“Shear Genius” mini-cap: Toil and trouble


Same song, different day. Jaclyn welcomes everyone to the Shear Genius salon and points out that Charlie‘s style from last week has made it to the Allure Wall of Fame. (He’s like a sniper, this guy. I predict he will pick off Nicole next, then Daniel, then Dee. Then maybe he’ll annihilate Kim Vo too — just because.)

Jaclyn explains that to style a person’s hair properly, you need to understand the deepest and most desperate desires of her heart. That’s why this week’s shortcut challenge is to style each woman’s hair according to the subtle nuances of her personality, which Charlie, Dee, Daniel and Nicole should be able to discern about their clients — in 90 minutes.

We find out Dee’s model is a biker chick, Daniel’s model would like to be a reporter, and Nicole’s model idolizes the “blonde bombshells we have all grown to know and love: Paris Hilton and the Girls Next Door.” Then Jaclyn announces a surprise: The stylists have been double booked! And wouldn’t you know it, in the back room they’ve each brought along their twin sisters.

Dee goes all Macbeth for a second and calls the whole thing double trouble. That, or she’s quoting a Wrigley’s gum commercial.

One more surprise: The winner of the challenge will have a place in next week’s finale. Charlie and Dee are like, “Meh” because they both know that can make it on their own merit, but Nicole full-on flips out. She kind of knows she needs that spot to survive.

Charlie’s clients both stay blonde. One gets chunky bangs because she’s wild and the other one gets darker hair and waves because she likes weddings. Um, OK.

Dee’s twins, it turns out, are both into bikes so they get ’80s rocker hair — one with purple highlights, the other with deep red.

We know nothing about Daniel’s clients, presumably because he talked about his tiny Christian high school for a solid hour and a half. His styles look a lot like Charlie’s.

Nicole’s twins — who in addition to emulating Paris Hilton, also adore Christina Aguilera — look the most different and that gives her the edge. She wins and squeals and squeals and squeals; then interviews, where she squeals some more.

Now that she’s safe, Nicole says that the next day’s elimination challenge is going to be a “beauty bloodbath,” which isn’t a bad idea for a show, really. In fact, America’s Next Top Model has survived nine seasons, er, cycles with that very concept.

The elimination challenge is not in the salon; it is in a studio with celebrity photographer Michael Grecco. Each stylist will have three hours to complete an avant-garde hairstyle that represents one of the four seasons. Daniel has summer; Charlie has spring; Dee has autumn; and Nicole has winter.

What happens next can best be described as all four stylists working their tails off while Michael Grecco barks, “This isn’t avant-garde enough! Avant-garde! Avant-garde! Avant-garde!” until the word has literally lost all meaning.

The result is that the stylists give some of their funniest interviews all season.

“I don’t usually do ‘avant-garde’ hair,” Daniel interviews, making the air quotes with his fingers.

In response to Grecco telling Nicole that her model’s hair is too dry, she interviews, “Well, guess what? It’s winter, Michael. The weather is dry.”

Charlie says he’s scared s–tless.

And Dee, well she just says exactly what I’m thinking, “I feel like you don’t have to be a cocky a–hole to be a great artist.”

At the end of the day, Charlie says his model looks divine, and he’s right — again. And he wins — again.

Dee and Daniel are in the bottom two, but calling him a “true Texas gentleman,” Jaclyn tells Daniel that he’s made his final cut. All of the stylists cry, and so does Jaclyn.

“Everyone who knows me knows that my glass is always half full,” says Daniel in his exit interview. “This has been the fullest damn glass I’ve ever had in these hands. And I’ve loved every second of it.”

Next week is the finale! Someone will win $100,000, an apprenticeship at a Nexus salon, and a chance at an Allure magazine photo shoot! Next week someone will be crowned Shear Genius! (I said that from memory, with all my heart.)

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