A Mildly Unkempt Chinese Guy
Inside scoop from the producers of Shear Genius.
The first thing that the contestants saw most mornings, when they woke up, was a brainy but mildly unkempt Chinese guy called Matt watching them sleep. It's not as bad as it sounds -- Matt is the other story editor on the show. He usually took the morning shifts at the contestant apartment while I took the night shifts. Usually 2 producers would be there for morning wake-ups, and one or two producers would stay on after we wrapped, to catch any kind of night time excitement. The contestants didn't know Matt too well because he was a ninja at taking story notes in the field and was cloistered in video village for most of the shoot. But I suppose having a camera jammed in your face first thing in the morning can be a bit jarring, no matter who is holding it.
We had a relatively late call that day at Shorty's barbershop in Hollywood. It was a great space visually but logistically it was cramped quarters. We needed six stations for the stylists to work in, a dressing room for Jaclyn, a room for the director and executive producers, a room to hide our surprise guest judge Christophe in, somewhere to set up all the monitors and equipment and somewhere to put all the rest of the cast, crew and stuff that we use in shoots on a daily basis. We made do but staying out of all the cameras' eye-lines (especially with all those mirrors) was tricky. When the men walked into Shorty's for the first time, I have to say it was a little scary. Some of these guys' looks bordered on menacing. There were some major transformations on this challenge. Every one of them walked out of there looking better than they did walking in.
I had the pleasure of interviewing the guys after their haircuts were done. Nearly every one of them was insanely shell shocked and had that deer-in-the-headlights look to them. I thought one of them might cry for an instant but he collected himself in an instant and moved on. Hair is a huge part of anyone's identity, and even if you think that person might not care about how their hair looks - cut all their hair off and then ask them how they feel right afterwards. If they can string a coherent sentence together about how they feel, I'll give you a dollar.
Danna had first pick of the models and regretted her choice later because apparently his hair was filthy. I've learned while working on this show that dirty hair has a certain unpleasant odor when it gets wet that is quite distasteful for stylists. So remember to wash your hair beforehand next time you get it cut.
After Tabatha's win in the men's makeover challenge, she got to dole out the boxes for their next elimination challenge - hair through the eras. She gave them all a quick glance, decided which one she'd take and then handed them out very swiftly. Tyson, Daisy, and Boogie were respectively worried, anxious and perplexed by their boxes. Boogie couldn't get over the whole evil/medieval thing. He only found one picture on the internet despite help from Tabatha and Anthony and he was clueless about what to do. Tabatha told Ben about how controversial flapper hair had been in its time. She likened it to punk hair and they actually had a pretty intellectual discussion about the subject.
Tyson kept to himself and you could see the gears turning inside his head at a furious speed. He was freaked about doing Elizabethan era hair but he also seemed to be steeling himself to kick some major ass at it. After drinks, discussion and more drinks, somehow Daisy and Danna ended up doing push ups. They were trying to see how many they could do. Daisy won the push up challenge. It's a good thing Anthony didn't participate because he would have put them both to shame.
At times, you could hear a pin drop in the salon during the Hair thru the Eras challenge. The stylists were so focused on this one. Tyson practically collapsed when time was called. Boogie's medieval was incredible, especially in light of his trouble researching the topic.
Before judging started we interviewed Anthony who was totally convinced that he was going home. Though as you all know, it was our dear Danna that went home. Danna was always flirting with the sound guys that checked and changed her mic everyday, which was a constant source of amusement for the producers listening in via headphones in the control room. Her goodbye was composed and classy and I was proud of her for not crying. She did some very fine work on the show and I'd go to her salon in a hot second. Until next time...