“The Bachelorette’s” promise of the most exciting season finale ever was kept. In Tuesday night’s tense finale, viewers saw Tino Franco propose to Rachel Recchia and say that he would spend the rest of his life with her. Right after that, he admitted to cheating on his new girlfriend.
“I made a mistake, and I kissed another girl,” the general contractor, who was 28 at the time, told the flight instructor, who was 26. “The second I did it, I knew I belonged with you, and this was the smallest thing ever, so I just tried to…get over it,” he said.
Franco told Recchia that he had kissed a woman he had met before he went on the ABC reality show, but he insisted that they “never went on a date.” Recchia kept asking him for more details.
Franco then pulled out a journal in which he wrote about his conversations with Recchia after the show about how she wanted to give back her engagement ring. He seemed to be trying to blame the “Bachelorette” co-star as their relationship quickly fell apart.
Recchia then begged her fiance to “tell the truth,” saying she “highly doubted” he had only kissed the other woman. While Franco was crying, Recchia said she was “done” with him and took off her ring. After a commercial break, the two people who had broken up on camera saw each other for the first time since.
Franco again apologized for what he had done. He told Recchia he could not “imagine what [she] was going through” and praised her for “always” being “so sweet” to him. You were great, and you did not deserve what I did,” he said, admitting that his “mistake was not her fault.”
Recchia told Franco in front of her family that there was “absolutely no excuse” for what he did. The former “Bachelor” contestant said, “You broke my heart.” She called the Californian’s mistake “unforgivable.” In another surprising turn, the segment ended with “Bachelorette” host Jesse Palmer bringing out Recchia’s runner-up, Aven Jones, who asked the Chicagoan to leave with him.
Franco stood up with a surprised look on his face as she enthusiastically agreed. Franco was a front-runner from the start of Season 19, and he even got the coveted first impression rose at the season premiere in July. But things got more complicated for Recchia and Franco when his parents disapproved of their relationship during the show’s hometown dates in August.
Still, the couple got engaged early in Tuesday’s finale. Franco got down on one knee in Mexico and told Recchia, “I will love you until the end of time.” Not at all.