Last week, the stylists on Shear Genius went doggie style and not only had to create new looks for a pack of dogs, they had to give the owners a look to match. Most of the results – even Dee’s winning look – were pretty alarming. Hair extensions on a dog. ‘Nuff said. On the bright side, Nekisa finally went home. Say it with me now: HALLELUJAH! I’m sure this week’s guest judge is happy he doesn’t have to deal with her whining snarkiness when she would inevitably end up in the bottom two once again.

We’re now down to the final five: Charlie, Nicole, Paulo, Dee and Daniel. While there’s still some bitchiness – mainly in the form of Charlie – these five seem to at least grudgingly respect each other.

The stylists begin the episode in the Shear Genius salon, where they meet Jaclyn Smith. Jaclyn directs Dee’s attention to the Allure Wall-O-Fame, where her work on the Pomeranian and her owner now hang. Jaclyn praises the remaining five stylists: they should be proud of themselves for having made it this far. She then introduces this week’s guest judge, who has styled such luminaries as Ryan Seacrest and the American Idol contestants. This is the man who created Sanjaya’s ponyhawk. Now you know who to address the hate mail to. His name is Dean Banowetz and he has a tweezer addiction.

Today’s clients have very busy schedules, so the stylists will only have 30 minutes for this Short Cut Challenge. This time, the clients will be choosing the stylists. Out comes a herd of little girls, who run, screaming, at the alarmed stylists. The girls each choose a designer by running up to them and hugging them….all except Paulo’s girl, who looks a little alarmed. She’s probably a slow runner and got stuck with the scary guy with all the piercings and the hair like a troll doll.

Dean tells the stylists he has 75 nieces and nephews and he cuts hair for all of them. What is he, like, related to the Duggars or something? 75 kids? Jeez. This week’s clients are all about to start first grade and the stylists will be creating a first day of school look for their clients. The style should be kid-friendly and help them make a great first impression. Nicole admits she’s only cut her nephews’ hair and that was just a case of holding them down and giving them a buzz cut. There’s not a lot of finesse involved there.

You Can’t Go Wrong With a Little Jaclyn
The challenge begins and, when questioned about what kind of style she wants, Daniel’s client immediately points to Jaclyn. He sets out to create an age-appropriate little Jaclyn. She likes the color and curl of Jaclyn’s hair. Paulo’s client is extremely wiggly and he’s not sure how he’ll be able to cut her hair successfully. Nicole’s client, Claire, wants curls. Nicole notes that it is much more difficult to cut a child’s hair: their faces are smaller, so the haircut has to be softer. Charlie’s client announces that her idol is Paris Hilton. He works on creating a double ponytail with curls. She looks like she’s going to her freaking prom….of course, this might be the look she’s going for. Dee’s client wants layers and bangs but, so far, her hair seems to be all one length and there are no bangs. She quickly cuts some bangs and Daniel observes that she made her client look younger. This is not a positive when the kid is six.

Time’s up and Dean reviews everyone’s work. Daniel explains that his client, Veronica, wanted Jaclyn’s hair. Veronica clearly loves it. She’s practically jumping up and down on her chair. Paulo gave his client long layers and softened her bangs. She, of courser, loves it, but in a quiet, understated way. Nicole’s client Claire, was given soft bangs and says she’s happy with the style. This is the most stern little kid I’ve ever seen. I’d hate to see what “mad” looks like if this is happy. Charlie explains that his client has very fine hair that doesn’t curl or stay in rubber bands. He wanted to do a special style for her first day of school. It’s another successful ‘do: she loves it. Dee explains that her client wanted layers and bangs. Dean lectures her: severe bangs need to be double-checked and even I can see that the bangs are really uneven. Still, her client is happy.

Dean’s bottom two are Paulo and Dee. Paulo’s client may like curls, but the style didn’t last. Some accessories might have helped give the style some staying power. Dee didn’t check the line of the bangs and they were very uneven. The top two this week are Daniel and Charlie. Daniel listened to what his client wanted and he followed through and did just that. Charlie also listened to his client and made the style indestructible. The winner of this Short Cut Challenge is Daniel. Once again, he’ll have some power in the Elimination Challenge.

A Wonderful Cocky Little Black Man
The stylists return to the house and I wonder what the hell they’re going to do without Nekisa there to fight with. I don’t know if these people are capable of drinking without fighting. Luckily they prove me wrong. Everyone toasts to their little girl clients and then Nicole suggests they put on a fashion show in honor of the “fallen” stylists. Daniel volunteers to be the emcee of the show and Dee emerges first, dressed as Oshun and it is DEAD ON. She’s got him down, from the clothing to the lame way he managed to work “ocean” into every sentence. Nicole comments that it’s pretty amazing that, even though Oshun was eliminated the first week, Dee was still able to do a perfect impression of him. Paulo emerges next as Matt, wearing every bit of jewelry he can find and talking obsessively about his wife. Then comes Meredith….no, it’s actually Nicole doing a frighteningly accurate impression of Meredith, complete with spacey eyes and acting, as Daniel says “crazy as a june bug.” Bringing up the rear is Charlie doing an alarming impression of Nekisa. Charlie yells like Nekisa always yelled at him. He’s a bit stockier, but otherwise, it’s dead on. The last impression of the night is an invisible person, pretending to be Gail. Ouch.

The next morning, everyone is in the salon for the Elimination Challenge. Rene Fris greets them with his usual “Hihi” and then tells them he has a special treat for them. Today’s clients have seen them at their worst and now want to see them at their best. Their task is to update their client’s current hairstyle and create something they can be proud of. The clients them enter the salon and the stylists all scream like little girls….even louder than when Kate Jackson was on the show. The five ladies who enter the salon are the loved ones of each stylist. We meet Charlie’s sister Kelly, Paulo’s cousin Carla, Daniel’s mother Sandra, Dee’s mom Linda and Nicole’s mother Sharon.

There’s a flurry of screaming and hugging until Rene breaks the bad news: they won’t be working on their own family member. Each of them will be working on another stylists loved one. Since Daniel won the Short Cut Challenge, he gets to pair up the stylists with their clients. He pairs them up like this:
Daniel picks Nicole’s mom for himself
Charlie will work with Dan’s mom
Dee will be styling Paulo’s cousin
Nicole is paired with Dee’s mom and she isn’t happy about it because Dee’s mom has really short hair
That leaves Paulo with Charlie’s sister

Everyone’s a Critic
They will have an hour and a half to complete the style, so everyone hurries to get started. Charlie says he’ll be keeping Sandra’s blonde, but will be getting rid of the gray. Nicole wants to go even shorter with Dee’s mom. She says Dee warned her about Mexican hair and now she sees why: Dee’s mom has a TON is hair. Dee wants something edgy for Paulo’s cousin and also seems to want to direct Nicole’s every move. She can’t stop going over to fuss over her mother. Dee’s mother says she’d like warm tones in her hair and likes her hair lighter, so Nicole decides to go darker. Daniel plans to bring up the length of Nicole’s mom’s hair. Dee opts to not remove the black dye from Paulo’s cousin’s hair and decides instead to bring in some burgundy highlights. Paulo’s also doing highlights: he’s choosing to hand paint the highlights, claiming it will look more natural.

Charlie warns his sister that Paulo likes to do crazy color and she looks even more worried. Nicole tells us she just broke her mom of poofy southern hair and now that she’s sitting in Daniel’s chair, the poof is back. Daniel looks on and tells us Charlie has cut his mother’s hair too short. Likewise, Charlie isn’t happy with what Paulo is doing with his sister’s hair tells his sis that Paulo does crazy color. Dee hovers, watching as Nicole cuts her mother’s hair “too short.” Actually, it’s pretty G.I. Jane, but she might be able to carry it off. We’ll have to see what the judges think.

Hair Show!
The judges for this week’s Elimination Challenge are Kim Vo, Kelly Atteron and, guest judge David Babaii, who is there shilling his product line. David’s clients include Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie. Well then.

Each of the ladies takes a turn on the runway and some of the results are clearly better than others. Dee has given Paulo’s cousin lots of layers and volume and some bright red highlights. Because her hair is very dark, the highlights aren’t too Bozo the Clown. Dan’s mom is sporting a short, blonde shag, which Charlie likens to Sharon Stone’s ‘do. Nicole’s mom takes her turn and, sadly, it looks like a wig. There’s just too much dullness in the color. Dee’s mom has a very strong face, which is a good thing, ‘cause her hair is so short it looks like a little helmet. Charlie’s sister, sadly, looks like her hair was attacked with a weed whacker. It looks suspiciously like Paulo’s hair: there are pieces sticking out all over the place.

Dee tells the judges that Paulo’s cousin Carla wanted a shag, so she gave her hair lots of layers and some fun color. David Babaii loves the bangs and the framing around the face. Paulo says he would have preferred the reds to be a bit deeper. Carla says she loves the look, but admits she’s not so good with upkeep and that’s prevented her from getting highlights in the past.

Charlie explains his color process in doing Dan’s mom’s hair. He wanted to give her a look she didn’t have to spend a lot of time on. He then describes her ears as “different,” which is sort of like calling someone special when they’re really just slow. Dan’s mom says she generally likes bigger hair, but she does like this style. Kim Vo likes the color, but likens Charlie’s attempt to conceal her ears to the kind of hairstyle favored by women who’ve just had a face lift. Kelly Atterton likes the cut and color and so does Jaclyn.

Daniel introduces Nicole’s mother, Sharon. He obviously stayed with the blonde and then goes on to explain the process of coloring her hair. Kim Vo asks Sharon if she likes the color and she says she does. How does Nicole feel about her mom’s new ‘do? She likes the cut, but thinks the styling is too “flippy.” Unsurprisingly, she would have gone blonder. Kelly Atterton agrees, saying the color needs more brightness. Daniel jokes that he used very little teasing and NO hair spray, but I don’t believe it. He’s like a crackhead with the hair spray.

Nicole introduces Dee’s mom, Linda. She explains that she cut Linda’s hair so short because she’s a so tiny and has a beautiful face: Nicole thought she could handle the short hair. Linda admits it’s a little shorter than she wanted: she likes a little height. It’s also too short for Dee. Kelly Atterton thinks Linda has the personality to carry it off. David Babaii takes a closer look at the cut and says that, technically, it’s a superb cut. Jaclyn would have liked more movement, but says it’s a strong cut.

Paulo says he wanted to give Charlie’s sister, Kelly, the ability to wear her hair straight or curly. Kelly compares her expression to a Pomeranian. She says the style isn’t really her, but claims to like it. Uh-huh. Sure. Kim Vo says this has become Paulo’s signature look. Kelly Atterton asks Charlie if he thinks it’s a good cut and Charlie says no. Jaclyn likes the length and says it fits her face. Kelly Atterton compliments Paulo on his more subtle approach to color. So, while he made her look like a troll doll, at least he didn’t give her blue stripes.

Like Kicking a Puppy
Jaclyn excuses the stylists to go wait in the back while the judges deliberate. Jaclyn says she loves the transformation Dee created and Kelly Atterton agrees, saying it was a flattering cut. David Babaii says the client’s posture showed that she liked the cut. Kim Vo is the lone voice of dissension: the color was too punk for him. Jaclyn is all compliments so far: she liked Charlie’s work as well. Kim Vo agrees and thinks the color warmed up her skin. Kelly didn’t agree with the styling choices. She and Jaclyn are a bit puzzled by the ear situation.

Kelly thinks Daniel gave Nicole’s mom some style. Kim thinks Daniel got close on the color, but should have given her more highlights. Kelly thinks the cut works and frames her face well, although she admits some more highlights would have been good. The judges joke that Nicole’s mother has probably already made an appointment to get more highlights. Paulo’s work didn’t impress anyone. The texture of her hair won’t take to all of those layers: David Babaii likens the cut to a palm tree. Jaclyn likes the way the cut frames her face. Kelly calls Nicole’s style “daring” because hair is often like a security blanket and Dee’s hair is, well, gone. Kelly thinks it’s a cut a stylist should give only when asked. Kim Vo thinks the hair looks painted on. David Babaii comments that Dee’s mom’s hair is so thick that she has no styling options at this length.

The stylists return to the salon and Jaclyn calls Dee, Charlie and Daniel forward. They are the top three this week. Dan’s cut was a big improvement and he created a style that was classy and sophisticated. Dee’s cut was flattering and it softened her client’s face. The judges loved the color Charlie gave his client. The cut itself was excellent and the transformation was impressive. Jaclyn congratulates Daniel on his great work, but tells him he didn’t win the challenge. This week’s winner is Charlie, who shows what a sore winner he is by boasting about his three challenge wins and says it’s great to be back on top. Feh.

Paulo and Nicole are this week’s bottom two. They step forward, holding hands. Jaclyn explains why the judges placed them in the bottom two. Nicole’s color needed to be lighter and the short cut left her client with no styling options. Paulo’s cut just didn’t work for the client’s hair type. Plus, the cut was too choppy and the layers too detached. It’s Nicole’s lucky day, because the judges choose to eliminate Paulo. Paulo proves to be a class act, giving everyone hugs and gushing – albeit a bit inappropriately – over Jaclyn, his first crush.

Jaclyn gives her little lecture of the week, telling the final four that, to win the big money, they’ll have to produce work that is shear genius.

Paulo packs up his things and tells us this has been like a dream come true. He feels like he has a greater awareness of who he is and what he can do. Everyone screws up, he says, but you just have to learn from it and move on.

Next Week: The final four move and the final three are decided in a beauty blood bath.