In the moments after finishing first in the finale of The Amazing Race last year, Will Jardell proposed to boyfriend James Wallington. Jardell’s proposal was the first same-sex marriage proposal in the 32-season history of the CBS reality competition show. This fact was not lost on the producers or the show’s host, Phil Keoghan nor Jardell and Wallington.
In an interview with Instinct Magazine, Wallington explained his and Jardell’s thoughts on the milestone and how Keoghan wanted to make sure the moment was properly documented:
It didn’t dawn on us until probably when we got to the hotel room after the finish line and we were like, wait a minute. Let’s talk about this. Let’s unpack what this means for our community. Even Phil, after it happened, had such wonderful questions. There was one where he looked at us and (said) “I want to make sure you guys said everything you want to say because this is actually a huge moment for your community.” And even then, we felt like we said everything we wanted to say but when we got back to the hotel room that night, that when it was just like “oh my gosh.” That’s when it hit (us).
With the final episode of The Amazing Race season 32 filmed two years prior to when it aired, Jardell and Wallington could not reveal the entire details of the proposal (especially when asked in an interview) until the episode aired on CBS. Wallington posted a tweet less than an hour after the finale with their proposal explaining it had been 744 total days the couple had to keep the secret of Jardell’s proposal at the finish line.
— James | The Challenge USA (@JamesWallington) December 17, 2020
Three years after the proposal in New Orleans, Jardell and Wallington returned to the Big Easy to get married. According to People Magazine, the couple got married on Friday, December 3rd at the New Orleans Athletic Club surrounded by 200 of their friends and family members. Jardell explained guests had to either be vaccinated or show a negative test in order to attend the nuptials.
In attendance at the wedding were fellow season 32 castmates Eswar Dhinakaran, Aparna Dhinakaran (who served as a groom’s woman), DeAngelo Williams, Gary Barnidge, Kaylynn Williams, Haley Williams, Leo Folsom, Alana Folsom, Michelle Newland, Victoria Newland, and Kellie Brinkley (who officiated the wedding) as well as cast members from previous seasons of The Amazing Race as reported by US Weekly.
— James | The Challenge USA (@JamesWallington) December 4, 2021