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15 Lesser-Known Facts about ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’

The groundbreaking show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where five gay men helped to revamp the lives of heterosexual men, has been given the green light for a Netflix reboot. The program, which ran from 2003-2007, will be revived with the help of a brand new Fab 5 to “Make America Fabulous Again.” The new cast members have yet to be revealed, but we’re still excited to see this new crew’s take on heterosexual man-makeovers. While we wait for the series to premiere, we can’t help but reminisce about the original show and its cast members, who stole our hearts one makeover at a time. Here are 15 lesser-known facts about the series.

1. The Show Was One of the First to Make an Impact on Straight People

QEFTSG definitely made waves in the LGBT community, but the show transcended sexual orientation and was able to become a favorite among all television viewers. The impact the show had on straight people’s lives was evident. The Fab 5, consisting of Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley and Jai Rodriguez, definitely made the show an instant hit. It became less about their sexual preference and more about their lively and upbeat personalities.

queer eye

2. The Stars Hated the Show’s Title

Ted Allen confirmed he and the rest of the crew weren’t fans of the show’s title at first. In fact, they hated it! Allen thought the word “queer” had a negative connotation. He said, “I will never forget the moment we went on the Today show and I watched Matt Lauer trying to wrap his mouth around the word ‘queer’…it was hard for people to say!”

queer eye for the straight guy

3. Jai Rodriguez Wasn’t the Only Culture Expert

Before Jai Rodriguez appeared on the show, QEFTSG had another culture expert named Blair Boone who was let go after just two episodes. According to Boone, “The producers said that NBC and Bravo had to let me go, that it basically had to do with the fact that the show had a different idea of what they wanted to do with the ‘culture guy.'” Boone later sued the program for $105,000 — the amount he would’ve earned for the first 35 episodes. The lawsuit was eventually settled, but good luck finding the two episodes featuring Boone online. They’ve mysteriously disappeared.

These days, Rodriguez can still be seen on television. He made a brief appearance on Hell’s Kitchen and he also played the character Jojo on an episode of Grace and Frankie.

jai rodriguez

4. Not Everyone Loved the Show

Although the show became an instant hit for Bravo TV, not everyone was a fan of QEFTSG’s aim to put homosexual men on a public platform. An article published by the College of Charleston called the show a “mediated ritual of rebellion that domesticates Queers, contains Queer sexuality, and places straight men at the sociosexual center.” And in 2003, the Chicago Tribune released an article which posed the question: “Is Queer Eye all about fun or exploitation?”

carson kressley qeer eye

5. They Co-Authored a Book

The Fab 5 co-wrote a book called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab 5s Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better. The book was full of “make better” advice from each of the cast members, with a focus on lifestyle transformations.

Kyan Douglas enjoyed co-writing the book so much, he released a book of his own in 2004 called Beautified – a grooming guide for women. He also became a spokesman for beauty and makeup brand L’Oréal. He also became a style pro for The Rachael Ray Show, where he gives makeovers and offers trend advice.

kyan dogulas

6. Jai Was Wingin’ It

When Jai Rodriguez was brought on as the culture expert after episode two, he was completely winging it! Rodriguez had a long history as a Broadway performer, so his expertise was far from the role he portrayed on the show. But he won over the producers, and they liked his “skill set” and his ability to captivate the audience. Everything he learned about fashion and design, he learned from his time on the program.

jai rodriguez

7. Carson’s Not a Fan of the Reboot

Now that Netflix is slated to bring the series back without the original Fab 5, not everyone is pleased with the reboot. Carson Kressley told TMZ the new show won’t have that same magic. He says he’s more than willing to appear on the revival, but he thinks the producers want to go with a more young and hip cast.

Since QEFTSG came to an end, Kressley has pursued numerous acting opportunities. He appeared in The Perfect Man back in 2006, and he made a cameo in his own independent film 16 to Life. The longtime equestrian rides his American Saddlebreds as much as possible and still keeps in close contact with his QEFTSG castmates.

carson kressley

8. Two Stars Weren’t Officially Out Before the Show Premiered

Despite the show obviously being about gay men giving lifestyle and fashion advice, two members of the Fab 5, Jai Rodriguez and Carson Kressley, weren’t out to their families when the show premiered. The actual title of the show caused some “much-needed” conversations, according to Kressley. During the show’s 10 year reunion, Kressley told host Andy Cohen, “It took something like a makeover show for me to actually be honest with who I was. It forced me to tell them.”

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

9. The Show Is Based On Stereotypes

As much as we love the show, it’s still based on some pretty offensive stereotypes that the world has been trying hard to get rid of. The program is all based on homosexual men who are superior in their taste for fashion, grooming, interior design, and culture, while heterosexual men are treated as guys who are clueless about everything style and fashion-related.

qeftsg cast

10. Thom Filicia Had a Crush on a Castmate

During an episode of Oprah, the cast revealed their castmate crushes. Kressley responded with, “Can I say nobody?” But Thom Filicia revealed he had the hots for Jai Rodriguez. The two even made out one time in the back of a van. Filicia said,”We were in the back of a van. I think it was after a party. We drank a lot on the job. Apparently, we were somewhat easy. You know what I always say: ‘It ain’t’ easy being easy!'”

Today, Filicia continues to work in interior design for his company Thom Filicia, Inc. which was founded in 1998. He has worked with many celebrity clients, including Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony.

thom filicia

11. The Show Was So Successful, They Launched an (Unsuccessful) Spinoff

After the success of QEFTSG, Bravo launched a spinoff series called Queer Eye for the Straight Girl. The show debuted in May 2005, and it had the same format as the original show. Three gay men and a lesbian focused on giving women makeovers to boost their appearance and their lives. Sadly, the show didn’t catch on as quickly as the original, and it was canned after just one season.

queer eye

12. Ted Allen Auditioned Unexpectedly

Ted Allen didn’t intend on auditioning for the show. In fact, he didn’t even know the show existed until a friend told him about the casting notice. So he caught a flight from Chicago to New York City and proceeded to impress the producers when he bonded perfectly with the other four men.

Allen now spends his time on various Food Network programs, including Beat Bobby Flay and Dear Food Network. In 2008, he appeared on Iron Chef America as co-reporter for the program’s Thanksgiving special. He also writes features for Esquire magazine and has published multiple cookbooks.

ted allen qeftsg

13. You Know You’ve Made It When They Make Parodies

As with any popular show, QEFTSG wasn’t without numerous parodies. Comedy Central premiered a satirical program called Straight Plan for the Gay Man to poke fun at the show’s premise. Four heterosexual men taught homosexual men how to be more “straight” by decorating their homes with beer signs and teaching them how to play sports. South Park even got in on the fun by featuring animated versions of the Fab 5 on an episode entitled, “South Park is Gay.”

south park is gay

14. Carson Is Quite the Philanthropist

The breakout star of the series, Carson Kressley, may have had trouble coming out to his family before the show premiered, but it didn’t take him long to own his truth and give back to the LGBTQ community. He donated his $25,000 Celebrity Jeopardy winnings to The Trevor Project – a non-profit organization that aims to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth.

carson kressley

15. The Show Has Its Own Soundtrack

The show merchandised many products to celebrate the success of the series. In 2004, a QEFTSG soundtrack was released with songs by artists such as Kylie Minogue, Elton John, and Sting. The soundtrack was such a success, it reached number one on the electronic music chart and number two on the Billboard top 200 chart.


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