"We've searched the country for the most skilled stylists, and brought the top 12 to our salon in Los Angeles." We're then promised that these twelve will cut and style their way to the top (and our hearts, presumably). Then comes the opening montage, and some of these people have styled themselves in ways I never want to appear. So let's meet them, shall we?
Twelve excited people enter the Shear Genius salon and are introduced to their salon. Contestant Daniel Lewis and his blonde faux-hawk tell us that he's designed two salons and he's still impressed. I'm impressed that you're still rocking that look, dude. Maddox Jolie gave it up two years ago. Daniel does "Dallas hair." Contestant Paolo can't believe Jaclyn Smith is their host, since he had a crush on her years ago, and isn't that ZANY since he's a gay man? Jaclyn introduces them to Kim Vo, who is "responsible" for Britney Spears' many hairstyles, among other celebrities. Dude, when Britney's nasty weave is the most notable thing you've done, you're in trouble. Kim is one of the judges. Contestant Glenn loves that "color is Kim's niche" since that's hers as well. We'll see. Contestant Oshun tells us "Oshun got the potion for the motion... when I touch your hair and I do the flair, 'cause I'm Oshun and I'm deep." Do I really need to add any comments to that? Oshun's been nominated for an Emmy. Contestant Charlie alerts us to the fact that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him, which means he's going to try hard to be an asshole for more airtime. Contestant Parker thinks he can win because, "Everything [his] scissors touch is like, superfly TNT." Jaclyn then tells them that each week they'll be tested in a shortcut challenge which will be in a limited amount of time, and then an elimination challenge. Okay, we've all watched reality TV before, we get it.
Kim gives them their first challenge, which is to give a client a new look after a five-minute consult and forty-five minutes to cut. The twist? They'll be doing it blindfolded. This explains the fact that the girls are wearing safety goggles. Me, I'd still be worried about, say, my cheeks. They're told that it's about accuracy, not speed, and Kim will judge them based on technical skills, overall style and creativity. He's also going to rank them from first to last place, which will come into play later. Jaclyn tries really hard to sound ominous about this.
Contestant Gail has been cutting since she was 12 years old, and she's scared. Contestant Dee likes making people feel great, and she "specializes in sexy!" Really? I like my stylist to specialize in dumpy. Her girlfriend is her biggest fan. Oshun again reminds us that he's deep. Yeah, that's already old. Contestant Meredith thinks everyone should be scared of her because she's cute. They then blindfold up and get to cutting. Contestant Nicole has only been doing hair for five years. Contestant Matthew is also from Dallas and, "The only thing [he] loves more from hairdressing is [his] wife." Contestant Nekisa opened her own salon two years ago. She's having her client tell her where she needs to even up the haircut. Kim thinks Nekisa's cut is really ambitious, which means shitty. She's trying an a-line bob. We're treated to a montage of cutting, big egos, bloody knuckles and worried-looking clients.