Culture & Society

Texas A&M Former Student Competing On ‘The Amazing Race’

Aggie Will Jardell '13 and his fiancé James Wallington are globe-trotting on the popular CBS show.
By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications October 27, 2020


Texas A&M University former student Will Jardell is currently appearing on the CBS show The Amazing Race, competing for a $1 million prize.

Jardell, who is from Nederland, Texas, graduated from Texas A&M in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. He and his fiancé, James Wallington, filmed with the show in 2018 prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The season is now airing – tomorrow night is the third episode of season 32 and will air at 7 p.m. CDT on CBS, as well as CBS All Access for later viewing. The couple is seen competing against 10 other teams in a race around the world.

A shared love of reality TV and travel inspired the couple to apply for the show, Jardell said, adding that since they can’t travel right now, the show “allows us to escape our four walls.”

The Amazing Race features teams who travel the world completing mental and physical challenges in various locations. Only when tasks are completed can the teams learn of their next destination. The first team to arrive at the final destination wins the $1 million prize.

Jardell lives in Los Angeles and works at the University of Southern California at the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health, managing educational programs and other student opportunities, and offers support on the institute’s research priorities. This is not his first stint on a reality show – in 2014, he appeared as a contestant on America’s Next Top Model.

Wallington, who is from Grand Rapids, Michigan, works in social media management and event planning. The couple has been dating for six-and-a-half years.

Jardell said one of the things he and Wallington valued most about being on The Amazing Race was being able to experience different cultures that most people never have a chance to experience.

“We visited the Amazon Rainforest and we were able to interact and learn from an Indigenous tribe deep in the Amazon,” he said. “Experiences like that gave us life lessons about humility and gratitude for all that we have and how truly beautiful life on Earth is.”

Jardell said the experience taught them a lot about themselves. “We learned how great of a team we are,” he said. “We work so well together, something we knew about our relationship, but running the race really solidified us as a couple.

“The Amazing Race tests your ability to manage stress because you’re constantly under pressure to try and stay in the race,” he said. “I learned that James is so much stronger than people give him credit for, and I am so proud of him. As for myself, I learned that when I’m presented with any task, I can get through it and always give 100 percent.”

The time Jardell spent at Texas A&M contributed to his drive to push through, he said. “My four years at Texas A&M shaped me into the person I am today – from the friends I made, organizations I was a part of and the professors and staff that I interacted with.”

He was active in Fish Camp having served as a counselor, co-chair, director and then namesake, and he said the life lessons he took away from being a part of that organization stuck with him. “You learn how important it is to be yourself, stick up for what’s right and support all those who are around you, no matter what path they take in life,” he said.

Even though Wallington is not an Aggie, he got to experience Fish Camp for himself when he accompanied his fiancé to Camp Jardell in 2015.

Jardell said he hopes his fellow Aggies tune in for the show to root the couple on, adding, “I’m a proud Aggie Class of 2013 and I hope I can make the Aggie Family proud.”

Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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