Another Neil Lane diamond is going to the Bachelorette graveyard. Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco’s engagement blew up as season 19 of the ABC series was airing. The 26-year-old pilot and the 28-year-old general contractor split after she accused him of cheating on her.
During the Tuesday, September 20, episode of the ABC series, Rachel told Jesse Palmer that Tino confessed to being unfaithful after they worked through initial “growing pains” in their relationship. The series then cut to Rachel opening up to Gabby Windey as she prepared to confront Tino.
“He’s never been like, ‘What I did was horrible, I messed up, I’m so sorry.’ It’s never been like that. It was just, ‘I love you so much, I really see you as my future, and I want us to work on this.’ That’s like if we just had a random fight,” Rachel said, alleging that he only worries about what fans will think. … We never called off the engagement. We never broke up.”
Tino then arrived and admitted he “kissed” a girl he met before The Bachelorette filmed, explaining, “The moment I did [it], I knew I belonged with you.”
He subsequently started reading from his journal, alleging that she refused to go to therapy and wanted to give the ring back. When Rachel fought back, Tino claimed he didn’t want to “circle back on past stuff.” She then accused him of doing more than just kissing the other girl, which he denied.
Earlier in the episode, viewers watched Tino propose to Rachel after she sent home Aven Jones home during part one on September 13. “Rachel, I love you so much. I’m going to love you until the end of time. And you make me feel so loved and valued and appreciated that I want to dedicate the rest of my life to making you feel cherished and loved the way you deserve,” he said in part. I’m so hopelessly in love with you. You’re the woman of my dreams, and there’s really only one question to ask.”
Tino was an early frontrunner for Rachel, receiving her first impression rose.
“Straight — I would say out of the limo, but the forklift, I guess — I felt like he was definitely my type,” Rachel exclusively told Us Weekly of Tino on the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast after the July premiere. “I was really excited to talk to him and then he really did make a special moment for me inside and asked for the first kiss, which was really sweet. So it was a hard decision, but it definitely was the right one.”
One month later, Rachel told Us that Tino is “someone that I felt very safe around,” explaining: “He chose me from the beginning, and it was really nice to be able to share the date with him in Paris and really get to know him more.”
Their journey wasn’t always smooth sailing, however, with Tino’s parents questioning Rachel and the process during his hometown date. She left the visit feeling like Joe and Sandi Franco “hated” her — with Tino trying to reassure her that they would come around post-show.
Tino’s dad, meanwhile, took to Facebook to reveal his disdain for the series ahead of part one of the finale. “Watch the Bachelorette, tonight at 8 for the (yawn) most shocking finale ever (just part 1). So glad it’s almost over!!! #bachelornation,” he wrote.
Rachel and Tino are set to reunite live on stage at After the Final Rose on Tuesday.