They're fashionable, they're fabulous, they're queer and they were in Denton for four days last fall.
On March 29, the world saw for the first time exactly what happened when the Fab Five, the stars of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, gave UNT's Sigma Chi fraternity chapter house and its pledge trainer Cameron Allahverdi a make-over.
Allahverdi, a 21-year-old junior business marketing major from Flower Mound, says that even though he doesn't like to be the center of attention, he was happy to apply for the show to benefit the chapter, once he'd learned they were planning to feature a Dallas-area fraternity.
"I'd never seen the show until they told me I was going to be on it," he says. "I applied because I'd been told about what they'd give to the house and the brothers."
The program features five gay men "out to make over the world one straight guy at a time." Each week their mission is to transform a straight man in five categories: fashion by Carson Kressley, food and wine by Ted Allen, interior design by Thom Filicia, grooming by Kyan Douglas and culture by Jai Rodriguez.
Once Allahverdi finally watched the show, he says his first thought was, "These guys are crazy."
But after taping the episode featuring UNT, he says he felt privileged to have been a part of it.
"The experience was wild. The entire show is truly reality TV," Allahverdi says. "There is no scripting. Who the guys are on TV is who they really are. It was an amazing experience, and I'm really grateful."
During the intense four-day filming schedule, the Fab Five bond with the straight guy, and in this case, all the members of the fraternity.
"Straight guys are conditioned not to open up, and that experience can really be overwhelming for all of us," Rodriguez says. "The emotions on the show are real and that's what's so impressive to me. We're all just guys being guys together, learning from each other."
The 20 UNT Sigma Chi fraternity brothers learned as a team from the Fab Five. They were taught how to use clothes to create a personal style, cook a few simple but elegant eats (at the Mansion on Turtle Creek), build furniture and care for their house after its transformation. They also had a workout with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders where they learned how to exercise to stay fit.
But mostly, Allahverdi says, the Fab Five gave him the confidence to believe in himself, take care of himself and be a natural leader.
Allen says it is that positive focus that he is most proud of with the show's success.
"So much of what we see on TV today is mean-spirited and cruel, especially in reality TV, and this show is genuinely about helping others," Allen says. "It's about five guys who are completely devoted to helping one guy improve himself, and that feels great."