Leaning into love! Derek Xiao and Claire RehfussHave Big Brother to thank for their relationship — but it wasn’t until they were both evicted that their romance took off.
The couple met in July 2021 when they shared a house on season 23 of CBS’s series. They were both eliminated from the house in August 2021 and September 2021 respectively. The pair met again when they spent two weeks in the jury room together.
“I definitely liked Claire in the house. I knew that Claire was just my type,” Xaio exclusively told Us WeeklyOctober 2021. “I knew that from week one that Claire was my type, but I don’t know. I guess I just never let myself explore that beyond just a friendship.”
Use broke the news of the TV personalities’ off-screen romance in October 2021, shortly after the show crowned a winner in late September. (Xavier Prather was the season’s champion.)
Their showmance was able to flourish because there weren’t cameras documenting their late-night conversations while in the jury house as opposed to when they were competing in the main house.
“Once you’re off camera, that’s when you really, really get to know who a person is and you can really be vulnerable and you can really be open and really talk about a lot of things from your life,” Rehfuss told Us.
Xiao added, “I feel like I know Claire better than I know a lot of my best friends.”
The twosome shared their stories Use in October 2021 what they love about each other most after shaping their relationship behind-the-scenes of the CBS’ show.
“I think what I really like about Derek is just genuinely his humor. We do just really make each other laugh,” the University of Michigan alum said. “But then, also, I think Derek has one of the biggest hearts out of anyone that I’ve ever met. He sees the positive in every situation. He sees the positive in everyone. And he’s just so kindhearted. He just has so much love to give and takes love so well.”
Xiao, on the other hand, pointed to Rehfuss’ “fantastic” sense of humor as one of her best qualities.
“She never fails to put a smile on my face. She is one of the most fun-loving people that I’ve ever met. She has this saying, ‘Remember the rule. Have fun.’ And that is one of my favorite sayings I learned in the house,” the University of Maryland alum told Us. “She gave me a bracelet that has it and I wear it every single day. She has an incredibly generous heart. She was completely genuine in her love for everyone at the house. So creative, just all the great things, I feel like Claire embodies.”
Scroll down to relive Xiao and Rehfuss’ whirlwind relationship: