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Last week on Shear Genius Nekisa once again escaped elimination and we saw Glenn go home instead after her take on a Jaclyn Smith/Charlie’s Angels-style ‘do failed to pass muster with the judges. Nekisa is turning out to be the cockroach of the show: no matter what she does, you just can’t kill her. Let’s hope no one else falters this week, so we can finally see her get what’s been coming to her week after week. Do I have a personal problem with Nekisa? Not really. What I do have a serious problem with is her talking back to the judges – people who are more knowledgeable and skilled than she is – when she does crappy work and is taken to task for it. Just shut up and take the criticism, honey. You might learn something.

Ah well, enough of that! Let’s get down to it and deal with our remaining 6 stylists, who begin this episode as always: in the Shear Genius salon with Jaclyn Smith. She reminds them about how disappointed she and the rest of the judges were in their work on the Charlie’s Angels challenge. Because there was no winner in that challenge, the Allure Wall of Fame is empty. It’s now the Allure Wall of Shame. In what may be a bit of wishful thinking, Jaclyn says she knows there won’t be a repeat of the last challenge. This week, the guest judge for the Short Cut Challenge is Robert Hallowell, aka the Kitchen Beautician. He got that name because of his use of products from the pantry to make hair and beauty treatments.

Their goal with this Short Cut Challenge, Jaclyn explains, is to create a style that is futuristic, fabulous and beyond belief due to its unusual cut, shape and height. They must create the style without the use of hair spray or any other styling products normally found in a salon. Daniel, who relies on hair spray like a crutch, screams out like a girl. They can only use the natural products provided as their styling aids. The stylists choose scissor boxes to determine the order in which they will select their clients and the styling products. The order is:
On a table in front of them are jars of over 33 all-natural green products. They must use at least two of the products in their client’s hair. Every one of the products could be found in their fridge at home.

Nekisa chooses molasses and then looks at the anchovies, saying they look like Charlie’s insides. A little verbal bitch fight ensues and I tune out. I’d boot both of these two. They annoy the snot out of me. Nekia finally settles on mustard as her second product, seasoning that it could give some color. Paulo chooses corn syrup and coconut oil, while Charlie gets flour an sea salt. Nicole chooses caramel and sugar. Dee selects egg whites and butter and Daniel opts for avocado and peanut butter. Daniel is living on the edge this week. Apparently, peanut butter makes him yack, so he feels like he’s taking a big risk by using it.

They will have 45 minutes for this challenge. Nicole explains that she chose the caramel for its stickiness. Nekisa immediately begins trash talking Nicole’s design. Charlie goes back to the table and adds honey to his ingredients. How the hell are these women going to get all this crap out of their hair? Nicole returns to the table as well and decides that adding squid to the style is going to improve the situation. The client looks like she wants to bolt. They can’t be paying her that much for this. Charlie continues to trash talk anyone in the general vicinity, including Dee and then Daniel, who has added beets to his style. Charlie notes that they look like little, maroon testicles.

Robert surveys the damage. Paulo used the corn syrup as a gel and the coconut oil to give shine to create a space age princess. Roberts likes the look, but wonders how the client will get that crap out of her hair. Daniel admits he loves hair spray, but manages to make a pretty cool ‘do with the products he chose. Charlie’s used the honey to create the shape in his space goddess style. Dee created a kind of futuristic Japanese doll, using quince paste for the jagged pieces sticking out from the client’s head. Nekisa’s model looks miserable and like she’s over the whole thing. Robert comments that Nekisa covered the model’s forehead, which is one of her good features. Nicole admits that nothing worked for her today. She took out the squid because – duh – it just smelled too much.

It’s time for Robert to announce his decision. The clear loser this time is Nicole and she expected. The shape just didn’t work, but he did like the wave in the front. Nicole’s model looks like she’s in shock: like a war refugee. The top three this week are Paulo, Daniel and Dee. The winner, is Paulo, who Daniel says deserved the win…even though he goes on to whine about Paulo having “easy” hair to work with because the client had lots of curly hair.

Back at the house, there’s all kinds of drama and, of course, Nekisa is at the center of it. Nekisa bags on Nicole’s work at the Short Cut Challenge. Nicole counters that at least she admits when she does crappy work. Meow.

Psychotic Duck’s Ass on Crack
The next morning, the stylists leave the salon to meet Rene Fris in a nearby park. He claims he’s about to give them the biggest lame surprise. Ever. Over a hill come a group of women carrying dogs. Nekisa is excited because she misses her dog. Like this is a play date or something. These dogs will be their clients for the next challenge. Dee immediately worries because she’s never cut dog hair. For this challenge, Rene explains, they must cut and style the dog’s hair. Paulo gets first pick of his dog and will then decide the order in which the other stylists choose their “clients.” Paulo chooses a cute little gray dog (<--proof I know my dog breeds), Nicole chooses a Yorkiepoo. This is, apparently, a breed and not the dog’s name. Nekisa gets a poodle, Charlie’s dog is white and fuzzy and Dee gets a Pomeranian. Daniel chooses last and ends up with the largest dog, which also might be a poodle.

They’ve chosen their dogs, but those dogs certainly can’t walk down the runway alone, Rene tells them. Their dog’s owner must be given a cut and style inspired by the look given to the dog. Paulo groans: he wasn’t even looking at the owners’ hair.

Back at the salon, Rene gives the stylists two and a half hours to style both the dog and the client. Dee plans to use the dog’s funky tail as inspiration in her work. Nicole starts out planning to cut 6 inches off her client’s super-long hair. We’re talking like Crystal Gayle-length hair here, so 6 inches is a trim. Everyone is nervous about cutting their dog client’s hair. Most of them have never done it: Nekisa has only cut her own dog’s hair and, after this, I can’t imagine what that poor pooch looks like on a daily basis. The SPCA may need to get involved. Nekisa admits she’s completely in the dark as to what the judges want. Yes, we could tell. Rene badgers her about the fact that she isn’t planning to color the client’s hair and she finally relents.

Across the salon, Daniel is singing to Lola, his dog client and annoying the bejesus out of Paulo and me. Paulo is struggling over cutting the dog’s hair and Rene Fris notes that the dog’s cut is not a consistent length. When questioned, Charlie admits that Dee is his biggest competition, but says she’s a bitch. Hello? Pot, meet kettle. Rene asks Nekisa’s client if she’s happy with the style Nekisa has given her and, yeah, she’s not. Daniel, who has finally stopped singing, is now putting hair extensions in the dog’s fur. It’s curly like the client’s hair, he reasons, as he clips it onto the dog’s head. Time’s up and everyone gets ready for the runway.

Dog Show!
The judges for this week’s challenge are Kim Vo, Kelly Atterton and fourth generation dog trainer, Jennifer McCarthy. Jaclyn reminds the stylists that their challenge was to cut a dog’s hair and then capture the similarities between the dog and its owner. The clients walk the runway with their dogs. Charlie’s client looks like she’s wearing a curly football helmet. Nekisa made a big change in the cut and color of her client’s hair, but it’s obvious she didn’t check the dog’s cut: it’s completely uneven. Paulo tried to create the same texture in both the client’s and her dog’s hair. Nicole cut 17 inches (you read that right) off her client’s hair and it’s not a buzz cut. She’s got an adorable bob. Also adorable? Her dog. If I saw them on the street, I’d push her down and grab the dog. Dee wanted to give her client a fun, warm color and took her styling cues from the tail of the client’s Pomeranian. Daniel pretty much just took a weird curly hair piece that matches the client’s hair and clipped it onto the dog’s head. Weird.

The clients and their dogs join the stylists. Daniel explains that his client’s color was uneven, so he worked to fix that. Kim Vo loves the extensions he used on the dog. Nekisa claims his client’s hair was too dark, so she wanted to lighten it and then gave the hair more texture so the client’s hair would look more her dog’s fur. Kelly Atterton questions Nekisa’s use of product, which seems to have weighed the client’s hair down. Jennifer McCarthy doesn’t see any correlation between the dog and the client.

Paulo explains that he wanted to play on shapes and took his cue from the dog’s long ears when cutting the client’s hair. Kim Vo takes a closer look and says there’s a fine line between good and bad color. Well, yes, but I don’t think they whole fine line thing comes into play here. Kelly Atterton compliments Dee on her color: she showed how coloring a brunette can turn out wartm and not stripey. She doesn’t look right at Nekisa, but she doesn’t have to. Kelly’s only concern is the spiky bits on the crown of the client’s hair. I’m concerned too: it’s a bit Alfalfa-y. Still, Jaclyn says the correlation between the dog and the client is clear in Dee’s work. Jennifer McCarthy loves what Dee did to the dog’s tail.

When looking at Charlie’s work, Kim Vo comments that it’s hard to look both matronly and crazy, but Charlie got the job done. Oh, snap! Charlie freely admits he wasn’t into this challenge. The client hesitates admitting the haaaates her new ‘do and simply says it’s a drastic change. Kim Vo thinks Nicole’s client’s hair is a bit stripey. Kelly Atterton says the client’s style has a softness and is similar in that way to the dog’s coat. Jennifer McCarthy takes a closer look at the dog’s cut and tells Nicole she should probably have left more fur on the dog’s face.

Jaclyn dismisses the stylists so the judges can rip on Charlie and Nekisa make their decisions. Kim Vo says he liked Daniel’s work and Kelly Atterton admits she likes the curls in the dog’s hair. Jaclyn likes Daniel’s dog, but it was a bit 80’s for Jennifer McCarthy. Jaclyn thinks Nekisa’s model looked better before Nekisa got ahold of her. Kim Vo mentions the bad highlights in the client’s hair, while Jennifer McCarthy points out the uneven cut on the dog.

Paulo’s client looks like her hair was cut with a weed whacker, says Kim Vo. Kelly Atterton thinks that, if Paulo had cut the hair a bit shorter, it would look like a mullet. Jaclyn saw the correlation between Dee’s client and her dog. Kelly Atterton loved Dee’s work too and so did Jennifer McCarthy. The dog looks like a fox, she jokes. It’s clear to everyone, including Kim Vo, that Charlie just did not get it. Kelly Atterton says the client’s cuckoo hair called for a cuckoo dog. In contrast, Jaclyn says, Nicole’s work this week showed amazing improvement. Kelly points out that both styles had movement. Jennifer McCarthy says Nicole might have taken off a bit too much hair on the dog’s face.

Every Dog Has Its Day
The stylists return to the salon to learn their fates. This challenge wasn’t just about grooming, Jaclyn lecture them: this was about the dog as well. She then asks Daniel and Dee to step forward. She then congratulates them on being this week’s top two. The judges loves the look Daniel gave his client and liked the use of product on the dog. The judges clearly saw the inspiration of the dog’s style in the client’s hair in Dee’s work and the judges thought they matched perfectly. This week’s winner is Dee. Daniel gives her a big hug and actually looks pleased for her.

This week’s bottom three are Charlie, Paulo, Nekisa. It was obvious Charlie’s heart wasn’t in this challenge and it showed. Charlie tells the judges he still wants to be there. But, he says, he never wanted to cut a dog’s hair and never wants to do it again. Because the judges have bigger fish to fry, Charlie is safe this week. Everyone is annoyed. The texture of Nekisa’s style was flat and the color was the wrong tone. Plus, there was no connection between the client and her dog. Paulo’s color was too brassy and didn’t match the dog. Still, his work was 8,000 times better than the abomination Nekisa created this week. FINALLY, Nekisa is out! Paulo looks shocked. Everyone pretends they’re sorry to see Nekisa go. This moment will probably be Charlie’s new happy place.

With only 5 stylists left, Jaclyn cautions, they will all have to work smarter and take more risks. It’s basically the same thing she says every week. Nekisa packs her things and claims she learned how to be tough and focused from this competition and then blames the dog – and she’s only half-joking – for her elimination.

Next Week:: There’s more screaming about the clients and more screaming by clients….after they see their new hairstyles.