Us Weekly: So how did this happen? Tell me everything! Who made the first move?
Derek Xiao: Claire, who did make the first move?
Claire Rehfuss: I would say that it was me. Would you disagree with that?
DX: No. No. I thought you were about to disagree with yourself. It definitely was you (laughs).
CR: I would say it was definitely me. I feel like we just really connected in the jury house more so than … In the game, nothing ever happened. There wasn’t any secret backroom kisses or anything like that. It just naturally occurred in the jury house. I would say I asked what would happen with this relationship. Would we stay friends? Would we potentially try to be something more? I think that we both just really felt the chemistry once we got to the jury house and could really connect with each other. We would stay up late talking every single night and we just really developed a bond.
DX: Yeah, I say that is exactly how I felt. I mean, you can probably tell from the show, me and Claire had a really great friendship inside the house. I know, at least for me, I always felt like she was someone I could go to at any point in the game if I ever felt stressed out. I always felt like I could talk to Claire and step away from the game and just laugh and have fun. But being inside that house, you really, at least for me, I just did not think about a showmance or anything like that because your head is so caught up in the game itself. And then I go to jury, and Claire shows up, and I remember the first or second night that she was there, we stayed up all night just talking until 5:00 a.m. That happened every single night for the first, like, five days. 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.” So I think that was the beginning of us thinking about what this could be.
Us: Were you trying to keep it on the DL or were the other jury members catching on to what was happening?
DX: It was the house managers. It was the sequester house managers who look after us. They were the ones that we had to sneak around because they don’t like when you hang out in private by yourself, because you might be having game talks. So, me and Claire would have to find different hiding spots. We weren’t even trying to talk game. We literally wanted to talk to each other and we’d have to sneak around. The other houseguests were helpful, I think.
CR: The other houseguests were very aware of what was happening. Me and Alyssa were roommates in jury. She was like my confidante. Everyone else was also helping us try to get around the jury house managers. So everyone in the jury house basically knew what was happening. It wasn’t like a dirty little secret in the boat house or anything. It was very fun.
Us: So you guys were just getting to know each other more away from the cameras?
DX: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of stuff that you don’t talk about inside the house just because you know that you’re being filmed and you’d just be a lot more open with each other. And we would just talk about everything in our lives. Literally it’s, like, 5:00 a.m. every night and we just got even closer than we were in the house.
CR: Yeah, in the house, you’re still focused about the game. You’re still kind of policing what are you saying. Derek was definitely someone I would go to destress about the game. You know, he would be someone I would try to find in the house if I just wanted to laugh. And it was like that in jury house too. If I just wanted to laugh.
DX: Laugh with me or laugh at me?
CR: Laugh with you! I would have other people I’d go and laugh at.
DX: I want names.
CR: Maybe after the call (laughs). But yeah, once you get to jury house, you can really relax and really be yourself. And I know, I was a live feeder – live feeders think that they see everything and they really know us. But once you’re off camera, that’s when you really, really get to know who a person is and you can really be vulnerable and you can really be open and really talk about a lot of things from your life. So being able to be open and vulnerable and honest like that, I think that really brought me and Derek a lot closer.Back to top