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Straight Talk From Ted Allen

Photo: Getty Images

In this week's issue of New York, Jennifer Senior takes a hard look at the Bravo network's reality-TV machine and the former contestants whose lives it's upended. "There's something a little bit cruel about all the attention," says Ted Allen, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Top Chef fame, in the piece. "You are famous for a while … [But] there's no certain road map for translating that kind of ephemeral success into a life of yachts and bling."

In a part of the conversation that didn't make the magazine, Allen recalled the early days of his own fame: "The most annoying, condescending thing that friends, fans, journalists, and people from my previous life would do," he remembered, "is tap me on the shoulder and say, 'Enjoy the ride.' As if the five of us weren't completely aware that fame can be a fleeting thing. It was like, fuck you. Enjoy the ride being an accountant."

He also had some harsh words for Project Runway's first-season winner Jay McCarroll. "I used to like him, when I first met him," Allen said. "He was asking for advice about how-do-I deal-with-the-sudden-fame bullshit. And I gave him the phone number of one of my guys at William Morris, who I really like. And the next thing I heard about Jay McCarroll is that he was talking shit about the five of us behind our backs. He's whiny, he's immature, he's catty — he's really kind of a jackass, whether he won Project Runway or not."

The Near-Fame Experience [NYM]