After guiding a 600-lb. teak elephant and riding a camel in a race, boyfriends Lynn Warren and Alex Ali seemed to be successfully making their way to the pit stop at Jaswant Theda, India. But TV producers Lynn, 30, and Alex, 23, ended up at the wrong temple, which cost them valuable time and led to their last-place finish on Tuesday’s The Amazing Race. The couple of almost five years finished behind their friends Gretchen and Meredith, the oldest duo to make it this far in the Race. Lynn and Alex, who live in West Hollywood, spoke to PEOPLE about how their trek strengthened their relationship and how they hope to make a positive difference in television.
Before the Race, you said you planned to get married in Amsterdam. Has that happened yet?
Lynn: We would absolutely love to do that but we don’t have any dates specified as of yet.
Alex: Lynn and I have almost been together, like, five years – that’s like 15 in gay years. So I think we’re in it for the long run.
What events happened during the Race that made you learn even more about each other?
Lynn: There were parts of the Race where I was getting pretty tired and not necessarily as into it as I should have been, and Alex definitely motivated me. He had the goal in sight. He’s amazing, he’s ambitious and he’s well beyond his years.
Alex: What I learned most about Lynn was probably in Africa when I had to drive that stick shift. I was mortified. I have only driven a stick shift for two hours before that and Lynn coached me through the whole thing. He was totally there and had my back. That’s the one thing I learned about Lynn, that he is always supporting me.
Are you still in touch with other Race contestants?
Alex: It’s a very close-knit group of friends that were on the Race. That’s something that you don’t see on the show is how close we became.
Lynn: We still keep in touch with many of them.
Alex: Amber and Rob excluded! We went out to eat with Meredith and Gretchen just last weekend and we are invited to Ray and Deana’s wedding and the brothers live 15 minutes away from us, so we see them all the time.
Where do you watch the show?
Lynn: We have watched the show in the past with many of the other cast members.
Alex: The outpouring of support from people whom I haven’t talked to in years…I wasn’t out (of the closet) to my entire family and just seeing that outpouring of support from my family was great.
Lynn: People will come up to us and tell us how proud they are of us and how well we played the Race and how sorry they were to see us go. We have had nothing but positive responses from many people, especially within our own community. Our relationship is a great example of a gay relationship. Alex and I, we thrive off our own positive attributes of each other.
Lynn: Our goal is to stay in television, maybe do some correspondent work for CBS or maybe jump on another reality show. I would like to do Big Brother or even Survivor.
Alex: My father is from a different culture so being gay in my family is not an easy thing. Lynn and I are developing a show with the Gay Network. It’s a reality documentary about gay life in other cultures and how it’s different for each country.