Just when I thought nothing good could come out of 2020 we’re gifted a makeover video of Gritty by the incredible cast of Queer Eye.
Season five of Queer Eye took place in Philadelphia, and The Fab Five had one final makeover challenge as a sendoff to the City of Brotherly Love: Revamping Flyers mascot Gritty. Nominated by the one and only Philly Phanatic, the aim wasn’t to completely change Gritty — but rather teach him a little about self love, and make him the best Gritty he could be.
First up was hairdressing icon Jonathan Van Ness, who wanted to keep the spirit of Gritty — but just zhuzh it up a bit. Jonathan wanted the world to learn the secret of Gritty’s perfect eyebrows, which apparently just involve spraying water directly into your open eyeballs.
“I just know not to mess with perfect eyebrows,” Van Ness said, “Brooke Shields taught me a lot.”
Knowing the hair situation was already handled, the pair just had a supermodel glam hour to work on their self confidence, which is all that was required.
Next up was style guru Tan France, who wanted to explore Gritty’s color palette. This was trickier than it might seem at first. After all, Gritty is a big orange monster with a penchant for wearing orange — so pulling him out of that comfort zone was always going to be a bit of a challenge. Even though it wasn’t his first choice, Gritty SLAYED in a purple jersey.
“Your ass looks great, just FYI,” Tan remarked, “you’ve got a great ass.”
It takes a lot of talent to make a locker room feel like home, but honestly, Bobby Berk did an astounding job at making a space for Gritty that felt like he belonged in a normally cold, stark environment.
Bobby thought ahead too, ensuring only faux fur was used to adorn Gritty’s locker room lair. No other Gritties were harmed in the making of this locker.
The biggest challenge of the episode perhaps involved Antoni Porowski, the food expert for the show. Not only did he need to educate Gritty on healthy eating habits, but make him move away from an endless reliance on Philly Cheesesteaks, which apparently is the only thing Gritty will eat.
And it still is.
The real wild card in all this was Karamo Brown. Karamo is used to being the life coach, the motivational interviewer, the member of the Fab Five who gets people to tap into their repressed emotions and deal with baggage that’s built up over years. How do you handle that with someone like Gritty, who’s an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a Flyers jersey?
The key was finding Gritty an “accountability buddy,” someone who understands the pressures that come from being a mascot, someone to talk to when the lights are off, a shoulder to lean on when times are rough, and who is always there to support you. To this end Karamo found the PERFECT buddy.
Here’s hoping Gritty and the Phanatic know with that with mutual love and respect there’s nothing they can’t tackle together. It’s so beautiful.
In the end there wasn’t a lot that changed for Gritty, but at least he knows he’s important, he is loved, and he has people rooting for him every step of his life journey. Along the way we learned something as well: Maybe something good can come out of his God forsaken year.