In this episode, besides the Fab 5, we have two rutilant stars: Neal Reddy and Jonathan’s safari onesie. The onesie gets a song slash poem from Antony while Neal gets this episode and all the hugs.
First thing first, Neal description given by Jonathan is hilarious, as usual, but soon enough we find out that they were not exaggerating, on the contrary, Neal is everything they promised and more. Long hair, long, very long beard, grey clothes that never changes and a self-decrepitating sense of humor that is the icing on the cake, and it made me laugh too hard a few times but it broke my heart other times. He also is an Indian young man with parents waiting for him to cut his hair and beard, and get married. Neal in the other hand wants to keep people away, he hasn’t had an event in his house in ten years, and he likes to keep his professional life, his friends, and his family apart.
As usual, the Fab 5 are like a twister, though this time the house already looks as if a twister were living there. Neal’s dog is a cute little thing, its hair all around the house it is not, and the house has so much potential, without all the hair and stains.
I loved Tan and Neal connection, they really hit it off right away and I liked that small conversation about Hindu culture. However, it was Karamo the one who connected with him in a very deep level, he got him to talk and that it was very important. I think lot of people felt identified with what Neal told him, it’s something we do without being aware of what we are doing, we just start to protect ourselves because we do not want to get hurt, we build up walls and layers so we have something to hide behind it. Karamo resumes it perfectly, Neal had problems with being vulnerable and letting people in, and that is why the biggest goal of the Fab 5 is to break down the walls and get Neal to feel comfortable showing the real Neal.
The first step was shopping with Tan. This conversation had some of the most hilarious lines of the episode, perhaps the season, but the award goes to this exchange
Tan: You are a creative guy. How you’d think this represents you is beyond me
Neal: Well, because if you spend less time on your outfit, you can spend more time creating
Neal is wearing a grey t-shirt and a grey pant, so Tan has a point, but Neal’s answer is simply brilliant
In the end, they found some clothes to get a version of Neal that, as Tan said, “it’s still very much Neall, but a dressed-up, mommy-pleasing Neal”. However, Tan could see that Neal was still resistant and not listening to what he was saying, he knew they had a long way to go,
The next step was with Karamo, and I think it is cooking. Antony takes him to a restaurant. There Neal learns how to improve a sandwich with Ibérico ham because everything improves with Iberian ham.
Neal is passionate about food, and Antony has a way of connecting with people. The conversation they had about using jokes to keep people away is one of the milestones for Neal, and it is perhaps the first time I saw Neal being comfortable.
Bobby was next with another milestone, a big one. Neal finished a project. His house was filled with unfinished projects, and finally, he got something done. Neal felt so proud of himself, it was a great moment for him.
Karamo and Antony followed the lead. He said it helped him in the past, and we can say it helped Neal. The thing about boxing is that if you are having a fight you have to look at your adversary and you have to connect with them if you want to anticipate their movements.
The next step is Jonathan. He cuts Neal’s hair and does his beard, and the change is huge, Neal actually looks awesome. Neal looks so genuinely happy and excited, and it’s understandable.
Afterward, it’s Neal’s house turn. Bobby did such a wonderful house. I loved Neal’s new roommate, that is a great roommate. But my favorite part was the deck, it was just stunning. One thing about Bobby’s makeovers is that it doesn’t matter who the guy of the week is, they always fit the guy.
And then it comes the goodbyes. I have to say that Neal’s speech was very inspiring, it was a great speech and I couldn’t agree more. This was my favorite part:
I don’t have to change overnight, it won’t be perfect, but it did give me a glimmer of hope, there could be a better option for you, and that’s the most powerful thing of this week, by Neal Reddy
Neal started the week being uncomfortable with any kind of touching and hugs and he ended the week in the middle of a group a hug and being comfortable with that
As always, the episode ends with the Fab 5 watching Neal on his own, on this episode, Neal has an event to present the app he has been building, and for that event, he has friends and family going to his house. I loved the outfit he chose, the sandwich, the speech, his mom, but the best part was the “Yass queen” moment. Neal is hilarious, and the Fab 5 couldn’t be more proud, sometimes it just takes the faeries