Queer Eye is back, just in time for Pride Month!
Once again, the Fab Five members reunite to bring more than just a makeover to ten deserving individuals. This season, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, and Antoni Porowski go to Philadelphia to give life-changing makeovers to a devoted pet groomer, a gay pastor, a young activist, and more!
In a virtual roundtable interview with the local press, the Fab Five received some of our questions about the Queer Eye season 5– some in connection to the current state of the world, and other random queries that they gladly answered! Check it out below!
How does it feel to be part of a show that feels so positive and safe but at the same time doesn’t shy away from discussing sensitive and difficult topics, and how do you strike that balance?
Tan: I think it comes relatively natural to all of us. We’re all very sensitive and aware of our surroundings and we try and speak only when we’re informed. But it is interesting being on a show where we have to open up so much, we’re asking our heroes to open up so much, and it does start a conversation that I hope encourages others to have conversations in their own homes and their own communities.
For Karamo, the world is a mess right now and it’s easy to think bad of others but do you have any concrete tips or methods that you may have used during the show to find good in others?
Karamo: First of all [before] you have to see the good in others, you need to see the good in yourself. I think any change that we see in the world starts with ourselves first. It starts with how you’re communicating with yourself. Are you talking to yourself with kindness and love and empathy? And then, are you educating yourself about who you are and is clear about who you are?
That way you can then learn about other cultures and other people’s experiences. And I think when you do that, you’re then able to meet people who may have different point-of-views from you or who have different perspectives, and speak to them in a way where you get your point across, but it’s still respectful and loving. And I think that’s where we see our country right now, the world right now. People banding together through empathy education to say enough is enough, we’re going to work together. And some of the most difficult conversations are happening around the world that have needed to happen for a while so it’s good that the same thing we try to teach people on the show can teach anyone around the world.
Antoni, if you could liken the Fab Five members to food, what would they be and why?
Antoni: Okay, so I’ll start with Tan, in honor of today’s citizenship. He would be like an American sheet cake with the stripes in red and white frosting and then blue and white for the stars. I think I’m in the mood for desserts. So for Jonathan, I think it would be the world’s [crispiest] on the outside, juiciest in the center, cinnamon bun with five pounds of vanilla icing. For Bobby, because I know he’s been the example of fitness over quarantine, I would make him like a really perfect meringue with fresh peaches that would be grilled underneath with a bit of basil, and maybe all kinds of stone fruit, and like cherries and apricots, and yeah. And for Karamo, it would be a cake that when you cut through it, 100 pounds of Skittles would come out.
Jonathan: Ooh, I love those cakes!
Jonathan, your makeovers make people feel their best, what are your ultimate tips for other people to do the same, especially now that they’re in quarantine and they have a lot of time to work on themselves?
Jonathan: I love to be adventurous, in a lot of ways, but I think that some of my worst mistakes behind the chair doing hair is like, I committed to doing too much on someone’s hair. So if it comes down to a haircut or hair color, I would say don’t over-commit. I’ve had more fun changing up hairstyles and playing with makeup, and doing things that you know are not permanent. Because I don’t think anyone wants to be in a situation where you really messed up your hair or created a haircut that you have to grow out, or go to the salon a lot to get fixed, as we’re going through all of this. So I would say be adventurous with hair styling and semi-permanent things, but I would try not to, you know, buzz all your hair off or do a bleach and tone right now.
What advice can you give for LGBTQ viewers struggling to reconcile their sexuality with their religion?
Bobby: My advice is to realize the fact that a lot of the anti-gay rhetoric that is spewed from the churches is spewed from man. It is rhetoric that was made up by, who knows who, but it wasn’t God. And so just remember that God is love and God loves you and God made you perfectly the way you are. And that when it comes to family, especially when they’re religious, it can take a while for your family to be able to not just accept you, but to get rid of all the negative things that were taught to them in religion.
A lot of times when we come out, we’ve had our whole life to accept who we are and realize who we are, and often we expect our family and our parents to instantly be okay with it. But we have to realize that they have been brainwashed for years to think that their child is now going to hell. They need a while, it took my parents years but now my parents are two of my best friends. So, just my advice is to remember that you are perfectly designed as Karamo’s book says; that you are loved and you are made exactly the way God made you and that people will come around then it will get better. And just to love yourself because that’s the most important thing.
If you guys could join a reality show or a game show, where you are the participants, which show do you want it to be?
Tan: The Great British Baking Show! I want to do it for a whole season.
Karamo: I would want to be on RuPaul’s Drag Race because baby, I love a wig and I love the heels and I’m not afraid to say it. It’s just, I like it. It’s just amazing.
Antoni: I would go for Jeopardy because I do feel like Alex Trebek is the funniest.
Bobby: I would go on America’s Next Top Model, as a PA not as a model.
Karamo: Actually, I can see Jonathan, if that shows still around, being on America’s Next Top Model and winning.
Jonathan: No, I just really wanna go on The Price is Right, I want to get Plinko, and then I wanna get Around The World Challenge. And get within $200 of the showcase so that I win both showcases.
Antoni: Wait, I changed my mind, I changed my mind. I would wanna go on Where in The World is Carmen Sandiego.
Jonathan: Ooh I love that one!
What are some of the things that amazed you the most about this season’s heroes?
Tan: For me, it was Tyreek, and his perseverance and his will to create a life for himself and help the people in his community who may be facing the same troubles that he faced as a kid. I think that’s really empowering. The fact that he’s not just trying to solve issues that he struggled with; but he knows that, now that he’s in a position where he’s finally been able to have a home and a life himself, he can give back to his community.
Antoni: [I’ve thought] about this a little earlier with Jonathan, we were all discussing Rahanna. This is somebody who has worked incredibly hard, you know, since the inception, since the beginning of her business Stylish Pooch, and she’s had so many obstacles in the way. It’s definitely something that made me very well aware of my privilege.
Karamo: I’d probably say Marcos. Marcos for me was great because I think sometimes when people think of immigrants in the United States, there’s a side of our country that likes to think that immigrants are coming here to be freeloaders and used and whatever, and what the reality is people from another country, they come to America and they’re some of the hardest workers, and they are some of the most honest and loving people.
So to see Marcos who has come to this country, learn English, started business, and still trying to connect with his family and be loving, I think it’s just the true American story. And I think that we forget that is what America is about and so I just love seeing him. I also love that in that episode, we allow the hero to speak in their native tongue. We didn’t try to force him to speak in English, the entire time he was like speaking Spanish. That’s what you’re comfortable with and I just thought that was beautiful.
Bobby: For me it was also Tyreek. The thing that impressed me so much about Tyreek is not only was Tyreek able to pull himself out of bad situations, educate himself, and make himself successful, but he also took the time while doing that to stop and try to help other people as well.
With the nonprofit that he created, he was like, you know what, nobody was cleaning up our neighborhoods, nobody was taking care of our neighborhoods, so I decided to. I decided that no one else was going to help us, so we need to help each other. So just the fact that he was able to pull himself out of situations that honestly, other people had put him in, and at the same time build up his entire community was just so impressive to me.
What do you think makes season 5 different from the previous seasons of Queer Eye?
Jonathan: I think it’s the people in Philadelphia… Philadelphia is just one of the oldest American cities, there’s so much history there and I think that people have a different kind of East Coast mentality, which is quicker paced and I think you have to work a little harder to, you know, earn their trust. And I think once you have their trust, the stories were just so beautiful and deep and diverse, and I assume that all of our heroes are just incredibly lovable, but I think this season there is just such a resilience and strength to them. That is uniquely Philadelphia, that really gives a beautiful aspect to it.
The fifth season of Queer Eye is now streaming on Netflix. Watch it here.