Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace, American Horror Story) hosts a new cleaning competition show, Roku Original, Squeaky Clean. Pitting three cleaning-obsessed contestants battle it out over two dirt-filled rounds for a chance to win a $5k cash prize. Resident cleaning and "Queen of Clean" Sabrina Soto (The High/Low Project, HGTV'd) as well as celebrity guest judges join Jordan at the judge's table to declare a winner. Jordan, known for playing Beverly Leslie on Will and Grace, having his face deep-fried in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, and consistently getting murdered in the American Horror Story series takes time out from performing at Justice for Vets event in Washington DC to chat with Bleeding Cool about his new competitive cleaning show Squeaky Clean.
You were pretty busy during the lockdown on Instagram and Tic Tok, with 5.6 million followers. Your Instagram feed helped get a lot of people through the pandemic. What was your secret to surviving the lockdown?
Leslie Jordan: Oh my goodness it climbed to almost 6 million people during that. I jokingly say, give me a good pandemic I just flourish. So much happened. [His book] came out, my album ["Company's Comin'!] came out, and this and that. It was amazing that all this happened for me during the lockdown.
Now, you are the host of "Squeaky Clean", an under ten-minute competitive cleaning show pitting three self-proclaimed cleaning experts against each other for a $5k cash prize and the coveted Golden Mop?
LJ: It did, and what fun. It just came out of nowhere. Never did I dream, 'Oh I'd like to host a competitive cleaning show.' When they pitched it to me I thought 'well what?' It is adorable. It's fun… Then we had this wonderful, beautiful girl named Sabrina Soto who was the expert and we would have celebrity guest judges who would judge their cleaning.
When they pitched it did they have the name "Squeaky Clean", was that ever a nickname you went by?
LJ: No, that was never a nickname I went by. I was Sweet and Low. I love that title but I saw the set and that's what made me really love the show. It's bright and it's decorated with cleaning products floor to ceiling. Who doesn't like to clean? Some people say they don't but some people are obsessed. We learned so much from Sabrina Soto. I mean who knew that the only way to get rid of red wine out of a carpet, is with (white) wine? It's the only thing that will break it down. Anyway, what a good time that we had. We did ten episodes, and I hope we do more.
It looks like you guys are having a lot of fun. I would argue that most people do not like to clean, but hopefully, they like to watch other people clean? Each episode is short, did you at least have a little fun shooting these?
LJ: It's a short format. You would not believe what could happen in ten minutes… So if you're standing in line at the bank you can tune into Squeaky Clean and watch a full episode. I just hope it goes forever. We had so much fun doing it…We've got good guests, not like that usual run-of-the-mill stuff this one or that you have seen a million times. We have really fun, fun celebrity guests.
The final contestants have 45 minutes to clean identical sets that are filthy. Which one of the final cleaning challenges was the grossest?
LJ: The grossest one for me would be it was an episode with a dog grooming kennel and there was poop everywhere. We found out it wasn't really poop. I said 'They're not, no way!' So I made Sabrina go over there and see if it was real poop. It was some kind of chocolate pudding, or something slimy and gross. It wasn't poop. But that was the one that really threw me. Poop? No way I'm going to go in there and clean it up.
Are you known in the cleaning circles as an expert? Why did they come to you with this project?
LJ: No not at all. Nothing is disorganized or dirty but all that kind of cleaning the oven and all that, I don't do any of that. I've had this guy that's worked for me forever and ever his name is Bart and he's a great big muscle boy. He lifts weights and he loves to iron and clean. I have a beautifully organized home but it's all due to my assistant Bart.
Did Bart give you any tips to use on the show?
LJ: No he didn't really give me any tips. Sabrina [Queen of Clean] was the one passing out the tips… At one point I said "You've got to get bleach! Throw bleach on it!" My mother was the cleaner. Oh my gosh, she cleaned cleaned cleaned. I don't think I was picked because of that, I think I was picked just to host because I wear seersucker suits and it looked good on the set.
Before I let you go, do you know what a Gay horse eats?
Squeaky Clean, available on The Roku Channel, is a 10-episode cleaning competition game show starring host Leslie Jordan and co-host Sabrina Soto. The innovative series has three contestants go head to head across two rounds to see who is the best cleaner for a $5k cash prize, and the Golden Mop. The show's rotating panel of celebrity judges include Bobby Berk, Loni Love, Erika Jayne, Johnny Weir, Kym Whitely, Jamie Chung, Jeannie Mai and Iliza Shlesinger. The series is executive produced by Christian Sarabia, Dean Houser and Nicole Elliott for 51 Minds Entertainment, Helga Eike and Sara Redd for Authentic, and Tanya Shaw for Shine TV.
Still want more Leslie Jordan? Check out Company's Comin'– Jordan's Album of Gospel Hymns with Various Artists is available now, The United States vs. Billie Holiday-currently streaming on HULU, Call me Kat airs weekly on Thursday nights at 9/8C only on FOX or HOW Y'ALL DOING? Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived – #4 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
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