While Inaba seemed legitimately stunned by the proposal, it wasn't for a lack of hints, as all throughout the show, wedding talk dominated the discussion.
At the start of the show, Regis asked Carrie Ann about her beau, who was in the audience, and she discussed the rumors from earlier this year that claimed she was already engaged. She held up her ringless finger by way of disproving the reports.
"He's just a really good guy," she told Regis of her soon-to-be fiancé, when Philbin, setting up the audience as much as Inaba, asked her to elaborate on why her man was so special. "He takes good care of me and he's really warm. He loves my cats—we have five cats together—not a lot of men accept a girl who has so many cats."
Then out came Jake, and he brought a curious prop along with him: Carrie Ann's engagement ring. Though she of course wasn't aware that it was her engagement ring at the time.
Handing it to her to try on, Jake informed Carrie Ann that he found the bauble in her dressing room, with a note attached to it, reading, "Do not touch, engagement ring."
"Is that yours?" he asked. "It's not, it's not, I just stole somebody's…" he said, trailing off as Carrie Ann giggled away.
"Come on, it's time to start telling the truth!" Gyllenhaal later added.
Other than confusing Carrie Ann, the bit allowed Regis to joke that Jesse better hurry up since Jake had clearly just put his bid in. (A rep for the show later clarified that it wasn't actually Carrie Ann's ring, rather, a prop loaned by the show.)
Then came the moment of truth. During the final "inbox" segment of the show, Regis began to read out a letter, ostensibly from a viewer, asking for his advice on how to propose to his girlfriend.
Reeg's words of wisdom? Dim the lights (cue dimmed studio lights), add romantic music (cue the violin players) and offer some flowers (cue his pushing a dozen red roses Carrie Ann's way).
With that, out walked Jesse, suddenly scrubbed up in a tux and bearing a ring box.
"Uh-oh, what's happening," Inaba said.
"I've struggled to find the words to express what you mean to me," he said, getting down on the traditional one knee. "You're an inspiration, you're beautiful, you're wonderful, you're everything to me. Will you marry me?"
"Whoa, look at that, Carrie Ann," Regis interjected once the ring box had been opened and the bauble exposed.
"Yes," she laughed, "I will marry you...You tricked me!"
After the commercial break, the show threw the newly betrothed couple an impromptu engagement party, popping champagne and welcoming back guests Jake and Howie Mandel, who toasted the duo and joined the celebrations.
But Jake didn't skate by without a stern word from Regis, who gave the star a bit of a good natured talking-to for nearly blowing the surprise. Luckily, he didn't.
"I'm shocked," Carrie Ann said. Congrats, you two!