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*ding ding ding* <---boxing ring bell
Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner, weighing in with a ginormous ego, a large vocabulary of expletives and two tons of hair product is Jonathan Antin. In the opposing corner, boasting a tragically hip wardrobe, ten pairs of tweezers and a hefty serving of sarcasm is Zorbit Scott. Who will win this showdown? Settle in for this week’s episode of Blow Out and you’ll see! Of course, before we get to the main event, we’re going to have to sit through some inane, self-indulgent talk about hair and, possibly, some weeping…..from me, at home, if Jonathan goes to therapy again this week.
King of the (Hair) Universe
Back from New York, Jonathan heads to the West Hollywood salon and checks in with Rosie. Never one to take a break, he has an appearance on QVC coming up….and clients on top of that, Rosie reminds him.
In bounces Jonathan’s first client of the day and man, is she bubbly. Apparently, her name is Nikki Flores and she’s a singer. I Googled her and, from what I saw, she’s a brunette version of the Britney/Jessica/Christina-type singer. I’m sure she’ll have her own show on the WB (or the CW, or whatever it’s going to be called) in no time. She tells us (in that sing-sing voice so many teenage girls have) that Jonathan will be doing her hair for a showcase she’ll be performing at for her label. You know Jonathan – if there’s even a whiff of celebrity, he’s all over it. He’s down the stairs in no time and can hardly wait to get his hands all over her hair. Of course, she’s not a big enough celebrity for him to actually do the shampoo. Please.
While Nikki is being shampooed by whatever nameless, faceless salon assistant is around, Jonathan is talking about Asher the Wonder Baby with a stylist called Caroline, who I have never seen. Jonathan talks about the intricacies of “Peek-a-Boo.” He probably never gets tired of that game…..even after Asher does.
Nikki is back from the shampoo sink and Jonathan steps in to do his thing. There’s a lot of chatter about Nikki and her career and he coerces her into singing a bit of one of her songs. The kid definitely has some pipes but boy, those lyrics. I used to write stuff like that on the inside of my PeeChee (<----sadly, dating myself right there) in study hall. Ah well, she can get a songwriter. Jonathan acts appropriately blown away. He tells us, in his understated, non-exaggerating way, that Nikki is the best live singer for whom he’s ever cut hair. I’m sure Madonna is flattered.
While Jonathan is working on Nikki’s hair, an executive from Nikki’s label calls. She wants to make sure that Jonathan isn’t cutting too much length off or cutting too many layers. Oh, Jonathan just loves it when people tell him how to do his job. He excuses himself and goes into the other room to give the exec what for. She’s clearly out of her league. The short version is: “Even the President of the United States could not tell me how to cut hair. No one tells me what to do.” I’m getting good at finding the hidden meaning in what Jonathan says. It’s like having the Rosetta Stone. He does tell the exec that he’s not stupid (*snicker*): this girl is about to launch her career and he finds it insulting that the exec would think that he would change her look. The exec backs down and kisses Jonathan’s ass in a way that makes me think she probably does that a lot.
That little warm and fuzzy moment over, Jonathan returns to cut Nikki’s hair. Through this whole thing, she just looks kind of bewildered and vacant. Again, not a big enough celebrity for Jonathan to do the blow dry either. That’s Clarissa’s job. Jonathan steps in to put the finishing touches on and Nikki is suitably excited and impressed.
One Hit Wonder
At the Beverly Hills salon, it’s business as usual. Kiara’s got a new client whose ideas for her hair extend to, “I just want to look nice.” Well that’s perfectly vague. It’s never a good idea to go to Kiara without a very specific look in mind. You could end up coming out of there looking like Bozo the Clown. Scott does the shampoo for Kiara’s client and we get more of Scott rambling about working at a salon. I sort of zoned out there…..
Soon enough, we’re back to Jonathan at the West Hollywood salon, where he has another client. Hold on, folks. This client has beautiful curly hair. We might actually see a different hair style on this one! Dare to dream. The client says that she is going to a premiere with her director boyfriend. While Clarissa is doing the shampoo, Jonathan takes a Zen moment with his scissors, weighing two pairs side-by-side. Then he picks up two aerosol containers and proceeds to spray whatever is in them all over the place, alternating between one and the other. From the look on his face, it’s clear that the fumes are getting to him. He’s buzzing.
One of my favorite things about Jonathan is the impossibly sad and illogical comparisons he makes between himself and various historical or pop icons. This time, he talks about how Jonathan Product has to be perfect because, hey, you wouldn’t have Picasso paint with a screwdriver. It’s sort of cute how delusional Jonathan is….sort of. As if by magic, on the phone is Jonathan Product exec Regina. Jonathan tells her that his cans are spraying differently than the cans that just arrived. He says that the new ones don’t spray well, as he continues to coat Rosie with hair spray.
So much for that beautiful curly hair. Jonathan has blown his client’s hair straight and styled in the exact same way that he styles every other client’s hair.
The Simple Minded are Easily Amused
Back at Beverly Hills, the stylists stand around either doing nothing or ignoring their clients while cutting hair. Kevin still has that tragic ‘do. Barbie Kelly’s hair seems to have finally fried from all that peroxide and is now in a sort of shag. What is it with these people? Again, I have to say stylist, style thyself!. Because she is SO clever (and apparently in junior high), Barbie Kelly puts a Post-It on Kevin’s back that says “I’m so cool.” Alyn looks on laughing. All of the other stylists giggle and laugh while Kevin seems to be the only one working. Don’t you wish Jonathan would just walk in and crack the whip?
After hours at the West Hollywood salon, where Jonathan seems to be spending the bulk of his time this season, there is a meeting about Jonathan Product. Everyone is appropriately dressed in the color of the tragically hip: black. Remember last season when Jonathan had no hot water and he had that epiphany about making showerhead water filters? Well, guess what! Yep, I never believed anyone would take that seriously either. Think again.
Along with the usual suspects at the meeting, are the two guys who will be designing the filters. I doubt they’ve ever met Jonathan before, so they look suitably impressed and oddly fascinated by him. He launches into his story about how he thought up the water filters, but I’ll spare you. These guys seem to be on the same page and even present Jonathan with a prototype that he pronounces to be “rockin.’” He even yells his joy out the window. The neighbors are probably used to this.
Jonathan talks to Rob Lee, his manager, about the next step for the water filters: packaging. Of course, Jonathan has his own ideas…until Rob invokes the name of the beast: Zorbit Scott. Jonathan’s face turns to stone. Cut to a flash-back of one of the better smack-downs from last season. As if we’d forget. Those eyebrows, that attitude, those Ken Doll clothes…..bring it on! Jonathan says that he’s cool with Scott as long as Scott listens to his ideas. Oh yeah, there’s no way this could go wrong.
Circling the Drain
Here comes Scott in his cliché of a sports car (can anyone say “compensating?”). I didn’t think it was possible, but Scott’s eyebrows are even smaller than before. Seriously, this guy has got to be moonlighting in a drag show. There’s no other explanation. Scott tells us that he’s a little nervous going into this meeting because Jonathan has a tendency to bring out the worst in him. I don’t think that’s probably very hard, Scott. It seems like your worst lurks right under the surface.
Of course, everyone is waiting upstairs and Jonathan is late. Scott subtly looks at his watch for the cameras. Finally (and they don’t say how late he is) Jonathan appears, all apologies for being late. He and Scott start off okay, but Jonathan says that he’s excited to bring Scott the shower filter and see what he can do with it. Jonathan then gives him the name of the product. Are you ready for this? Beauty Water. The packaging, Jonathan says should reflect “pure, natural, mountain springs, etc.” He says that he wants it to be “everything.” Scott asks if Jonathan will be open to exploring something new this time (oh crap) and Jonathan agrees. He says that Rob is there to make sure he doesn’t freak out this time. Well, from the previews, we already know that’s not going to happen.
Scott scurries off to do design a package that Jonathan will hate, but will not hurt too much when Jonathan throws it at him from across the room. Jonathan says that he thinks Scott will get the concept….. he’d better f&($^ get it. Uh oh.
Supermodel For a Day
Next up for Jonathan is a photo shoot for Inked, a magazine about tattoos. Jonathan will also be giving an interview. He tells us that he’ll be having his makeup done and that Erica from the West Hollywood salon will be doing his hair. The photo shoot is apparently in South Tijuana. Jonathan passes by someone dealing drugs on a corner and there is no grass anywhere. Here he is in his Benz and there’s no parking lot. He finally just parks his car – his $130,000 car - in the middle of an alley.
The photo shoot starts and you know Jonathan loves it. He sees some of the pictures and is suitably impressed…..with himself. He tells Erica that he wants to do that every day. As if the television cameras following him around every day aren’t enough. Next up is the interview portion of the program. All the while he’s being interviewed (oddly enough, by a guy with seemingly few or no tattoos), Jonathan sits and stuff his face with a sandwich or whatever it is. Jonathan has no compunctions about talking with food in his mouth. From this interview, we learn that Jonathan got his last tattoo 20 years ago, before the tattoo frenzy in Hollywood. Okay, I call b.s. Jonathan is 38. You’re telling me that he got all of those tattoos by the time he was 18? Puleaase.
Nothing Says “Love” Like…
Still on an attention whore high from the photo shoot, Jonathan returns to the West Hollywood salon and is blissfully cutting hair when Sescie calls to speak with Rosie. It seems that Sescie has a surprise for Jonathan…..that involves towing his car. Oh yeah, he’s definitely not going to freak out. Of course, Rosie’s all in and goes outside in time to give the driver Jonathan’s keys. The car is then loaded onto a flatbed and driven away.
Soon enough, Jonathan heads out to go to lunch. What was all that he was stuffing into his face during the interview? Rosie offers to order in lunch for him – anything so that he doesn’t notice that his car is missing. No deal: he goes outside and quickly realizes that his car is gone. After going back and forth with Rosie, he learns that Sescie took the car. Jonathan gets Sescie on the phone and she lies, saying that her car wouldn’t start so she had to borrow his. Because he can’t be without his car for fifteen seconds, Jonathan gets a ride over to Sescie’s store to get it back.
Upon arriving at Sescie’s store, he finds that Sescie actually “kidnapped” his car to have new rims put on it. Jonathan is suitably surprised and excited. He also gets weepy over having someone who cares about him and does things for him….in addition to the many employees who do stuff for him every day.
&%*%’in Scott From Zorbit
Did you know that you can have a MySpace account and have no idea what it is? At least you can if you have someone like Rosie doing everything for you. In the office at the West Hollywood salon, Rosie walks Jonathan though his MySpace page. He has a grand total of eight friends. Dude, that’s only eight more than I have and I don’t even have a MySpace account. As with all things technological, Jonathan is amazed by all of it.
Ever since Bravo announced another Season of Blow Out, I’ve been waiting for this moment and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Here it comes, folks: the next blow up between Zorbit Scott and Jonathan. You can almost feel the contrived tension! Even with their rocky history, Jonathan says that he’s still excited to see the packaging that Scott has come up with for the shower filter. He’s also sure that it’s going to be “genius.”
With the word “genius” still hanging in the air, Scott greets Jonathan and ushers him into a conference room. Scott steps out to bring in the “beginning stage” of the design, which he tells Jonathan will bring together what they discussed at their last meeting. Let me describe it for you: it’s a glass bowl with rocks in it and the filter is just sitting on top of it. I’m thinking this isn’t so genius. Jonathan clearly doesn’t think so either. Scott tries to backpedal, saying that this is the concept rather than the package. Good, ‘cause I don’t think America is going to be clamoring to buy a bowl full of rocks.
Scott instantly gets testy as soon as Jonathan questions the wisdom of having rocks anywhere near the packaging, since that would be difficult to ship. Scott spits back that people ship rocks every day. At this point even the music gets testy with Scott. Hell, I’m at home getting testy. You can tell from Jonathan’s reaction that he’s counting to ten in his head and trying to remain calm. Not gonna happen. It’s not so much what Scott says, it’s how he says it. This guy is Captain Condescending. Jonathan keeps harping on the fact that it’s a bunch of rocks and that he doesn’t have time to deal with the concept: he just wants a box. I see his point. I also see where Scott is coming from. I also think that the bowl of rocks is a way to disguise the fact that there hasn’t been any actual work done.
Jonathan starts to get a little nuts the way he sometimes (okay, often) does. He even picks up a rock and bites it. This guy can’t seem to stop eating this week. Scott keeps trying to explain that it’s a concept, but Jonathan can’t get over the bowl of rocks. Really, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, this one. Scott doesn’t help the situation with his attitude either and soon enough, it escalates and Jonathan’s out the door with a “Go f*&*^ yourself!”
Scott reminds us of Jonathan promise to not get upset and listen to Scott’s ideas. Oh Scott. It’s almost cute how naïve you are.
The Master of the Over-Statement
Back in his car, Jonathan tells us that, if he could get away with it, he’d fire Scott. Unfortunately, Scott is under contract to do the packaging for Jonathan Product. Whose bright idea was that? Jonathan’s got bigger fish to fry right now: he’s got a two hour appearance on QVC coming up.
Rosie and Jonathan talk about the upcoming QVC appearance and he acknowledges that QVC is a “monolith” and he is just a “barber.” Rosie tells him that he needs to relax, but he’s not having any of it. This appearance could bring in several million dollars per hour, so he’s feeling the stress.
All of a sudden, there we are at QVC. Jonathan says it’s, “the biggest appearance I’ve ever had in my life.” He goes on to say that this could be the biggest thing to ever happen to him in his career. Never one for being low-key, is he? The Jonathan Product entourage – including Tina and Beth-Anne, as well as Rob Lee – sign in and hit the green room for a strategy session. Jonathan tells us that he’s terrified. Apparently, QVC wanted to do some more training with Jonathan before this appearance. He goes to his meeting with one of the QVC bigwigs in his sunglasses, clearly thinking he’s in trouble. Of course he’s not in trouble…. They just want him to change a few things…..like his vocabulary, the way he stands, his mannerisms and his very essence. Again, we hear the “I’m just a hair stylist” thing.
The First Act
Before the show starts, Jonathan is cutting Jane Tracy’s hair. She’ll be the host for Jonathan’s first hour today. He points out the tape on his fingers – the result of burns from all of the heat elements while preparing all the hair during New York Fashion Week. Next up, Jonathan moves on to the models and gets their hair in shape for the appearance. He gives the models a pep talk and, of course, tears up.
It’s time to get ready (and time for a hair cut, Jonathan. Really). The first hour is about the start and Jonathan heads to the studio, talking to himself the whole way. Beth Anne says she thinks she’s going to throw up. While the show continues, Jonathan and the host take phone calls and the Jonathan Product team follows the sales backstage. Apparently, sales usually spike during commercial breaks, so as soon as the commercial hits, the sales…..well, they don’t do much and they actually go down. Cut to Jonathan spraying the host’s hair like a nutter. He’s talking over the host, standing in front of the models and just tanking. It’s not good.
The first hour is over and Rob Lee meets with Jonathan to discuss the next hour and how Jonathan can be improve. Very quickly, things get crazy (shocking, I know) with Jonathan screaming, “I’m gonna call a chick a dude and a dude a chick!” So there.
The second hour is about to start and Jonathan’s a bit on edge. As soon as the cameras are on, Jonathan descends into a flop sweat. It’s epic. He blots his face with a towel and looks disoriented….more than usual. It looks like this is going to be a repeat of the first hour when, all of a sudden, something switches on and Jonathan comes to life. He’s still a nutter, but in a good way. The sales start to spike and the team backstage is practically jumping for joy. By the end of the hour, Jonathan Product has over 100,000 units and everyone rejoices because their meal ticket remains in place. Aaaaaand curtain
Next week: Jonathan’s teaching another cutting class, works a photo shoot with a testy photographer and clashes with Zorbit Scott again.
Jason had better be in next week's episode or I'll be pissed! Critical@fansofrealitytv.com