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The Amazing Race 34 team Claire Rehfuss and Derek Xiao met last summer while competing on CBS’s Big Brother. Here’s a look back on their unexpected relationship.

Claire Rehfuss and Derek Xiao met on ‘Big Brother 23’

In the summer of 2021, Claire Rehfuss and Derek Xiao competed on Big Brother 23. The two aligned quickly as they made up the Firefighters during the first couple days in the house alongside Travis Long and Kyland Young.

Even though the alliance didn’t last long due to Travis’s early elimination, Claire and Derek remained close and continued to work with each other until his blindside in Week 7.

Shortly after her eviction, the two began a “jurymance” and officially announced their relationship in October 2021 after the show concluded.

In an interview with Us Weekly, she admitted to making the first move as she enjoyed /how naturally their relationship progressed into a romance as they hung out in the jury house. Additionally, Derek pointed out that he purposefully didn’t act on any attraction he had toward Claire in the house as he realized Christian Birkenberger and Alyssa Lopez’s showmance made them an early target.

Derek and Claire began a jurymance before a relationship

While in the house, many fans thought they noticed sparks between him and Hannah Chaddha, especially after she admitted to having a crush on him.

However, he later noted they didn’t develop anything beyond a friendship. Other fans noticed the bubbling chemistry between Derek and Claire, notably in a clip of the two talking on a hammock after it became apparent he would leave.

She told him her real story, revealing where she actually lived and worked. Noting they both worked in tech and lived in the New York area, Derek pointed out that they would likely keep in touch following the season.

In addition to the interview, Claire revealed the romance on Instagram, calling it “the absolute best thing to come out of the most stressful three months of my life.” The couple, both based in New York, continued to hang out after the show as she showed him the areas where she filmed her intro package in Central Park, and they documented several dates they went on together. They also attended a wedding in November 2021, where Derek met her big sisters.

Claire and Derek are competing in ‘The Amazing Race 34’ together

The couple currently competes on The Amazing Race 34 as a Reality Romance team. They began the first leg, located in Germany, near the front of the competition.

With the new “scramble,” which allowed the contestants to complete the three roadblocks in whatever order they wanted, Derek and Claire decided to ask for directions for all of them before taking off.


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The two efficiently completed the tasks and never got lost, ultimately clocking a first-place finish which came with a cash prize.

As they are off to the best start, Derek and Claire are currently the team to look out for after the first episode. The Amazing Race 34 airs Wednesdays on CBS.