marco polo and kublai khan You don’t have to be gay but it helps
If you know what “joojing” means and how to spell it, this is your big chance. On Tuesday night, Channel Ten will call for applications from men who want to be part of the Australian version of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Ten’s head of production entertainment, Stephen Tate, says he won’t be looking for a new Carson Kressley “there isn’t another Carson” but hopes to find five men who can have fun while actually getting the job done.
But they will have to be gay, right? “You don’t have to be gay, but you have to have a queer eye,” he says (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Ten is also calling for friends and family of straight men who could use a makeover to volunteer them as “cinderfellas”.
“The straight guy is actually the hero, so getting them right is essential,” Tate says.
Filling the American quintet’s shoes will not be easy. All are extremely well qualified.
Jai Rodriguez, the culture expert, who in one episode taught one fellow how to say “I love you” in Albanian, came to Queer Eye as an actor, singer and dancer, most recently starring in an off Broadway musical. Prophetically, in 2002, he was cast as a gay hairdresser making over a straight guy in the comedy The New Guy. He told one newspaper: “At Esquire, I’d been writing about things like how to tie a tie, cook a steak and treat a woman for years just the little things that are nice to know so men don’t come off looking like such a boob.”
Carson Kressley’s day job is at Polo Ralph Lauren in New York, where he has worked on the design team of the men’s sportswear division and fashion styling for the company’s national advertising campaigns. He has styled catalogues and film shoots, and has degrees in finance and fine art. He is also a former member of the US World Cup equestrian team, though so far has had little use for this experience on the show.
Kyan Douglas, the grooming expert, is a specialist in men’s skin care with certification in cosmetology from the Aveda Institute in New York. He has worked as a colourist for television and magazines.
Thom Filicia, the design expert, runs his own interior design company. He was stuck in a lift with a talent manager who was impressed by his personality and suggested he try out for the show. His is the most labour intensive segment of Queer Eye: he works with a team of eight and takes about two and a half days to perform his makeovers.
Joojing (or zoojhing or jujhing or zushing or zuzjing nobody quite knows how to spell it yet) is Queer Eye speak for a final little tweak to your hairstyle or outfit, such as pushing up the sleeves on your jacket. “Manscaping” is another Queer Eye coining artful trimming of body hair. Angus Holland
The search for an Australian Queer Eye screens with two episodes of Queer Eye on Ten on Tuesday from 7.30pm. Queer Eye also screens every Monday at 8.30pm.