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The Telefile
<i>Hair Battle Spectacular</i>: In a Fantasy Hair Salon, Drinking Helps

If you've ever seen an episode of Shear Genius, you know that hair stylists can be pretty crazy. (Brig, I'm looking in your direction.) Naturally, I was expecting the stylists of Oxygen's new show, Hair Battle Spectacular, which is all about fantasy hair, to be utter lunatics, but they all seem to be pretty normal. Granted, their names are ridiculous -- the lineup includes Fingaz, Valley Girl, Minista, Tsunami, Boss, Roo, Malibu, Cajmonet, Sexi Lexi and J-Rok -- but their personalities seem pretty grounded... after one episode, at least. Maybe they'll get crazier. That possibility may be helped along by the fact that the salon has a bar in it.

That's right, the contestants are encouraged to drink, and the first competition has them design a hairstyle inspired by cocktails, which also has to hold a cocktail. The results vary, but they sure aren't boring. If you ever had trouble telling the "before" apart from the "after" on Shear Genius, you'll have no such problems here.

Another way this show differs from Shear Genius is the format. The contestants face off one-on-one to decide who will be up for elimination (not sure how that'll work with an odd number next week), and they do it in a boxing ring, in front of an audience. Because it's a hair battle, get it? But the "battle" mainly consists of having the models strut out, show off their styles, and then circle each other menacingly before standing side-by-side for the judging. It's utterly pointless, unless they're really trying to see if someone's hairstyle will fall apart in the ring, and it makes for some very forced dramatic music. If they want to play up the non-existent battle aspect, the show could benefit from some Scott Pilgrim-style video game graphics, like a big "Vs." and a booming announcer voice. I thought I heard such an announcer saying J-Rok's name when he first appeared, but I may have been drunk, like everybody else.

The show didn't immediately grab me, but if other reality shows are an indication, the work will get better and better, and the characters will get more and more fascinating. (This happened to me with Work of Art.) So I may have to tune in again. And if you ever wanted to know what it would look like if Shear Genius met Bad Girls Club met RuPaul's Drag Race met that episode of Food Network Challenge where they had to make a cake that looked like a scene from a Pixar movie, this is the show for you.

Did you watch Hair Battle Spectacular? Let us know what you thought below.

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