'Queer Eye' Co-Hosts on Acknowledging Grief, Drawing Inspiration From George Floyd's Daughter

Jimmy Fallon welcomed Queer Eye co-hosts Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness and Karamo Brown to The Tonight Show on Tuesday, for a conversation about the current cultural and political climate, expectations of the latest season — which just dropped on Netflix — and advice they've picked up since their journey on the show began.

At the top of the show, the late night host congratulated France for becoming a U.S. citizen, which the fashion expert shared via his Instagram account Tuesday. "It's taken 20 years to get here and we're so darn grateful," said France, referring to himself and his husband. He added that "the timing couldn't be more perfect" — he will be voting this year. "We need every vote, every vote counts," emphasized France.

Fallon acknowledged that while it's "probably hard to promote a product right now with all that's going on in the world," he is enjoying season five of Queer Eye, which is set in Philadelphia. He admitted that he cried three times in the middle of the first episode, especially during Brown's scene where he spoke with several of the pastors, including openly gay Noah, the subject of the episode.

Referencing the difficult time in the world and how important it is to maintain self-care, Brown said, "I think what is beautiful is that people get to take a mental and emotional break [with the show], which is necessary to recharge," adding that they will come back stronger.

Porowski highlighted subjects of the show including Rahanna, a dog groomer. "I think it's important now more than ever to honor heroes," he said, adding that "heroes give us hope" and come in all shapes and sizes. The food expert added that he recently watched a news segment with George Floyd's daughter, who said in a video clip, "Daddy changed the world." Porowski noted, "It's easy to be a pessimist and not have hope" in times like this, but that he gained optimism from the news segment.

Speaking to the hardships many people are going through amid the pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, Brown explained that "most people don't even realize they're grieving right now." He said that they have to go through a process of acknowledging it and starting to heal from it. "People are waking up and they're going through so much loss," he noted, adding that they're screaming out for things to be different.

Thinking back to some people he met in Philadelphia while shooting the show, Brown said, striking a lighter tone, that "Philly people are tough nuts to crack." France added that this season was the "most difficult" experience he's had while on Queer Eye, while for Van Ness, the people did not seem especially different. 

Fallon asked the Fab Five if, after five seasons, they notice people anticipating the changes that will happen to them, such as gaining a new wardrobe and hair style. Bobby explained that it's evolved since the beginning of the show, and while the participants have their narrative set when they start with the group, it's the Fab Five's job to then make them forget they're on television, in a way, in order to really focus on what needs to be done. 

Closing their appearance, the Fab Five offered pieces of advice they've collected after five seasons. Brown emphasized the importance of focusing on oneself before you can focus on other people, noting that it's not selfish to do so. France spoke of personal presentation, encouraging others to consider how they present themselves to the world as it is a reflection of who they are.

"Microwave a lemon for five seconds before you squeeze it and you'll get a lot more juice out of it," joked Porowski, before encouraging everyone to educate themselves about topics they are interested in learning more about, such as systemic racism. 

Van Ness challenged people to think about how hair salons have been impacted during the novel coronavirus pandemic, suggesting they pause before attempting hair cuts and color treatments at home. It took him 1,600 hours to get his hair license, longer than the training time of some police officers. 

Queer Eye has been renewed for a sixth season, which will be filmed in Austin, Texas.