"Memphis and I got to know one another through real conversations, building trust with each other and not starting with a physical connection," says Christmas. "That's a rare thing!"
Despite a dominant performance over the summer, neither Christmas Abbott nor Memphis Garrett was able to pull of the $500,000 win on "Big Brother All-Stars."But it looks like they both came out winners regardless.
While fans of the CBS reality staple have seen lots of romances blossom and grow on the show, this one didn't happen that way at all. In fact, all fans got to witness between the two members of the dominant alliance, started by Memphis, was their mutual respect and a growing friendship.
But that, at least for Christmas, may have actually been the key for why things have worked out the way they did.
"I wasn't looking for a relationship, I was there to win," she toldE! News. "It's so wild to have this experience because we reverse engineered how society promotes falling in love. Memphis and I got to know one another through real conversations, building trust with each other and not starting with a physical connection. That's a rare thing!"
She even went so far as to drop an "unexpected" hashtag into the caption of her relationship announcement -- with some truly adorable pictures of the two together, along with the message, "Love is not found, it's built."
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"Sometime people come into your life and you know they just belong. We tried to fight it but fate had its own plan," Memphis captioned his own announcement. "Excited for the future."
"Never in my mind would I ever think I would find love thanks to the 'Big Brother' house, but sometimes fate has other plans," Memphis told E!
Had the global pandemic not pushed CBS into going forth with an All-Star edition of "Big Brother," they may have never had the opportunity to spend so much intimate time together. After all, they come from different generations of the show.
Memphis last played way back in Season 10, landing as the runner-up. Nine seasons later, Christmas entered the house and almost immediately broke her foot, leading to a very unorthodox run to a 3rd place finish.
This past summer, Memphis had to settle for a fifth place finish, with Christmas heading out the door right after him in fourth. But while neither went home with the top prize, they did get to enjoy being part of one of the show's most dominant alliances of all time.
And through that shared connection, and relative comfort through the early weeks of the show, they were able to forge a real connection. And while it's unclear when their mutual respect for one another as competitors turned into something more, it might have happened when Christmas smiled or laughed.
"The list could go on for days, but her contagious smile, unapologetic laugh and authenticity are just a few traits I love," Memphis told E!
Christmas said her favorite trait of Memphis' is that he gets who she is and understands her. "He sees me and appreciates me for me and not who he thinks I should be, or who I have been in the past," she said. "He feels like my home."
"I also love his wild, unapologetic self. He is who he is," she continued. That also could echo their experiences together in the house, as Memphis often went rogue even from his own alliance, doing his own thing at any turn.
So when exactly did they transition from strategic allies and friends to having romantic feelings for one another?
"t's hard to pinpoint exactly when I felt my feelings for Memphis grow from just a friendship to more because I believe that our friendship is what's more," said Christmas.
Fellow Houseguest Tyler Crispen jumped onto Memphis' post to tell the happy couple, "I'm shook right now but not really" -- so maybe he saw some of that early chemistry in the house.
Tyler, for the record, also found love in the "Big Brother" house during his first time playing, one of many, many couples who've found love inside those walls ... or in this case, shortly after leaving those walls.