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Melissa Rycroft Thanks Juan Pablo Galavis for Being Controversial

03/12/2014 at 11:00 AM ET

The Bachelor finale has many fans fuming — but past contestant Melissa Rycroft isn’t one of them.

“I have to thank Juan Pablo [Galavis] for being controversial, because I think he took the heat off of our season,” Rycroft, who was infamously chosen by Jason Mesnick before being dumped for runner-up Molly Malaney (whom he later married) on the 2009 Final Rose episode, jokes to PEOPLE.

Rycroft, 31, has certainly found her happy ending off-screen. The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader is expecting her second childa boy! — with husband Tye Strickland next month, and she started an online business that allows fellow mothers-to-be to sell and buy maternity and baby clothing.

Belly Bumps & Beyond, launched in February, already boasts more than 200 items in its inventory. For $1, users can put their gently used outfits on the market. (Think eBay for moms.) The idea, Rycroft says, is to offer expectant parents affordable and chic outfits for themselves and their children.

Melissa Rycroft Pregnant Family Photo Natasha Hance/NHance Photography


“This pregnancy, I was running into the same issue that I had with my first,” Rycroft explains.

“You basically have to buy an entire temporary new wardrobe, and it’s really expensive. I think most people will agree that maternity clothes for the majority are pretty ugly. That’s when I thought, ‘How great would it be to be able to sell the stuff that you only wear once or twice, and help women out on the other end?'”

Business ambitions aside, Rycroft — who experienced morning sickness and a contractions scare that landed her in the hospital late last month — is relaxing as she awaits her son’s arrival. Daughter Ava Grace, 3, is also excited to meet her baby brother, though Rycroft suspects her enthusiasm may fade once she has to share her parents’ attention.

“Right now, I think it’s more the idea [of a baby], obviously,” Rycroft says. “She likes kissing my belly and telling me what a good big sister she’ll be and how she’ll change his diapers.”

Melissa Rycroft Pregnant Family Photo Natasha Hance/NHance Photography

Of course, Rycroft has found time to watch some Bachelor episodes.

“It’s so hard to judge because it is reality TV — and to a point it is edited — but unfortunately, it didn’t come across as very likable,” she says of Galavis, who gave Nikki Ferrell a final rose but did not propose or tell viewers whether he loves her. “He didn’t come across as the guy who was really, genuinely there to find love and find a wife.”

As for Dancing with the Stars, the season 15 champion is rooting for old partner Tony Dovolani, as well as Olympic ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis. Still, she admits her allegiances could shift to The Wonder Years actress Danica McKellar or Full House star Candace Cameron Bure.

“I’m an 80s girl, and I love me some Winnie Cooper and DJ Tanner,” she says.

– Michele Corriston

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