Is Dee and Austin’s 'Suvivor' Showmance Still Going Strong Amid Infidelity Rumors?

Rumor has it Dee was romantically invovled with Wendell Holland at the end of 2023. Does that mean she and Austin broke up?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Feb. 21 2024, Updated 11:34 a.m. ET

Dee and Austin in 'Survivor'
Source: CBS

After watching Survivor 45, we couldn't help but feel ecstatic for Dee Valladares and her huge win — but that's not the only thing that had us grinning during the finale; we also got to watch Dee's showmance with Austin Li Coon blossom over the course of the final few episodes.

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We saw intimate chats on the beach, comparing themselves to Rob and Amber from Survivor: All-Stars, and they even had a romantic date on a sandbar (with Katurah as a third wheel). But after Austin and Dee returned stateside from Fiji, what happened with their relationship? They both seemed to be pretty into their showmance and both claimed that their feelings were 100 percent real (and not just game strategy). So, are they still together?

Dee and Austin sitting on a beach on 'Survivor'
Source: CBS
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Are Austin and Dee from 'Survivor' still together?

The Reba Four were dominating Survivor 45 until Drew decided to target Julie Alley. However, Drew and Austin’s plan got back to Julie when Austin decided to tell Dee, which changed the trajectory of the game. Dee told Julie and the two of them worked together to blindside Emily. Austin assumed that Julie had found out about the plan from someone else, but during Final Tribal Council, Dee fessed up.

Dee managed to blindside Austin a second time in Episode 12 when the girls and Jake took out Drew. Once again, Dee chose not to fill Austin in on the plan — and he admitted later that if she had, he would have given Drew his amulet in order to save him.

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Dee, Austin, and Katurah eating on the beach on 'Survivor'
Source: CBS

With all of these strategic decisions, we wouldn't blame either Austin or Dee for chalking their showmance up to just something that happened during filming and wasn't meant to last forever. However, during the finale, they still seemed to be very into the idea of pursuing something once the cameras stopped rolling.

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Dee confirmed that her relationship with Austin continued after the show — but not whether they're still together.

In the post-finale episode of the official Survivor podcast On Fire in December 2023, Jeff asked Dee to comment on the status of her relationship with Austin. She didn't give too many details but did confirm that she and Austin's relationship continued after the cameras stopped rolling:

Jeff: Was this ultimately a showmance or did it continue?

Dee: It was both! It was a showmance and it did continue. Once we can finally post, you’re gonna see a lot of pictures of us on vacation.

Jeff: So does that mean you’re still together?

Dee: It means we are taking things slow because he lives in Chicago and I’m in Miami. So we're taking it slow. That’s my answer, my final answer.

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When asked by Entertainment Weekly during a December 2023 interview what her relationship status was with Austin, Dee replied, "This has been a whirlwind of emotions and we have decided to keep it low key for now. It's been too crazy and it's getting crazier. So we've decided to keep it low-key for now, only because it's been insane."

It should also be noted that Dee currently follows at least two of Austin's family members on Instagram (in addition to following Austin himself).

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While it is believed that Dee and Austin are still together as there hasn't been any public announcement made of the two splitting, infidelity rumors involving Survivor Season 36 winner Wendell Holland has fans questioning their commitment.

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What happened with Dee and Wendell Holland?

Rumor has it Dee and Wendell were seeing each other while both were in committed relationships (or at least him). Does that mean she was single? These rumors stem from gossipers who claimed in early 2024 that Dee was spotted wearing a bracelet in an Instagram post that had been gifted to her by Wendell. The Season 36 winner was dating Chelsea Brooks, whom he shares a young son with (born May 2023).

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The infidelity rumors gained merit after Chelsea reportedly posted a screenshot to her Instagram Stories of a U-Haul truck (which we presume was packed with all of her belongings) with a text overlay that mentions “false promises” and “disrespect.”

Wendell later took to Twitter on Jan. 5, 2024, explaining that he and Chelsea had broken up and that “the person the internet keeps attaching me to deserves an apology as well.” After mentioning the mystery woman, Wendell said the two “got close at the end of November through December, and I was dishonest about my family life with her. I created a situation that was unfair to both parties.” Although the post has since been deleted, fans immediately assumed the person Wendell was referring to was Dee.

If that’s the case, it’s unclear where Dee and Austin’s relationship now stands.

Even if they're not currently together, there's no denying that they had a ton of fun flirting on national television!

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