Before the third Season of Shear Genius started, insiders were projecting that Minneapolis hairdresser Faatemah Ampey was going to be the Diva of the Hairdresser Darlings and even possibly take away the $100,000 prize.
Alas, it was not meant to be. At the end of the third episode, Faatemah has sent packing.
(Image Of Faatemah Ampey - Shear Genius 3 - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
Why? There wasn't any one reason, but if you study the three episodes she was on the show, a pattern does emerge. Don't get me wrong. I am a Faatemah fan. I had the immense pleasure of meeting Faatemah at the NAHA awards in July of 2010 where the lovely and charming Faatemah graciously accepted her award for Best Fashion Forward designs.
So why was she cut from the hairdresser reality show on Bravo?
As a licensed hairdresser who also have been focused on consumer hair issues since 1997 I believe I have a unique perspective on both sides of the chair.
When I was attending Paul Mitchell Beauty school, we often had competitions. The first one was very unnerving. We had to do an updo on our mannequins. It was a timed competition with a big giant ticking clock placed in the middle of the room.
Some of the better students who I had expected to win, fell apart because of the pressure of the ticking clock and the constant scrutiny of our teachers who were walking around the room and asking lots of questions. Students were grabbing hairspray and bobby pins and trying to snatch everyone's tools.
(Adee From Shear Genius 3 - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
Being the oldest student in the class, I had already figured out to stand out of the way of the rest of the students, keep all my tools in my uniform apron (to avoid borrowing) and say affirmations in my head. Because I was so far off to the side, the teachers stayed away from me and didn't ask many distracting questions. I also faced away from the clock.
While Faatemah is an amazing hairdresser with a fabulous attitude and fun personality, I wonder if she fell victim to the same issues my fellow Paul Mitchell students fell upon?
If you notice, Orlando Pita, who is a great hairdresser might make anyone nervous. He is constantly walking around and asking questions while the stylists are working and literally racing the clock.
You also have the stylists looking at what everyone else is doing (and making snide remarks) and then of course there are the Bravo cameras and the moody models. All in all, not a great competitive environment.
Also, there have to be nerves and the Shear Genius contestants were required to use the products and tools provided by Bravo.
(Image of Faatemah Ampey Punk To Polished Makeover - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
That was another issue at Paul Mitchell. As students we could only use Paul Mitchell products, but I was used to a wide range of tools that were not Paul Mitchell. I learned to love Paul Mitchell and now I use many of the products. However, if you're used to a certain hairspray, for example, switching to a different brand can be distracting for some hairdressers.
Finally, the teachers at my Cosmo school tended to have preconceived notions of what the students could do. Which is why it's so important to be on your best behavior when you first show up at cosmo school.
Was Faatemah distracted by any of the issues I mention above? Or were the judges more focused on other contestants? Did the judges even have the sophistication to fairly judge her work? And why was Adee allowed to mouth off but remain on the show? Hmmmm. Good question.
Even though Faatemah is pretty and talented, she was overshadowed by some of the more colorful contestants such as the obvious orange tressed Brig, the loud Jon and the whiny drama king, Adee.
Faatemah made it through the first two episodes without winning either a Shortcut or an Elimination Challenge. While she did a great job with a pink haired hot mess, she didn't win the challenge and in fact, found herself in the bottom three. Not a great start.
(Image of all the remaining Shear Genius contestants before the third episode elimination of Faatemah Ampey - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
Although she redeemed herself in the first elimination contest she neither made it to the top three or the bottom three. For the second episode she skated through without either being in the bottom three or the top three for either The Shortcut or The Elimination challenge.
She managed to skate by without making major waves. She was low key. Classy and beautiful yes, but not standing out in any way. Probably not good in a reality TV show.
In the Shortcut Challenge her transformation of a bad blonde on a model resulted in Hollywood Colorist Kim Vo criticizing her use of low lights and indicating she was playing it too safe. However, she stayed out of the bottom three.
By the third episode Faatemah was on a collision course. Not only did she come in at the bottom of the Short Cuts competition with her hair extension male ponytail which guest judge Ken Paves didn't like, she was partnered with the high maintenance and whiny Adee for the Elimination Challenge.
I personally want to slap that guy who is a baby, big loser and disrespectful to the judges and Camilla Alves.
(Faatemah Ampey's Male Hair Extension Makeover - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
Oddly, Fateemah had the woman in the Romance Novel Cover contest and her ultimate hairstyle caught a lot of flack from judge Jonathan Antin who deemed her big barrel curls as cinnabuns on top of the model's head. Not a good omen. While Adee joined Fateemah in the bottom two, Adee redeemed himself with his Sassoonesque precision male haircut.
Fateemah was out. While many of the other contestants seemed shocked, of course Brig was thrilled since she had a run-in with Fateemah earlier in the day.
Ultimately Fateemah didn't have a big winner from the first or second shows which could've bought her a little grace to hang in there for another shot at the fourth episode.
Also, Adee is a bigger bolder personality, even if he whines. After all, a reality TV show has to have some colorful characters to keep the viewers coming back.
(Image of Ken Paves (L) and Kim Vo (R) on Shear Genius Episode 3 of Shear Genius 3 - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)
I personally think Faatemah is a great hairdresser and very talented. Unfortunately I think the competition was not her best venue and the judges in some cases did not have the sophistication to judge her work as it might have been judged.
You could say she was more advanced and polished than some of them - no names mentioned of course.
I am curious why Orlando Pita, who is considered one of the best hairdressers in the world, never does the judging? I think Faatemah might have fared better in some of the competitions with Orlando. Or maybe not. It's all water under the bridge at this point.
(Image of Faatemah Ampey (L), April (Center) and Brig (Right) with their male makeover models - Short Cuts Challenge - 3rd Episode of Bravo/TV's Shear Genius - All Rights Reserved).
It will be interesting to see who gets cut from the fourth episode. The remaining competitors include Matthew, Janine, Brian, Amy, Brig, Jon, April and Adee.
Brian, who seems like a good guy, has been nothing but a train wreck even getting dye in the eye of one of his models. His blonde makeover Shortcut Challenge was a disaster. Why does he keep surviving? He seems to be on the edge. So does Amy who seems to have a hard time with customer satisfaction and getting along with people in general. Yes, Amy is a very cute blonde, but she seems to have major attitude.
The top contenders at this point include Janine, Matthew and Jon who won the second Elimination Contest with his hair interpretation of scallops. It was brilliant. Brig may hang around for awhile even though all the other contestants seem to hate her and have no respect for her.
(Image of Bravo/TV's Shear Genius 3 contestants entering the Shear Genius Salon. Faatemah Ampey is 2nd from the left - All Rights Reserved)
While I'm sad that Faatemah was cut, I am thrilled that my favorite contestant, Janine Jarman is still standing. I also like Matthew and Jon, but would not feel bad if anyone else is eliminated this week. As far as Brig? She's dumb like a fox. Watch out for her.
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