The Next Wave
By Daniel R. Coleridge
Watch your back, Fab Five. There�s a new crew of tr�s fey hipsters that is movin� in on your milieu�namely, helping hopeless heteros boost their style and self-esteem. Like you, they�re sexy and sassy, and they tool around town in an SUV�a totally stylin� silver Cadillac Escalade�like gay gang members. And they too are known by a catchy street handle: the Gal Pals.
America will meet this pink posse�Damon, Danny, Robbie, and Honey�when Queer Eye for the Straight Girl debuts January 12, the night after Straight Guy�s season opener, at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Bravo. The channel�s counting on a strong launch for both shows, despite the original Queer Eye�s decline in ratings last year.
�It�s still our highest-rated show,� points out Bravo president Lauren Zalaznick, though she admits a �botox injection� is needed to freshen up the franchise. No, not literally. �We�re just giving [the guys] a lift by letting them travel outside the New York area.�
In other words, no more back waxes for hirsute husbands from Long Island! �I�m an Ohio boy,� winks openly gay creator and executive producer David Collins, �and I�m here to tell you they need our help in the flyover states.�
The Los Angeles�based Straight Girl, meanwhile, will focus on female trouble in its own sunny backyard. �We have the tragedy that is West Coast fashion to work with,� Collins says. �Ugg boots are so over. We�ll nail that in the first episode.�
Out recently got acquainted with this spin-off�s quirky quartet at the Paramour Mansion in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, where they were brewing up a bride�s dream wedding. �Britney Spears shot the video for her remake of Bobby Brown�s �My Prerogative� here,� says interior designer Damon Pease, 28. �She crashed a Porsche right there in the pool!�
If Pease sounds a touch enthused about the setting, that�s just because it�s his job. The Gal Pals� roles are defined by four key L words: the Look, the Life, the Locale (that�s Pease), and the Lady. Three out of four are ex-models, including Pease, who skipped college to stalk the runways of Europe then entered the design field as a florist and party planner.
�I get really stressed with my part of the show sometimes,� sighs Pease, who hails from San Diego. �I�m very meticulous, but we�re working under a time restraint. I�ve learned that if I don�t get the right end table, it�s not the end of the world.�
London-born dancer Danny Teeson, 29, seems more mellow than the frenetic Pease. The shy Brit�who fills the Life slot as Girl�s health and fitness guru�boasts an impressive r�sum� in the United Kingdom, including stints as choreographer of Robbie Williams�s recent world tour and backup dancer for Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell, and Gloria Estefan.
�It wasn�t always like, �Oh, I�ve gotta throw on my gold hot pants and go dance backup for Kylie,' he laughs. �I was a bellboy in college, so I come from humble beginnings. I�ve been fortunate in the jobs I�ve had.�
To read more about the Gal Pals, pick up the January issue of Out.