The next stage in their relationship! Big Brother alumni Derek Xiao and Claire Refuss travel the country together.
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“We’re moving to Los Angeles,” 25-year—old Derek exclusively told Us Weekly on Thursday, August 11, adding that he and 26-year-old Claire “had to give up” New York. “You know, these rental prices. We couldn’t stay.”
The CBS personality added that the couple’s next life situation is “semi-temporary” as they are looking for a “longer-term lease.” The two reality TV graduates met during the 23rd season of “Big Brother” in 2021. Although they started out as just friends on the series, the couple explored their romantic relationship while in isolation in the jury house.
“I think we both really felt the chemistry when we got to the jury house and were able to really bond with each other,” Claire told Us exclusively in a joint interview in October 2021. “We stayed up late, talking every night, and we really connected.”
Derek agreed that when the duo stopped being in sight 24/7, their feelings for each other quickly became apparent.
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“I remember the first or second night she was there, we stayed up all night, just talking until 5 in the morning. It happened every night for the first five days,” he said. “That’s when I really started thinking, ‘Wait a second, why didn’t this happen in the house? We have such a strong bond and chemistry.” I think that was the beginning of our thinking about what it could be.”
Although the Maryland native waited until he was evicted to move in, he told us he “knew from one week that Claire was my type.” As for what was holding him back, he said, “I mean, you saw what happened to Alissa [Lopez] and Christian [Birkenberger] in the first week. As for me, even though I was knocked out very early, I really wanted to win this game. …I knew that if I let myself, I would just fall in love with Claire in the house.”
This summer, Derek returned to CBS as a contestant on the show “Challenge: USA,” featuring contestants from “Big Brother,” “Survivor,” “Amazing Race” and “Love Island.” He overcame the middle of the season, lasting longer than his “Big Brother 23” teammates Tiffany Mitchell, Xavier Prater and Aza Avasum. However, he was eventually eliminated in episode 6 along with Shannon St. Clair from Love Island.
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When the episode with Derek’s elimination came out on Wednesday, August 10, Claire shared a video on Instagram Stories in which she and her beau toast cocktails. “Always a winner in my book,” she wrote.
With reporting by Sharon Tharp