Friday, April 17, 2009

It's Back!

Oh, loyal readers! Forget about my taxes and work problems. Groomer Has It, a reality show about dog groomers has returned for another season on Animal Planet. If you are surprised by this news, you are not alone. As far as I could tell, I was the only one on the planet watching (other than some of the writers of The Soup, who featured it quite often last year).
If you have not been dreaming for this day to arrive and have no recollection of last season, let me catch you up a bit. About a dozen groomers who think they’re Top Dogs (their pun, not mine) in the dog grooming industry gather in Los Angeles to compete for the honor of being the best of the best. They are judged by (of course) a panel of three judges, one kind of sweet, one haughty, and one who looks and acts like a character from the Sopranos. All three judges, along with Jai, the host, have returned this season.
That just leaves the groomers to introduce. What new and exciting people have the producers chosen for us this time? Last year, the groomers consisted of several types: a kind of bitchy guy who dropped names of his rich clients and was proud of his work with poodles, a very bitchy guy with a foreign accent, a middle-aged woman with a no nonsense attitude about being the best dog groomer in the country, a woman who claimed to be in psychic communication with dogs, and a Black guy.
Let’s meet this year’s group:
There is a no nonsense middle aged woman named Lisa. She has won many best in shows.
Cassandra is young, blonde, and loves to groom. She could just do it all day! She’s never been in any competition and here she is in the best she could ever be in! Whee!
Chicken Joe, who lives on an island, is 58 years old and has been grooming dogs for 52 years. We see him at home feeding lunchmeat to a tortoise. He tells us that he is going to put the “style back into doggie style.”
Sherri seems to turn on the waterworks at the drop of a hat. She sees herself as the underdog in this competition. Before she even touches the first dog, she’s already crying, saying, “I am doing this for my family so I can show them that you can accomplish anything.” Hang onto this moment, Sherri!
Bill sees himself as the poodle guru with “lots of tricks up my sleeve.”
There is Krista, who owns a grooming school, The Fur Institute. She seems to think she puts Pizzazz into dog grooming. She sees herself as a Las Vegas type of dog groomer. She looks like your third grade teacher. In the first shot, she is showing that pizzazz by wearing a feather boa with a color that exactly matches the top she’s wearing, rendering it almost invisible. She has a quiet pizzazz, I guess.
Vanessa communicates with animals telepathically.
Micheal (notice the spelling) seems sane, and he is the sole Black guy, like last year’s Artist. In fact, like last year’s Artist, he is the sole minority of any type, unless you count homosexuals, who seem to be plentiful both this season and last.
Marco, 24, says that most groomers don’t know how to make money because they can’t communicate with people and because they are “just weird.”
Huber is our groomer with a Spanish accent. He predicts that his Grandfather will come down from “wherever he is” and give him a big hug when he wins Groomer of the Year. Top that one, Survivor.

For the first quick sniff challenge—excuse me, the Pledge Quick Sniff Challenge-- they have to “beg, borrow or steal” their tools from the residents of the rich suburban neighbor they’re in. What an unexpected surprise for the residents, since they surely haven’t noticed the camera crews and lights in the middle of their street, and no doubt have not signed releases.

So, they groom their St. Bernards with the borrowed tools. Already, some contestants are complaining of having disadvantages. For example, Sherri just gave birth a few days before and she is a little slow going door to door, and her team grows tired of this. The red team, which includes no nonsense Lisa, wins and everyone decides that Lisa is the one to beat.

Next, they go to the Doghouse to get to know each other before the next challenge. Everyone seems to quickly dislike Krista, of the purple boa, because she won’t shut up. She’s not saying anything wrong necessarily; she’s just talking. A lot.

It’s time for the Elimination Challenge! The contestants are going to be grooming Standard Poodles. They are told to groom the dogs “not in Standard fashion.” The example they are shown is a poodle who has been groomed to look like a camel, including brown dye and a hump. It looks hideous. Why? Why? Why? That’s just me crying to the Heavens about how strange people are to do this to a dog.

Their designs are to consist of the cuts that they make in the fur and paint, which is air sprayed on. They can also use costumes, but this seems to be frowned upon as a lesser art. Each three member team has to pick someone to be in charge of cuts, cleanliness and creativity. It sounded like they were choosing diamonds.

The blue team decides to go for a Hollywood theme, and they get right to work.

The yellow team has some trouble deciding on their theme. There is some argument. One member suggests pants and a jacket. Very dignified, you know.

The red team decides to do the AIDS ribbon and the Breast Cancer ribbon because “this is what we’re here for.” Huh? They’re on a dog grooming reality show because they want to make people aware of AIDS and Breast Cancer?

Poor dogs. They look ridiculous in their strange cuts and paints. Let me describe:
1. The Wizard of Claws. The dog is wearing a hat and has a single pink heart painted on one back leg. That’s it.
2. The Red Team with the AIDs and Breast Cancer ribbons (let me point out that these ribbons are shaved into the dog and airbrushed).
3. The Hollywood dog. I’m not sure what the idea was there. You know those pictures you used to see at butcher shops with the side of the animal sectioned off so that you could see where your cut of meat came from? That’s what this poor dog looked like.
4. Devil Dog. The tail was a trident dyed red. The body was done in a mowhawk. The judges said they “captured the dog’s personality.”

The ribbon dog won. Tears.

The Hollywood Dog loses and the judges decide that Micheal has to go home because one of the other contestants scraped the dog’s leg, but he was in charge of cutting. Bummer for him. Jai, the host, tells him, “You’ve been clipped.”

I can’t wait for next week.


Patrick J. Vaz said...

A dog that looks like a camel? That's as crazy as a white marigold!

I'm very amused (well, I'm very amused by the whole thing, but in particular I'm very amused) at the thought of the Vegas groomer looking like my third-grade teacher, Sister Angelus.

vicmarcam said...

Okay. Maybe not YOUR third grade teacher, though maybe the nuns could have added some pizzazz with black feather boas.

Libby Fife said...

OK, now you even have gotten me wanting to watch this stuff. Am I just desperate for Project Runway and making due?? The Food Network's Top Chef starts soon too...

vicmarcam said...

Yes, Libby, I think you are just desperate for Project Runway, which will be on this summer (an agreement has been reached). That being said, if you have something else to do, like cut fabric, it's a pretty funny way to spend an hour.

Unknown said...

I am surprised, too, but am looking forward to reading all about it.

I also feel that Marco probably has a point.