“The Bachelorette” delivered on its promise for the most dramatic season finale ever.
Moments after viewers saw Tino Franco propose to Rachel Recchia and promise to spend the rest of his life with her, he admitted in Tuesday night’s tense conclusion that he cheated on his new fiancée.
“I messed up and I kissed another girl,” the prime contractor, 28, told the flight instructor, 26, during an emotional confrontation.
“The moment I did that, I knew I belonged to you, and this was the smallest thing ever, so I just tried… get past it,” he explained.
While Recchia urged Franco for more details, he shared that he kissed a woman he’d met before joining the ABC reality series, but insisted they “never go on a date.”
Franco then pulled out a journal documenting his post-show conversations with Recchia about her desire to return her engagement ring, seemingly in an attempt to blame the “Bachelorette” co-lead as their relationship quickly crumbled.
Recchia begged her fiancé to “tell the truth”, saying she “very much” doubted that he was just kissing the other woman.
As Franco burst into tears, Recchia declared that she was “done” with him and took off her ring.
After a commercial break, the former couple came face to face for the first time since their breakup on camera.
Franco again apologized for his actions, telling Recchia he “couldn’t imagine what” [she was] keep going” and praising her for “always” being “so sweet” to him.
“You were wonderful, and you didn’t deserve what I did,” he confessed, acknowledging that his “wasn’t [her] debt.”
As her family watched from the audience, Recchia told Franco there was “absolutely no excuse” for what he was doing.
“You broke my heart,” added the former “Bachelor” entrant, calling the California native’s offense “unforgivable.”
In yet another surprising twist, the segment ended with “Bachelorette” host Jesse Palmer bringing out Recchia’s runner-up Aven Jones asking the Chicago native to leave with him. She agreed enthusiastically as Franco stood up with a bewildered look on his face.
Franco has been a frontrunner since the start of Season 19 and even got the coveted first impression rose at its July premiere.
But Recchia and Franco hit a bump in the road when his parents didn’t give their blessing to the reality stars’ romance during the show’s August birthdate.
Still, the couple insisted on getting engaged earlier in Tuesday’s final, with Franco telling Recchia on a bent knee in Mexico that he was “of [her] until the end of time.”