Every Queer Eye makeover from Season 1, ranked from best to worst
Queer Eye Season 2 drops on Friday – and we can barely contain ourselves. So, to help pass the time, we’ve rated every makeover from Season 1.
Since hitting our screens earlier this year, the rebooted Queer Eye has stolen queer, and straight, hearts across the world through the Fab Five’s life-changing transformations of the show’s subjects.
The show’s brilliance stems from its seamless ability to combine trivial matters – from making a face mask using egg whites to learning how to get clothes that fit properly – along with serious issues, like racism in the police and men’s mental health.
Some makeovers were more impressive than others. Here, we’ve painstakingly ranked every makeover so far. Without further ado, and in reverse order, here they are…
8. Cory (the Trump supporter)
Episode 3 – called “Dega Don’t” – sees the Fab Five making over policeman Cory, who lives in Winder, Georgia, and likes to wear gym shorts and baggy T-shirts.
Cory, at first, seems like a loveable rogue. But, we soon find out he’s a fan of the US president – his basement is crammed with Trump posters and NASCAR merchandise – and this really tarnishes the rest of the episode.
Bobby sets to work re-designing Cory’s house, so that he spends less time in the basement avoiding his wife and kids, and Jonathan – being as adorable as ever – makes a sugar scrub with Cory’s daughters.
But both Antoni and Tan fail to impress in their job roles in this episode – with the food expert showing Cory how to make a pretty basic grapefruit and avocado salad, and the fashion guru seemingly splashing most of his clothing budget on fancy suits. Yes, the suits fit well, but is Cory really going to drastically change his ways and don business-wear for the rest of his life?
Karamo stands out in this episode, bonding with Cory over their mutual love of hip-hop and sports cars. The pair even have a hard-hitting and productive conversation about racism within the police. Karamo also makes an adorable quilt out of Cory’s dads clothes, which had been taking up space in the house, and buys the whole family theatre tickets.
Still, the Fab Five missed a vital opportunity in Cory’s makeover to confront him on his pro-Trump political views. Karamo scratched the surface by talking about the police’s awful treatment of people of colour – but that was it. Where was the discussion about Trump’s anti-LGBT sentiments? And what about his war on trans people?
7. Bobby, the man with a million kids
When the Fab Five first meet churchgoer Bobby in Episode 5, they have their work cut out. The house is a mess. Bobby’s six kids are roaming wild. There are sippy cups everywhere. It’s chaos.
And, to be fair, they do make an impact. Designer Bobby gives the house one of the best overhauls of the season – painting much of it in light colours to make the interior seem bigger – and buys an abundance of storage boxes to keep the house tidy.
The design expert, who was raised in a Church-going family, also has a meaningful talk with Bobby about Christianity. The two heartwarmingly come to the conclusion that god doesn’t hate gay people.
Tan gets Bobby some more acceptable dad clothes, and Jonathan prunes back Bobby’s overgrown head of hair. Turns out, Bobby is actually very good looking, with his makeover giving off a bit of a George Clooney vibe.
When the Fab Five meet Remy in Episode 6, it looks like Bobby in particular has his work cut out for him.
Remy lives in his late grandma’s house and everything about the place screams #GrandmaGoals. The 1970s Cuban decor is kind of funky, but Bobby’s refurbishment of the house impressively retains its charming features.
Karamo takes Remy out on a bizarre outing to taste some whiskies (what on earth does this man actually do?), and Tan gives Remy a cool Cuban-style wardrobe, including his grandmother’s hat, ridding him of his crusty gym clothes.
Antoni steals the show, though, visiting Remy’s babe of a mum Esther, who makes him a sweet potato pie. He also teaches Remy how to make the ultimate mac-and-cheese.
At the end of the episode, Remy’s friends and family coming round for a dinner party. Apart from Esther, who should have a show of her own, it’s a bit dull to be honest.
5. Neal (the dog whisperer)
Episode 2’s big challenge was Neal.
Neal has let himself go a bit too much, and become a bit of a social recluse – he hasn’t let a friend visit hims flat in about 10 years.
He also has a best friend, not a person, but a dog called Forever. Awww.
Bobby, exasperated, hoovers up all the dog hairs and pulls off yet another brilliant re-design – complete with a plush outdoor seating area.
Karamo starts banging on about Neal needing to break down walls to let people into his life, and decides that taking him boxing would be the best way to set about doing this (seriously, what does this man do?).
Antoni puts in a a lacklustre performance, showing Neal the secret art of grilling cheese (just, what?).
Jonathan executes the most dramatic haircut in the season, lopping off the bulk of Neal’s long hair and trimming down his beard, leaving Neal looking like a much more maintained human being.
He also teaches Neal the “spray, delay, and walk away” cologne method, which he took from Kyan Douglas on the original Queer Eye. Neal adorably embraces this later in the episode, spraying his cologne, before spinning through it and saying Jonathan’s catchphrase: “Yasss queen.”
This one was definitely one of the more endearing makeovers.
4. Joe (the average comedian)
The Fab Five visit Joe, a subpar 30-something comedian still living at his parents’ house. Still, we quickly find out that Joe has already lost 100 pounds from diet and exercise, so we know he’s got it in him for big change.
Instead of revamping the entire house, Bobby decides to move Joe, who is sleeping in a room next to his parents, into the basement. He decks the whole space out into a sort of bachelor pad, and even gives Joe his own kitchen. He also installs some questionable fake windows – admittedly they make the basement seem lighter, but they look a bit odd.
Karamo – possibly conscious that it’s Episode 7 and he needs to leave some sort of impression on viewers – pulls his finger out. He takes Joe to get a professional photoshoot, and even builds him a swanky website for to help him in his career as a comedian.
Jonathan tidies up Joe’s hair – making him look much younger – and Tan does a good job of getting Joe some clothes that actually fit him after his weight-loss.
By the end of the episode, Joe both looks and seems cooler. He confidently does a stand-up gig, which is much funnier than an earlier performance we see, and even hits things off with a girl he fancies. Yay.
3. Jeremy (the firefighter)
In the Season 1 finale – titled “Hose Before Bros” – the guys head over to Covington Fire Department to give one of the firefighters, Jeremy, a makeover.
Jeremy is an all-round nice guy, and nobly asks for the fire department to be revamped instead of his home. He’s also adopted four children with his extremely attractive wife – and he wants to look good for a fundraiser for a programme to train firefighters in rural areas. During the episode, he also gives a heart-wrenching speech about his job and wanting to save others. Bloody hell.
The Fab Five get to work, with Bobby – as usual – going above and beyond. He completely refurbishes the fire department, where most of the cooking facilities are broken, using dark colours and getting new ovens. He even orders in three fridges and four huge bins for the fire unit.
Tan gives Jeremy a new wardrobe, ridding him of his Crocs and cargo shorts, and getting him a snazzy blue suit for the fundraiser. Jonathan pampers the firefighters, giving them all a footpath and homemade face masks, made using egg whites and peaches. He also gives Jeremy a lovely haircut.
The fundraiser at the end of the episode is heartwarming, with a tear-jerking speech from Jeremy. “We never would have thought to have a bunch of gays in our firehouse,” he says.
“It’s sort of embarrassing to think that our way is the only way, and that’s just not true. I don’t say this lightly, but I love these guys.”
Now that’s a makeover of the body and mind.
2. Tom (you can’t fix ugly)
Oh, Tom. Where to start? We meet Tom in the first ever episode of the re-booted Queer Eye, when he captured the hearts of viewers across the world.
Tom, with his catchphrase “You can’t fix ugly,” leads a fairly lonely life since his divorce from ex-wife Abby. He spends his evenings drinking his infamous redneck margaritas, made from whiskey and Mountain Dew, and smoking in his backyard.
And the Fab Five show what they are really all about in this episode. Bobby completely revamps Tom’s home, even giving him two reclining chairs to encourage him to find a new partner.
Jonathan, meanwhile, gives Tom a nice haircut and beard trim, as well as a new skincare routine. He also does a lot to build Tom’s confidence, telling him that confidence in itself is sexy.
Karamo doesn’t seem to do much in this episode, however, he later revealed he had been taking Tom to meet new women in speed-dating situations – but that this was cut once the Fab Five discovered he was still in love with Abby.
Tan gets Tom a new wardrobe, with plenty of open shirt and T-shirt combinations. Antoni sets the bar high on the culinary front (…), showing Tom how to make some guacamole.
At the end of the episode, Tom invites Abby along to his car show, and it’s tear-jerking stuff.
Even better, Tom’s transformation has proved long-lasting, giving him a genuine new lease of life. Since finishing the show, he’s been tweeting regularly, embracing his new fans.
And, best of all, after initially breaking up with Abby following the show – the pair have now sorted things out and got married again. It’s all too much.
1. AJ (the gay man who comes out to his stepmum)
We meet civil engineer AJ in Episode 4, which is appropriately titled “To Gay or Not Too Gay.” It’s this episode that epitomises why the Fab Five are so wonderfully, admirably brilliant.
Not so much because of the physical changes, but because of what the guys collectively do to boost AJ’s self-confidence and help him to live freely as a gay man.
At the beginning of the episode, we discover that – despite having a long-term partner Andre – AJ still isn’t out to his family and work colleagues.
The Fab Five set about doing their usual tasks: Bobby tidies up AJ’s apartment and Tan gets him some better fitting polo shirts (at one point, we see get to see AJ’s impressively toned body, when he dons just a pair of jeans and harness for the guys). Jonathan gives AJ a slightly shorter haircut, while Antoni teaches him how to make arepas. Karamo takes AJ on a ropes course to help build his confidence for what’s to come.
But it’s the end of the episode that shows why this is the best Queer Eye, when AJ invites his family and friends – including partner Andre – around to his flat.
We watch AJ as he confides to his stepmum in his bedroom, bringing tears to viewers’ eyes, and reading out a letter to her that he wanted to give to his late father. In doing so, AJ comes out to his stepmum in an incredibly honest, emotional and sensitive moment. And, heartwarmingly, his stepmum accepts AJ with open arms. Cue, rivers of tears.
Since Queer Eye, AJ has gone from strength to strength, recently revealing that he and Andre got married. Congratulations, you two!