New revelations rocking Bachelor Nation. Following the two-part finale of The Bachelorette, season 19 stars Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey are opening up about their dramatic endings — and clapping back at critics.
“A lot of the viewers think me and Gabby just wanted a ring and we just wanted to be engaged, but that’s not what we wanted,” the 26-year-old flight instructor told Variety on Wednesday, September 21. “We wanted commitment. We came into this show completely ready for that step in our life. … I was so open with the men that this is the goal that I wanted and I wanted someone to stand there with me at the end and be my life partner. It really didn’t have to do with a ring. It has to do with someone who was agreeing to go through their life with you and that’s what a proposal really stands for ultimately. What we wanted was commitment.”
While both women got proposals, it seems only Gabby got a commitment. The Dancing With the Stars contestant is engaged to Erich Schwer and the twosome are still going strong. Rachel, meanwhile, split from fiancé Tino Franco while the season was airing after he kissed another woman.
During the Tuesday, September 20, finale, fans watched Rachel and Tino argue over whether they were on a break when he cheated. Rachel has been adamant that their relationship never ended, while the general contractor repeatedly brought up the “bad place” their romance was in when his indiscretion happened.
“There was never a point where we were broken up. There was never a point where an engagement was called off. Did we have conversations saying: ‘We need to focus on dating, we need to really get to the core of this?’ Yes,” Rachel said on the “Bachelor Happy Hour” podcast, which Gabby, Michelle Young and Becca Kufrin all said was “normal” coming off the show. “I can only just try to get on his side and assume that’s where confusion was coming from — because we were struggling. I don’t think there’s an excuse. … But I don’t want to sit here and for everyone to tell me that, like, ‘Well, you said this.’ I never said I was giving a ring back. I never said our engagement was called off.”
Rachel said that Tino was “upset” that their relationship quickly took a turn after filming wrapped in May.
“[But] instead of sitting there and doing the work — like I did — and taking that space for myself and seeking help, and focusing on this, he ran straight to someone that he was — apparently not seeing — but seeing before the show,” Rachel continued. “And then not only that, [but] keeping it from me for weeks. This was around the time of the premiere and we’re talking Men Tell All is when I found out. That long, he sat on this information, sat in front of me and told me I need to do all this work on myself for our relationship together, which I agree. … But you’re sitting on this information that you are actively seeking comfort and intimacy with another person?”
Rachel and Tino’s live reunion also got heated and things took a turn when her runner-up, Aven Jones, appeared on stage. She subsequently left with Aven, and many fans thought it was uncalled for to embarrass Tino in that way.
“In the moment, I was, obviously, very confused. That was not Aven’s intention. He was also not under the impression that that was ever going to happen. We do not condone any sort of bullying or humiliation,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m sure [Tino] felt horrible. I don’t want to, obviously, make him feel like that, regardless of what happened in our relationship. I don’t really know where the timing of all that happened, but it was not Aven’s intention, and I know that.”
Scroll through for the biggest post-show revelations from Rachel: