It’s been over a year and a half since the Fab Five teased Instagram feeds, cheekily posing in front of Austin’s famous El Arroyo sign, announcing they would film season six of Queer Eye in the capital city.
Though the onset of the pandemic put just over a year pause on production, the season finally made its Netflix debut on Friday to close out 2021.
The show follows beauty expert Jonathan Van Ness, stylist Tan France, foodie Antoni Porowski, designer Bobby Berk and lifestyle coach Karamo Brown as they work together to transform the image of fashionably challenged people.
The team got a bit more of Austin than they bargained for—while three of the famed cast members spent part of their quarantine in Austin, hair stylist Van Ness moved his New York home to the Hill Country while filming was postponed.
Get ready for a season of southern goodness—the Fab Five went all out in Texas, even collaborating for the new song "Y'all Means All" with Texas-born Miranda Lambert for the premiere. The group promises it will be the most fabulous thing in Texas since chaps and have the Austinites in the room going like…
Who are the heroes?
The Fab Five’s subjects are called “heroes”—the everyday people who are in search of a life change. This season, the Fab Five will focus on people of all shapes and sizes, while touching on the unique qualities that make Austin special.
Terri White, Broken Spoke dancing queen
Terri and James ran the Broken Spoke together. (Broken Spoke/Facebook)
The daughter of James White, former owner of the Broken Spoke, opens the show with a display of honky-tonk hospitality. White is a self-professed “older woman,” who isn’t afraid to show a little cleavage and loves to carry on her late father’s dancehall. White brings out a little southern charm from the Fab Five and makes sure they leave doing the two-step. Catch White in “Showdown at the Broken Spoke.”
Angel Flores, Olympic weightlifting coach
A University of Texas alumna and trans athlete in Austin, Angel Flores recently began transitioning and has struggled with her self image. The Fab Five help revive Flores in the episode “Angel Gets Her Wings.”
The prom committee, Navarro Early College High School
We could not be more excited to announce that Navarro ECHS and our Class of 2021 students will be featured on season 6 of Queer Eye.— Navarro ECHS (@navarro_vikings) December 27, 2021
Thank you again to each of the guys and @netflix for all their love and support! @AustinISDhttps://t.co/LCNTf6foxI
Though the group only has a week to help bring prom to life at Navarro High School in North Austin due to COVID, Van ness was shown in the preview hyping students up about how they’re going to “slay this prom so hard.” Catch the party on “Navarro High Prom.”
Josh, cowboy and aspiring DJ
Josh, who is a father and a classic Texas cowboy, is featured in “No More Bull,” where the Fab Five strive to help him stop smelling “like a ranch.”
Chris Baker, executive director of Austin nonprofit The Other Ones Foundation
It wouldn’t be a trip to Austin without touching on some of the more serious issues that trouble the city. The group sits down with Chris Baker, who is in need of a little TLC of his own after helping people cope with homelessness. Catch the “potty-mouthed humanitarian” in the episode “Gimme Shelter.”
The group will work some magic in the episode “Craw-Zaddy,” which focuses on Todd, who is supposed to be retired but is still running his restaurant.
Jamie Wallace-Griner, SAFE in Austin
Being called the “Snow White of Central Texas” is no accident, as Jamie Wallace-Griner has spent her life caring for special needs or neglected animals at her nonprofit, SAFE in Austin. After being “needed at all times,” for so long, Wallace-Griner is ready to focus on herself.
Dr. Jereka Thomas, Central Texas Allied Health Institute
Dr. Jereka Thomas has been moving non-stop since she founded a COVID testing center for underserved communities. On top of that, Thomas leads the Central Texas Allied Health Institute, the only black-led medical learning institution in Central Texas. It’s safe to say Thomas is ready for a break in “Community Allied."
Sarah Lim, OMG Squee owner
Showing the severity of the impact COVID-19 had on small businesses, the Fab Five met Sarah Lim, owner of gluten-free Asian-inspired bakery OMG Squee. Lim is ready for a makeover since pandemic strain led her to focus more on her business, less on herself, in “A Legend in the Baking.”
Reggie DeVore, musician
Another pandemic-based struggle, musician Reggie DeVore said he’s starting to lose his drive and passion for art in the episode “The Mis-Inspiration of Reggie DeVore."
Other locales to look out for
The trailer opens with the cast strutting in some cowboy boots, western garb and teasing skyline views. In addition to the many Texas businesses that make up the season, you’ll also be able to spot the scenes of The Long Center and Eastside Pedal Pushers Bike Shop.
Both Fab Five member Van Ness and Porowski also adopted dogs from Austin Pets Alive!, so the furry friends are sure to make some cameos.
Season six is streaming now on Netflix.
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A big-money bird has been stolen from a northwest Austin pet store.
Kelsey Fernandez, the owner of a $6,000 sulphur and citron-crested cockatoo named Lemon Grab, said the emotional support animal was taken from the Gallery of Pets store, around closing time on Sunday.
"I've struggled with mental illness my entire life, and ever since I got him I've been doing so much better," Fernandez told Austonia.
The $6k cockatoo is young and will starve unless he is fed by hand, Fernandez said.
In a surveillance video, a man appears to have something under his shirt as he and two others exit the business around the same time the store believes that Lemon Grab was stolen.
Fernandez said a report has been filed with the Austin Police Department with an $1,000 reward for his return.
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Introverts and personal space lovers may not want to make the move to Austin anytime soon: The Texas capital saw a bigger increase in one-bedroom rent prices than almost any other U.S. city in April, according to a Rent.com report.
Austin's one-bedroom rent has more than doubled—a 112% increase—from April 2021 to 2022, the report said. Only Oklahoma City saw a higher year-over-year increase with a 133% jump.
Austin also had the fourth-highest increase in two-bedroom rent, with a 50% increase in the past year. The city joined a nationwide trend where rents were up 8.3% year-over-year across the U.S, a trend exacerbated by a 6.2% increase in inflation in the same time period.
But "not everyone is experiencing inflation the same way," Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in the report, and a brunt of the load has gone to cities with more move-ins. While over 90% of state rental markets increased in the last year, that jump was seen most in Sun Belt states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.
Even with breakneck increases in rent, however, Austin's rent prices still haven't cracked the top 10: the city's one-bedroom apartments are the 12th most expensive in the nation with an average price of $2,918. Meanwhile, its two-bedrooms fall behind Texas cities Frisco, Dallas and Plano and come out 34th on the list with a $2,302 average monthly rent.
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