Quincy News

"Queer Eye" episode featuring QHS debuts Friday

Kathi Dooley's Netflix Queer Eye makeover is revealed during a QHS football game against Moline on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jul. 17, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- The fourth season of "Queer Eye," including the episode shot at Quincy High School, debuts Friday on Netflix.

Quincyans will be glued to the screen, including at a watch party planned Friday night at Grown N' Gathered and the Tap Room.

In the season's online trailer, "Fab Five" member and Quincy native Jonathan Van Ness dares viewers to "try not to cry, try not to lose it" as episodes offer emotionally-charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals.

The Quincy episode features a makeover for the teacher's lounge and for Kathi Dooley, who was Van Ness' orchestra teacher.

"You've literally saved people's lives, mine included," Van Ness, a 2004 QHS graduate, tells Dooley in the trailer.

Students in the QHS music department nominated Dooley to be one of the Fab Five's heroes, and while many episodes of the show feature biographical details about the Fab five, this is the first episode to focus on an important figure from one of their lives.

Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Roy Webb said the community is embracing the excitement surrounding the episode's airing and having fun with it.

"It's just a celebration of our music program and Kathi Dooley and her 40 years of service," Webb said. "The community, if they don't already know, will begin to see the impact one person can have. Our message to all of our 490 educators is you make an impact every day on kids, so take advantage of that and make a great positive impact."

The QPS Foundation honored Dooley at last year's Dream Big Gala, and to have her featured the on the show "is just the icing on the cake to draw awareness of the fine arts program in Quincy," Executive Director Kent Embree said. "It will be fun to see our hometown on Netflix. That's pretty cool."

The "Queer Eye" cast -- Van Ness along with Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown -- and crew came to QHS in October to film the episode.

The spotlight on Quincy "is something to celebrate," said Michele Wilkerson, owner of Grown N' Gathered, and so is the message shared by Van Ness.

"His message goes out to not just our community but the world, and his message is one to be repeated and celebrated," she said.

"He's left a lasting imprint on the community already, and to give back is something that speaks to his character, the community itself and where he grew up."

The foundation and Grown N' Gathered worked together to plan the watch party as a way to "raise awareness both for the fine arts program and also for the foundation and how we support these pillars within QPS," Embree said.

The episode will be playing in the Tap Room starting at 11 a.m., and free evening activities, including rolling out the red carpet, start at 6 p.m. on Sixth Street which will be blocked off from traffic. Bring a chair to enjoy watching the show.

A Hollywood photo booth will be available along with an opportunity to donate to the foundation.

"We've got a DJ, food and drinks, outdoor projectors. It should just be a good time. It is kid-friendly, family-friendly," Wilkerson said. "We'll start the big premiere outside at 8 p.m."

Dinner service in the Tap Room is by reservation only with the Fab Five Burgers on special, with other food and drink options available outside.

Wilkerson said part of the episode was filmed at her business.

"As an entrepreneur, you never anticipate anything like this happening," she said. "It's a pretty big honor."