“Big Brother” season 23 stars Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss are dating.
The new couple confirmed their relationship on Thursday, telling Us Weekly it started while the two contestants were in the jury house this summer.
“I think we both really felt the chemistry once we got to the jury house and we could really connect,” Rehfuss, 25, said in their joint interview. “We stayed up late talking every night, and we really developed a bond.”
Xiao, 24, remembered how they talked until 5 a.m. on their second night inside the house together, then continued their late-night chats.
“That’s when I really started to think, ‘Wait a second, why didn’t this happen in the house? There is such a strong connection and chemistry between us, ”he said. “I think that was the start of our thinking about what this could be.”
While the couple competed on the show, they were just friendly with each other, but now they claim there has always been an attraction.
“I knew from week one that Claire was my type,” Xiao said. “I guess I never let myself explore this beyond a simple friendship.”
Noting how other contestants came together to mess up their game plan, he added: “I mean, you saw what happened to Alyssa [Lopez] and christian [Birkenberger] week one. For me, despite being eliminated very early, I wanted to win this game. … I knew that if I let myself go, I would fall in love with Claire in the house.
Rehfuss noted that she didn’t really know her boyfriend well enough before the cameras were turned off.
“Once you’re off camera that’s when you really, really learn who a person is and where you can really be vulnerable and you can really be open and really talk about a lot of things in your life. “she said.
On Instagram, Xiao posted a photo of himself and Rehfuss from their photoshoot in the US and playfully captioned it: “Are you expecting the unexpected? », Borrowing the slogan of host Julie Chen.
“Thank you to all my fellow guests for helping us keep one last secret,” he added. “Getting out of the Big Brother house was overwhelming, but I’m so lucky to have had Queen Claire by my side which makes me smile and laugh every day ❤️ I’m so excited to see what lies ahead! “
Rehfuss also shared a photo of her hugging her new man on Instagram and wrote next to her, “💗💗💗 the best thing to come out of the most stressful 3 months of my life.”
Fans, fellow Season 23 contestants and alumni of “Big Brother” immediately commented on how shocked they were and sent their congratulations to the happy couple.
“❤️❤️❤️ LEGIT SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS !!!” roommate Britini D’Angelo wrote.
Season 21’s Tommy Braco added, “Here for that.”