The two join a long lost of romantic relationships to emerge from the “Big Brother” house — arguably one of the most successful matchmaking shows on television.
The “Bachelor” franchise may be all about making love connections, but there’s another big challenger out there when it comes to long-lasting relationships.
Maybe it has to do with spending time together 24/7 over a span of months, but “Big Brother” has emerged as one of the most consistently solid places for romances to emerge and real relationships to blossom — even if it doesn’t happen in the House.
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This most recent season was dominated by The Cookout, a six-person alliance of Black players determined to see the first US Black winner in franchise history — a goal they achieved when they became the Final 6 players.
Along the way, they worked strategically with several other players in the house before cutting them loose. There were two players the alliance both wanted to keep close but were also wary of because of how smart they were in the game.
The Cookout was worried that either Derek Xiao or Claire Rehfuss would figure them out, but it never happened. It could be because the pair was busy figuring one another out, albeit on the sly. And while they never got close to figuring out the existence of the alliance, they did get close.
Fans saw a tight friendship grow throughout their time in the House, but the pair told Us Weekly that it really went to the next level after they were evicted and got to spend time together in the Jury House.
Outside of the game, evicted Jury members are still isolated from the outside world, so it’s that same intimate daily existence minus all those distractions of playing a game.
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“We would stay up late talking every single night and we just really developed a bond,” Claire told the magazine.
Talking about their nightly chats that went deep into the early mornings, Derek added, “That’s when I started really thinking like, ‘Wait a second, why didn’t this happen in the house? There’s such a strong connection and chemistry between us.’ I think that was the beginning of us thinking about what this could be.”
Derek did admit, though, that he knew Claire was his type right away. But he also knew the dangers of showmances in the history of “Big Brother.”
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Claire agreed, saying, “I think both of us had like a little bit of a crush, or at least saw maybe there’s some potential there, pretty early on in the game. But then you just get wrapped up in the game and you just don’t think about it anymore.”
This season was on red alert about showmances, with Alyssa Lopez and Christian Birkenberger being targeted in the first week before even they knew they were going to become a showmance. And that relationship did ultimately cost Christian his game, with Houseguests eager to separate them.
Granted, neither Claire nor Derek had any real shot this season anyway, with The Cookout running the game, but at least they were able to last deeper into the game than almost anyone thanks to their restraint.
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Both of their Instagram posts were quickly hit with comments from their fellow Houseguests, both those who knew about the secret romance blossoming in the Big Brother Jury House, and those who had no idea.
“I’m absolutely shocked in the best way possible! So happy for you both! 🙌🏻❤️” commented Brent Champagne on Claire’s post, while Britini D’Angelo added, “❤️❤️❤️ LEGIT SO HAPPY FOR YOU GUYS!!!”
Alyssa Lopez, who was Claire’s roommate in the Jury House, joked that she would be forever their third wheel on Derek’s post, adding on Claire’s, “MY HEART 😫💞” Meanwhile, Derek’s BFF Travis Long asked, “room for a third?🥵🤤”
Kyland Young joked, “So do ya’ll prefer “Daire” or “Clerek”? Just wondering for username of the stan social media accounts I’m making… 😍💕😍💕😍💕”
Derek and Claire certainly seem to be in it to win it as the latest in a long line of successful relationships to emerge from “Big Brother.” If they can make it, they’ll certainly be in pretty impressive company.
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Other famous reality couples who found love in the “Big Brother” house include:
- Jordan Lloyd & Jeff Schroeder (Seasons 11 & 13) – married now with two children, the couple got engaged during a visit to the “BB” House in Season 16
- Rachel Reilly & Brendon Villegas (Seasons 12 & 13) – married now with children, “Brenchel” are the OG showmance and first to get married from the show, getting hitched in 2012.
- Daniele Donato (Seasons 8, 13 & 22) & Dominic Briones (Season 13) – married two years after getting out of the house and welcomed a daughter in 2018.
- Nicole Franzel (Seasons 16, 18 & 22) & Victor Arroyo (Season 18) – Casting aside her showmance during the show, Nicole and Victor connected outside the house, getting engaged during an appearance in Season 20. They welcomed their first child in July.
- Jessica Graf & Cody Nickson (Season 19) – A showmance that was targeted earlier by the rest of the house, the couple nevertheless wed in 2018. They have two children.
- Bayleigh Dayton & Swaggy C (Season 20) – After a short time in the House together, their connection was so strong, the couple got engaged during the live finale after having not seen each other most of the summer. They got married in 2019.
- Christmas Abbot (Seasons 19 & 22) & Memphis Garrett (Seasons 10 & 22) – The couple began dating within two months of leaving the “All-Star” season, formally getting engaged in June 2021.
- Angela Rummans (Season 20) & Tyler Crispen (Seasons 20 & 22) – A showmance that emerged late in the season, Tyler and Angela made it to Top 4 together. After leaving the House, they moved in together and got engaged.