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Big Brother's Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss Share New Details About Their Surprise Romance

In a new interview with E! News, Big Brother stars Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss predicted what’s next for them as a couple now that their relationship is public.

By Mike Vulpo Oct 15, 2021 10:13 PMTags
Watch: E!'s Famous Reality TV Families: Where Are They Now?

As host Julie Chen Moonves reminds fans, expect the unexpected in the Big Brother house.

Earlier this week, news broke that Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss, who competed this summer on season 23, are dating after meeting on the CBS reality show.

Although fans were initially shocked to hear the news, the contestants are ready to open up about how their friendship turned into something more.

"From week one, I always felt extremely comfortable around Claire," Derek exclusively shared with E! News. "I found myself seeking her out more and more whenever I wanted to take a break from the game and just laugh."

Claire added, "I knew that there was some chemistry pretty early on, but when you're in the house, despite whatever chemistry you might feel, you have to keep your head in the game. So although I felt a connection, I also knew it wasn't something I would pursue while on the show. As the weeks passed, our game relationship got much deeper and he became someone I would seek out more and more…It wasn't until we were both in jury that the chemistry could actually flourish."

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Celebrity Couples Who Found Love on Set

As for why they decided to go public with their relationship, the reasoning is simple. They have nothing to hide.

E-Studios Photography

"Claire and I wanted to go public so we didn't have to be nervous about being seen with each other in public," Derek explained. "Now that we've publicized our relationship, I'm just excited to live my life with Claire without having to be secretive."

Claire added, "Now I just want to enjoy being with him! On one hand, Derek and I know each other very, very well and have a very deep connection. But also, we've only been dating for a few weeks! The house expedites any relationship, which has given us a good base, but now I want to see how we can grow!"

And before fans begin to question what's next for the two, both parties are ready to unwind after a tense but unforgettable summer.  

"Claire and I just spent a very stressful three months in the house," Derek shared. "I think traveling together for a little bit could be the perfect therapy."

To see more couples formed inside the Big Brother house, keep scrolling below.

Claire Rehfuss & Derek Xiao

Season: 23

Status Today: They're dating! While they kept their feelings a secret while in the house, the pair's friendship grew stronger once they reached the jury house. "I was writing in my journal one night in jury, and I realized I didn't want to leave Claire even after the show ended," Derek told E! News. "This is when I realized I liked Claire more than as a friend. And I actually didn't think Claire felt the same way, so I was too nervous to say anything to her. So I was very happy when she brought it up first."

Christmas Abbot & Memphis Garrett

Season: 22 

Status Today:They're engaged! After competing in Big Brother: All Stars in the summer of 2020, the pair decided to take their friendship to the next level. As Christmas told E! News, "It's hard to pinpoint exactly when I felt my feelings for Memphis grow from just a friendship to more because I believe that our friendship IS what's more." In June 2021, Memphis proposed at the Little Palm Island Resort and Spa in Florida.

Holly Allen & Jackson Michie

Season: 21

Status Today: The Big Brother winner and runner-up announced their breakup in June 2020. "Life has continued to work in ways neither of expected, and sadly life will be taking us in different directions. This isn't because of bad actions or words, rather, two people who deeply love each other recognizing that a relationship may not be for the best," Jackson shared on Instagram. "I said it on the show and I will say it always, I love her and she will forever hold a special place in my heart." 

Tyler Crispen & Angela Rummans

Season: 20

Status Today: They were one of the longest running alliances of the season and tried their best to keep fans guessing on their relationship status. On finale night, however, the pair were ready to go the distance. "I hope there's a lot of time with Angela and I. That's all I'll say," Tyler told Julie Chen. Angela added, "I don’t know what the future holds but I’m really excited and I’m hopeful about the future." In January 2021, the couple announced they were engaged

Swaggy C & Bayleigh Amethyst

Season: 20

Status Today: While they only spent 23 days together, the chemistry and romance between this pair in the initial weeks of competition was undeniable. In fact, Swaggy C got down on one knee and proposed to Bayleigh during finale night. "As soon as he went down on his knee, I was like, ‘Yes, yes, yes!'" the bride-to-be gushed to Ross Mathews and Marissa Winokur. While the couple got married, they have yet to hold an official wedding celebration. Ultimately, their bond is unbreakable.  "Babe, without any doubts I know that you will ride for me, just like I will ride for you, because you have been!" Bayleigh previously wrote on Instagram. "Relationships mean nothing until they stand the tests and trials that try to break them down. & Now that we've been through just about every hard thing, I know our love was built to last! Now let's move forward on to bigger, better and brighter things." 

Winston Hines & Rachel Swindler

Season: 20

Status Today: Despite some cute pictures on Instagram and hope from fans, these two are just friends. "I think the absolute world of Rachel, but I do think she's holding out for her true love of the house. Not sure if JC knows or not..." Winston joked with E! News back in the fall of 2018. Rachel added, "As of right now, we're not anything official but you never know what could happen in the future. I think Winston is an amazing catch and easy on the eyes. He's got a heart of gold and any lady would be lucky to have him. He's in a bromance with Brett. It's hard to break that bond." LOL! 

Faysal Shafaat & Haleigh Broucher

Season: 20

Status Today: During the season finale, Faysal confirmed their relationship is "the real deal." Haleigh added, "It is indeed." In July 2020, however, Haleigh announced the couple had split. "This was not an easy decision, and we have truly tried every possible thing we could to continue in this relationship," she shared on Twitter. "With both of our lives moving in different directions, the distance, the different backgrounds and the constant pressures online, it was better for both of our mental healths to call it quits."

Mark Jansen & Elena Davies

Season: 19

Status Today: What once seemed like a true success story has come to an end. Mark revealed on his podcast Find Your Fortitude on March 5, 2019 that he and Elena split up. While Mark remains focused on his fitness business, Elena is hard at work on her MiscELENAeous Podcast. The pair, however, reunited on the MTV series Ex on the Beach

Jessica Graf & Cody Nickson

Season: 19

Status Today: The married couple now call themselves proud parents! The Big Brother and Amazing Race power couple welcomed a baby girl on St. Patrick's Day 2019. Fans can stay in touch with the couple thanks to Jessica's PodcastOne podcast called Now What. New episodes premiere every week. In October 2020, the couple announced the arrival of their second child together. 

Raven Walton & Matthew Clines

Season: 19

Status Today: While their romantic relationship is over, E! News learned last fall that the pair remain great friends. And when Raven experienced a few health struggles in 2018, Matt was able to keep fans updated on social media. 

Nicole Franzel & Victor Arroyo

Season: 18

Status Today: This pair started dated when they were both in New York City celebrating the premiere of Big Brother season 19. They've been together ever since and continue documenting their love story on social media. In a surprise announcement, the pair returned to the Big Brother house this season where Victor got down on one knee and proposed. She said yes! In 2019, the couple also competed on The Amazing Race where they made the finals. In March 2021, the couple got married and announced the arrival of their first child in July 2021. 

Corey Brooks & Nicole Franzel

Season: 18

Status Today: While they had a solid showmance throughout the season, this pair split soon after the finale. In fact, Nicole went on to find love with another contestant just in time for the new season. We see you Victor Arroyo. 

Paulie Calafiore & Zakiyah Everette

Season: 18

Status Today: The couple announced their breakup during the Super Bowl. "It was like, ‘OK, this is a good time to do it, because nobody will be paying attention to it, but nobody can ever say that we didn't say it. Let's just get this video out and then we'll delete it right after,' and he was like, 'Good idea,'" Zakiyah previously shared with the Charlotte Observer. "We experienced what it could have been like in a relationship—a romantic relationship—and we both figured out we are good friends." Paulie has since been linked to Bachelor Nation's Danielle Maltby and The Challenge's Cara Marie. 

Natalie Negrotti & James Huling

Season: 18

Status Today: Not together and never getting back together! This couple provided one of Big Brother's ugliest splits off camera with threats of legal action and cryptic social media posts. 

Austin Matelson & Liz Nolan

Season: 17

Status Today: Not together! "I'd like to start by saying thank you for following Austin and I on our crazy/incredible/special journey & as we navigated life outside the Big Brother house," Liz shared on Twitter back in February 2016. "Unfortunately, yes, Austin and I ended the relationship. I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for him, and just as our #liztin romance began in the BB house—we started out as friends and I hope we can remain the same." 

Clay Honeycutt & Shelli Poole

Season: 17

Status Today: This pair broke up a few weeks after the show ended. "I adore this guy. We shared a great relationship on Big Brother, but 'real life' is much different than 'BB life,'" Shelli wrote on Instagram. "There was no drama or hard feelings, we simply moved on as dear friends. We are both happy and thank y'all for your incredible sweetness and love!" 

Hayden Voss & Nicole Franzel

Season: 16

Status Today: After dating for about a year and a half after the season ended, the couple suddenly split. Nicole would later reveal that one trouble spot in their relationship was the fact that Hayden didn't want to get married and have children. 

Amanda Zuckerman & McCrae Olsen

Season: 15

Status Today: They're over! "After a lot of thought and discussion, McCrae and I have decided that it's in both of our best interest to continue our relationship as friends," Amanda shared on Twitter back in January 2014. "There is no ill will, he is a very important part of my life, and I will always love him, and what we shared. Thank you for respecting our decision." 

Dominic Briones & Daniele Donato

Season: 13

Status Today: The happy couple became parents when they welcomed their first child together in the summer of 2018. "My little angel. Tennessee Autumn Briones. Born 8/20/1018... sharing her bday with her beautiful mom @its_danibri," Dominic shared on Instagram. "Welcome to the world little girl. Your dads always got your back." 

Rachel Reilly & Brendon Villegas

Season: 12 

Status Today: After getting married in 2012, Rachel and Brendon welcomed their first child in 2016. The couple remains Big Brother superfans and often document their family life on social media. "Family time is the best time and I know the memories we have now and moments are worth more then always trying to look perfect," Rachel previously shared on Instagram. In Nov. 2020, they announced the arrival of baby No. 2.

Jeff Schroeder & Jordan Lloyd

Season: 11 

Status Today: After competing on The Amazing Race, the couple welcomed their second child together in the summer of 2018. "Welcome to the world Layton Sarti Schroeder," Jeff shared on Instagram. "Lawson is gonna be the best Big Brother! #family." 

Drew Daniel & Diane Henry

Season: 5

Status Today: In a Big Brother shocker, Drew voted Diane off the show at the last minute to win the $500,000 prize. They ultimately reconciled but aren't together romantically. "Well of course I will always think he sucks as a person to do that to me, but seriously we were all in that house for ourselves and no one else," Diane shared with Jokers Updates. "He did what he had to do to win the game, and I was stupid about not thinking. But we are very good friends and talk all the time." 

Mike "Boogie" Malin & Krista Segall

Season: 2

Status Today: In a moment viewers didn't see coming, Mike decided to propose to his cast member in 2001. Krista, however, ultimately decided to break off the engagement a few months later when cameras went away. 

Shannon Dragoo & Will Kirby

Season: 2

Status Today: While they dated for a few months after the show, these two are long over. In fact, Dr. Will married For Love or Money star Erin Brodie in 2017. 

Us Weekly was first to report the romance news. 

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