Survivor icon Zeke Smith proposes to boyfriend Nico Santos on awards show stage

Zeke Smith gets down on one knee to propose to boyfriend Nico Santos and in the next picture Zeke and Nico hug each other as they pose for a camera after their engagement at the GLAAD awards

Survivor contestant Zeke Smith surprised boyfriend Nico Santos with an adorable proposal at the GLAAD Media Awards – where they met years before. 

Smith pulled off the wonderful proposal as the couple came on stage at the awards on Saturday night (2 April).

Santos said the GLAAD Media Awards held a special place for the couple as it is “where we met” in 2018, explaining that they have been “inseparable” ever since.

The Superstore star then joked to the audience that “tonight could be your lucky night” as they might go home with an award “and chlamydia”. 

But Santos was truly the luckiest person at the awards ceremony. 

Smith began explaining how the couple’s love story began “four years ago here in our favourite restaurant” when Santos “swept me off my feet”. 

“Nico, your love has taught me how to love,” the two-time Survivor contestant said. “You are my other half, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Then, Zeke Smith got down on one knee in front of a cheering crowd and presented Santos with a ring. Santos, who seemed overwhelmed with emotions, took a moment before saying ‘yes’.

The couple celebrated their engagement with beautiful posts on social media.

Smith shared a picture of him popping the question on Instagram and declared in the caption that he is the “luckiest guy in the world” because Santos “said yes”. 

In a similar post on Instagram, Santos said: “I said yes. You have my heart forever.”

Smith met Santos a year after he came out as trans during an episode of Survivor: Game Changers, when he was outed by a fellow contestant

The reality star told People shortly after the episode aired that he “didn’t want to be the ‘first transgender Survivor contestant’” as he just wanted to “go out on an adventure and play a great game”. 

He said that he isn’t “ashamed of being trans” but “didn’t want that to be my story” on the show. 

In 2021, Smith gave Entertainment Weekly an update on his life after appearing on Survivor and gushed about his relationship with Santos. 

“We just bought a house and are mired in the domestic bliss of choosing paint colours, figuring out where exactly that draft is coming from, and replacing appliances that were just fine during the inspections,” Smith said. 

Zeke Smith added that he has had “innumerable” “wonderful experiences as a result” of appearing on Survivor. He shared that his time on the show “led to my advocacy work” which, in turn, “led to meeting Nico, with whom I’m madly in love”.