To Walk The Red Carpet

Find out why Michael was disappointed with this week's looks.

Did you miss me? Allure's editor-in-chief, Linda Wells, was top judge this week, so I was free to get a massage...or, in reality, catch up on my fashion-director duties. But just because I wasn't sitting on the stool doesn't mean I don't have opinions.

I love how spicy things got. I mean Tabatha and Anthony at the spa, trash-talking Tyson and -- my favorite part -- Anthony calling the other stylists "wankers"? Those two are like the kids who rode at the back of the bus, sneaking smokes and bullying the rest of the class. And then Danna going mental on Evangelin? I didn't see that one coming. And once Tabatha joined the brawl, those hedge clippers weren't as sharp as the tongues in that room. I felt like I was watching Dynasty -- with all the bitch-slapping, name calling, and teased hair.

For the elimination challenge, each stylist had to create a red-carpet style for Vanessa Williams -- and Danna really nailed it. It was as if she'd channeled Wilhelmina Slater, Vanessa's character on Ugly Betty who struts around with the most fabulously done-up hair. The combination of the teasing on top and woven pieces in back was both restrained and paparazzi-perfect.

Maybe she was still enraged about Evangelin "single handedly setting back the hair profession," because Tabatha f'd this one up, as she would say. The hair in front was tight, but in back she let out a roar of twisted curls pushed to one side, so you got a glimpse of that angry updo even before the model turned around.

Anthony went with a classic, the beehive. But it reminded me of another classic, the Cone Head. His hive shot up a good six inches into the air, teetering a little to the left. The red-carpet event for this? A UFO convention.


Daisy's model had really curly hair, but instead of whipping out her flat iron, she went with it by winding three sections into buns on the back of the head. The style was neat -- even pretty. But was it Vanessa Williams? No. And did it complement the dress. with its beading and busy box pattern? Not really. If Daisy had just played it straight, she could have been a contender.


And then there's Ben. It was as if an octopus had landed on her head, its tentacles hanging down in thick, sticky tendrils. It was awful. As Vanessa said, "Heavy and like the end of a long prom night." michael_104_09_320x240.jpg

I said in my last blog that for a stylist to be a shear genius, he'd have to take risks. Boogie did -- he is the self-proclaimed master of red-carpet hair, after all. His sweeping updo had a hump, for lack of a better word, on each side of the head and a big swoop of bangs. With a little more teasing it would have been Princess Leia on crack. Instead, it looked Victorian and beautiful and like something a celebrity with real chutzpah could pull off.


Man, the hubris is on high his week. Tyson said his specialty is "making hair hot." His style was hot all right -- scalding to the senses. High and smooth on the top and sides, then pinned into a thin strip of tangled curls in back, it was as if a chignon and a mohawk had had a one-night stand and this was their unwanted child.


There's nothing Sally hates more than tendrils. You'd think the stylists would have done a little homework, worked their way into Sally's psyche -- but no. There were tendrils dangling in all their ugly glory on nearly half the models this week. But nothing -- except maybe a tattle from Tabatha -- could have prepared Sally, or anyone, for Evangelin's tendrils. They were thin. They were scraggly. They crept all the way around the head. They were kinked on the ends... It was a serious what-the-hell-is-that moment. And it all could have been avoided if Evangelin had just reached for her beloved hedge clippers. I hope they serve her better at the salon. michael_104_15_320x240.jpg

The stylists sure did take chances, and they managed to create a few (well, maybe a very few) good looks. See you next week on the stool...

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Brig IS Shear Genius!

The controversial contestant reveals which stylists she still speaks to and what she learned from the experience. In this challenge, you got to pick your assistants? Why did you pick who you did?  
Throughout the entire competition I saw a personal strength in April that I truly admired. I knew 100% that she would give her all to help me execute my vision, regardless of how crazy it sounded to her. I chose Faatemah because I needed her strong styling abilities for what I had in mind. I had an advantage and didn't want to face either of them on another team. I was excited to put together an all female cast. How do you think your two assistants worked out in the end? 
Brilliantly. April and Faatemah helped with the final looks. They both gave their input which I candidly admit helped arrive at the winning end result. Can you describe your inspiration a little more? Have you ever laminated hair before?
I had never laminated hair before or seen it done. It came to mind a few days prior when I was playing with a roll of clear tape, so I tried it on a piece of hair from my own extensions and it was very interesting. It seemed a bit nuts, yet intriging at the same time. I love taking risks at the chance that the outcome could just be genius. When Henry and I consulted, I asked if he liked comic books, and he told me how he just started collecting collecting Chinese comic books. Cool! That I felt was the "money" question to give me the go ahead with my idea. Imagine: Bjork as a villianess superhero. Were you expecting the criticism you got from Jonathan about not using their real hair enough?
I rarely work with extensions in my salon, so I was thrilled to push myself. I expected criticism from the day I tryed out for the show.  I welcomed the different opinions, Jonathan's included.  Because I expected it. What was going through your mind when your hair came down the runway? 
It was insane, unusual, and most importantly elevated Henry's collection. I loved how the color story I chose came through, especially on the final model where I muted the color palette into pastels. I also was thrilled with the make-up. It really punctuated the entire look. When Matthew and Janine?s hair came down the runway I thought they put up very strong looks. Matthew took a huge risk by using the skull caps. I thought it was cool that he threw all his cards down on the table and went for it. Janine always managed to make the most of every second we were given. It is no secret that they both are extremely talented. Once again my work was the odd collection. I knew I was looking at something that I had never seen before. Completely original. That was all I ever wanted to do during Shear Genius. I felt like a winner at that moment and really did not care if the judges liked it or not. At that point did you think you had it or maybe you lost it?
I was thrilled with myself for the concept and thankful for April, Faatemah, and Henry's input that helped produce the final looks. The entire process of the show to that point was such a arduous journey that I was proud that I took a HUGE risk. Did you agree with the judges' comments for your own hair and your competitors?
I was on cloud nine to be standing in the finale and hearing Linda Wells say that she had never seen anything like it ever on the runways around the world.  When Henry (the designer) told me how pleased he was, I couldn't have been happier in a bathtub filled with Fruity Pebbles! As far as Matthew and Janine's looks... I don't recall what the judges said.  I was in my own world at the time. Some of our viewers love you, some love to hate you (sorry!) -- how much of what we saw is the real Brig and how much is strategy? 
What you saw was the REAL me strategizing for $100,000 in my greatest professional challenge. Early on I realized a few stylists were "blinded by my bow" and started saying I was crazy. I felt that being underestimated was not a disadvantage. I was so thrilled to be standing behind a chair in the Shear Genius salon. I was given a very rare opportunity to really discover what I could handle. What went through your mind the moment Camila announced the winner? 
Shock at first.  Then I wanted to jump up and down and there was no way I could with Janine still standing next to me. She was actually very kind to me and congratulated me.  I am not a gloater, so I hope I didn't appear ungrateful. Winning was something I said I would do, however having accomplished that goal among the high level of talent each stylist possessed was surreal. What are your plans now?
Shear Genius introduced me to a large amount of talented and creative people. I plan to continue to be ME and inspire others to TURN UP THEIR VOLUME!  I don't understand the lack of confidence a lot of people experience, however I wish to inspire them to try something new and not worry about what anyone else thinks. I am eager to take advantage of the amazing exposure I received from being on Bravo and use that to help express my ideas. What has changed for you since the show started filming?
Going to Target has become a social adventure. The recognition has been great for my business at play hair lounge. and has created some amazing new friendships and opportunities. Do you still talk to any of the other stylists? 
I do.  April, Brian, Amy, and Jon. I welcome future conversations with all of the stylists. What do you think the biggest thing you learned was? 
That I truly am 100% secure with myself, my style and my ability, and to accept failure and learn from it. I also learned that without everyday responsibilities and distractions, my creativity increased exponentially! Any message to the haters?
No. I prefer to focus my attention to those who are positive and support the freedom of self expression. It takes twice as much energy to be negative then it does to be positive. and as you know I am a very positive person so I have plenty of energy to spare. Anything else you'd like to add? 
I plan to continue to post my stories on my blog "BrigKnowsBest" and cutting hair at my salon, p!ay hair lounge in Simi Valley, CA. I strongly believe that success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing amount of support by people who have shared this amazing journey along with me. This is only the beginning.  I am ready for the next big challenge!

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