my mind, because she was really upset.”
Rycroft later admitted that Jason’s revelation that he wanted to pursue things with Molly is what caught her off guard.
“I knew on the night [of] After the Final Rose I wasn’t getting dumped. We had already ended the relationship, and that was mutual,” Rycroft told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres in 2009. “I repeatedly asked [Jason], ‘Is Molly involved in anything? Am I going to be blindsided by anything? Is there anything you want to tell me?’ And he said, ‘No, gosh no.’ And the second I went out on that stage, he goes, ‘P.S., it is Molly,’ and I went, ‘Bastard.'”
Rycroft also revealed that she believed Jason and Molly were in touch while she was still engaged to The Bachelor star.
“I know there had been at least one contact… where he was ‘checking on her,’ so it was just in the back of my mind,” Melissa said. “I would casually ask, you know, ‘Are you talking to her? Have you talked to her? Tell me, just be honest’… He kept saying no.”