NPR logo 'Hair Battle Spectacular': Like A Regular Guilty Pleasure, Only Guiltier

Television

'Hair Battle Spectacular': Like A Regular Guilty Pleasure, Only Guiltier

Lexi Hopper, a.k.a. Sexi Lexi, pours a drink into her model's hair on Hair Battle Spectacular. Seriously. Tyler Golden/Oxygen hide caption

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Tyler Golden/Oxygen

Oxygen's Hair Battle Spectacular (a new episode of which airs tonight at 10:00) is one of those lowest-of-the-low-end reality shows, where ridiculous terminology like "hair-don't" (as opposed to "hairdo," GET IT?) is used, and where the contestants have names like "Valley Girl" and "Cajmonet" and "Tsunami." It is a show where the idea is not to create hair that a human could ever, in one million years, wear in any normal setting, but to create spectacle fantasy hair.

I'll put it this way: If every single week, Top Chef were about making marzipan statues of various presidents of the United States and then sculpting their pets from cheese, it would approach the ridiculousness of Hair Battle Spectacular.

Now, the general field in which these contestants are engaged is a perfectly real one, in the sense that there's plenty of art to it. I first saw fantasy hair competitions in Chris Rock's documentary Good Hair, and if you can make a hair sculpture that looks like a T.Rex or something of that nature, I say more power to you.

But ... but ... look at this.

Do you see that, just before the 20-second mark? It's hair shaped like an electric guitar! Not real hair, of course — this is mostly done with fake hair, and then you kind of blend it in with your model's hair. You know, so it looks natural. (Snerk.)

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I'm not going to stand around and talk about how this show is actually good, because it's ... not. I have nothing to say in its defense except that last week, when they made hairdos that looked like wedding cakes, I sort of sat there mesmerized. And then one of the giant wedding cakes made of hair and foam and wire and whatever else actually fell off the model's head and tumbled to the ground.

The person whose 'do fell off did not manage to lose in a two-person faceoff against someone who, you know, made a 'do that stayed on.

This the very definition of panache, people. If you can keep your hair on when all around you are losing theirs ... oh, forget it. ELECTRIC GUITAR MADE OF HAIR!