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Melissa Rycroft on Co-Hosting ABC's 'Bachelor Pad,' Baby Names and Advice for Ali and Roberto

by Andrew Scott, posted Aug 9th 2010 1:00PM
Melissa RycroftMelissa Rycroft continues to turn a bad breakup into a great career opportunity.

After successful stints on 'Good Morning America' and 'Dancing With the Stars,' the adorable mom-to-be, who was unceremoniously dumped by 'Bachelor' star Jason Mesnick on live television last year, is now the co-host of ABC's new reality series 'Bachelor Pad,' premiering tonight at 8PM ET/PT.

The show will put 19 former 'Bachelor' and 'Bachelorette' contestants into a house (the same house from the 'Bachelor' franchise, Rycroft told me), whether they will compete in various challenges for a hefty sum of $250,000; and since this is the 'Bachelor' we're talking about, they may even find love, as well.

Last week, Rycroft, who announced last month that she is expecting her first child with husband Tye Strickland, chatted with TV Squad about 'The Bachelor Pad,' her whirlwind year and the advice she has for 'Bachelorette' Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez.

How did you initially get involved with 'Bachelor Pad'?


Well, obviously, I have a small connection to the 'Bachelor' franchise. [Laughs] And I'm kind of in a place in my life right now where I don't think they would have wanted to ask me to move in, being married and now pregnant. It's a fun summer show, and I kind of bring -- not a different dynamic with Chris [Harrison], but we can banter back and forth with each other and have fun. It's not quite as serious as 'The Bachelor' is.

Does it feel a little weird to be co-hosting the show instead of being a contestant on it?

It feels very weird. [Laughs] The very first time that I walked into the house, I was standing across from all of these people -- especially Nikki [Kaapke] and Natalie [Getz], who I lived in a house with -- going, "This is odd." The last time I stepped foot into this house, we were all moving in and rooming together. But everybody was great about it. It kind of just became the norm after that. It's not like I was the teacher by any means. It's just that I kind of got to watch the whole process going on,as opposed to participating in it. So a little awkward first, and then it caught on.

Melissa RycroftYou've had an incredible year, professionally: You were on 'Good Morning America,' 'Entertainment Tonight' and now you're co-hosting the 'Bachelor Pad' with Chris Harrison. Do you see television becoming a permanent gig for you?

You know, it's hard to say, because my philosophy is, if work comes my way, I will take it. I will jump on any opportunity as long as it seems like a good fit with me. With that being said, I'm not moving out to L.A. and trying to pursue a career. I do still live in Dallas. I still have my family back home. I still call that my home. It's just that I happen to work in Los Angeles. So as long as the offers come, I'm gonna stay out here. Once they stop, it kind of means everybody's tired of me. [Laughs] So we'll move on.

Speaking of having an incredible year, congratulations on your pregnancy. Has it even sunk in yet?

Yes and no. I'm not sure, from what I've heard, if it ever really sinks in until you actually get to meet the baby. I know the idea has sunk in that life is going to be completely different. But it's going to be so much more wonderful than we could ever imagine. So, a bunch of unknowns right now, which is scary and exciting. But we have a busy couple of months [ahead], that's for sure.

Who was the first person you told?

We both called our parents, because, thankfully, we found out together. Tye was with me with me when we found out, so we immediately got on the phone and making the rounds with the family.

Have you even thought about baby names yet?

I haven't thought [about] baby names yet, because we don't know the gender. We are gonna find out gender as soon as we can, and I'm sure once we do that, we will let the battle that will be baby names begin. [Laughs]

Do you care about the sex of your baby?

It's so funny and cliche, because you always hear everybody say, "I jus want a healthy baby." But it is 100 percent true. Once it's real, I really just want a healthy little baby. I would love a little boy, and Ty would love a little girl, but we are obviously gonna be over the moon with either one.


Getting back to 'Bachelor Pad,' I know that Craig and the Weatherman from the recent 'Bachelorette' season are back in the house. Does their feud pick up where it left off?


It absolutely picks up where it left off. I think that's one of the feud that picks up where it left off. There's also several that started kind of off screen that you pick up on screen.

What kinds of challenges will the contestants be competing in?

There ones that are going to challenge the contestants, not only physically, but mentally, as well. It's to make it fair. When you've got guys competing with girls, you want it to be fun and entertaining, but you want it to be a semi-even playing field for everybody. You don't want the stronger men to have an advantage over the girls. So a lot of them are being tested in ways that I don't think they were expected to be.

Ali Fedotowsky Robeto MartinezNow that 'The Bachelorette' season finale has aired, what advice would you give to Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez as they begin their relationship?


I would tell them that they need to keep their relationship as private as they can, and if they want to pursue a career publicly, there's nothing wrong with that. Do that. Just go home and keep your relationship a priority and keep it as personal between the two of you as you can. I mean, I think that we've seen what happens when that doesn't happen, and the relationship kind of implodes slash explodes, and if you really want to give a shot, you have to give it a fair, private shot.

The 'Bachelor' franchise doesn't have the best track record with relationships. Why do you think that is?

Well, I think a lot of it is media. I mean, if you look at the past several seasons, once the couples are announced and they can come out, the media eats them up. I mean, how many times did we see Jake and Vienna on the cover of a magazine? And it wasn't necessarily positive press. And what the media does is, they don't necessarily like to just see the love story. They mix in the drama, true or not, but it does affect your relationship. Tye and I have been lucky enough to avoid all that by keeping our relationship private. We don't post things we don't want people to see. We don't take pictures. We don't go to events unless we're both going to them. And that's why I think the best way for a successful relationship for any couple coming out, or now if Jake starts dating someone new, or Vienna dates someone new, is to keep it private.

I really wanted Ali to pick Chris L. in the finale. Do you think Chris would be a good 'Bachelor'?

I think Chris would be a great 'Bachelor.' I was honestly rooting for him in the finale, as well. His back story just kind of tugs at your heart strings, and he seems like such a genuine guy that is really ready for love, and yeah. He'd be a great 'Bachelor.' Absolutely.

Having been a contestant on 'Dancing With the Stars,' is there one celebrity you'd love to see compete next season?

Well, you know, a completely unbiased decision, I would love to see Derek Jeter on the show. [Laughs] He might be a little busy during that time, but ... [Laughs]


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DiDe

I love Melissa it is very nice to see her hosting, she is really great and beautiful girl, I am not sure why did she want to have baby so soon, but what every makes her happy is great. I hope she will continue dancing, because she was good at it, other wise I personally love to see her hoisting.

September 07 2010 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DiDe

I love Melissa it is very nice to see her hosting, she is really great and beautiful girl, I am not sure why did she want to have baby so soon, but what every makes her happy is great. I hope she will continue dancing, because she was good at it, other wise I personally love to see her hoisting.

September 07 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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August 10 2010 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lauren

I really like melissa. I enjoy watching her and especially like how everytime she talks about her baby she says 'we'. I'm happy everything worked out well for her!

August 09 2010 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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