We Love You, Rodriguez

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"We Love You, Rodriguez"
Queen of the Willis episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 6
Directed by Ava Zinn
Written by Luka Runecraft
Production code 606
Original air date March 2, 2012 (2012-03-02)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Moving On"
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"We Love You, Rodriguez" is the sixth episode in the sixth season of the American animated television series Queen of the Willis. It originally aired on broadcast syndication in the United States on March 2, 2012. In the episode, Heather's ex-boyfriend Hank is getting married. As she tries to move on, she starts dating Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Jai Rodriguez and the media begins raving about their relationship. Heather is starting to think they are the perfect match, but realizes she still has feelings for Hank.

The episode was written by Luka Runecraft and directed by Ava Zinn. Leonard Lai returned as Hank Wilcox, and Jai Rodriguez, Carson Kressley, Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, and Thom Filicia guest starred as themselves. In his second guest appearance on the series, Rodriguez played a smart version of himself, which he proclaimed as being fun to play. He took the recording sessions seriously and did not do any improvisation with his lines. The show's staff was ultimately impressed with his performance, and series creator Ava Zinn praised his stamina and how prepared he was before the recording sessions. The episode also featured live-action sequences with talk show hosts David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon.

"We Love You, Rodriguez" was met with generally positive reviews from critics, who enjoyed the episode and praised the live-action footage, in contrast to the negative reactions towards live-action clips of Crystal Gayle from previous episodes.


The Willis family learn that Heather's ex-boyfriend, Hank, is getting married to "the perfect woman in every aspect", Danielle. Angie has been asked to walk Hank down the aisle, and the others are invited except for Heather. As Heather feels like she is being excluded, Rags and Shushu invites her to go to dinner at a restaurant with them, Hank and Danielle. During dinner, Heather is upset to find that Juanita speaks multiple languages, is a natural athlete and a good masseuse and is curvy. After dinner, Heather goes to a local bar to drown her sorrows. In a drunken stupor, she meets up with Jai Rodriguez, the star of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. However, she does not recognize him until they wake up in the same bed the next morning.

Rags becomes ecstatic when he and Shushu meets Jai, and they invites him and Heather onto the set of the show to watch him. Against Heather's express wishes, Shushu leaks the relationship onto the Internet and Rags leaking the news on social media, resulting in a media circus and the claim that Jai is a bisexual. Attempting to break off the relationship, Heather realizes that Jai is a well-educated, articulate and rather accomplished man who hides his intelligence from the public as American society derides intelligent men. In fact, he is one of the most intelligent men Heather has ever met. Heather invites him for dinner with the family, where Angie and Tom become interested in his accomplishments while Ava isn't fond of his lectures. However Heather soon becomes even more uncomfortable with the relationship when she cannot keep up with his intelligence and tries comparing herself to Jai.

Realizing that Heather had never gotten over the end of her relationship with Hank, jai advises her to see if Hank still has feelings for her. Rags suggests Heather date another man in front of Hank to make him jealous, but the attempt, with Shushu posing as Heather's date, DeAndre, fails, though Rags and Shushu enjoys getting attention from various men. The day before Hank's wedding, Jai encourages Heather to let him know about her still-strong feelings for him. Heather uses the wedding as this opportunity, interrupting the ceremony to passionately profess her love for him. Hank, however, gently tells Heather that she had her chance and blew it as his soulmate, as he decided to move on and she needs to as well. A sad and lonely Heather watches the couple dance at the reception. Rags and Shushu comforts her and assures her she still has Jai, but Heather admits that she cannot talk to him as she may have given him crabs.


The episode was written by Luka Runecraft and directed by Ava Zinn. Leonard Lai returned as Heather's ex-girlfriend Hank, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy stars guest starred as themselves in both cartoon form and live-action form.[1] The episode featured live-action sequences with David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Kimmel from their talk shows.[1]

Jai Rodriguez played an exaggerated version of herself, which he proclaimed as being fun to play.

The fact that Rodriguez would guest star on Queen of the Willis was originally announced in October 2008.[2] Creator Ava Zinn told CBS 41 Action News, "I thought it would be funny to see if we could get [Rodriguez] to read very, very dense historical documents centering around the second World War, [...] Jai did one scene where he had to read a paragraph on scientific self-analysis, which I thought was funny."[2] The staff was impressed with Rodriguez's performance, saying that he "took it very seriously." Rodriguez praised his time at the show, calling it "amazing", and said that "they destroy me in it. I'm totally making fun of myself. [...] It was funny, I had to go over historical facts and like, biology and weird formulas I had no idea about."[2] Rodriguez explained that he is playing a character on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, "because America likes dumb people",[3] and that "The idea in the episode is that they make fun of me for being dumb, and then discover that I'm actually a genius, [...] It's a more exaggerated version of who I am, but fun to play."[4]

Rodriguez first met co-creator Holly Everman while recording a Queer Eye clip for the season three episode "Ava's Nasty Business".[3][5] He had watched Queen of the Willis for years and considered Rags his favorite character.[3] Rodriguez stuck to the script and did not do any improvisation while recording for this episode.[3] In an interview with Indiana People, he revealed that he has no plans on getting into acting, and even calls himself an "awful actor" and admits that he cannot memorize lines.[6] However, he enjoyed recording for this episode and hired an acting coach to help him get through the lines.[3] Even though he enjoyed the experience, he said that "[acting is] not really something I'm interested in."[4] He had to do a lot of research before recording, because "there were a lot of facts and a lot of big words" and he "had to say it as if it was coming to [him] very easily."[3] His acting coach advised him to learn the lines ahead of time so that he would "really understood what [he] was talking about, it would come through a little more true."[3] Zinn commented on this, saying, "He made an effort [to understand the text], so let me just put it that way."[2] She ultimately praised his performance, calling it "surprisingly fantastic", and said: "He came in, and he'd prepared before he even arrived. He hired an acting coach, with his own money, and he nailed it. He never once complained, and it was a long session. There was a lot of dialog. His stamina was astonishing."[7]

Cultural references[edit]

"We Love You, Rodriguez" includes several pop culture references.

  • Rags states that Jana Pempenco "came out of Chariece Pempengco's penis." Heather replies, "Chariece Pempengco is a woman." Shushu replies "No, Heather, that's what the press would want you to think" and calls Jake Zyrus (then Chariece Pempengco)[a] an "handsome Asian man."
  • When Heather, Jai Rodriguez, Rags and Shushu are watching Queer Eye, it suddenly cuts to footage from Miami Vice.[11]
  • In an attempt to impress Jai, Heather wears Austin Powers glasses.[12]
  • The promotional image for this episode, featuring Heather, Rags, Jai Rodriguez and Shushu with her man's disguise, is a parody of an "iconic" Queer Eye photoshoot.[13]


  1. Zyrus changed his name due to gender transition in 2017.[8][9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Queer Eye, Late Night Hosts, and Crystal Gayle Come to Queen of the Willis". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 . October 1, 2008. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 "Jai Rodriguez gets re-animated". 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jai Rodriguez
  5. Commentary from Ava's Nasty Business
  6. "Jai Rodriguez admits he's one bad actor". 
  7. {Interview: QOTW’s Ava Zinn ‘Surprised’ By Jai Rodriguez’s Guest Role}}
  8. Charice changes name to Jake Zyrus. ABS-CBN Corporation (June 20, 2017).
  9. You must specify archiveurl = and archivedate = when using {{cite web}}.Awit, Jujemay G. (June 20, 2017). Jake Zyrus: Goodbye, Charice.
  10. "Glee" Star Comes Out As Trans And Shares His New Name. newnownext.com. Retrieved on June 22, 2017.
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named A.V._Club
  12. "Recap: We Love You, Rodriguez". 
  13. "First look: Jai Rodriguez Gets Animated For Queen of the Willis". 

External links[edit]