Shear Genius

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Dueling Dianas

And then there were five. Janine, Matthew, Brian, Jon and (ugh) Brig file in to the salon and greet Camila, who looks like she has had a really tight perm, but not entirely in a bad way. (Not entirely in a good way, either.) Brig is sporting what appears to be a cream-colored romper with a black belt, black gloves, white tights, and white stilettos, and all of this is topped off with a ship captain's hat. That, folks, is what trying too hard looks like. They walk in and see five dresses hanging up and Janine is the one with the smarts to realize they are all tiny and sparkly, which implies a young crop of clients this week. Matthew gets his work up on the Allure Wall of Fame, and away we go.

Camila tells them that their clients are on the verge of starting "a new chapter in their lives," and five high school girls file in. Janine squeals like they are tiny puppies, audibly enough for them to hear, which is awkward. Jon notes that the girls are all African-American, and that he has almost no experience with their hair type. The girls all recently graduated from high school, and Camila tells us that it's the beginning of the "formal season," so they want to update their looks to fit formal occasions. I don't even know what that means -- are they debutantes? Let's say yes. The challenge is all about dealing with the texture of African-American hair, and we're introduced to celebrity hairstylist Kimberly Kimble, who has styled both Beyoncé and Mary J. Blige, among others. Kimberly advises them that they have to be very conscious of the texture and understand how to get it to do what they want. Brig is hugely nervous, while Janine is totally confident and drops that she used to do Lil' Kim's hair for a while. I think that would be a total hoot -- I bet she has some fantastic gossip both about and from Lil' Kim. The stylists pick dresses that pair them up with their clients.

Camila reminds them that they will be judged on their execution, skills and customer satisfaction, and this week throws in that they will also be judged on how age-appropriate their styles turn out. Winner gets first pick of model in the elimination challenge. She gives them 90 minutes and sends them on their way. Matthew wants to do color, while Brig tells her client she wants to go tall. What she tells us in an interview just reinforces every moronic and annoying thing about her -- as she's only styled African-American hair once before, she plans to, and I quote, "fake it." She is going to pull all the girl's hair back and then put on a big hairpiece that she can style. It's 100% not what they've been asked to do, which is work with hair of a different texture than they've worked with so far, and I only pray that this and the sheer amount of interview time we've seen already means that she's on her way out this week. Brian waxes about being that age and rather sweetly wants to make sure he imparts that they can do whatever they want, since he let his own insecurity hold him back for a while. Jon is going to give his client bangs and admits he's not sure if he's going to do well due to his own lack of experience. Janine, on the other hand, is super-confident, and clicks with her girl immediately when she suggests a Gwen-Stefani-inspired 'do.

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Shear Genius




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