You may have expected Big Brother 23 to be a show chance, but you probably didn’t see it coming.
In a joint interview with Us Weekly, 25-year-old Claire Rehfuss and 24-year-old Derek Xiao announced that they are in a relationship. They explained that the sparks didn’t really go over until they got to the jury house.
“I think we both really felt the chemistry when we got to the jury house and really got to connect,” said Claire. “We stayed up late every night and talked every night and we just developed a real bond.”
“I remember the first or second night she was there (in the jury house), we stayed up all night and only talked until 5:00 in the morning. This happened every single night for the first five days. That’s when I started to think, ‘Wait a minute, why didn’t this happen in the house? There is such a strong bond and chemistry between us. ‘ I think that was the beginning of us thinking about what that could be, ”added Derek.
Although Derek and Claire were close friends during Big Brother 23, their relationship seemed all platonic. But Derek told Us Weekly that he knew right away that he was attracted to Claire.
“I knew Claire was my type from week one,” he said. “I guess I just never allow myself to be explored beyond friendship. I mean, you saw what happened to Alyssa (Lopez) and Christian (Birkenberger) in the first week. For me, I wanted to win the game, even though I was eliminated very early. I knew if I let it happen, I would fall in love with Claire in the house. “
“Once you’re off camera, you really, really learn who a person is and you can be really vulnerable and really open and really talk about a lot of things in your life,” added Claire.
Early on in Big Brother 23, 21-year-old houseguest Hannah Chaddha admitted to having a crush on Derek. The two were close friends throughout the game and were often seen cuddling. They also spent a lot of time together after the season. Some fans hoped that their friendship would turn into something more.
Hannah is also close friends with Claire so what does she think of this new showmance? Derek announced the new relationship in an Instagram post, and Hannah left a supportive comment. “Congratulations to my best friends, the Veto King and Queen Claire,” wrote Hannah.
“Coming out of the Big Brother house was overwhelming, but I’m so happy to have Queen Claire by my side who makes me smile and laugh every day ️ I’m so excited to see what’s next for us” wrote Derek in the subtitle.
Claire also announced the news on Instagram, calling the relationship “the absolute best way to get out of the most stressful 3 months of my life”.
Claire told Us Weekly that once she and Derek knew they liked each other, they didn’t try to hide it from the other judges.
“I and Alyssa were roommates on the jury. She was like my confidante. Everyone else also helped us bypass the jury managers. So basically everyone in the jury house knew what was going on. It wasn’t like a dirty little boathouse secret or anything. It was a lot of fun, ”she said.
Derek explained why they had to sneak around to get privacy from the jury managers. “You don’t like it when you hang out alone because you might be having game talk,” he explained. “So Claire and I would have to find different hiding spots. We didn’t even try to talk about game. We literally wanted to talk to each other and had to sneak around. “
Claire revealed to Us Weekly that she and Derek were already together when she left LA to go to New York to see her family. She says her parents were excited when she told them about the relationship.
“I mean, who doesn’t love Derek X? As if they were saying, ‘We know him. We can hardly wait. We are very happy to get to know him, ‘”she said.
CONTINUE READING: Derek Xiao Unveils Unique Casting Experience for Big Brother 23