“The Bachelorette” finale aired tonight, and there is a lot to unpack!
Season 19 stars Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey both received a proposal ahead of a drama-filled “After the Final Rose” special.
Rachel seemed to find happily ever after with her final suitor Tino Franco.
Ahead of the proposal, he told her, “You’re the most beautiful woman in the world,” he said. “Your compassion, your wit, your charm, your intelligence make me fall in love with you more and more every time I see you. Every time we’re together you make me feel like the center of your universe and I’m here today to make sure you’ll be the center of mine. This crazy love is going to look too good to be true to some people, but it’s as real as it can be and quite frankly, the only person I care about understanding that is standing right in front of me right now.
Franco gushed, “I want to dedicate the rest of my life to making you feel cherished and loved, the way you deserve. I’m so hopelessly in love with you,” before popping the question, “You’re the woman of my dreams and there’s only one more question to ask. Rachel Recchia, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
She told him, “I will, yes! A million times!”
There was trouble in paradise for Rachel and Tino, and the engagement didn’t last.
Their split played out on screen as she learned he had kissed someone else while they were going through a rough patch.
Tino told her, “Rachel, we can make it through this, we can. I know we can. We are worth that. I’m sorry. I’ll spent the rest of my life making it up to you.”
Rachel wasn’t having it, telling him, “I’m done. This is such a big deal for me. I wanted to do this one time.”
During the “After the Final Rose” special, Recchia told host Jesse Palmer, “It really didn’t work out, he cheated on me. It’s just heartbreaking. This is the person I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with and start a family with.”
When they met up in the studio, Franco told Recchia, “What I did was wrong. You deserve better and I’m really, really sorry.”
“You completely shattered everything,” Rachel told him. “You broke my heart.”
Despite the tense conversation, things ended on a high note for Rachel.
Jesse told her there someone who wanted to see her… it was her ex Aven!
Aven said, “I was just wondering if you wanted to get out of here and catch up,” and Rachel told him, “I would love nothing more.”
Meanwhile, Gabby also had her own romantic proposal from her final suitor Erich Schwer.
He told her, “When I met you, I, like, immediately was 100 percent myself. I’ve never met anybody that I felt that comfortable with — that deep of a connection. I felt like I really knew you for years. I didn’t know it, but I had met my soulmate. You finally let your barriers down, and I think our relationship transcended to this insane level.”
Eric continued, “You literally make me feel like I’m the only person in the world. And I will fight every day for the rest of my life to keep that feeling. I love you, Gabby Windey. You are amazing. You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met. It’s you and me until the wheels fall off. I’m head over heels in love with you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
When the pair appeared on the “After the Final Rose” special, they opened up about their own ups and downs since filming the finale.
Erich had been accused of breaking up with a girl to appear on “The Bachelorette,” and calling the reality show fake.
Schwer said, “I was taking the cowardly way out. I fully led this girl on and I was using the show as an excuse to not confront her about our relationship at this point where I didn’t see a future, but we were having fun.”
And the show exceeded his expectations. “I love this girl with all my heart,” Erich said. “It’s 100 percent real.”
Now, they are in a good place.
“Our communication has just gotten better,” she said. “And he’s gracious and he’s honest and I do believe what he says. So not saying that you were right in your actions — I mean, you were kind of an asshole to her.”
She added, “When you say ‘yes’ to spending the rest of your life with someone, it’s not going to be easy… especially in the public eye.”