‘The Bachelorette’: Where Rachel and Aven Stand After His Surprise Finale Appearance (Exclusive)

Rachel Recchia and Aven Jones are open to all possibilities. ET’s Rachel Smith spoke to the pilot the day after the live finale of The Bachelorette, and the reality star revealed how things are going with her ex after his surprise appearance on Tuesday’s episode.

“We’ll have to wait and see,” Rachel tells ET of what may come of her relationship with Aven. “I think we are just taking things, obviously, very organically and slowly if there were to ever be anything coming out of it. But it really just was nice to have him there to just have him in that moment.”

Rachel was going through an emotional night, when it was revealed that she got engaged to Tino Franco at the end of her Bachelorette journey. Following a series of ups and downs in that relationship, Rachel and Tino called it quits after he kissed another woman. 

Rachel and Tino reunited live for an uncomfortable conversation, but things took a turn for the better when host Jesse Palmer revealed that there was someone that wanted to talk to the pilot.

“When he said that, I don’t even think it was registering in my mind what he said,” Rachel says of the moment Jesse revealed the surprise appearance. “I was just trying to get off the stage.”

But then, Aven walked out onto the stage. The pair previously broke things off when Aven confessed that he may not be ready to pop the question, though he did want to continue their romance post-show.

As Tino sat by watching in apparently stunned silence, Aven told Rachel, “This is tough and you don’t really deserve any of this… I was just wondering if you maybe want to get out of here and catch up?” 

“I would love nothing more,” she replied.

Aven Jones, Jesse Palmer, Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco
ABC/Craig Sjodin

While speaking to ET, Rachel gushes that Aven “has always just been such a comforting presence in my journey and someone I trust and just have an amazing relationship with.”

“To see him on the side, it was really nice and comforting,” Rachel says. “It was great to be able to talk to him after having such a hard time.”

Rachel and Aven proceeded to leave the stage and did not return for the rest of the live finale, a fact that appeared to be surprising to Jesse, who brought up the pilot’s absence multiple times as the show went on.

As for the fact that the sweet reconnection happened while Tino was still onstage, something that drew a fair share of backlash online, Rachel doesn’t think Aven meant anything by the timing of his appearance.

“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 tells ET. “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.”

Tune in to Wednesday’s episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET’s coverage on The Bachelorette finale.

Relive all the drama from season 19 of The Bachelorette with ET’s coverage. For more Bachelor Nation fun, tune in to the season premiere of Bachelor in Paradise on Tuesday, Sept. 27 on ABC.

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