The biggest transformations on Queer Eye

Queer Eye is pure joy, that goes without saying. And one of the main components of its joyfulness is the glorious Fab Five. Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, and Bobby Berk compose arguably the sweetest and most life-affirming gathering of men assembled for TV purposes since, well, ever. Without them, Queer Eye wouldn't be Queer Eye. More than a makeover? Without the lads, it would be less than even that. 

This new iteration of the hit reality show is crucially not a simple fashion show, though that remains its primary selling point. To that end, the contestants are a diverse and fascinating cast of characters to rival even the five guys who arrive to help them better their lives. It's not just their style that's overhauled but their whole being, from hair to homes, from outlook to relationships. These transformations only scratch the surface of what Queer Eye has come to mean, for us and them collectively. 

While all of the transformations are incredible in their own right, these are the most memorable yet. Pass the tissues. 

Neal Reddy

The second episode of the rebooted show offered up one of the Fab Five's biggest challenges with Neal Reddy, a man so fond of his pet pooch that his home was covered in dog hair. He was nicknamed "Sasquatch," but the guys managed to turn him into a respectable gentleman by episode's end. And, judging by his Instagram account, Reddy has been keeping up with his strict new grooming regime. A selfie he captioned, with deadpan candor, "Nothing to see here" was even approved by none other than Bobby Berk himself. The Fab Five's resident interior designer wrote, "Handsome fella!" on the shot. 

Elsewhere, Van Ness admitted to Buzzfeed that Reddy's transformation was the hardest for him personally, explaining, "I've never washed someone's hair and… had their legs be, like, bolt outright. He was literally so nervous." Likewise Porowski told Digital Spy he "really worked the hardest on trying to get through to him," as Reddy wouldn't even make eye contact at first. Thankfully, by the end of their week together, the so-called Sasquatch had transformed completely. France, speaking to Buzzfeed, described it as his "proudest moment." 

Tom Jackson

With the immortal proclamation "You can't fix ugly," Tom Jackson instantly worked his way into the hearts of viewers. Everybody was rooting for him to get back with his ex-wife (and the obvious love of his life) Abby Parr. Happily, early in 2018, the newly reunited couple made it official. They eloped in a private ceremony in Tennessee, on March 27, according to Us Weekly. "The best part of the day was during the ceremony as we stood before the minister, both of us excited and happy to be recommitting ourselves to each other in marriage," the ecstatic couple told the publication. 

On their decision to reunite, Parr explained, "we have never really been apart, apart. We have been best friends for 12 years. We have always loved each other, that never stopped, whether we were together or not." Although he announced their engagement on Twitter, Jackson isn't big on social media. His account is sweetly comprised mostly of Queer Eye-related stuff and photos of his beloved. The happy couple recently met up with fellow contestant William Mahnken, along with his partner Shannan Eller, and Jackson happily shared photos with his followers. 

William Mahnken

Like Tom, William Mahnken became an immediate fan favorite thanks to his romance with Shannan Eller. The good news is they are still going strong after getting hitched in July 2018. The official Queer Eye Twitter account shared the happy news, along with some pics, writing, "congratulations William and Shannan! Thank you for letting us be a part of your love story and we hope that the next phase of your life is filled with love, movies, and a lot of avocado goddess! We Shannan you both."  

Aside from making it official with his lady love, and hanging out with fellow Queer Eye alum Tom Jackson, Mahnken continues to pursue acting. His IMDb page lists a variety of work including a part as, funnily enough, a wedding photographer in 2019 movie Jacob's Ladder. He keeps his Facebook page pretty up to date, while his Instagram flits between writing and acting. Mahnken is also clearly keeping up with his stylish new look, so the Fab Five would definitely be proud.

Arian Samiei

One of the most shocking episodes of Season 2 found Arian Samiei, aka Ari, breaking down under intense scrutiny and admitting he hadn't actually managed to graduate college. After a stern talking to from Brown, Samiei realized he'd have to right this wrong sooner rather than later — for his family and himself. Fans of the video game obsessed dude will be happy to learn he's since managed to graduate from Georgia State University, according to Merit Pages. Samiei's Facebook page confirms he majored in information systems

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Brown confirmed Samiei is doing much better than when they first met him lazing about on his sofa. "I've been in contact with him and he finally graduated and has a job. I'm so proud of him. He jokes that he still has some gray area that he lives in, but overall he is doing extremely well," advised the culture expert and tough-talker.  

Sean Van Meter

Musician Sean Van Meter has been super busy since Queer Eye wrapped, scoring gigs all over town. His Facebook page gave fans a glimpse at his stylish new look mid-gig at The Foundry in Athens, with Van Meter writing, "thanks to everyone who came to The Foundry last night and made the event such a massive success!" He subsequently tweeted his excitement about making a music video for his single "Falling in Love Every Day." Meanwhile, on Instagram, he's just like any regular college kid, posting about attending a school formal

The kid clearly likes to keep busy, judging by his official site. Van Meter also has his own foundation, which aims to "help people find the music that lives within us all." An interview with his college paper, The Piedmont Roar, confirmed he was taking a double major in math and music. He told the publication that, off-camera, Brown had given him a pep talk on being more outgoing. "That's really what helped me find the confidence to meet so many new people when I came here," the young musician revealed.    

Cory Waldrop

"Dega Don't" is one of Queer Eye's most infamous episodes. The subject of it, Cory Waldrop, was the outward definition of a redneck Trump supporter, but it wasn't just his involvement that make it an all-timer. Fans will recall a memorable scene that found the Fab Five pulled over by a cop and Brown, who was driving, intensely questioned before it was revealed that the officer in question had suggested Waldrop for the show. 

Talking to Buzzfeed, Brown admitted that the episode was hugely emotional to film, but he was glad it went the way it did (prank included) because, "it allowed a conversation to happen that probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been in the driver's seat." Queer Eye's resident culture expert also admitted to now being "a little more open and a little less jaded when I see police officers." 

He and Waldrop still keep in touch, too. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Brown noted the ex-Marine is "extremely evolved now. Every time he does something that he used to not do, like comfort someone who had a negative point of view or ignorant point of view, he texts me like a proud kid." 

Bobby Camp

The other Bobby (Camp) found his whole life turned upside down upon the arrival of the Fab Five. Following his appearance on the show, the devoutly religious father of six has adjusted to his new shabby-chic lifestyle. He's not big on social media, but frequently pops up on his wife's Instagram page. In a post from February 2018, Camp appeared to be keeping up with his slick new look, posing happily in an on-trend coral shirt. 

Van Ness told Buzzfeed that the happy couple and their huge family still keep in touch, revealing, "Vera [Camp, Bobby's wife] literally DMed me the day before yesterday and they moved to a different house with three bedrooms. [The kids] are still using their kits and caboodles, which is great." 

In a separate interview with the publication, Berk admitted his namesake's house was his toughest challenge on the show. "Usually we can get in there and clean things out really quickly, but that took a full day and a half just to clean. With six young kids and a job, it's completely understandable that keeping a tidy home is the last thing on your mind," he explained.  

Ted Terry

The coolest mayor in Georgia needed help appealing to a wider variety of constituents but, post-Queer Eye, he grew back his "resistance beard," according to an interview with City Lab. The youthful politician, who was elected at just 30, admitted, "I think I look a little young when I'm clean shaven." He noted, however, that he won't be going full-on Sasquatch again, advising, "Jonathan said if the beard comes back, use beard oil. …So I'm taking his advice."  

Of being on the show, Mayor Ted Terry was hilariously self-effacing, deadpanning, "as a politician, I humiliate myself on a daily basis. So being on a reality show would be no different than the ordinary." In fact, the only thing he regrets is that a better take of his infamous rap battle wasn't used. Elsewhere, he promised AJC in an interview that he won't be reverting back to his old, lazy ways now he's been re-elected. "I have definitely upped my grooming game," Terry advised. "I'm moisturizing!"  

Leo Rico

Loving father and bartender Leonardo Rico wormed his way into the hearts of the Fab Five and viewers at home by admitting he didn't have the confidence to interact with other dads. After the guys worked their magic, Rico emerged from the episode looking fresh as hell, happily socializing at a school mixer. It seems he's still focused on his family life, as Rico doesn't have any discernible social media presence — at least not publicly. 

In an interview with Vulture, Van Ness noted that certain, less showy transformations (like Rico's) are important because they make it clear Queer Eye isn't necessarily about turning participants into completely different people. It's about bringing out who they really are inside. "The idea of being an expert and telling someone how they need to be because that's what I've been doing doesn't feel organic to me. … I don't want to give you some experience on camera that makes no sense for you… I don't want to do transformations on people for the sake of a visual. I want to do it because it makes sense," he explained. 

Jason Vogelsang

Burning Man obsessive and handyman extraordinaire Jason Vogelsang kicked off his time on Queer Eye just wanting to escape his boring, small-town life. One of the biggest reasons for him to stay, however, was his relationship with lifelong BFF Beth Penland who, most viewers decided immediately upon her stepping into frame, was clearly the love of his life. Unsurprisingly, Vogelsang doesn't have any social media presence to speak of but, luckily for us, Penland does. 

Her Twitter page is filled with pics of the two of them, particularly in relation to excitable fan responses to the show. And, just in case there was any doubt about them making it official, mutual friend Anna Wilming confirmed they are indeed a couple in summer 2018. "Yes, Jason and Beth are still together. I just spent a day with them," she wrote alongside a pic of the happy couple.  

Remington Porter

Out of everybody on the initial two seasons of the reboot, Remington (aka Remy) Porter had the least shocking physical transformation — not because he was already perfect, but 'cause it was his house, rather than his look, that required updating. This was the dude living in his grandmother's old place who had neglected to change, er, anything. 

Although it was a massive job, resident design expert Berk told Architectural Digest that Porter's home makeover was his favorite. "His grandmother was clearly fly as hell. Even though the style, obviously, was a bit outdated — the green shag carpet, those curtains. But she handmade all those curtains. Everything in that house, she designed. It was just so inspiring to me to see something that was outdated now, but at the time was so on point," he gushed. 

Berk also revealed that the show found Porter by chance, but once the producers saw photos of that house they realized it was T.V. gold. As for the newly-stylish man himself, he's been keeping up his grooming routine as per his Instagram account. 

A.J. Brown

The moment A.J. Brown came out to his stepmother was the emotional apex of a show so famous for making fans cry that the marketing for Season 2 was based around that very idea. Chatting to Vanity Fair, series creator David Collins explained how it all came together, advising, "I think he realized himself that he was at a seminal moment. He was kind of at a precipice where he really did have an opportunity to make a big change." 

Brown was worried it could go the other way but, when it all worked out, Collins and the entire crew were "bawling" on the other side of the camera. The series creator sees it as a massive deal, noting Brown "did something that really is paying off for so many young men and women across the world, across the globe. His coming-out story is a story of hope… anything's possible." 

Happily, things worked out extremely well for Brown, who married his longtime partner Andre (aka Drey) in the summer of 2018. Both their engagement and the subsequent reveal they'd tied the knot were shared excitedly by the official Queer Eye Twitter account.