Easily one of the most popular “reality” shows in the world today, Queer Eye is such a heartwarming show that it is pretty hard to not enjoy it. Highlighted by its amazing cast of lovable experts in various fields, watching the five guys transform the lives of strangers in mere days is simply delightful.
Of course, as is the case with all “reality” shows, when we watch Queer Eye there is a voice in the back our heads questioning how legitimate everything we are watching truly is. Far from a clear cut issue, there are aspects of Queer Eye that viewers can take at face value and others that are worthy of a bit more skepticism. With that in mind, it is time to look at this list of 9 things that are fake about Queer Eye and 11 that are real.
In order for something to be up for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost has to relate to the Netflix version of Queer Eye in one way or another. On top of that, it either has to be a lot more real than a lot of viewers may realize or have an aspect to it that is totally put on. It should be noted that we do not have any relationships with the people involved in the show so when it comes to this list, we have relied on public information.
20 Real: Karamo Is Really Passionate About The Issues He Discusses On The Show
Let’s face facts: some celebrities seem to bring up various societal issues during interviews or write about them on social media but they don’t seem to put their money where their mouth is. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown who has used his platform to work towards making the world a better place.
In fact, in recent years he has marched for a number of major issues, he runs an HIV awareness organization, and he fought to have a line in his contract that ensures that Queer Eye has a representative crew.
19 Real: The Fab Five Have Actually Built Friendships With Several Of The Heroes
At the end of the day, there are a lot of reasons why people love Queer Eye and the five gentlemen that star in it so much. If you ask us, one of the biggest reasons is that the guys all seem to genuinely care about the person they are helping in any given episode. Still, a more cynical person may wonder how real the relationships you see on the show are.
As it turns out, they're pretty real as several of the show’s heroes have actually built lasting friendships with the fab five.
18 Fake: Unlike How It Seems On The Show, Antoni And The Heroes Often Work On More Than One Dish
If you are anything like us, Antoni Porowski has quickly become one of your favorite television personalities, but at times you can’t help but feel that his role on Queer Eye is less consequential. Don’t get us wrong, it is a great thing to attain skills in the kitchen but some of the heroes already can cook a decent meal and his role in the show feels like an afterthought.
Thankfully, if you ever feel that way, in reality Antoni and the heroes actually work on several different dishes during the week even though they only show one on the show. As a result, even the heroes that seem to have some knowledge in the kitchen are likely to pick up a lot of tricks from him.
17 Real: The Heroes Really Do Get To Keep Everything
Even though the majority of fans could never qualify for a Queer Eye makeover, many of us still imagine how great it would be to have the Fab Five pay us a lengthy visit. After all, even if you like your life, generally speaking it would be pretty amazing to have five talented fellows teach us, change our living space, and frankly, give us a lot of stuff.
Of course, that begs an obvious question: Do the heroes actually get to keep everything they are given on the show? Fortunately, despite the fact that some similar shows pretend to give their stars stuff but don’t actually, Queer Eye’s heroes get to keep all of the stuff viewers see on the show and other items too.
16 Fake: The Comedian From Season One Actually Didn’t Like The Website Karamo Built Him
During the first season of Queer Eye, viewers got to meet “Below Average Joe,” a comedian who not only got a life and image makeover but he also got help in the career department. Seeing untapped potential in Joe, Karamo created a website to promote his comedy stylings which seemed like a fantastic idea.
Unfortunately, Joe didn’t embrace the opportunity as Karamo revealed to BuzzFeed, saying,
"He took [his website] down! He said, ‘I’m not sure if I’m ready for that point in my career.’ I was like, ‘I’m building you this because, in a matter of months, millions of people are gonna see you and flock to your website.’ And he took it down."
15 Real: The Fab Five Really Are Surprised By Who They Makeover
By now, Queer Eye viewers expect each episode of the show to have an early scene in which one of the Fab Five reads information about that week’s hero aloud to the camera and the rest of the group. If you are anything like us, you’ve found yourself wondering how much the show’s experts actually know about the person they are going to help before that moment.
As it turns out, aside from the limited knowledge that one of the guys has (which we will tell you about later), prior to that moment they all have no idea who they will be helping that week.
14 Fake: The Show Actually Features Some Serious Product Placement
As anyone who was ever a fan of shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition could tell you, some shows that focus on making over the lives of people can be pretty blatant about product placement. On the other end of the spectrum, Queer Eye unveils a lot of clothes, housewares, furniture, and appliances and they generally don’t call out the brand names of the companies that manufacture them.
That said, even though the show doesn’t bombard you with sales pitches, the fact remains that brands like IKEA and Lacoste pay the show to feature their products. However, it feels like the show’s experts still have a strong say on the items that are featured since they don’t feel out of place at all.
13 Real: Jonathan Really Does Customize His Grooming Suggestions
Time and time again, Jonathan Van Ness has proven that he is skilled at making the heroes look great and he always seems to take things like their insecurities and imperfections into account. On top of that, as Jonathan told Vulture,
"I really want to know how much time you’re going to spend on your hair in the morning because I don’t want to give you some experience on camera that makes no sense for you, because why would you do that for the sake of a transformation? I don’t want to do transformations on people for the sake of a visual. I want to do it because it makes sense."
12 Fake: Bruley The Dog Is Actually Queer Eye Producers’ Animal Companion
During the first episode of Queer Eye’s 3rd Season, viewers were introduced to the Fab Five’s new furry companion, a French Bulldog named Bruley. During the dog’s first moments on the show, it is explained that he is the animal companion of someone who “works down the hall” which makes it seem like the guys happened to bond with a stranger’s dog.
However, it seems like Bruley joining the Fab Five’s home life may have been a calculated move to add a little bit more cuteness into an already adorable series. This is the case because the dog actually is the companion of Michelle Silva, who is one of the show’s producers.
11 Real: The Show Actually Does Foot The Bill For Everything
Believe it or not, there is a long history of “reality” makeover shows that come across like they are giving their stars a dream but in reality, the fantasy comes with a hefty bill after the fact. From a pure accounting standpoint that may make sense since the people are at least given free access to various experts. However, the truth of the matter is that learning that makes it feel like the show in question has betrayed the viewer and star to a certain degree.
Fortunately, Queer Eye producers pay for whatever expenses the show’s production accumulates which gives the heroes the ability to enjoy the experience.
10 Real: Bobby Works Hard On Renovating The Homes
Based on everything that takes place during any given episode of Queer Eye, it is abundantly clear that viewers of the show never get to see how much work the experts put in. One of the most obvious examples of this is how viewers see Bobby Berk scope out the space he is going to remake, sometimes he goes shopping with the hero, and then the results of his work get unveiled later.
However, according to what Bobby told Architectural Digest: "While my Fab brothers often had three to four days off a week, some weeks, depending on what we were building, I worked seven days a week.”
9 Fake: The Fab Five Don’t Actually Stay In The Loft
As a group who’ve quickly become internationally famous and widely adored, it seems like The Fab Five should be able to afford the high life at this point. As a result, it should be pretty obvious that they all have their own homes and businesses around the world and even though the group spends a lot of time together, they also lead separate lives.
Still, it certainly seems like the show wants viewers to believe that the guys live together in the loft, at least while they are filming. If you hoped that was the case, we’re sorry to disappoint you but they’ve never lived as a group for any meaningful period of time.
8 Real: The Guys Really Did Help Tom From The Very First Episode Rekindle His Love Life
Despite the fact that most Queer Eye fans tend to watch every minute of the show that becomes available, the truth remains that most of us like some episodes more than others. For example, during the show’s 3rd Season we were so charmed by the chef sisters Little and Shorty that we couldn’t get enough of them.
In addition, during Queer Eye’s very first episode viewers were introduced to an incredibly lovable man named Tom Jackson who obviously still adored his ex-wife Abby. Fortunately for those two seemingly fantastic human beings, the Fab Five helped Tom look at his life differently enough that within months of appearing on the show Tom and Abby had remarried.
7 Fake: Some Of The People Don’t Actually Embrace Their New Home Setups
Over the history of Queer Eye, it has never seemed like any of the heroes disliked the work that Bobby and his team had done on their behalf. In fact, most of the time they could accurately be described as overjoyed with the results. Surprisingly enough, however, Season 1’s AJ Brown quickly decided to turn his new living space into serious profits. As Bobby told Architectural Digest:
"About two weeks after we filmed that episode, I texted him [AJ], 'Hey, how's the house going? Does it feel like home yet?' He texts, 'It sold already.' I was like, 'What?' His boyfriend Dre had a house, so AJ moved in with him and they put the condo on the market."
6 Real: Despite Some Online Debates, Antoni Really Can Cook
When it came time to cast this generation’s version of Queer Eye’s Fab Five, the decision to include a food and wine expert was made for a reason. After all, as fans of the series could tell you, many of the show’s heroes could accurately be described as hopeless in the kitchen.
That said, some fans who like Antoni Porowski’s personality have questioned if he actually is a talented chef because he shows the heroes such simple and rudimentary things. When you actually think about it though, it only makes sense that he keeps things really simple for cooking newbies. Plus, a New York Times writer sought to answer this mystery by having a meal prepared by the expert and simply titled his review: “Antoni Porowski Can Cook.”
5 Fake: Bobby Knows More About The Houses Than He Lets On
As we briefly touched on during an earlier entry, when an episode of Queer Eye is filmed the Fab Five go into the experience knowing nothing about that week’s hero - with one notable exception.
Given a little bit more information than the rest of his costars, Bobby receives the specs of the space he is set to remodel and “a little one-sheet on the guys or the guys and their families,” Architectural Digest reports. While this may seem a little bit unfair, it actually makes perfect sense.
After all, he does the majority of his work on the fly but Bobby doesn’t have the budget to hire a huge crew so he has to go in with some very basic plans in place in order to get his work done in a week.
4 Real: When They Got Pulled Over, It Really Was Surprising For Most Of The Guys
At the beginning of Queer Eye’s 3rd episode, Karamo Brown was driving down the street with his fellow experts in the car with him when he was pulled over even though he’d broken no driving laws. As it turned out, the police officer who’d nominated that week’s hero was the one who pulled him over in an attempt to introduce himself to the Fab Five in a cute way.
However, the guys weren’t in on the plan so their reaction to Karamo being pulled over even though he’d done nothing wrong was genuine. However, Karamo later told BuzzFeed he was “glad that happened” since it led to a conversation between himself and the hero, who also was a cop, and “that probably wouldn’t have happened” otherwise.
3 Fake: Tan And Karamo Didn’t Move On Quickly After They Were Pulled Over
As we touched on in the previous entry, Karamo got pulled over during the filming of Queer Eye and it led to a profound conversation about race and law enforcement that he grew to appreciate. However, that discussion did not take place right away and at first Karamo and Tan were very upset with the whole situation for understandable reasons.
Talking about that with Refinery29, Tan said: "This wasn’t OK. You don’t know what it feels like to be a person of color and get pulled over. We didn’t want to film the next day. We were like 'we’re done. That’s it.'"
So while it seemed like the guys laughed the moment off at first, that really wasn’t the case.
2 Real: The Fab Five Really Have Become Close
Throughout TV history there have been many notable examples of people who played friends onscreen but were far from fans of one another when the cameras were off. For example, onscreen duos like Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion or Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny had to pretend to like one another in front of the cameras despite years of onset tension.
Thankfully for fans of the Queer Eye guys, from all accounts they have gotten together really well from the start. Of course, we’re sure that at times there have been disagreements among the group, after all they are human, but at the end of the day the affection they share is very real.
1 Fake: The Casting Process Doesn’t Happen The Way You Probably Think
During each episode of Queer Eye, viewers meet the person who is receiving the makeover and the loved one of theirs who nominated them for the process. During those moments, it certainly seems like the nominator sought out the opportunity, which does happen, but a lot of the time the process is very different from how it seems.
As Danielle Gervais, who is one of the show’s casting masterminds alongside Gretchen Palek, told Vanity Fair: “The casting team surveilled car shows, small-town carnivals, Waffle Houses, and bodegas—looking for locals and community leaders who knew of someone deserving of a makeover.” They also have people “scouring” social media in search of people worthy of the Queer Eye process because as Palek put it, “sometimes the best stories may not submit themselves.”
Sources: Vulture, BuzzFeed, Architectural Digest, New York Times, Vanity Fair