The Late Leslie Jordan Gives His Friends The Ultimate Gift In The Season 3 Premiere Of Celebrity IOU

Warning: spoilers ahead!

The season premiere of "Celebrity IOU" is poignant because it stars the late Leslie Jordan. The heartbreaking death of Jordan shocked fans, and the "Celebrity IOU" premiere is a tribute to the actor from Jonathan and Drew Scott. 

In an interview with Extra, Jonathan said that Jordan's "Celebrity IOU" episode was a "tribute ... because this was so important to him." He explained, "You're going to cry when you watch this episode... This one is a really emotional one because, of course, knowing the truth now of what's happening, but the story itself as well."

Jordan worked with Jonathan and Drew to renovate the home of his longtime friends Newell and Rosemary Alexander, who helped him through his worst times. In the "Celebrity IOU" episode, Jordan talked about his friendship with the couple. "They've just always been there for me," he said. "I had some struggles with alcohol, a little drug use. I'm 25 years clean and sober, but they were instrumental in that, too, because they never judged me."

The Property Brothers shared their thoughts about "Celebrity IOU" and its success. Jonathan told HGTV, "One of the things we love most about 'Celebrity IOU' is that it proves that special people can turn into your family." That is definitely the case with Jordan, Rosemary, and Newell. The friends mention that they are "like family" during the episode, and it's very evident through their interactions. 

Buckle in. You'll laugh and cry during the season premiere of "Celebrity IOU," featuring the late Leslie Jordan.

The Property Brothers and Leslie Jordan renovated his friends' home

The season premiere of "Celebrity IOU" follows Leslie Jordan and Drew and Jonathan Scott as they surprise the actor's best friends, Newell and Rosemary Alexander, with a home makeover. Before the renovation starts, Jordan takes the brothers on a tour of the ranch-style house, which has good bones but is dated. Unlike today's floor plans, the homes' rooms are segmented and closed off.

Jordan told Drew and Jonathan, "Rosemary has always wanted to open up the house." The Scott brothers were struck by something familiar when they walked into the home. Drew said, "The moment we walk inside, there was one thing in my head ... mom and dad's house. It was literally that beautiful old rancher style." 

The plan to was to open up the layout but keep the couple's fireplace as a focal point. In the episode, Jonathan explained that they wanted to "lean into" the original Southwest vibe. The Scott brothers wanted to update the home, especially the kitchen, while maintaining its charm. Jonathan said, "There are so many memories here, so many good times. Let's freshen it up but let's not lose those vibes."

With the six-week deadline, the home renovation kings dove into the project, with Jordan helping the Property Brothers when his schedule allowed.

The celebrity team had a blast updating the ranch house

The season premiere of "Celebrity IOU" follows Leslie Jordan working with Jonathan and Drew Scott to give back to his best friends by refreshing their abode. In the episode, Jordan joked, "I felt like a man banging things and breaking things!" The "Will & Grace" star and the brothers worked hard during the project, but they had fun, too. In an ET Canada video (via YouTube), fans see how much Jordan enjoyed collaborating with Drew and Jonathan while renovating Newell and Rosemary Alexander's home.

On the reveal day, Rosemary cried tears of joy as she walked into the house. Newell was awestruck and felt like his friend and the Scott brothers nailed the Western modern style they love. The episode ended as Jordan, Drew, and Jonathan danced around the new den in cowboy hats. Jordan was looking forward to his future, which is why this "Celebrity IOU" episode is heartbreaking.

Drew and Jonathan Scott knew Leslie Jordan before 'Celebrity IOU'

The "Celebrity IOU" season premiere dialed up the emotion because of Leslie Jordan's death. Drew and Jonathan Scott talked to Extra after the actor died, and Drew explained, "We've known him for years... The moment you see him, he puts a smile on your face... Every day, he came to set wearing a different cowboy hat... It's such a deep laugh with him." 

Drew added, "He was just himself, he didn't pretend to be anybody else. I think that's what was so endearing." Jonathan told Extra that, when he found out about Jordan's death, "it was one of those things that did not seem real."

Not only were the Property Brothers friends with the "Will & Grace" star, but Drew worked with Jordan on another project, "Trixie Motel." In July 2022, Drew posted a photo of himself carrying Jordan and posing with Trixie Mattel on Instagram. He wrote: "Who wore it best? Who got thrown in the pool? There's only one way to find out!!" 

In an HGTV press release about the new season of "Celebrity IOU," Drew said, "Jonathan and I started this series with a simple idea — that nobody gets anywhere in life alone." He added: "We're grateful that so many household names have trusted us to be part of these personal acts of kindness and help give back to the people they value most."

In the end, Leslie Jordan's "Celebrity IOU" episode gave back to his dear friends — and gave the Scott brothers some precious memories.