Jaclyn Smith and Kim Vo dish on 'Shear Genius' second season
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/16/2008
Host Jaclyn Smith said Shear Genius'second-season cast is just as talented as those featured on the Project Runway-like reality show's first edition, but added the new crop of cutters was additionally aided by a sense of camaraderie.
"I can't say they're better. They're totally different. The second season, this is a very cohesive group. They really got along. There was unbelievable bonding between them," Smith told reporters during a Thursday conference call.
"I didn't see the desperation that I saw in the first season. Everybody wanted to win but they were also pulling for each other which I thought was admirable. I like that because I think more talent comes out when you are not so desperate to win something."
Shear Genius' second season -- which will become Bravo's first original series to air in HDTV when it premieres on Wednesday, June 25 at 10PM ET/PT -- will follow a similar format to its Spring 2007 first installment, which was won by Anthony Morrison.
However the show's first-season judges -- hairstylist Sally Hershberger and Allure magazine fashion director Michael Carl -- will not be returning for the second season and were replaced by celebrity hairstylist Kim Vo and Allure beauty editor Kelly Atterton.
Vo -- a Vietnam native -- told reporters he's a master colorist who's worked as a stylist for 17 years and owns four salons, with one in Las Vegas and three in Los Angeles.
"They were great," said Vo of the second-season cast. "Because we had such unique competitions, everyone really did start out on an even field but you definitely saw some winners off the bat. I definitely think that there was a lot of talent and definitely a talent pool there."
Smith agreed with Vo that Shear Genius' weekly challenges -- the short cut challenge, which will test their technical hairstyling skills; and the elimination challenge, which will test their creativity and advanced skills -- is what sets the show apart from others.
"I think in these challenges what's very interesting and why I was attracted to this type of show that Bravo does is because it is about talent, but it isn't just about the technical talent," she explained.
"It's about the mind and how you handle the stress of a particular challenge because they're under such time restraints. I mean, to color, cut and style in two hours is difficult. So it is the mental capacity to be under that type of stress. It's not always to the very finest in color, the very finest in cut. It's who can really complete that challenge without letting the stress overtake you."
"Just like a real salon," added Vo, who also sees it has his personal mission to educate the viewers on how they can get a better hairstyle on a regular basis.
"I hope the viewer takes away that they can go back to their own hairdressers at home and have that language of the hairstylist. That's very important to me," he said. "It definitely is going to give you the language of hair to be able to explain that to a stylist. It's definitely an evolution of learning actually how to talk to a hairdresser also which is an amazing part of the show."
Smith -- a former Charlie's Angels television star -- said she found her second stint as Shear Genius' host easier than her first time around.
"I'd never done reality TV. It was rather daunting and frightening because it's not like just taking a character and creating it, and going into your motor home and fine-tuning it," she explained. "You are on the spot at all times. You have to be very present. And it was challenging. But I must say the second time around it was easier and I had fun. I love the challenge of it, I really enjoyed it."
In addition, Smith said she didn't know what to think when she was first approached about hosting the show.
"I was a fan of Project Runway. So I really didn't know what to expect. With expectations in my life, I sort of am in the moment and I go into things, and I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to be challenged," she continued. "And believe me, the first season I was challenged. And then now I'm on the second season and it's just another whole world."
Smith also teased that Shear Genius' second season will include a reunion of sorts between herself and fellow former Charlie's Angels TV stars Kate Jackson in the form of a challenge for the remaining contestants.
"There is going to be a Charlie's Angels reunion on the show, but it's a surprise. You will be surprised when you see it but we recreate our styles from the seventies with a modern touch.," she said. "So I thought it was kind of challenging because you'd think the simplicity of those styles - but it was fun. It was fun to see the stylists and I think having some Angels there sort of was intimidating to some of the stylists. I think it was harder for them than just recreating because we were there."
Despite having some reality experience under her belt, Smith said she has no plans of going Dancing with the Stars anytime soon.
"I've been asked. I was a ballerina but I do have two torn meniscus in my knee -- one knee and one in the other. So unless I could do it and really be great, I don't know," she explained. "I reach for the top. I studied with the School of American Ballet and I just don't know if I can devote the time that it would take. I love dance. I love watching Dancing with the Stars."