A GoPride Interview

Carson Kressley

Skin deep: Carson Kressley in the judge's seat for 'Skin Wars'

Tue. August 19, 2014  by Jerry Nunn

I have never body painted anyone and I have not been body painted myself. Maybe for the finale they can tag the judges.
Carson Kressley

carson kressley

photo credit // facebook.com/carsonkressley
Fab Five member Carson Kressley came into the spotlight with the hit TV series Queer Eye with a strong knack for fashion. This led to more shows such as How to Look Good Naked and OWN's Carson Nation. His quick wit and fancy footsteps made him a fan favorite for season 13 on Dancing With the Stars.

This Pennsylvania native is once again tackling reality TV this time as a guest judge on the new competition Skin Wars for the Game Show Network. Artists from around the world face challenges to possibly win a grand prize of $100,000. This week the fashion guru can be seen along with host Rebecca Romjin and fellow judge RuPaul on a special episode.

Jerry Nunn spoke to Kressley on the phone a few days before his debut on the show this week.

JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Carson. Where in the world are you calling from?

CK: (Carson Kressley) I'm in LA.

JN: How did you hear about Skin Wars in the first place?

CK: Actually the woman that is the head of Game Show Network used to be the head of Bravo. She was the woman that gave the green light to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy so I have a history with her. Her name is Amy Introcaso-Davis. She is fabulous and has great taste.

She told me about the show, it sounded fun, and interesting. When I heard that RuPaul and Rebecca Romjin were involved I said, "Okay, sign me up!"

It has been really great and is doing very well. We have a super fun episode coming up Wednesday night.

JN: I saw a little bit of your episode. You are so funny.

CK: Thank you. The first day on set I didn't know what to expect. When I got there basically everyone is naked. I was like, "Is this a TV show or is it Friday night?" [all laugh] There were a lot of breasts and nipples in my face so I was immediately comfortable. It turned out to be a great episode. The reason behind the idea of me judging there was because it was a fashion challenge. It is so amazing how a blank canvas of a human body is turned into what looks like a fully clothed person by these artists.

JN: It is like the old Demi Moore magazine cover where she is naked but it looks like a tuxedo.

CK: It is and Rebecca Romjin had that famous Sports Illustrated cover where she had a body painted swimsuit on. Packing for a trip would be so much easier!

JN: Have you ever been body painted like that?

CK: No I never have. I have never body painted anyone and I have not been body painted myself. Maybe for the finale they can tag the judges.

JN: You don't have any tattoos do you?

CK: I don't and don't think I would look good with tattoos.

JN: I feel the same way.

CK: Every time I see a tribal armband I think, "Thank god I didn't do that!"

JN: How was it working with RuPaul and Rebecca on this show?

CK: Ru is fantastic and of course I am big fan of his ever since his song "Supermodel" even Drag Race is a phenomenal show. I knew Rebecca Romjin from other events but we hadn't worked together so both of them are a delight.

Ru was incredibly smart, articulate, and funny. Rebecca is great. In between takes there is a lot of down time, you can imagine when they are body painting someone it takes four hours to get it right. We would be onset playing dirty charades, me, Rebecca, and Ru. That probably needs to be its own TV show as well.

JN: Have you been a guest judge on Drag Race?

CK: I haven't yet but that might be happening in the future. I can't really say.

JN: Are you just very comfortable in front of cameras?

CK: As long as I know what I am talking about or even when I don't know what I am talking about it can be kind of funny. When I did Dancing With the Stars I had no idea what I was doing but I still had a great time. I think the key is being who you are and not trying too hard. My motto is just don't care that much and it will be fine!

JN: Ted Allen spoke to me about the Queer Eye reunion. How was it for you?

CK: It was fantastic. It was so great seeing everybody. People ask us all the time if we are all friends and that seems like such a crazy question because we were involved in this amazing experience together. It was such a bonding thing because none of us had done television, none of knew what was going to happen with the show. I think we will always be lifetime friends. While we had always talked to each other and seen each other in groups , we had not all five of us been together since the last episode. That was like seven years ago. It was really fantastic to get everybody back in the same room.

JN: When are you coming back to Chicago?

CK: I don't know. Ever since Oprah stopped filming there I don't get there nearly as much as I would like. I adore Chicago. It is such a great city. It has got everything that New York has but everyone is so friendly and Midwestern. It is one of my favs. I would love to come. Let's hook it up!

JN: Maybe another fashion event like you did before.

CK: I know. I poured drinks at Minibar.

JN: I read you own horses.

CK: I do. I own and show American Saddlebred horses. Right after I leave LA on Wednesday I will be off to the world championships in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a big passion of mine. I love it. It is the thing that I really enjoy in my down time. I have a farm in Pennsylvania. I'm a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll!

JN: What new projects do you have coming out?

CK: I have my own clothing line, which I sell at ShopHQ. That will be airing on October 11 with an all new fall collection. I do have a new TV project that airs in February that I can't talk about yet but stay tuned. After September 15 they will announce that.

Skin Wars will be airing all summer long with a finale in September as well. Besides just the artistry of the body painting they do they are also competing for a hundred grand and of course there is a lot of reality drama.

Oh, I have a new women's style guide coming out in the spring.

JN: So maybe a book tour then?

CK: I will be so hopefully Chicago after that!

Kressley's appearance is on Wednesday August 20 on GSN with details at skinwars.gsntv.com.

Interviewed by Jerry Nunn. Jerry Nunn is a contributing writer to the GoPride Network. His work is also featured in Windy City Times, Nightspots Magazine and syndicated nationally.