Shear Genius: Show Me Your Genius

Yesterday, I posted some links to trailers for this week’s episode.

The doll head challenge this time is a watch and learn session from Sally Hirshberger, who demonstrates cutting her signature hairstyle, the Meg Ryan shag, on a live model. Hirshberger, who sports a version of the shag herself, shows the stylists how to section the hair, cut it with scissors and razor, and style it to go all over the place. The stylists must then re-create the look on a doll’s head. After they get started, the catch is then introduced—one of them is going to get eliminated. This is normally treated as a practice round where the winner gets a nice prize (exemption from elimination, first model pick, etc), but the stakes are raised as the stylists have the added stress of getting axed. Tabatha, who worries about being cut, winds up in the top three along with Ben and Tyson, who wins the round. He gets first pick of the model along with the pecking order of who gets their choice of tools. Lacey gets eliminated from the Sally shag round.

When the stylists are working on the doll heads, they eerily look human, especially when shot from behind. Whoever makes them does good work with the hair. Also, it’s just weird to see these heads sit on tripods, as if they were beheading victims set upon pikes. Tyson adds to this oddness by taking his winning doll head “home” with him.

In the brief shot at “dorm” life, Dr. Boogie and others get emotional about their allotted five minute phone calls. Tabatha, who seems to be the most focused of the bunch, doesn’t get into the maudlin atmosphere, while Tyson goes around asking everyone what would they do to get picked second. Tabatha doesn’t bite at Tyson’s game, and it becomes clear to him that she’s his strongest competition.

Maybe the producers should steal someone’s beer from the fridge to get the stylists fighting. However, I gotta hand it to them for showing Tyson’s “Survivor-esque” strategy. But, does it work?

In the elimination round, the stylists have bring their models hair from long to short, and they have unconventional cutting tools: hedge clippers, wire cutter, garden shears, household scissors, and child safety scissors. Tyson picks a pair of scissors and decides on the order his peers get picked.

Tyson, the bleach mullet god, goes for the strategy of giving his strongest competition last pick. Dr. Boogie, picked first, plays it safe with household scissors and gives his model a standard bob. Danna’s haircut is ok and low risk with scissors. Pretty Ted also plays it safe, despite using butcher shears, and uses gay male flirtation to get the haircut going. Evangeline goes for it with a pair of hedge clippers and gives her model a short, textured look. The model is a good sport to go along with it, even holding a lock of hair for Evangeline to cut even though the clippers scare her. Though Ben does a good job of recreating Hirshberger’s shag, his haircut on the runway is too safe. He uses a pair of garden shears, but his tapered bob is too standard. Daisy works it with a box cutter, Anthony gets a good haircut with a pair of wire cutters, and Tabatha has quite a few challenges: child safety scissors and a difficult, waffling client who wants a change, but not too much. Somehow she manages to get the cut done and make the client happy, and the judges recognize that Tyson pegged her as his strongest competition. However, they are more impressed with Evanglin and how she uses hedge clippers to achieve a very presentable, wearable haircut, and she wins.

Ted gets eliminated, and he gives the campiest goodbye speech about how lucky he is to have worked on the show. The judges are impressed and have a good natured laugh, which shows some humanity in contrast to the professional detachment of the last few episodes.

Here’s a clip from next week’s episode to whet your appetites. Can they create a haircut that can go from day to night? Stay tuned.

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