Jillian Harris is the Bachelorette 5, but Molly Malaney was asked first

Jillian Harris, who was eliminated from The Bachelor 13 by Jason Mesnick just before the finale, will star in The Bachelorette 5, which will debut May 18. That relatively unsurprising news was revealed on the second After the Final Rose special.

More interestingly, runner up-turned-winner Molly Malaney was actually approached to star in the show last December, before producers knew that Jason still had feelings for her and was going to dump Melissa, which they say they learned after the holidays.

After the fifth-season finale taped, executive producer Mike Fleiss said he “was in the process of trying to talk Molly into being the Bachelorette,” he told People. “She was finally starting to come around and saying she wanted to do it, and she had spoken to her family. I thought she would be a fantastic Bachelorette, so likeable and beautiful and telegenic.”

Fleiss used that as evidence to insist that allegations the show’s conclusion was staged or fixed are “patently untrue. It was [Jason's] choice in New Zealand who he proposed to.”

Bachelor Creator: The Outcome Was Never Staged [People]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.