‘The Amazing Race 34’: Derek and Claire Explain the Roadblock Rules and Their Strategy

The Amazing Race has featured many former Big Brother contestants over its 34 seasons. And the latest team to appear in both CBS reality competition shows is Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss. Derek and Claire are competing in The Amazing Race 34, and following episode 9, the duo revealed how the rules influenced their Roadblock strategy.

Derek Xiao, who adhered to the rules in 'The Amazing Race 34' on CBS, wears a light purple shirt and glasses.
Derek Xiao | Photo: CBS

Claire and Derek have made it to the final 5 in ‘The Amazing Race 34’

Before The Amazing Race 34 premiered, many fans were already rooting for Derek and Claire. They were fan favorites from Big Brother 23, with Derek coming in second place for America’s Favorite Player. And since many Big Brother fans also watch The Amazing Race, it makes sense that they would like to see Derek and Claire succeed in the competition.

Right out of the gate, Derek and Claire came in first place in episode 1. Their efficiency in the challenges and excellent communication and navigation skills made them early frontrunners to win The Amazing Race 34. However, they started to fall to the middle of the pack after Claire’s yodeling disaster in episode 2.

Slowly, Derek and Claire have begun to inch their way back to the top. And in episode 9, they secured their second first-place win of the season. Now, the Big Brother couple is in the final five, meaning there are only two more legs before the finale.

Can Derek and Claire survive until the last leg? Well, if their strategy regarding one of the rules in The Amazing Race works, they have a great chance of taking home the grand prize.

The couple addresses the rules regarding Roadblocks in ‘The Amazing Race’

Derek and Claire posted a YouTube recap of The Amazing Race 34 Episode 9, discussing the Roadblock rules and how they built their strategy around them.

Derek explained, “Amazing Race Roadblocks … There’s memory ones — Claire’s going to do those. There’s physical ones — I was going to do those. Attention to detail — Claire’s going to do those. And heights, Claire is also going to do those. So, basically, we wanted to save me for a physical challenge.”

“That was basically our mindset,” Claire said. “Anything that we could put me on that wasn’t physical; I just am going to do.”

Derek interjected, “Yeah, and if you’ve seen The Amazing Race, towards the end of The Amazing Race, typically, there’s more physical challenges … So our Roadblock strategy was Claire was going to frontload as many Roadblocks as possible so that we can save me for the end when, statistically, we felt like there’s more physical challenges at the end … I was like, ‘I want to do the last challenges.'”

He continued, “So, let’s go back to where we are, current day on The Amazing Race. I’m up on Roadblocks. Something else we have to explain is by the end of The Amazing Race, you and your partner need to have done the same number of Roadblocks … At this point, I’ve done four. Claire’s done three. And if you have to be at an even number by the end, that means each partner needs to have done six. Which means I can only do one more Roadblock before the end. I have to use that very wisely.”

Claire added, “We didn’t want to be in a situation where we used Derek willy-nilly, and then it’s like, run a marathon. And I have to do it.”

So Derek and Claire considered the Roadblock rules in The Amazing Race 34 as a part of their strategy. And that’s why Claire performed the rugby task in episode 9.

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Fans comment on their strategy

The Amazing Race fans reacted to Derek and Claire’s Roadblock rules strategy in the video’s comments.

“Not sure if challenges get physical at the end, but challenge difficulty does seem to go up,” one person wrote. “Which means that for physical challenges, it can get to a point where people just cannot physically do it, making it stick out in my head more.”

Another fan speculated, “I feel like Derek and Claire may be reiterating their Roadblock strategy to foreshadow a potential issue down the road, perhaps involving Emily [Bushnell] and Molly [Sinert] because of the injury.”

The Amazing Race 34 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.