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Screen Scene: Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos dish on new season of “Flipping Out” debuting tonight

Design, trust and love.

Everybody’s favorite network, Bravo TV, continues to court and inspire the community with the Season 6 premiere of “Flipping Out” tonight.

Outspoken designer Jeff Lewis and his always-colorful staff enter the new season with a business model based more on design than the art (lost art these days?) of house flipping.

Season Six brings a set of new challenges, including the “joy” of renovating one’s own home. Jeff and his partner, Gage Edward, have purchased a home with the intention of settling down and starting a family. Their dream home turns into a nightmare, however, when costs and delays on a massive renovation of the property begin to put a strain on their relationship.

Been there? Done that? Many have, and no doubt most can relate.

But as always, the biggest entertainment value of “Flipping Out” is Jeff Lewis. His no-holds-barred, come-to-Jesus consultations with new clientele are always a hoot.

Jeff Lewis and his ever-present assistant and sidekick, Jenni Pulos, speak to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News about Season 6 of "Flipping Out" on Bravo TV.

SDGLN: Jeff, you told Andy Cohen that his office looks like an upscale dorm room, and that it lacked sophistication. I’d think that really takes some, well, huevos. I have to ask: When did you develop that level of confidence to speak so freely? Is that something that’s been innate with you or has that been a process?

Jeff Lewis: You know, I don’t know if it’s confidence because I actually am a very insecure person. So, I think it’s just more that I lack some kind of filter, and I just feel compelled to tell people the truth.

SDGLN: Bravo, no pun …

Jeff Lewis: I just can’t stand phonies! I can’t stand people that – like, when you know what somebody will say, like, “Oh, you looks so great today,” and they really don’t mean it. If you ever get a compliment from me, I mean it. So you can always count on me to tell you the absolute truth. Now, does that get me in a lot of trouble? And are there consequences? Yes! But, I just prefer to live my life in an honest way and I don’t know if it has anything to do with confidence. I don’t always feel so confident.

SDGLN: Well, there are the “inside” and “outside” voices. Your outside voice seems very confident. Do you feel you’ve always had the ability to speak your mind? We won’t say with confidence, but honesty?

Jeff Lewis: Yes. I think it goes back to how I was raised. My family has, well we don’t have a lot of boundaries, and we are always honest with each other. We constantly hurt each other’s feelings but we get over it. We are always very upfront and I think that as a child, I was always encouraged to tell the truth and it didn’t matter. It really didn’t matter who it effected or if it was negative, but we were always encouraged to tell the truth.

And I wanted to mention the Andy Cohen: the things that I criticized him about, which is kind of his – he’s - there’s a very immature quality to Andy, which also makes him extremely fun and charming and likable. So, it’s kind of like a double edge sword with Andy.

SDGLN: Question for Jenni: Only friends who totally trust each other can go to the conversations you have with Jeff. Did it take a to develop that level of trust with Jeff or did it come quickly?

Jenni Pulos: You know, we’ve worked together for over 10 years. We calculated how many hours we’ve actually spent together, and what did we figure Jeff?

Jeff Lewis: Thousands …

Jenny Pulos: So just think of that. That kind of opens the door of being like family. I trust him. He does tell you what he’s thinking and sometimes you’re going to like it and sometimes you’re not, but ultimately, he’s tried to be my friend outside of employer and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, you know, like any, I suppose, relationship that’s good and can stand the test of time.

But you know, sometimes I want to kill him, let’s not kid ourselves. I’m not…

Jeff Lewis: And sometimes we don’t …

Jenni Pulos: … I’m far from perfect, you know.

Jeff Lewis: We go through periods where we do question each other’s trust and loyalty, but the love …

Jenni Pulos: Yes …

Jeff Lewis: … the love is always there and the desire to work things out is always there. It’s not really an option to separate. It’s not really an option to not be friends. So – and I think we’ve made that commitment to each other. We can’t really leave each other’s lives.

SDGLN: Well guys, you two are a perfect example of what I like to call cross preference love. Obviously you love each other and that’s a beautiful thing. Thank you so much for your time, and good luck with Season 6!

The details

"Flipping Out"
Season 6 premiere
Tuesday, Sept. 4
9 pm (EDT/PDT)
Bravo Network

Kurt Niece writes about visual arts for SDGLN. He is a freelance journalist from Tucson, Ariz., who will be soon relocating to Lakewood, Ohio. He is the author of "The Breath of Rapture" and an artist who sells his work on his website.