Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco‘s engagement was short-lived. After the pair’s engagement was shown on Tuesday night’s season finale of “The Bachelorette”, footage filmed during a so-called happy couple weekend revealed how things ultimately came to an end.
The pair’s romance goes all the way back to night one when Tino received Rachel’s first kiss of the season and the first impression rose.
“Right off the bat, I felt a connection with him,” Rachel told ET in July. “He was my type… and then we did have a kiss. It just felt like the right decision [to give him the first impression rose], even though it was hard.”
When ET spoke to Tino at the largest group date in franchise history, he called the pilot “phenomenal.”
“I really like that Rachel’s just so charming and it’s so easy to talk to her right out of the gate,” he said. “She’s unbelievably beautiful.”
Shortly thereafter, the pair had their first one-on-one date in Paris, which left both Tino and Rachel swooning.
“I really do think I was meant to find this girl and make her happy forever. Falling in love with Rachel is coming faster than I could’ve ever imagined,” Tino said in a confessional, before Rachel admitted in her own, “I had high hopes for our date, but all my expectations were exceeded. He’s just so amazing. I think I’m definitely going to fall in love with Tino.”
Their relationship took a turn for the worse during Hometowns when Tino’s dad peppered Rachel with tough-to-answer questions.
“I feel like I could do no right… I feel like his dad is like, ‘I hope you do not come back here,’” Rachel said in a confessional. “I don’t know how I made it out of that house alive, if we’re being honest. I almost cried. We’re going to have to really sit down and talk about, is he going to be OK moving forward if his parents just aren’t going to be happy?”
While Tino was able to calm Rachel by expressing his feelings for her, her uncertainty continued into Fantasy Suites week. Once again, though, Tino assuaged Rachel’s fear by saying “I love you,” a sentiment she returned.
“Moving forward with how he feels, hopefully, his family will also come around,” Rachel said in a confessional. “They better, because I really do see Tino at the end.”
Things went much better for the couple in part 1 of the finale when Tino successfully met and impressed Rachel’s family. Then there was the romantic proposal in Mexico, where both Rachel and Tino seemed more in love than ever.
“It just doesn’t feel real, but thinking about night one and your charm and humor and everything about you was just undeniable… I truly have never in my life met anyone like you,” Rachel told Tino. “… I’m so madly in love with you. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“This is never going away. The first night I was more nervous than I ever had been in my life and the second I grabbed your hand… you made me feel calm and confident,” Tino said in a speech of his own. “… This journey really did make me believe in fate… I fall in love with you more and more every time I see you… Rachel, I love you so much and I’m going to love you until the end of time.”
With that, Tino got down on one knee and asked the all-important question, “Will you marry me?”
Rachel accepted and the pair rode off on horseback, but the fairytale didn’t last long. During the live portion of the finale, Rachel told host Jesse Palmer that she felt like she had found her “person” at the time of the engagement, and even said that things were “really great for a while.”
“When you leave there are natural growing pains and adjustments… We went through a difficult time,” she admitted. “… Around the time of the premiere, we just started going through a difficult time… Throughout it all, I feel like I always tried, and that’s what I always wanted out of a partner.”
The pair managed to get to “such a great place again,” Rachel said, but things took a turn. First when Tino “brought forth to me some concerns about relationships coming forward and alluding to a certain thing,” and then for good when he was unfaithful.
“He cheated on me,” Rachel said. “It’s just heartbreaking. this is the person I thought I was going to spend my life with and start my family with… It’s not just physical, it’s emotional, it’s texting.”
The show then flashed back to when Rachel discussed the situation with her co-lead, Gabby Windey.
“He literally was like, ‘I regret telling you,’” Rachel told Gabby of Tino’s post-admission feelings, adding, “You can’t be forgiven when you’re not sorry for what you did.”
Rachel claimed that Tino asked her not to go public with the reveal “to protect” his image. As for the possibility that Tino thought he and Rachel were on a break at the time of the indiscretion, Rachel told Gabby, “We never called off the engagement. We never broke up.”
Then the series showed fans what went down when Tino and Rachel met up to discuss everything.
“I messed up and kissed another girl, but the second I did I knew I belonged with you,” Tino told Rachel. “This was the tiniest thing ever… I tried to just get past it.”
The girl he kissed, Tino revealed, was someone he met before going on the show, though they never went on a date. They ran into each other post-show and caught up, before Rachel and Tino had a bad phone call.
“The stuff you said hurt so much. You said ‘I don’t know how this is going to work… I can’t do happy couples this weekend like we planned.’ Jokingly, ‘Would you be the next Bachelor?’” Tino claimed.
“You want to bring that up when you answered like you would?” Rachel questioned.
Tino denied that, before claiming that Rachel said she wouldn’t go to therapy and that she was going to give her engagement ring back.
“I was exhausted,” Rachel said. “We were in a bad place, but… Never once did we say we are broken up.”
Tino agreed with that statement, before Rachel clarified that therapy was delayed because she was out of town, and that she planned to give the ring back if they just went back to dating.
“Not once have you said you’re sorry about all of this,” Rachel said. “… For four days you sat on this information.”
“It was a one-time mistake and I realized immediately that I needed to be with you,” Tino replied. “… Is there a way this works out, Rachel?”
“Do you think you deserve to be with me?” she asked, which he answered in the affirmative.
When Rachel seemed shocked by that answer, Tino stormed out of the room and went off in front of the cameras.
“She just wants to f**king beat me up,” he complained. “… This is nothing more than making me look bad. She’s totally crucifying me… Just tell her to break up with me.”
When he came back inside, he said he held off on telling her about the kiss for days because he didn’t want to “get in your hair over something so tiny.”
Rachel was stunned at that and Tino stormed out of the room again. She eventually went outside to collect him and finish the conversation.
“Rachel, I do love you and that’s why I had to tell you,” Tino said. “I was panicked, Rachel, I thought I was going to lose you. Rachel, we can make it through this… We’re worth that. I’m sorry.”
“I am done,” Rachel replied. “This is such a big deal for me. I wanted to do this one time.”
With that, she handed him the ring and he left the house, ending their relationship for good.