Every ending is a new beginning. Despite a tumultuous The Bachelorette journey, Tino Franco is grateful for his experience — and is ready to move forward.
“This experience has pushed me further than I could have ever imagined, but I feel so blessed and lucky to have such amazing people in my life who saw me through it,” the construction manager, 28, wrote via Instagram on Friday, October 21. “Thank you to all of the understanding and forgiving people who showed me support. Your kindness means more to me than you’ll ever realize.”
He continued in his post: “I’m ready to turn the page on this chapter, and still know my story’s gonna have a great ending.”
Logan Palmer, who met Tino on season 19, replied: “You got a good heart my friend.”
Tino competed on Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey’s joint season of The Bachelorette earlier this year, even earning the 26-year-old pilot’s first impression rose. After their fair share of ups and downs — and family disapproval — Tino proposed to Rachel during last month’s season 19 finale. However, things quickly turned sour when the pair split ahead of After the Final Rose amid cheating allegations.
“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,” the Florida native alleged in the September 20 episode, speaking with her 31-year-old fellow lead. “We never called off the engagement. We never broke up.”
Rachel ultimately confronted Tino on camera, who admitted to kissing another girl.
“There is no excuse for what you did. You broke my heart,” Rachel told him, denying speculation that they had put their engagement on pause. “I don’t understand, like, you are literally still running in circles. We are up here and nothing is making sense to me still.”
While the California native has since apologized to his former fiancée for causing her any pain, he’s also been reflective on the root of his actions.
“I do not stand by what I did at all. It was not cool. It wasn’t fair to Rachel and it haunts me daily, still,” Tino told Nick Viall on the Thursday, October 20, episode of the “Viall Files” podcast. “It’s something I’m ashamed of. And certainly, like, wish I could have done it differently, like, a million times over. … I’m trying to go through and unfold and figure out why my insecurities, my ego could just take over my actions like that and just led me down this path to go to rock bottom.”
Rachel, for her part, has since been focused on healing, though several of her Bachelor season 26 pals are already rooting for her to find love again.
“I know she had a really rough go this season, but right now, she’s fine,” Jill Chin exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “She’s in her hot girl era and I love that for her. I just think it’s gonna take everybody time to heal. I think she’s well on her way.”