When it comes to Big Brother, audiences are always told to "expect the unexpected"; however, we don't think anyone (including us) could've predicted a romance between Season 23 houseguests Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss. The pair rarely interacted during the game, but sparks flew when they were in the jury house.
They announced their relationship following the Season 23 finale of Big Brother, and since then, the couple has been going strong. Keep reading for a complete timeline of Derek and Claire's whirlwind relationship. Plus, stick around to find out if they're still together.
Here’s the relationship timeline between 'Big Brother 23's Derek and Claire.
After model and dancer Christie Valdiserri tested positive for COVID-19, AI technical architect Claire Rehfuss stepped in as her replacement just in time for the Season 23 premiere. And the rest, as they say, was history — just kidding.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Derek and Claire both admitted they were attracted to each other from the moment they first met; however, the pair pushed their feelings down to focus on the game.
"I knew that from week one that Claire was my type," Derek explained. "I just never let myself explore that beyond just a friendship. I mean, you saw what happened to Alyssa [Lopez] and Christian [Birkenberger] week one."
Derek continued, "For me, despite getting taken out very early on, I did want to win that game. So I think a lot of my focus went into like, how do I win this game? I knew that if I let myself, I would fall for Claire in the house."
Speaking of getting taken out of the game very early, Derek was evicted from the Big Brother house during the Aug. 26 episode and became the second jury member. Two weeks later, Claire became the fourth member of the jury after she was sent packing during the Sept. 9 double eviction episode.
Now, this is when Derek and Claire realized a romance was in the cards for them.
Claire told Us Weekly that they "really felt the chemistry once we got to the jury house and could really connect with each other," adding, "We would stay up late talking every single night and we just really developed a bond."
On Oct. 14, 2021, news broke that Derek and Claire were officially dating.
"The absolute best thing to come out of the most stressful [three] months of my life," Claire wrote alongside a black-and-white photo of her and Derek. As for the start-up founder, he shared his own snap and penned, "Coming out of the Big Brother house has been overwhelming, but I’m so lucky to have had Queen Claire by my side making me smile and laugh every day."
Are Derek and Claire still together?
Yes, it appears that Derek and Claire are still together. Since revealing their relationship to the world in October 2021, the twosome have been going strong, taking trips together and sharing photos with each other on social media.
On Aug. 11, 2022, US Weekly reported that Derek and Claire were taking the next step in their relationship and moving in together! But, rather than finding a place in NYC, the pair will be relocating to the west coast.
"We’re moving out to LA," Derek told Us Weekly, adding that he and Claire "had to ditch" NYC due to the costly rent prices. He also said their next living situation will be "semi-temporary" as they look "for a more long-term lease."
Derek and Claire later put their relationship to the test by competing on Season 34 of The Amazing Race — and they won the $1 million grand prize! That experience brought them closer together, and we couldn't be more happy for our fan-favorite reality TV couple.