Wedding bells are about to be ringing in a big way for fans of MTV’s The Challenge.
Zach Nichols, a nine-time competitor and finalist on the recently concluded The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2, popped the question to his longtime love (and seven-time competitor) Jenna Compono — and she said yes!
The proposal took place on Saturday evening at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City, according to E! News. “I was so surprised! We went to see the tree every year since we met and a lot of memories have happened in New York City. I was so surprised and it was so sincere and sweet. I couldn’t be happier,” the bride-to-be told the outlet.
On Dec. 19, Jenna revealed on her Instagram Story that she and Zach were driving 10 hours from where they reside in Michigan to New York to be with Jenna’s family for the holidays — and she was dreading it. “The drive absolutely sucks!” she said after listing the things she was looking forward to (seeing family and friends, food, and presents) upon arrival.
Zach, 32, and Jenna, 26, first met in 2014 on Battle of the Exes 2, where The Real World: San Diego alum Zach competed with Jonna Mannion and Jenna with her The Real World: Ex-Plosion ex Jay Mitchell. Sparks flew right away, and they dated on and off until Rivals III in 2016 — before a breakup that seemed like the end of the road that happened when Jenna used her rare phone call to call Zach at home, and he called her “Brooke.”
Both competed on the following season, but it wasn’t until season 2 of Champs vs. Stars in 2017 that sparks began to fly once again. When Jenna was injured, Zach was instantly by her side and showing support, even admitting he was disappointed she was leaving early because he was enjoying their time together. The romance soon restarted in earnest.
“Love isn’t practical,” Jenna wrote on Instagram in May 2018, when she and Zach officially revealed they were back together and stronger than ever. “It isn’t meant to be easy. It doesn’t appear on command. It doesn’t let you fall for whomever you’d like. It surfaces neither at the most opportune moment nor in the most convenient.”
“It might pair you with someone you might never have expected. It’ll put you face to face with endless obstacles. But in the end, none of that will matter because it’s how you overcome its obstacles that will define your love. It may not be practical, but love is ultimately the best thing that will ever happen to you.”
“Whenever we film together it brings back memories, which brings us even closer,” Jenna explained to MTV at the time of their reunion. “There are many many things I love about Zach. What I love most is that no matter where we are in life, I know he’s always got my back just like I will always have his. I can always count on him to make me laugh and we are able to be ourselves around each other. He’s just my favorite person.”
The lovebirds both competed in War of the Worlds in early 2019, but they didn’t get along flawlessly throughout the season, especially after Amanda Garcia accused him of being on dating apps during the previous seasons (he claimed this was a joke and she was overreacting). Still, at the reunion in June, Zach was uncharacteristically vulnerable as he apologized to Jenna and raved about the state of their relationship.
“What I always forget, selfishly, is that it hurts her feelings,” he admitted. “She had every right to be mad at me. I’m just not good in those situations… I embarrassed her, and I love her. I’ve been sick about it, and we’ve worked through it and I’m really lucky that she chose to stay with me.”
Jenna and Zach aren’t the only Challenge favorites getting married in the near future. Jordan Wiseley proposed to Tori Deal during the most recent season, and Tony Raines and Alyssa Giacone were engaged during the reunion of Final Reckoning in late 2018.