The hosts of Queer Eye have all found incredible success after starring on the Netflix makeover show. Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Tan France and Bobby Berk are now household names, with book deals, podcasts and merchandising lines to bolster their brands. While the five experts became beacons for gay representation on television, they have were able to so because of the talent that went before them — namely the five hosts from the original Bravo series Queer Eye For The Straight Guy.
Debuting in 2003, the reality show introduced the world to fashion expert Carson Kressley, food and wine stud Ted Allen, grooming guy Kyan Douglas, interior design star Thom Filicia, and culture wiz Jai Rodriguez. The dynamic group instantly became known as the Fab Five, gaining an international following for their unbridled makeover enthusiasm — all while living their lives truthfully and openly.
“Even though we have made great strides in our community with marriage equality and many more advances in trans rights, at the end of the day, there is still a lot of homophobia and a lot of people that have not been exposed to gay people,” Carson told Buzzfeed when the show’s reboot was announced in 2018. “It doesn’t matter what era we live in, visibility is so important. It’s okay to be any kind of person you want to be; it’s okay to be who you are. I think that’s why it’s important that it’s back.”
Keep reading to find out what your favorite Queer Eye OGs are up to now!
Some would argue Carson was the breakout star of the original program after he gained a huge following with his sense of humor, generosity and unique style. He would go on to launch his own clothing line with QVC before hosting a plethora of other reality shows including Lifetime’s How to Look Good Naked, OWN’s Carson Nation and ABC’s True Beauty. And he’s been an outstanding judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Not only did he have a chance to present other shows, he also competed in them! Carson took his chances on The New Celebrity Apprentice and the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. Just last winter, the fashion guru exceeded his own expectations by being a tough competitor on Celebrity Big Brother.
Everybody instantly fell in love with foodie favorite Ted on Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. His gentle demeanor and appetite for hilarity landed him as the host on the long-running Food Network series Chopped. He’s also a frequent contributor to The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Top Chef and America’s Best Cook. He’s written two cookbooks: The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes and In My Kitchen: 100 Recipes and Discoveries for Passionate Cooks.
Keeping a bit of a low profile since his glory days on Queer Eye, Kyan made an appearance on Family Feud in 2020. He’s also parlayed his fame into being a style consultant on Rachael Ray’s talk show. In 2016, he was the host for a docuseries called The American Barber.
Thom ventured out and created his own interior design firm, yet continued to dabble in TV with appearances on Rachael Ray, The Wendy Williams Show, On the Money, Celebrity Page, and more. He and Carson even teamed up for their own series called Get A Room with Carson & Thom in 2018 where the two BFFs design interiors for a variety of clients.
Jai smartly took advantage of his Queer Eye fame and successfully parlayed it into acting gigs. He has appeared on Grey’s Anatomy ,The Magicians, How I Met Your Mother, Bones, and more, with his first post Queer Eye acting gig arriving on Ryan Murphy’s Nip/Tuck. More recently he was seen in Eastsiders and Dollface.