The 2022 GLAAD Media Awards turned out to be an impromptu engagement party for Nico Santos and Zeke Smith.
Smith, a two-time “Survivor” contestant, surprised Santos onstage at the event ― which took place Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Los Angeles ― by dropping to one knee and popping the question.
“Nico, your love has taught me how to love,” Smith proclaimed as the audience erupted into cheers. “You are my other half, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Though Santos’ response was inaudible over the applause, he confirmed he’d accepted Smith’s proposal in an Instagram post early Sunday.
“I said yes,” he wrote in the caption alongside photos of the special moment. “You have my heart forever.”
Catch video of the surprise proposal below.
The GLAAD Media Awards hold particular significance for Santos, an actor beloved for his scene-stealing performances in “Crazy Rich Asians” and NBC’s “Superstore,” and Smith. The two were introduced at the 2018 ceremony, and confirmed they were in a relationship later that same year.
Prior to meeting Santos, Smith was outed as transgender on a 2017 episode of “Survivor” by fellow contestant Jeff Varner. Though Smith acknowledged how devastating the moment was for him personally, he went on to become an outspoken LGBTQ rights advocate committed to supporting people who are learning to live as their true selves.
“I was really scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen to my world. I didn’t know what the reaction was going to be,” he recalled later that year. “What this experience has shown me is I have so much love in my life … I’ve never felt as loved as I do right now.”
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Smith relocated to Los Angeles shortly after his second “Survivor” stint wrapped. He has since pursued a career in television writing.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, he hinted that marriage would soon be in the cards for him and Santos.
“We just bought a house and are mired in the domestic bliss of choosing paint colors, figuring out where exactly that draft is coming from, and replacing appliances that were just fine during the inspections!” he told the publication.