Welcome to another season of Blow Out!….. and you thought Bravo couldn’t possibly find a way to squeeze one more season about the life of “celebrity stylist” Jonathan Antin. For those of you who are new to Blow Out, the celebrity in question is Jonathan, not his clients. In Jonathan’s World, there is only one lead character. Everyone else = background.
When we last saw Jonathan Antin, he was planning world domination through the use of showerhead filters, wondering what happened to his assistant Clarissa and thinking about settling down with his “babe.” As we will see, Clarissa has mysteriously reappeared without any explanation and Jonathan has managed to procreate with fiancée, Secsie. No word on the shower filters yet. Jonathan also has a new shrink who I’m sure we’ll see plenty of this season.
At first glance, it looks like most of the players from last season are still working for Jonathan. The notable exception: Kimberly, Jonathan’s former
doormatassistant who became a stylist at the end of the first season. Somewhere, Kim is still whining about how Jonathan let Kiara take her baby to New York Fashion Week You just know that, wherever Kim is working now, every one of her clients has heard all about that baby. So, other than Kim, the credits show the usual suspects: Alyn, Kevin, Erica, Barbie Kelly, Jason, Rosie and…hey, wait a minute! Where’s Sweaty Chippendale’s Bobby?....and Dumb-As-A-Box-Of-Hair Michael? We may never know…..
As is the tradition with all reality TV shows, the beginning of this episode is chock full ‘recapping. Because you can simply read all about it in last season’s recaps, I’ll spare you the play-by-play. We’re also brought up-to-date on what Jonathan’s doing now. In short: he’s booked up for the next millennium, he’s still servicing celebrities, Jonathan Product (*snicker*) is flying off the shelves and he’s managed to stick with one woman long enough to have a baby – the as yet unseen Asher – and get engaged. Still, Jon’s not satisfied: He still wants more, more MORE! You know what this means: more weeping, more yelling and more hissy fits. Bring it ONNNNN!
Somehow, It’s Just Not Enough
Up first tonight: Jonathan hops into his car and we get lots of talk about family: the salon family and his new family – the Antins…even though he and Sescie aren’t married yet. Technicalities. Jon says that this is the craziest year of his life. He has more heads than he know what to do with. Yeah: heads. I thought he said something else too. Follow me back out of the gutter…
Because Jonathan is never satisfied, he’s now decided to open a salon in Hawaii. Now, instead of watching him rant in the car, we’ll be watching him do it on a plane. My guess is that he chose to open the salon in Hawaii so he can go there to golf and tan and then claim it as a business expense. Jonathan tells us that now there are ginormous amounts of money on the line and it could all go wrong. *cue dramatic music* Of course, this is reality TV, so we don’t really think that will happen, do we?
During his car ride, Jonathan starts talking about how all of this success wasn’t supposed to happen to him. Then he starts to choke up. For crying out loud - it’s only a few minutes in and we’ve already got our first weepy moment of the season. That must be some kind of record…. and probably a sign of soggy things to come.
Like Herding Cats
Jonathan enters the West Hollywood salon like a rock star, sunglasses and all. He makes the rounds checking in with everyone and making sure they’re all making him money. He and Rosie, who is now the Director of Operations, then adjourn to the office and go over his schedule. Rosie tells him that he’s scheduled to do a morning show where he will be talking about “Winter Hair.” Still not doing hard-hitting news on those morning shows, I see.
Next up, Jonathan heads downstairs to bang out some hair. We meet Rob Lee who, apparently, has been Jonathan’s business manager for four years. Four years and this is the first we’ve seen of him? Jonathan says that Rob allows him to flow and do what he does best. Translation: He’s a brown-nosing “yes” man who always tells Jonathan what he wants to hear.
Even though Jonathan has a “huge” appointment with a photographer, he heads downstairs to cut hair. Don’t you get the feeling that, even if he didn’t have a client, he’d just grab someone off the street and go to town? Rosie shouts after him that he can’t be late to meet the photographer. Oh, Rosie. *shakes head* Don’t you know that Jonathan is not ruled by the clock? He shows up when he shows up. Rosie tells us that Jonathan is booked solid and it’s getting hard for her to do her job of herding Jonathan. <---- paraphrasing
Before he heads off to his very important meeting, Jon’s going to bang out some hair (sorry, I just love saying that). His client is accompanied by her daughter and baby granddaughter. Now that Jonathan is a father, his baby radar has suddenly been turned on and he’s all over that baby. He tells his client all about the joys of fatherhood because, you know, no one’s ever been a father before. Jonathan reveals the main difference between him and his son: While Asher sleeps through the night and wakes up smiling, Jonathan is up all night and wakes up screaming. This is no surprise. I had my suspicions
Trust Me, I’m a Professional.
It’s time to catch up with Clarissa, Jonathan’s assistant. At the end of last season, it looked like Clarissa has done a runner and another salon assistant was being groomed to take over as Jonathan’s new doormat. Anyway, there’s Clarissa talking about how she “gets” to go everywhere Jonathan goes and see everything he sees. She really wants to be a stylist…and get out from under the yoke of being a paid slave.
Quicker than you can say “hair weave,” Jonathan’s off again. This time, it’s that very important meeting with the photographer. Accompanying Jonathan is Kiara, who seems to be continuing her metamorphosis into Sideshow Bob. Seriously. Would you want your hair done by someone with hair like that? If you were paying $500+? And you weren’t a member of Cirque du Soleil?
Jonathan introduces ClownKiara to Steve, the photographer, who Jonathan tells us is also the designer of a clothing line called Revolver. They all have a quick meeting where Steve shows Jon the clothes he’ll be shooting. He pulls out a leopard print shirt and pairs it with white and I start to wonder if this line is an offshoot of Frederick’s of Hollywood. No offense to the leopard wearers out there, but really. Blech. Steve says that he wants the hair to be up and out of the way so that the clothes are the focus. He’s interested to hear Jonathan’s ideas. Jonathan remains typically noncommittal, telling Steve that the hair will be “great” and that he shouldn’t worry. I’d start worrying, Steve. Steve seems non-plussed by Jon’s communication skills, but says that he’ll just have to trust him. Don’t trust him, Steve.
”But it’s my name on the bottle!”
After his meeting with photographer Steve, Jonathan has to then race across town to meet with the Jonathan Product team. Typically, Jonathan enters and everyone else is waiting for him. There’s Tina and Beth Anne and Jon’s manager, Rob. Tina tells us that this is their one year “state of the union” meeting about Jonathan Product. Jonathan tells the ladies that he really wants to know how many products are out there. Beth Anne tells him that they’ve sold close to a million units in a very short amount of time. Jonathan seems pleased but then he launches into another one of his speeches….
He stands up for this one, so it’s got to be good. He really doesn’t care about all this marketing strategy business: he cares about the ingredients in the bottles. It’s more of the “I’m just a hair stylist” stuff we’ve been hearing for two seasons. Beth Anne makes it two seconds into her marketing presentation before Jonathan interrupts her. The problem this time? It seems that they have gone ahead and named the products without checking with him. Beth Anne tries to explain to him that they needed to move quickly and really, after calling and leaving four messages for him, they had to go ahead and have the bottles made. Rob, in true ass-kissy fashion, takes Jonathan’s side. You know I love a good hissy fit and Jonathan rarely disappoints. He storms out with Rob running after him. Tina and Beth Anne are surprisingly annoyed. “Surprisingly” because they’ve worked with him for how long now? This should be old hat at this point.
Rob concedes that Jonathan is very demanding but also says that he has the right to be. Jonathan eventually comes back to the meeting and apologizes for being a tool. Well, actually there’s not really an apology. It’s sort of like “I’m sorry for bitching, but I don’t give a f---. I’m busy” *sigh* Baby steps
More “Smell the Fart” Acting
What’s an episode of Blow Out without Jonathan spending some time on the couch spilling his guts and moaning about his fabulous and horrible life? Since Jon’s last shrink did nothing but nod and validate his whining, I was sure he’d keep her forever. Nope. Jonathan’s new shrink looks like an extra on Days of Our Lives….the kind who overacts in the background thinking he’s going to be discovered and get his big break. Chill out, dude. Jonathan is the star here. You’re just window dressing.
This new shrink, the improbably named Doric George, is working really hard to act like a shrink. In my head, I hear Jon Lovitz cry “Acting! Don’t quit your day job, Dork. (you just know that’s what all the kids called him). I have to admit, I don’t really know what all was said in the therapy session. I was distracted by the acting and by the big box of Kleenex between Jonathan’s legs. Needless to say, like all of Jonathan’s therapy sessions, it’s a big, fat, weepy moment. I almost expect Doric to invite Jon to hug it out.
Troubles ‘A Brewin’
Jonathan’s checks in with the crew at the Beverly Hills salon. I don’t know who’s out front, but it looks like the break room is packed. We see salon assistant, Scott and Jonathan spends some time teasing him about his new, super-short haircut. Scott gets a little bit of airtime. Enough, at least to tell us that he wants to be a great stylist and make lots of money like Jonathan. At least he has goals that he can articulate. Last season, he’d talk and talk and I’d still have no idea what he was saying.
Jonathan gets in a quick haircut, during which he gets to talk about himself and his upcoming appearance on Good Morning, America. So it’s not just a morning show, it’s the morning show. Not too shabby. After he finishes up with his client, Jonathan makes time for a baby beauty session with the client’s daughter. Now that Jonathan’s had a kid, he’s all about babies. At first he’s just styling, but then he pulls out the scissors and gives her a little trim. She sits for Jonathan like an old pro and at one point says “Uh-oh!” It’s probably just a coincidence that she was looking at her new ‘do when she said that.
Jonathan tells Kiara that he’s going to be giving her the money to buy “the hair.” No, that’s not code for something else: she’s going to be buying hair extensions for the photo shoot. It’s clear that Jonathan’s not planning on putting the hair up like Steve asked. Jonathan then drops the word “nude” into the conversation. He says that the models – the ones in the photo shoot for the clothing line are going to be nude. More conflict coming right up. Oh goody!
It’s time for the photo shoot and here comes Jonathan with his entourage. Steve comes to greet everyone. Poor Steve, he has no idea what’s about to happen. Jonathan immediately takes over, asking that the models be dressed before he does their hair. Steve cautions him that these are one-of-a-kind samples (and I say “thank God”), so they need to be careful. Steve leaves and Jonathan starts in with his plan. He tells the models that they will be getting hair extensions and then tells them that they will be nude. The extensions will be very long and will cover their bodies. One of the models says that she didn’t sign up for this and takes off. When Steve learns that one of his models has left, he asks Jonathan what happened. Jon effectively evades the question and Steve still has no idea what is about to happen.
Kiara’s putting in extensions like a mad woman and Jonathan is styling the hair. The extensions are done and Jonathan starts directing the models to take certain items of clothing off. To his credit, he’s pretty respectful about it…..as respectful as one can be while asking a woman to take her bra off. Just as the models are stripping down, in walks Steve….and then out walks Steve in a cloud of profanities.
Steve tells us that Jonathan is out of his mind. Has he never seen this show? Jonathan goes after him and manages to talk him into taking a few pictures before he makes a decision. Steve agrees and shoots a dozen or so pictures. After reviewing the results, Steve – shockingly – approves of Jonathan’s choices and continues the photo shoot. I’m glad Steve was happy but really, the whole thing looked very “low rent porn” to me.
Another Reality TV/Bermuda Triangle Moment
Jonathan is in New York for his appearance on Good Morning, America. He’s really excited about being there. Before he can meet Diane Sawyer, Jonathan has another “celebrity” head to style. Tonight’s head of hair is attached to the body of American Idol also-ran, Diana DeGarmo. It seems Diana’s gotten herself a job in the Broadway musical Hairspray. I’m assuming she’s not playing the Divine role. When Jonathan shows up at the rehearsal space, Diana’s shaking her booty in dance rehearsal. She finishes up, Jonathan acts impressed and, without any sort of shower or bathing, a sweaty Diana sits down so Jon can get to work.
I was never a huge fan of Diana when she was on AI, but she’s just sweet as can be. She tells us that she’s excited to have her hair done by a “hair superstar” <-----said with a little Cindy Brady lisp. Jonathan confirms that she wants her hair to be “good big” and not “weird big.” Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way….
As usual, Jonathan turns the conversation to his life and starts talking about his sister Robin, who owns the Pussycat Dolls. Soon enough he’s popping and locking and showing off his dance moves. Jonathan needs to never, ever do that again. Stick to hair, baby. Trust me. It’s not bad really, just sort of embarrassing. To her credit, Diana fawns over him.
Because it’s all about Jonathan, he acts all put out when Diana is called into wardrobe. He keeps telling is that he is there to do her hair. I snicker as Jon has to haul all of his stuff into wardrobe, swearing and complaining all the way. “You’re gone make me move when I’m here for you!?” Yes Jon, you are the service worker in this scenario.
Whining aside, Diana’s hair turns out beautifully and she doesn’t seem to notice Jonathan’s enormous ego sucking all the air out of the room. Diana sings “thank you” to him as she admires the finished product.
Yay! Time for Jason!
It’s 4:29 a.m. in New York and Jonathan’s up and heading off for his appearance on Good Morning, America. Let me just say that 4:29 a.m. is a time I will never see…unless I stay up all night. The only way I’m getting up that early is if there’s fire or a lottery win involved. In the cab, Jonathan gets a call from his manager Rob, who tells him he will need to “do” four models on the show. He explains that he can only “do” two models and hangs up in a huff.
Quicker than you can say “dirty blond,” Jonathan is on the phone calling bi-coastal stylist Jason, who just happens to be in New York. Speaking to Jason’s machine, Jonathan announces that he is coming to get Jason right now. At Jason’s apartment, Jon knocks and knocks and a very sleepy Jason eventually answers the door wrapped in a blanket. He even looks cute with bed head. Jason may be half asleep but he doesn’t look all that surprised to see Jonathan.
Jason gets dressed in a flash and they head off to do the show. He tells us that, with Jonathan, it’s never boring. He also confirms what we already knew: Jonathan doesn’t care if Jason is jet-lagged, stressed-out, exhausted, etc. At the studio, Jason asks Jon how he’s feeling. Jonathan’s reply: “I have no feelings.” Could have fooled me, baby. Seems to me that Jonathan has too many feelings and expresses them too much.
Another Mini Crisis Averted
Things are gearing up at the GMA studio and Jonathan is getting excited. He introduces himself to the models and then he and Jason get started on their hair. Jonathan starts comparing hairstyling to great painting and I roll my eyes a bit. Last season, he kept comparing himself to De Niro and now it’s Rembrandt. What’s next, Puccini?
Preparation for the show is going really well until the power in the hair and makeup room goes out. Just the power to the dryers, mind you – the lights are still on. The PA’s don’t know what to do and, when Jonathan asks if they should move, they tell him no. Finally, he takes things into his own hands and sends Jason to another room and then drags a chair into the hallway, grabs an extension cord, plugs in his dryer and keeps working. Jason and Jonathan finish all four heads of hair and the show starts….
Blink and You’ll Miss It
We don’t get to see much of the GMA appearance at all – maybe 5 seconds. Probably because NBC owns Bravo, not ABC. It seems to go well and everyone backstage congratulates him. Jonathan tells us that being called a hair stylist, he sees it as the “universal being” telling him “you did good, kid.” Really, sometimes he is a bit full of himself, but I find his earnestness sort of endearing at times. The “universal being” crap is a bit much, but still. There’s some more welling up backstage as he realizes what a big deal it was to be on GMA. He tells Jason that he’d like to go shopping for baby clothes. WELL. There’s something we wouldn’t have heard last season.
Jason tells Jonathan that there’s a great store near his apartment. The two of them go shopping for baby clothes and it’s really very sweet. Jonathan ends up buying pretty much everything in the store. I’m sure he dropped a huge chunk of change in that place. Some of those outfits probably cost more than my rent.
Coming up this season: Jonathan heads to the Sundance Film Festival, generously helps his sister audition new Pussycat Dolls (*sarcasm*), does New York Fashion Week, threatens to walk off the show and makes more appearances on QVC. Sadly, there is also more dancing. He will also try to run his own commercial shoot, argue with Zorbit Scott some more and cry. A lot.
Where is Sweaty Bobby? Email your guesses to: Critical@fansofrealitytv.com