Shear Genius is back, bitches! And who doesn't love a room full of catty hairdressers?
The story opens in the Shear Genius "salon" in Los Angeles. It looks to be a brand new location and a different set from last season. The stylists enter in faux wonderment to find the new host, Camila Alves, a Brazilian model whose claim to fame is that she's baby mama to Matthew MacConaughey's two children. While beautiful, Matthew MacConaughey's Baby Mama (MMBM) shouldn't be allowed to speak. Her voice reminds me of the monotone bleatings of Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala, and her accent is as tortured as that of Rene Fris. Speaking of Rene, he's been given the boot. We'll meet the new guy later.
In the meantime, we meet some of the stylists.
April is a somewhat stereotypical "rawk and roll" type.
Adee, from the U.K., brags that he gave David Beckham one of his famous hairstyles. Huh. I didn't realize anyone looked at Beckham above the neck.
Jon (pronounced "yawn" by MMBM) is a "large pill to be swallowed." Anyone who describes himself as a pill is bound to be right.
Faatemah claims to be unafraid of any of her competitors.
MMBM notes that there are stylists from the U.K. and Australia and wonders what other locales are represented. Brig, of the Yellow Hair, pipes up that she's from Simi Valley. It's clear that MMBM has no fucking clue what Brig just said, or that there is any such place as Simi Valley. The producers obviously find this as amusing as I do because they linger on MMBM's clueless face while they no doubt laugh it up in the editing room.
Back to Brig of the Yellow Hair - she likes to style soccer moms.
Amy, a young Canadian originally from the U.K., owns a scissor company. Now that should scare Faatemah.
MMBM then introduces the new judge for this season, Jonathan Antin. Love him or hate him, Antin is not only a famous LA stylist but also a reality show personality in his own right. With any luck, he'll cry a lot, maybe throw a few things, and verbally abuse all and sundry.
Time for the first challenge! A rag-tag bunch of punks enters the salon. They apparently rue the Miss Clairol-based indiscretions of their youth and want to change their looks from ridiculous to refined. The 70s and 80s are soooooo over.
Janine is 28 but looks 48. Her too-red mouth is scary.
MMBM points out the table full of scissor boxes and encourages each stylist to choose one. Each box contains a number that will be the order in which they can choose their punked-out and pierced models. While this is going on, we meet more stylists.
Arzo is from Afghanistan and comes from a line of stylists.
Brian looks towards indiginous cultures.
Matthew is a braggart who claims he's done hair for all of the local Denver magazines. As if Denver were the glamour capital of the world. He should be on South Park.
Giacomo is another braggart who claims to have worked with every celebrity and supermodel, plus royalty. He looks like the Cowardly Lion.
Joey is an Australian Spicoli.
The challenge begins, and the stylists have 2 hours to work magic on this group of spiky-haired critters. MMBM leaves because her voice is getting on the producers' nerves and Jonathan takes charge of the gang.
Like Top Chef's knife block, the scissor box can be a cruel mistress. Fearless Faatemah got stuck with someone who may or may not be a drag queen.
Even though she has problems of her own, Faatemah chooses to ridicule Amy's decision to remove her model's dreadlocks, add extensions, and cut an asymmetrical bob. Asymmetrical Bob...reminds me of a boyfriend I had once.... But I digress.
Jonathan decides to play mentor and goes about annoying the stylists while they're working. At least they can understand what he's saying most of the time, unlike Rene. And he spends less time stealing glimpses of himself in the mirrors.
Finally, time is up and Jonathan sets to ripping each style apart as savagely as he can. Unfortunately only with his words.
Janine, who had a girl with Elmer's Glue-d spikes in her hair, cut a sloppy bob. Jonathan was not impressed. He thought Brig's look had "too much hardware" but was referring to the clips in the hair and not the metal in the model's face. As for Brian, he could "see the 40s direction but it's nowhere near it."
On the bottom were Faatemah, Brian, and Janine. On top were Amy, Giacomo, and Arzo, with Amy coming out as the big winner, despite Faatemah's earlier derision and ol' Asymmetrical Bob. As a bonus, Amy will have first choice of her model in the Elimination Challenge.
The stylists then head to their apartment and share a champagne toast. Brig of the Yellow Hair also has a Big Mouth and claims that she's the best stylist, not only of the 12 assembled but in the world. She's already drunk - on herself. She also stars in the...
...Fakeout Scene! Brig of the Yellow Hair dons a gold lamé bikini and roller skates around the apartment. The other designers are either amused or disgusted. Mostly disgusted. /fakeout
The next day, the stylists head back to the salon to find MMBM swanning around in a blue negligee. She is there to introduce them to their new mentor, none other than the one and only Tony Orlando Pita!
Because you're a nobody.
It's been a while since Tony's been on TV, so he's a little stiff and rusty. And wooden. And boring. He's nothing without Dawn.
Enough of the reminiscing about bad 70s TV. On with the challenge.
MMBM tells the stylists: "You will work weet L Space, one of Hollywood's hottest swimwear companies, to design hair for a sexy runway show for dere too-tousen ten swimwear collection."
Who cares? Your mouth is scary.
Tony Orlando reveals the real challenge. The models will be wearing only the bottoms of the bikinis...
Brig is probably a big fan of Gail Simmons.
The models then emerge; all are skinny and have longish hair, but few if any have boob-length tresses.
As Amy won the Short Cut Challenge, she gets to choose her model first. The rest of the stylists must reach into a shopping bag full of bikini tops and find the model with the matching bottom.
Anyone else reminded of a British Stefan Richter after a bender?
Each stylist has a unique way of hiding their models breasts. Amy decides to do a chest toupee of blonde braids in the form of a bra. Janine, who looked to be on the way out after the Short Cut Challenge, goes for a sea nymph look and does an intricate zig-zag braiding technique with extensions. A couple of the guys are going for "beachy" looks, which usually means "dirty and matted," not all that far off from "street-person hair."
After two hours, the stylists must take their models "backstage" where they will have an additional hour to finish their 'dos.
Time for the hair show!
The stylists' models prance down a runway wearing nothing but hair and bikini bottoms. I'm imagining these women are "models" for this show only and not in real life because some can't walk and most have bodies that should never be seen in a bathing suit outside of Auschwitz.
After the parade of skin and bones - and hair - the judges, including guest judge Monica Wise of L Space, rip on the stylists. Kim Vo has obviously been taking lessons from Toby Young, because his comments are both rude and entertaining.
Ouch! Jonathan gets into the act when he tells Adee that his three-year-old son could have done the same thing. But better. MMBM agrees that she also could have done as well as a 3-year-old. But maybe not. The stylists are then sent backstage so the judges can make a decision.
True to his British roots, Adee calls the judges "wankers" while having a minor tantrum. Hee! (Stefan would have called them "fuckers.")
Back in front of the judges, six of the stylists were declared "safe" but not "Shear Genius" and dismissed. The best styles belong to April, Janine, and Brig, whom MMBM has inexplicably started to call "Greg," possibly as revenge for making her seem stupid the day before. After looking pretty sad in the Short Cut challenge, Janine emerged victorious with her sea nymph.
On the bottom half of the bikini were the works of Amy, Adee, and Joey. All three styles were equally egregious, but Joey was deemed to have the least entertainment value by the producers and was asked to pack up his scissors and digideroo and surf on outta there.
Next week - Adee gets foiled!