'Queer Eye' Fab 5 on How They Keep 'Elevating' Their Transformations, Plus the Project JVN Is 'Obsessed' with

Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Tan France and Karamo Brown dish to PEOPLE about going from "How?!" to "Wow!" in season 7, including a challenging makeover house that "none of us wanted to be inside"

Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5
Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5

Queer Eye is finally back — and if you ask the Fab 5, they'll say they're better than ever!

Season 7 of the Netflix hit dropped on Friday, showing Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness traveling to New Orleans to help their latest round of local heroes.

The residents' stories are diverse, but equally powerful, as the Fab 5 helps the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, a woman who was incarcerated for 12 years, a selfless educator and a gruff deli owner, among others, transform their homes and lives.

And while it's far from the first time that they're stepping into this role, the Fab 5 believe — as their theme song says — that they just keep getting better.

"All of us are getting better," Karamo, 42, tells PEOPLE exclusively. "And I really do applaud, Jonathan has been saying his makeovers are bigger. I'm like, 'Yes, they're getting better and more beautiful.' What Bobby keeps doing with these homes, what Antoni keeps doing in introducing people to food in a passionate way, and Tan in this fashion. I'm just like, 'Wow. We are elevating,' and I say this not with ego, it's like, pat yourself on the back."

Adds Karamo: "And oh my gosh. That frat house. None of us wanted to be inside that frat house until Bobby changed it."

"I was obsessed with Jenni Seckel's house this season. How [Bobby] did the stairs, the entry. Her room," notes Jonathan, 36. "I also really liked what [Bobby] did with Dan's bedroom, I loved all the foliage and all the greenery."

Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5
Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5

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Even though the group is constantly tasked with coming up with new ideas, the Fab 5 insist that they never run out of inspiration — thanks to all the heroes they get to meet along their travels.

"I want to speak for all of us really quick and none of us get into a rut," Karamo shares. "These heroes bring something out of us and we bring something out of each other."

Tan and Antoni echoed their costar's sentiments, with Tan, 40, noting: "I agree with that, but it's because I think the skill that we bring is asking questions that inspire our work. If we don't ask enough questions of our heroes, we would get stuck. But we do understand the importance of making it a really unique experience for every one of our heroes, we want to know who they are and how we can help them individually."

Adds Antoni, 39: "I actually always think I'm in a rut and then I just lean into the hero and just ask them 1,000,001 questions. And that's how I get myself out of it every single time."

Courtesy of Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5
Courtesy of Netflix Queer Eye Fab 5

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With the new batch of episodes now available on Netflix, the Fab 5 are confident that fans will love the new heroes featured this season, just as they developed a sweet spot for them while filming.

"For me, I think the first episode, the frat episode, is such a great episode for so many reasons, but it's not often that I get to get a hold of somebody at the very early stages of their life and teach them what responsibilities are, as far as maintaining and cleaning a home, but with them I did," shares Bobby, 41. "And you could see in so many moments with all of us, things just really soaking into them and them just sopping it all up and really learning. And you could tell that it was going to change their lives... so that really stuck out to me."

Karamo was in agreement, adding: "I loved the frat ... To get these young boys at such a young age and be able to open them up and show them a better way to be as human beings, to be as men, I think is critical. My sisters have had enough duds in their lives that it's nice to have gotten a hold on some of the younger guys and been like, 'Hey, before you're a dud for somebody else's sister, please do better.'"

For Antoni, it was cooking with episode 6's Mary, who was previously incarcerated for 12 years.

"She had this pure, innocent, childlike joy of cooking, that it was a good reminder for myself not to just treat it as work sometimes and to just see that joy, and the pleasure," he says. "She was more excited to be there than I was, which is usually rare 'cause I always love cooking, so she definitely impacted me."

Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Fab 5 with Mary
Ilana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Fab 5 with Mary

Related:Queer Eye Fab 5 Head to New Orleans — and Make Over a Frat House! — in First Trailer for Season 7 (Exclusive)

Jonathan also shared a memorable moment with Mary in the salon. "My salon team with Mar' was probably one of my most [favorite], it took five of us three hours to de-tangle and to undo her locks... I was like, 'Do you want an Advil?' And she was like, 'No, I'm good,'" he shares. "And then in reality, 20 minutes later I was like, 'Are you ready for the Advil?' And she's like, 'I'll take four.' She was such a trooper and I had so much fun with her."

Jonathan also recalls a memorable moment with episode 5's Dan. "I did not like him at first, was not a fan. Was not feeling Dan. And by the end, I loved Dan Stein. I think it was his fiance was like, 'He's actually really sweet to me.' And I was like, 'Okay, haven't seen it.' But then actually once I did his hair and spent some time with him, that really is his defense mechanism that gruff exterior. And he is such a sweet man. I feel like he's one of our just good meat and potatoes episode. He really is the quintessential vintage queer eye kind of hero. And he was amazing in the end."

Tan's favorite moment came during episode 4 with educator Jenni. "Jenni Seckel, she really came out of this show a new person, and I thought that that was so beautiful... it was so lovely to see her come back to life, it was almost like a rebirth for her," he says.

Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Jonathan Van Ness and Dan
Iiana Panich-Linsman/Netflix Jonathan Van Ness and Dan

With so much going on in their respective lives — in addition to the new season, the Fab 5 are focused on wedding planning, expanding families, writing books and other career endeavors — fans might wonder how they manage it all. But for the group, it's just something they've mastered over time.

"A woman can do it all," jokes Tan. "We just find a way. And you let the things go that aren't serving you well."

"I think it's the art of learning how to say no and focusing on the things that are most important," says Bobby, as Antoni chimes in, "Just focusing on the things that actually matter the most. And that's my relationship with my fiancé, relationship with my dog, daily walks, eight hours of sleep, a lot of water. It's all that simple stuff."

Adds Antoni: "And cold brew, always cold brew!"

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Queer Eye season 7 is now streaming on Netflix.

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