Saturday, June 7, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

So, Groomer Has It is down to the final four: Artist, Kathleen, Jonathan and Jorge. So far, this show has not had any big surprises or upsets. If that pattern continues, then Artist should be saying goodbye on today's episode.

The episode begins with Jonathan and Kathleen telling the camera how much they are disliking each other. Perhaps my guess about today's elimination is wrong since every episode tends to begin with foreshadowing about who is being eliminated.

The Quick Sniff takes place at a dog rescue organization, or so we are led to believe. But, surprise, there is no Quick Sniff this week. This is the elimination challenge. Jorge is a bit upset about there being no Quick Sniff because, he tells us, "I was hoping to play with something today." Oh, Jorge. I suppose you can do that later.

So, I'm starting to think that I'm right about either Jonathan or Kathleen going home because there is no formal judging. This week is about that giving back part that was discussed in episode one. Four dogs will be groomed and hopefully adopted. The groomer of the last one to get adopted is the one who will go home.

There are four dogs to choose from. Kathleen, as last week's winner, goes first and falls in love with Teddy, who is the male breeding dog from a puppy mill. He is in the worst shape and was treated horribly. He is so matted that he feels pain when walking. But she doesn't pick him because "it is a competition." Now, readers, remember this moment because it will come back to haunt Kathleen over and over again in the episode. Let's explore this decision: there are only four dogs to choose from. There are four groomers. So, each dog will get special treatment from a groomer who will do his/her best to get the dog adopted. Kathleen didn't choose Teddy, but that doesn't mean that he just received a death sentence.

Artist comes next and picks Teddy, even though he and the other groomers think he just committed competition suicide. And sure enough, Teddy is so matted that he has to be shaved completely, which reveals his sores. It is not a pretty sight. The other groomers are in awe of Artist for making such an unselfish choice, and it seems to bring out the best of some of them. Jorge finishes his dog and Jorge helps Artist with scissoring.

Jonathan has a very pretty black Pomeranian and Kathleen has a white dog that looks like a cockapoo. Jorge has the female breeding dog that was rescued from the puppy mill. All the groomers are shown actually caring that all the dogs, especially Teddy, find homes.

All the groomers are sent out with their newly groomed dogs to try to talk people into attending the adoption fair. Artist seems to be the most charming of the four. People seem to be drawn in by him and his enthusiasm. Teddy, despite being a bit unattractive, is a very friendly dog. Jorge realizes that telling the story of his dog, the breeding female from the puppy mill, draws people in. Plus, the dog is really cuddly. Kathleen is seen trying to steal away Jorge's customers. Jonathan seems to be having no luck getting anyone interested in his dog. He might want to rethink calling potential customers evil. More foreshadowing?

Later, at home, Jonathan says that he will be mad if he gets sent home due to a challenge that has nothing to do with grooming. Can't blame him, but only one of these competitions has been completely fair (the wire dog challenge). They all have had randomness as a factor.

All four groomers are showing their best sides, truly caring about adopting all the dogs. As if Artist wasn't saintly enough in this episode, he actually is responsible for Jorge winning the challenge when a client doesn't want Teddy. Artist realizes that Jorge's dog might be a good match. All of the groomers are in awe of Artist's kindness.

Jonathan is next to adopt his dog out to a cute little girl who keeps saying that she wants to take the dog home.

Now, it's down to Kathleen and Artist, and there really is some suspense. We have Kathleen, who got first choice and who chose what seemed to be an easy to adopt dog, and we have Artist who did the right thing and everyone knows it.

The next client to come in is a guy whose girlfriend sent him because she liked Kathleen's dog. It seems like it'll be a slam-dunk, but the dog doesn't seem to like the guy very much, instead preferring Kathleen. Artist, waiting for clients, looks dejected. Kathleen, at this point, really should have suggested Artist's dog, but she doesn't. The guy signs adoption papers.

I'm feeling pretty bad for Artist, though he did a good thing and should be proud. The judges show up to, I think, say goodbye, but no! Artist is not being sent home after all. I'm pretty sure that the producers of the show decided that they didn't want to receive hate mail the rest of their lives.

So, a kind of sweet episode.

Next week looks funny again. The groomers are paired up and sent out in big grooming vans to make house calls. It looks like lack of driving skill becomes an issue.

Hey! I just realized that they must have planned to not eliminate someone this week all along. Otherwise, they couldn't do the grooming van episode the following week. When will I learn not to trust reality television, even on Animal Planet?

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