NEW YORK — For fans of "The Bachelor," Melissa Rycroft's romance and breakup with Jason Mesnick is pretty legendary.
If you missed it, Mesnick proposed to Rycroft in the 13th season finale in 2009. Then in the taped reunion show that aired immediately afterward, he dumped her for the runner-up, Molly Malaney. (They're now married.)
Rycroft, 29, ended up getting her own happy ending. Days later she was asked to join "Dancing with the Stars," where she became a fan favorite and finished third. She was tapped as a correspondent on "Good Morning America," got engaged, married and now has a daughter, Ava. Rycroft and her husband star in their own CMT reality show called "Melissa & Tye."
Rycroft reflects on her experience of being in what she describes as a "Bachelor bubble" in her new book called "My Reality." She also writes about how a major heartbreak is what made her want to do the show in the first place.
AP: Is it hard to still be associated with "The Bachelor"?
Rycroft: I know for a lot of people I'm always going to be the girl from "The Bachelor." I explain in the book how you get so wrapped up and how after only knowing this guy for two months and only being on three or four dates I fell in love with him and why I thought we were going to get married. And the sad thing is I honestly did. I really thought I was supposed to marry Jason. I really thought I was in love with him. Looking back, three years later I'm now married and I know what that love feels like. I couldn't have been in love with him. I didn't know that much about him. I didn't know – I (still) don't know what he does for a living! Little things like that, you know? And that's what maturity does. It was a very humbling experience and I know not everybody's gonna go through something like that but people are gonna go through similar experiences.
AP: You've moved on. Jason has moved on. Do you ever have contact with them? Are you still upset?
Rycroft: I really have no hard feelings toward Jason or Molly. I think he made a stupid decision, you know? I think he got wrapped up in the process and was probably prompted to act a certain way and do certain things and he did it but I don't think he's a bad guy, you know? I mean the little bit that I did get to know him on "The Bachelor" and talk to him after he didn't seem like a bad guy. I think he just did a bad thing. But I haven't talked to either one of them since the day I walked off that stage, and I know they're married now and happy and I'm married and happy. I think we both ended up where we should have.
AP: The next season of "Dancing with the Stars" will be an all-star cast. Will you take part?
Rycroft: I think it's genius. I think "Dancing" has a lot of great people that they can pick from to create and amazing all-star cast and me personally, I love it. I love the relationships I made with everybody. They were great to me and the show was great for me. On the other hand my life is very different than it was three years ago. I'm married now. I have a kid. I live in Dallas and whatever I do, it just needs to make sense for my family and it all needs to fit together. I'm not gonna do something just to do it anymore and so we'll see. I think it's too early to say yes or no at this point. But I think it's great.
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar