Nine weeks have passed, and we're down to the three stylists who have cut and colored their way to the top. Remember all those other folks, like... whatshername? Yeah, neither do I. Surprisingly few people have made that much of an impact on me here. Charlie from Denver, Dee from Miami, and Nicole from New York are left to stab each other with scissors and see who is the last one standing.
Jaclyn and René greet them in the salon, and they all do little "OMG we're in the finals!" dances and exclaim a lot about how much they can't believe it. They aren't taking things for granted, they're going to work hard, they love fluffy bunnies. The usual. René tells them that Linda Wells of Allure will be giving each of them one-on-one advice, and Jaclyn reminds them to remember that advice going into tomorrow's challenge.
Nicole is up first, and Linda tells her that she thinks Nicole's strength is her precision. She asks Nicole what her favorite cut is in the book and Nicole points to a bob (that I actually think makes the girl's face look too round, but whatever). Linda asks, "Tell me about bobs, do you do them often?" Classic beauty school pick-up line, that. Nicole likes that haircut, and bobs in general, because they have to be perfect and she's a perfectionist. When asked, she admits that styling hair is her weakness. I know what she means, but when her job title is "stylist," it sounds like a little bit of a problem all the same. Linda agrees with her and tells her she has to work on it, most of all to expand her options.
Charlie is up next, and he thinks high fashion and polish are his strengths. He admits, in a much more self-aware moment than I thought he was capable of, that he loses interest in challenges that he doesn't care about, and that might mean he has a chip on his shoulder. Linda looks delighted that he called himself out and she didn't have to. She does remind him that he has to learn to step back and take direction, and he agrees that he can now suck it up and do what he needs to do. I really never could have imagined that Charlie would be my favorite finalist, but there you go. I've said it before, I'll say it again -- when he's not putting on a show of trying to be the villain or the bitch to get airtime, he's a good stylist and an interesting character in himself.
Finally, Linda meets with Dee and asks if she thinks she's got enough of a range to be versatile. Dee tells her that her strengths are cut and color, not style, but she doesn't go so far as to admit that it's always a variation on the same cut. What Dee seems to take away from this is that she isn't good at taking risks, which hopefully she gets out of her system before that loses her the competition (before it even starts). Her favorite challenge was the rainbow hair and she loved the cut, and Linda very nicely encourages her to not overdo the same cut with the long piece in front.