Finalewatch '07: 'Shear Genius'

Ben_sheargenius_s1_240 Quite frankly, ever since Tabatha and her foul mouth left, I haven't been that excited about who was left to win Bravo's haircutting reality show Shear Genius. Nevertheless, I tuned in to the Wednesday (May 30) finale to see who would snag the title and more importantly, the $100,000.

As someone who champions the underdog, by default I began rooting for Ben. I mean, he's straight and once wore a ninja outfit to cut hair. At the reunion show, he certainly didn't get anyone's vote of confidence. Frankly, after I saw the three dresses he selected for the final challenge, I wasn't feeling very confident about his chances. But I get ahead of myself.

After seven weeks, we were finally ready to test the three remaining stylists: the aforementioned Ben, sassy and competent Daisy and steady Anthony. I must admit, one of the highlights of the rather hectic episode was guest star and judge Vidal Sassoon -- beginning with the stylists' hero worship (Ben: "God to me, as far as hairdressers go, is Vidal Sassoon.") and ending with his supercool, upbeat personality. Love him.

The final challenge had the stylists create three hairdos, one of which had to be Sassoon's famous Nancy Kwan bob. The other two were up to the stylist, who also had to show their ability to color for at least one of the cuts. As if that weren't hard enough, the contestant was also challenged to create a narrative uniting the three 'dos, aided by clothes designed by top stylists.

Anthony_sheargenius_s1_240 From the beginning, Daisy had the advantage, getting first pick of clothes. She opted for B&W outfits by Luca Luca and decided to show the progression of curl through the "S" wave or Marcel wave in her three cuts. Anthony followed, choosing to present modern movement in his cuts, highlighted by the Cynthia Rowley collection. Ben got the Dina Bar-el clothes by default, and decided on three greenish gowns to illustrate his "outer to inner beauty" concept.

Within the three hours alotted, slow and steady Anthony showed good pacing, while Daisy's idea seemed a little too high concept and ambitious. Two of her curling irons were cold, and her final pin curls didn't have time to dry. Ben was similarly pressed for time, trying to create a sleek updo, which looked unfinished or "embryonic."

In the end, Daisy's narrative was excellent, but the one "S" curve in her bob looked like a dent, and her final curly 'do wasn't fully realized. She came in third, while Ben was the runner-up to Anthony, whose three strong precision cuts earned the judges' universal admiration.

After a double take and a big bear hug from Ben, Anthony finally realized he won. "To be Shear Genius means -- I can't even put it into words. It means so much," he gushed.

Well, at least I have some satisfaction that Tabatha will be happy with the outcome, since she and Anthony were best buds.

What did you think of the finale? Should Anthony have won? Were the Final Three worthy?