“The Bachelorette” delivered on its promise for the most dramatic season finale ever.
Moments after viewers watched Tino Franco propose to Rachel Recchia and vow to spend the rest of his life with her, he admitted to cheating on his new fiancée in Tuesday night’s tense conclusion.
“I messed up, and I kissed another girl,” the general contractor, 28, told the flight instructor, 26, during an emotional confrontation.
“The second I did, I knew I belonged with you, and this was the tiniest thing ever, so I just tried to … get past it,” he explained.
As Recchia pressed Franco for more details, he shared that he kissed a woman he had met prior to going on the ABC reality series but insisted they “never went on a date.”
Franco then pulled out a journal in which he documented his post-show conversations with Recchia about her wanting to return her engagement ring, seemingly trying to place the blame on the “Bachelorette” co-lead as their relationship rapidly crumbled.
Recchia proceeded to beg her fiancé to “tell the truth,” saying she “highly” doubted he only kissed the other woman.
As Franco broke down in 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 on-camera breakup.
Franco again apologized for his actions, telling Recchia he could not “imagine what [she was] going through” and praising her for “always” being “so sweet” to him.
“You were amazing, and you didn’t deserve what I did,” he confessed, acknowledging that his “mistake was not [her] fault.”
With her family watching on from the audience, Recchia told Franco there was “absolutely no excuse” for what he did.
“You broke my heart,” the former “Bachelor” contestant added, calling the California native’s transgression “inexcusable.”
In yet another surprising twist, the segment ended with “Bachelorette” host Jesse Palmer bringing out Recchia’s runner-up, Aven Jones, who asked the Chicago native to leave with him. She enthusiastically agreed as Franco stood up with a stunned look on his face.
Franco had been a front-runner since the beginning of Season 19 and even received the coveted first impression rose during the premiere in July.
But Recchia and Franco hit a bump in the road when his parents failed to give their blessing to the reality stars’ romance during the show’s hometown dates in August.
Still, the couple pressed forward with an engagement earlier in Tuesday’s finale, with Franco telling Recchia on bended knee in Mexico that he would “love [her] until the end of time.”