I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with hairdresser Faatemah Ampey last July in Las Vegas at the annual North American Hairstyling Award.
The upbeat and charming Faatemah was named the winner of the Fashion Forward category which was a great boost for her hairstyling career.
Sadly, Faatemah, recently a featured hairdresser at the recent International Spa and Salon Expo (ISSE) in Long Beach, California, didn't make the cut on Bravo's "Shear Genius 3" and was judged to be in the bottom two on the third episode of the reality hairdressing show this week.
Faatemah's hairdresser skills did not stand up to the judge's voting in the Elimination Challenge which required her to work in a team with English hairdresser Adee.
Shortcut Challenge - Week 3 - Male Hair Extensions - Episode Three
For the Shortcut Challenge nine men had to be transformed with hair extensions.
The two hour long challenge required the incorporation of a makeover for men. Camilla explained that the judging would be based upon the use of hair extensions and upon execution, technical skills, the overall style of the finished look and client satisfaction.
In the random draw for picking the male models Faatemah selected a scissor box with #6 inside. She said to Matthew who got #1, "switch?" Which of course he didn't.
Channeling Johnny Depp In Blow
Faatemah asked her male client "so tell me a little bit about what you want." The client said "I just had a ponytail and I cut it off a week ago. I mean I'm down with whatever you do."
She asked the camera "how am I gonna do longer, fuller and sexier on a man. That's not really my thing and he used to have really long hair and pull it back into a ponytail so that started to be the direction we were moving into." She told the client "you will like it."
When guest judge Ken Paves stopped by to talk to Faatemah she told Ken "I'm thinking first I want to see how his hair feels and I kinda want to see him with a sexy ponytail which I see as Johnny Depp in "Blow".
She continued "Maybe a few pieces falling out. I've never done a man's extensions before so I don't have any experience with men in ponytails. Just mine. This is all new to me, so just crossing my fingers hoping. I hope this will look like Johnny Depp."
Faatemah said "I saw April and I thought, 'she's not going to get done.' She was cutting in a period when everybody else was blow drying and done with their extensions. April's not going to make it."
Ken Paves Wanted Model To Remove The Ponytail
The judging was not in her favor. Ken Paves, when looking at Faatemah's male model with a newly added ponytail said "I do feel it's a bit disconnected."
Ken quipped "At first I wanted to put a bow on the back of it and chop down a cherry tree because it's very George Washington.
Ken asked the male model "do you always wear your hair in a ponytail?" The model said "not all the time, no." Ken said "would you like to take it out (the ponytail) and let us take a look." Faatemah looked horrified as did the model. Ken's eyes were very big.
Faatemah said to the camera "oh no, if he takes this ponytail down he's going to have the worst mullet ever." The model fumbled with his ponytail as if he was going to take it down and then he said "I'm liking the ponytail."
Ken said to Faatemah "you trained (your model) very well he was ...well maybe not. Faatemah told the camera "if I saw my guy walking down the street with that ponytail I gave him and he asked me for a drink I would be like 'ummmm I don't think so, not with that ponytail', and I gave it to him."
Faatemah Comes In Bottom Two
At the end, Ken Paves said "I'm sorry to say, and I have to say that the two weakest in this challenge were Faatemah and Amy." Faatemah took her finger and pretended to draw a tear drop down her cheek.
Ken said "you know Faatemah you weren't weak in the fact that you're taking with you the very experience but when he couldn't take his hair down that was really kind of a deciding factor for me."
Elimination Challenge - Week 3 - Romance Novel - Episode Three
The challenge? The remaining stylists were taken to a California ranch that served as a backdrop for photos for their first cover shoot which was for romance novels.
The stylists worked in teams to create sexy and dramatic looks for both a male and female model.
Since Matthew won the earlier Shortcut Challenge which involved adding hair extensions to male clients, he was allowed to select the teams and to select the cover shots. Matthew paired Faatemah with Adee.
Going into the Eliminate Challenge Faatemah was definitely at a disadvantage. Not only did she come in at the bottom two of the Shortcut Challenge, Adee is famous for whining and making excuses. He also came off a food poisioning experience.
Faatemah Gets Paired Up With Adee
Adee told the camera "pairing up me is the worst scenario because I'm not the best team player in the world."
Faatemah said "when they told Matthew he could pick his team, there's only one person I don't want to work with and that's Brig. He knew I'd kill him if he put me with her.
Matthew paired Adee and Faatemah to work on the cover "Heart Shaped Tempest"
After they moved into the barn Adee said to Faatemah "stressing sweatpea?" and Faatemah said "we're not stressing sweatpea." Faatemah asked Adee what he was thinking and Adee said "it would be really cool to do a really sexy braid or fishtail braid like Last Of The Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis.
No Point Of Romance Novel Reference
Faatemah said to the camera "I do not read Romance Novels so I'm hoping Adee has some idea of what a romance novel cover looks like. She told Adee "I'm going to build her shapes (the female model) based on what you're doing." Faatemah demonstrated to Adee "I'm going to set her through here and create braids but leaving her all down everywhere." Adee said "wicked."
Orlando Pita stopped by to visit with Faatemah and Adee. Adee told Orlando "we did a little consultation together. Then Faatemah said to Adee "are you going to speak for me or am I going to speak for me?" Adee said "go ahead you speak." Faatemah said "my shape will be built on his. I've thought it would be really cool to build her with an updo."
Orlando asked Faatemah "did you put anything in her hair?" Faatemah "not yet. I put hairspray in her hair. Is that going to be?" Orlando said "just make sure the curl holds."
Adee was definitely most concerned with his male model and how his haircut looked. He pointed out that he didn't have much control over the cameraman.
Really Hating The Look
Faatemah said as she reviewed the updo she created "I'm really hating the way this looks."
Off to the side Jonathan Antin said to the other judges, Ken Paves, Kim Vo and Camilla Alves "she (Faatemah's model) looks like she has two cinnabuns on her forehead."
Faatemah was brushing her model and said "I'm sad about these curls." She told the camera "I just wanted really really wanted to take the front of her hair down. But it is what it is. But unfortunately I just think there wasn't enough time to get it done. Now I have to hope that one picture is perfect for us tonight."
What's On Top Of Faatemah's Model's Head
Adee told the judges his favorite movie was "Last Of The Mohicans" and he was quite happy to take the guy and Faatemah was happy to take the lady. Adee said his haircut was "like a veil."
Kim Vo said "So Faatemah, what is that on top of her head? I mean is it curls? I don't understand the braids. Because there's too much.
Faatemah said "initially when he said he was going to do this "Last Of The Mohicans" haircut I wanted her up style to have the same movement." Kim said "was that your responsibility?" Faatemah "that is. I take full responsibility for that." Ken Paves said "she looks more Roman then Mohican. Inappropriate for this challenge." Faatemah said "I'm not arguing with you."
Camilla said "what did you want to do with those curls? Did you want to let it loose and coming down side?" Faatemah "I just wanted a loose wave but it just got down to the wire where. I guess my only response to that is 'I don't have a point of reference for what we did."
Jonathan Antin said "there's not excuse. There's no excuse."
Barrel Curls Like Chattanooga ChoCho
Later during the private judging when the contestants were offstage Jonathan Antin said to the other judges "Faatemah, I feel like she just way over the top. The barrel curls have got like a Chattanooga ChoCho look to it."
Ken said "if you're going to bring a model onset finish it before the photographer takes the first picture so you don't have to try and explain 'I wasn't finished." Well what do you mean, you weren't finished."
Camilla said "I never got this little cinnabuns on top. Was it two or one cinnabun?" Kim Vo quipped "you couldn't tell."
The result of the judging? Faatemah and Adee were in the bottom two. Camilla said "Adee and Faatemah, for one of you this will be your final cut." Camilla then said "Faatemah, I'm sorry, but this is your final cut." Faatemah gave the judges a salute.
Leaving With Grace
Faatemah took the news with grace and class. She said to the judges "thank you for the experience." She looked over at the other contestants and said "thank you guys." Faatemah walked out of the salon.
Several of the remaining contestants looked shocked.
Faatemah said to the cameras "I'm walking away from this feeling really good about the experience. I met a lot of great people. I'm proud of myself for standing up there as strong as I am and letting people tell me I'm not perfect and I'm not Shear Genius. For me that's a huge growth in itself.
Shortcut Challenge - Week 2 - Overbleached Blonde Makeover - Episode Two
Looking bad at Week 2, Faatemah did not finish in either the top three or the bottom three for either the Shortcut Challenge or the Elimination Challenge.
The second week had a surprising announcement when contestant Giacomo announced he was quitting. Faatemah's take when Giacomo announced he was quitting at the beginning of the second episode because he missed his three babies back at home?
Faatemah said "we all knew it was going to be hard and uncomfortable and we were going to miss our families. As a mother I think that was just a cheap excuse. It was an easy way out. But one less person to worry about. You know?"
For the Shortcut Challenge for the second week Faatemah had to work with an overbleached blonde model. She asked her model "are you OK with me giving you roots so that when it grows out it's OK when your root comes in?"
Faatemah told the camera "she wants to (air quotes) stay blonde as they always do, even though her hair's fried"
When questioned by Celebrity Judge Kim Vo "so she's going to stay blonde?" about her plan of action on the bleached blonde Faatemah said "yeah, she pretty much made it clear that she didn't care what we did as long as she stayed blonde."
Kim's response? "It just seems so safe my love. I think you have to work on her, you have to work on her."
The results? Faatemah discussed her blonde model "I really really saw her with a copper tone with her blonde."
Kim Vo said "The only thing I would be really careful with are the lowlights in front. If someone ever tells you they really want it light, don't even get close to a low light. This is real estate, this is Park Place, this is Board Walk."
Faatemah neither placed in the top three or the bottom three.
Elimination Challenge - Week 2 - Food Challenge - Episode Two
For the second elimination challenge the remaining stylists were asked to create a hairstyle based on a tasting menu created by Chef Jason Johnston.
They were asked to interpret the texture, colors and presentation of the dishes into their server's hairstyles.
Faatemah made it clear she did not like Brig, who definitely is a larger-then-life personality.
During the styling of the challenge Faatemah told The Shear Genius Camera "Brig is right next to me at I'm looking at this circus soleil something. Brig is in her own universe at this point.
Faatemah told the camera "now two hours at the salon are down and now we're headed to The Roosevelt (hotel). It will be interested to see what the judges think."
The judges for the second week included guest judge Joel Warren, regular judge Jonathan Antin and of course the fabulous Kim Vo as well as Camilla Alves.
When it came to Faatemah she introduced her server and explained to the judges "I had Flan. It tasted light, airy fluffy so I created this soft billowy shape. I'm feeling really really good.
The result? Along with Adee, April and Janine, Faatemah made "the cut." But as Camilla said "it was not Shear Genius."
She did not place in the top three or the bottom three.
Elimination Challenge - Week 1 - LSpace Swimwear - Episode One
For the very first elimination challenge, the twelve Shear Genius hairdressers had to design hairstyles to match swimwear bottoms. The key was to make sure the hair covered the model's breasts. None of the models seemed to have enough hair to completely cover their breasts so it required the addition of hair extensions.
Faatemah did okay in the challenge neither landing in the top three or the bottom three. She made the cut and was excused with the rest of the those who didn't make it to the top or bottom.
Joey from Australia was the loser and was sent home. Janine won the challenge.
Shortcut Challenge - Week 1 - Blonde Makeover - Episode One
Coming out of the gate for the very first Shortcut Challenge the contestants had to deal with clients who needed a drastic change. In essence they had to take their stylists from punk to polished.
The selection of the models was left to chance which meant the contestants had to select red scissor boxes with numbers inside indicating their term at selecting a model.
Faatemah had to tackle pink hair and considering what she had to start with, she did great.
Unfortunately Faatemah wound up in the bottom three along with Janine Jarman and Brian for her pink haired makeover. The winner of the challenge was Amy.
Faatemah didn't make the final cut in the third elimination challenge on Shear Genius Season Three. She lost while partnered with Adee who also did not win points with the judges for his haircut.
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- Revised Publication Date: 11/01/10
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