Scott D. Pierce: Tan France talks ‘dowdy’ Utah fashion to an ex-nun on ‘Queer Eye’

The Fab Five finally win an Emmy. Are Tan and Bobby battling?

“Queer Eye” returns to Netflix with a batch of new episodes on Jan. 24, and in one of them the Utah member of the Fab Five makes a very specific Utah reference. It’s not a particularly flattering reference, but it would be tough to argue that it’s inaccurate.

In the episode, titled “The Fly Nun,” Utah resident Tan France, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness come to the aid of Allison, a 40-year-old ex-Catholic nun-turned-social justice attorney who has also been a death row spiritual adviser for 17 years.

Allison is bright and bubbly and wants to find love. But her wardrobe isn’t helping, and fashion expert Tan is appalled when he goes through her closet and finds nothing but frumpy clothes. “Everything just reads much older lady. Allison’s closet is — strange,” Tan says. He tosses clothes aside, repeatedly saying, “All that can go.”

All that times two, because when Allison finds something she likes, she buys two of them. “What ark are you trying to fill?” Tan asks. “An ark full of women who dress the same? They go two-by-two?”

Yeah, it’s kind of strange.

“It’s feeling a little older than I would care for you to look,” Tan says. And he’s visibly distressed when Allison tells him she wears cardigans over the frowzy dresses.

“Do you live in Utah?” he asks — and it’s true that Allison’s clothes look a lot like what a certain contingent of women in the Beehive State can regularly be seen wearing.

Allison doesn’t live here (obviously), but she has “some good Mormon friends.”

“All of my friends and family are Mormon,” Tan tells her. “I live in Utah!”

Allison’s outfits are “what I would call modest clothing,” he says. And that’s not a put-down — before he joined the cast of “Queer Eye,” he owned two clothing lines that specialized in stylish, modest clothing. Tan does call Allison’t wardrobe “dowdy” — which is an accurate assessment both for her and for the Utah women he compares her to.

Also in the episode, Tan offers a glimpse into his “very religious” upbringing and his marriage. “I’m Muslim,” he says. “We’re a lot more extreme than most religions. And so I’m not the most sexual person. I chose somebody to marry who was very, very Christian. Who also didn’t expect just sex on the first date. Like, it takes a long time to get to that.”

And, he tells Alison, even though he didn’t flaunt his sexuality, “I still wanted to be desired. Don’t you want that at least?” It’s not exactly a spoiler to tell you that Tan helps her with that.

(Ilana Panich-Linsman | Netflix) Tan France in "Queer Eye."

His husband, Rob, was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They married in 2007, and are the parents of two young sons.

Tan wins an Emmy — at last

For the fourth year in a row, France (and the other four hosts of “Queer Eye”) received Emmy nominations in the category of outstanding host for a reality or competition program — and for the fourth year in a row, they lost.

They did, however, finally win much-deserved Emmys, because of a change in their titles on the show.

For the sixth year in a row, “Queer Eye” won the Emmy as outstanding structured reality show category on Sunday, Jan. 7. But this time, France, Karamo Brown, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness got Emmy statuettes of their own because, in Season 7, they got credit as producers. And when a show wins, its producers win.

(This is a big-time, national Emmy handed out at the creative arts awards — not regional Emmys like the ones local TV news types like to brag about.)

Good for Tan, Antoni, Bobby, Jonathan and Karamo. They deserved it. Frankly, they deserved the outstanding host Emmy, but there’s nothing negative about winning in the show category.

BTW, RuPaul has won eight times in a row as outstanding host for a reality or competition program — which is getting ridiculous. The Emmy voters tend to nominate and reward the same people and programs and people over and over again, but it’s well past time they realized that RuPaul isn’t the only one doing good work.

(Ilana Panich-Linsman | Netflix) Bobby Berk and Tan France in "Queer Eye."

What’s going on between Tan and Bobby?

Back in November, interior designer Bobby Berk announced that Season 8 of “Queer Eye” (which has completed filming) will be his last. When the show returns for Season 9 (which will film in Las Vegas), there will be a new interior designer.

“Although my journey with Queer Eye is over, my journey with you is not. You will be seeing more of me very soon,” Bobby posted on Instagram.

This was somewhat surprising, because all the other cast members have gone on to other projects while remaining on “Queer Eye.” But it didn’t seem like that big a deal. People decide they want to move on from jobs all the time. Even TV jobs.

But then things got weird. Bobby posted on Instagram, tagging Antoni, Jonathan and Karamo but not Tan. Tan then unfollowed Bobby. Bobby returned the favor, unfollowing Tan. Bobby also unfollowed Antoni, who is particularly close to Tan.

In this social media age, that’s often the sign of a major falling out.

Nobody is commenting on this. Maybe it’s nothing. But it seems like something.

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