Artist’s achieves American Dream on Groomer Has It

June 29, 2008
Artist (top left) wins over tough competition

Artist (top left) wins over tough competition

Artist Knox became the first to win title Groomer of the Year on Animal Planet’s Groomer Has It. The final challenge was was a 10 hour marathon grooming session where Artist and Jonathan had to groom 7 dogs, one from each of the AKC’s groups: Sporting, Non-Sporting, Working, Herding, Toy, Hound, and Terrier. As usual, there was not an even playing field as the dogs were chosen for the groomers “at random” (with the exception of the first dog whom Artist got to pick). Although the final judging was set up to look like a dog show ring, Artist and Jonathan didn’t necessarily have to do “show cuts.” Judge Vinny taught me the new term “pet groom” as in, “The dog looks OK for a pet groom.” Artist and Jonathan both received help from Kathleen and Will. It was nice to see that Kathleen could be happy in a non dominatrix role, and it was fun to see Will annoy Jonathan. One of the highlights of the finale was to see Jonathan and Artist reunited with their loved ones (dogs included). I think what did Jonathan in was his dirty Labrador Retriever.

I really enjoyed the pre-view show which included a little “pop-up” Nemo who gave background info. Nemo always looked like such a well trained Yorkie, but lo and behold, Jai’s little pooch is not potty trained. Nemo also had an assistant who I hope was paid well. The never-been-seen-before scenes were funny. My instincts about the judges were right Vinny and Doc can’t stand each other. In one scene, they stopped rolling because of a noise that sounded like a helicopter, to which Vinny remarked, “There’s your broom” to Doc. Also, Jai is a scripted host, so scripted that at one point, he forgot the line “groomer of the year.”

I started watching this show because it was entertaining, but I also ended up learning a lot, too. I’ll definetly be back for season two!

PJ

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Who names their dog Booger? {Groomer Has It}

June 19, 2008

Mario DiFante is a “Mobile Grooming Consultant” who is also the executive director of “Pet Fashion Week.” It was Mario who judged the Quick Sniff Mobile Grooming Challenge. Jorge, who was last weeks winner, picked Jonathan to be his partner. Actually, It would have been more fun to see how they got these vans messy in the first place than to watch the contestants clean them. The interiors were so nasty that Jonathan scoffed, “I do not go around cleaning up after people. It’s not my job.”

Jorge (about Jonathan): “It’s hard to fit yourself, and him, and his ego in a small place. I thought I would have to hose him down at some point.”

When time was up, Mario inspected the trucks literally with a white glove. I think Mario would have been more disgusted with the condition with Hell’s Kitchen. Kathleen and Artist won the challenge and received a mobile GPS as a reward.

At dinner that night, Kathleen and Jonathan made fun of groomers who put plastic flowers in their vans and according to Kathleen, “happily wear polyester.” Artist said he never wore a uniform and Jonathan said that wearing a black tank top isn’t appropriate if your dealing with certain types of people. Jonathan’s dress for success attitude didn’t impress Artist who said he would work at a Humane Society for free.

Watching Jonathan and Jorge navigate the streets of Los Angeles in a mobile Grooming truck was like watching Dumb and Dumber. Apparently Jonathan will hire his own driver in the future because he doesn’t drive, he grooms. Jorge’s comment was hilarious: “We are from New York. We don’t use maps, we just tell the cab driver where to go.” Jonathan and Jorge made all of their appointments on time (barely), and managed to put a hole in the roof of their truck in the process. But they figured they would be OK because they would not be judged on the condition of their vehicle.

At judging, Jonathan said, “There was a low hanging branch that did hit the top of the van.” Apparently Jonathan thought he was in Narnia where the tree branches have minds of their own.

Jonathan also trimmed a dog’s ears wrong. Interestingly, this was the same mistake that sent Jasper home, but this week Jonathan won–go figure. However, the judges determined that Kathleen’s made two fatal mistakes when grooming Eloise, the Coton de Tulear 1) Forgetting the Kwik Stop and 2) not letting the client know that the dog’s nails could bleed afterwards.

Kathleen bowed out gracefully; she was smart enough to know not to say anything bad about Artist, who is quickly becoming the show’s unsung hero.

Honestly, I have to admit what bothered me the most about this episode was that General Hospital actress Kelly Monaco named her French Bulldog “Booger.” Who names a dog Booger? Kelly looks too young to remember Curtis Armstrong’s character of Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, so what’s up with that name? It was funny, however, to see Karen “Doc” Halligan ask with a straight face, “Was this Booger’s first grooming?” But it would have been even funnier if they groomed Pink’s dog whose name is “F**cker.”

I’m still rooting for Artist to take the title!

PJ

Photos: Narnia’s Creepy Trees, Coton de Tulear, French Bulldog, and Curtis Armstrong, the original “Booger” in Revenge of the Nerds (1984).


Artist saves dog and wins hearts {Groomer Has It}

June 10, 2008

This week Artist “lost” the elimination challenge because his dog, Teddy, was the last dog out of four to be adopted. Once again, Reality TV has skewed my idea of a challenge and a challenge winner. The final four had to select a dog to groom at the Lange Foundation. Out of four dogs, one dog, Teddy, was an especially painful case. Teddy is a pure bread Shih tsu who had been rescued from a puppy mill along with his mate, Gertrude. Teddy had never been groomed and his coat was so matted, every time Teddy moved, he pulled fur off of his skin. Kathleen was the first one to choose since she she won the last challenge. Although her “heart went out to Teddy,” she picked Melody, a young sheepdog mix because “if you want to win, pass on that dog [Teddy].” It’s easy to pick on Kathleen–she is ambitious, abrasive, and self-serving; however, I can say with almost 100% certainty that Jonathan and Jorge would have passed on poor Teddy as well. Artist was the second in line and had no problems going straight over to Teddy because he felt it was the right thing to do. Artist set aside the whole competition, “to make a difference, to change his life.” Weather he won or not, what mattered to Artist was that “Teddy would be groomed for the first time in his life.” As expected, no one came in and picked Teddy. I want to believe that the producers realized that if they sent Artist home, fans would lose interest in this show. Presumably, most of us who watch Groomer Has It love dogs, and keeping Artist around for the right reasons showed that Groomer Has It can showcase more than dog grooming. Charity oriented programming on Realty TV give this genre credibility, and lessens its freak-show reputation. Teddy did get adopted four months after this episode was taped by Christopher and Jacklyn Brooks and their 12 year old autistic son, C.J. It’s nice when a show like Groomer Has It can be a means to a happy ending.

PJ

Lange Foundation documentary


Amber is first groomer voted off the island {Groomer Has It}

May 4, 2008

Fans of Project Runway and Survivor felt right at home in the doghouse this week on Groomer Has It. Amber was sent home by two of her teammates because she did a superior job during the Challenge. Will, the winner of last week’s show, got to pick his own team of three for the Quick Sniff Challenge: designing a collection of three outfits for a Poodle from each breed class: standard (big), miniature (small), and teacup (tiny). Will also received the added advantage of putting the rest of the teams of 3 together. He should have picked judges’ favorites– show front runners Jonathan and Kathleen, but instead, chose Amber (for her creative ideas) and Jessica (who said dressing up dogs is “stupid”). The most entertaining team was Jorge, Jasper, and Artist; they had the least designing experience, yet won with their line of red and white satin poodle sportswear. They were picked by two “top designers in dog-dressing fashion.” (Stop. You mean to tell me that there exists such a hierarchy?) Jorge was impressed with Jasper’s cloth-cutting skills saying Jasper cut like “he’s been playing with dolls all his life.” Jasper, a man built like a tank, and who admitted his wife dresses him at home, “got in touch with his inner metro-sexual,” according to Jorge. Watching Jorge, Jasper, and Artist select their “models” grew funnier by the minute. Jasper picked Kenny, a black standard poodle “because he was easygoing and he let me play with his paws.” Artist picked the miniature poodle who had the most “testosterone.” Artist’s technique comprised of sniffing each poodle butt (this is a unique talent of Artist’s; detecting dog hormones was his method for identifying breeds while blindfolded in the first challenge). Ironically, this dog ended up wearing a cheerleading outfit. Jorge grabbed teacup poodle, Patches: “When I saw Patches, I said, ‘that’s the spirit I need today.'” (At the time, Patches was humping another teacup poodle). The contestants also had to create their own copy for the catwalk and Artist had the most original with his hip-hop inspired description: “We have here the tough traina. He does not like no complainas. He works hard, he has flair, his bling-bling is hot to wear. He gives us a sweatshirt with a team logo with matching colors–Oh no no!” Their ability to work together and have fun with a tough challenge won over the judges. Jasper, the MIP, (Most Improved Playa), was the overall individual winner.

Now for the bad news: Malissa was singled out by the judges as the worst groomer this week for a single act of shaving a poodle’s “top knot” too far back. You learn something new every week, and I learned that poodles are supposed to have bangs. Sweet Malissa responded by saying that “the eyes are the most beautiful part of a dog.” But she is safe for now because, as Artist had pointed out earlier, “grooming is 20% of this challenge.” Amber was sad to leave the show, but happy to return home to “build her business and her family.” As if to remind the viewers to keep life in perspective, she shared with us her happy news that she is pregnant.

What’s next? The groomers will be tested on their EMT skills. Can they perform CPR on a dog? There is more to the dog grooming profession than grooming!

PJ


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