How Big Brother’s Derek and Claire Prepared for ‘The Amazing Race’

Preparation and preparation are key. Big Brother 23Alums Derek XiaoAnd Claire RehfussWho is it? Us WeeklyExclusively revealed that they were still together a few months after their appearance on the CBS reality show last summer. They were serious about getting ready for the competition. The Amazing Race.

Even though the product manager, 24, and the AI engineer, 25, were both fan favorites on their first reality competition show, they say they “lost it” and “were in tears” when they actually got cast for the Phil KeoghanHosted race around the globe

“Her parents gave us, like, a whole Amazing Race bootcamp,” Derek exclusively tells Us WeeklyLearn more about what they did for preparation. “They taught us how to drive stick shift. We rented a car. They would literally blindfold us, put us in the back of their truck, drive us off to a random location, and then give us a map and be like, ‘OK, now you guys need to make your way back home.’”

Sonja Flemming/CBS

Derek was selected to compete in the event. The Challenge: USA, a CBS spinoff of the long-running MTV series, so he wasn’t sure he could do both. Ultimately, he did – but that cut into their prep time for the race.

“I had such ambitious glance,” he explains. “I am a very studious person so The Amazing RaceThis game is almost entirely in your control. You can do tangible things to study it, except for taking a taxi occasionally. There’s no house vote. There’s no politick-ing. It’s really, like, can you speak some of the languages?”

Claire chimes in, “Can you read a map? Can you use a compass?” with Derek adding, “Can you drive stick shift? There are many things. I had a plan. I was like, ‘I’m gonna learn Arabic.’”

She says she “made a very long prep list and then Derek was like, ‘Oh, actually I’m going on this other show.’”

Luckily, it all worked out for the pair, who now live together in Los Angeles, as they spent the one month they did have between shows as “a whole crash course.” In fact, Derek was trying to practice even while he was in Argentina filming The Challenge: USA. “I was like, ‘I really need to learn Spanish,’” he says. “Any time I was talking to a local production person, I was like, ‘So I know this is how you say it in English, but would you mind just, like, translating that in Spanish? I’m just curious for myself.’ And I would always write down the translation.”

Big Brothers Derek and Claire on How They Prepared for The Amazing Race

Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss on ‘The Amazing Race.’
Kit Karzen/CBS

As for how they’ll fare on The Amazing Race, the couple “complement each other” and went into it acknowledging both their strengths and weaknesses. “The joke I always make was me and Claire only had one bag and I carried it,” Derek says. “So I always told people, ‘I carried the bag, but Claire carried me.’ I think it was my physical endurance on some of the challenges. Claire has one of my best memories. She has great attention to detail and there are so many challenges where it literally is just attention to detail.”

Claire adds, “Derek’s weirdly good at a lot of things. You can watch it here Big BrotherHe would be very adept at random challenges. … I do think that we complement each other pretty well.”

The Amazing RacePremieres on CBS Wednesday September 21st at 10 p.m. ET.