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On the finale of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover, Miss T is revisiting four of most disorganized and diluted salon owners of the past three seasons. Bravo needs to recycle the material, so I’m here to recycle the jokes.
Back in Covina, California, Tabatha makes her first stop at Tantrum Salon. This season two gem is ownered by Robert and Jody who were sinking more money into a salon that had more cockroaches than talent. Jody had entered Mommy-mode and was ready to give up on the salon while co-owner and former mentor Robert was trying to run the salon on his own with the help of an inept staff and a compost heap behind the front desk — yes, Robert employed his sister Margie as the receptionist and the roach motel manager.
Margie was a beacon of unprofessional and unappetizing behavior. She was busted passing around a dead cockroach like it was a tapas and when she was not terrorizing the floor she was parked at he desk ignoring clients in-between snacks. Tabatha happened to catch her in the middle of the taco truck tasting menu and was astounded by her behavior. “I mean she didn’t come up for air!” Tabatha exclaimed upon seeing the footage.
I’m pretty sure she breathes cheese.
“Go kick their ass,” Robert said to Tabatha has he handed her the keys. However he only offered a nod when Tabatha retorted, “I’m going to kick your ass.” And you’re going to thank her tomorrow.
Margie is the first to be targeted, almost received the criticism gracefully until Tabatha tells her to spit out her gum and in full view of Tabatha and the camera, she stuck it to the top of the desk.
No wonder why they have bugs. I’m surpassed they don’t have bears.
Tabatha called her “f*cking disgusting,” before subjecting herself to discovering the substances that were slopped onto the other surfaces in the salon. In the retail section Tabatha finds dust and asked if they clean often. Robert must have more training in bullshit than in hairstyling, because he didn’t miss a beat. “This area used to be all citrus groves and everyone’s house is dusty.”
Robert’s station is also dirty and he throws out one of his famous excuses and laid the blame on his assistants. He also tries to shirk responsibly for the half eaten pizza in the break room.
Margie would leave that much behind, sooo…
The break room was efficient in one capacity, it was breaking ground in cockroach production. They were breeding in the phone, generally being more productive than the staff. If Margie could train them to answer the phone she could spend all day chasing food carts.
Joe’s Apartment comes to Tantrum Salon.
At the staff meeting Robert was compared to a “chicken with his head cut off”, he runs around the salon, but never gets anything done. Jerry climbs up onto into a booster seat and says he has handled more than the owners, if he didn’t do it, it just wouldn’t get done. Pint-sized stylist Jerry had put on his big-boy pants that day and impressed Tabatha with his drive.
During the assessment Tabatha noticed how timid Jody was and how arrogant Robert was. Robert’s consultation sent Tabatha into a fit of giggles, “Oh Robert, you do disappoint me,” she said.
Disappointing, but not surprising.
His consultation was incomplete, he says he has been doing it for 20 years, he knows what he’s doing. Robert is off in a huff, but the door to the break room hadn’t closed before he starts screaming that Tabatha is a bitch, and Tabatha runs to confront him. When the door swings back there was Tabatha a whole platter of Robert’s words for him to eat.
Start with “bitch,” maybe you’ll choke on it.
Tabatha confronted Robert and told him again that she’s only here to help, he is nothing more than a pile of excuses with a Zoolander haircut.
When Tabatha sat down with Robert and Jody, Robert is ready with a slew of back-handed compliments, including saying that he “wants Jody as a partner if she wants truly, truly wants to devote herself to this business.”
Otherwise she’s just testing his patience and the waistband on her mom-jeans.
Even though Tabatha tells Jody she can have both, after more prodding they decided that Jody will step down and stop trying to juggle the responsibilities of an owner. After a marketing event they gather the staff in the salon to hear Jody’s decision.
When Tabatha left the salon, Jerry had been promoted, Jody had been demoted, Margie has been suppressed and Tabatha had convinced the Mayor of Covina to stop in for haircut to help promote the business.
And now? All is well in the dusty groves of Covina… one year later there’s a line outside waiting to be granted admission to Tantrum (presumably). Either the salon is over-achieving or they’ve given up styling to market Margie in a Covina-Horse show. For the sake of our vision, let’s hope for the former.
Robert lights up when Tabatha enters the salon with her palm up and out-reached. Robert-Re-Run is ready to slap her five in welcome, but she really just wanted him to spit out the gum. She takes the gum and a hug from Robert and she asks him about the event unfolding in the salon, for once their are more clients than roaches.
Roberts says that they’re holding a cut-a-thon, inspired by Tabatha, to raise money for breast cancer research. The mayor’s wife passed away last year and Tantrum stepped up to help raise funds in her honor. They’re expecting to raise 18K-20K.
Jody’s on hand and the mayor makes another appearance to thank Tabatha for contributing to the event.
Tabatha takes Robert aside for a status check, he claimed the critters are all gone. He’s not running around the salon like he used to, Jerry has taken a lot of responsibility and the salon is doing about 30% more business. Robert says that Jody is still an owner. She spoke to her family and decided to keep her stake in the business and committed to the salon four days a week. Tabatha finds Jody and she thanks Tabatha for putting the idea in her head that she can balance her business and her family.
And introduced more lycra into her wardrobe.
Tabatha talks to Jerry and tells him she’s proud of the whole staff, even Margie has kept her noshing to a professional level.
Back on the salon floor the mayor is on the mic and awards Tabatha a key to the city, for her contribution to the event. Tantrum is doing great and Tabatha is proud of them all.
A blunt object to beat some sense into the first season 4 owner.
Traveling to Chicago, Tabatha is ready to check in with the male focused salon, and male focused salon owner. In “Boystown” Chicago, the city’s gay neighborhood Scott and his chin own Chicago Male which markets itself as 30 minutes/$30 package for male clients. Lakeview is home to a large gay community and even though Scott is not a hair stylist he saw a need in the neighborhood, so he invested in opening a male only salon. No girls allowed.
Male cartoon characters only.
“What makes Chicago Male unique is that your 30 minute business plan doesn’t work,” Tabatha tells Scott when he tries to sell her on the niche market he wants to corner. In the shower.
This man surgically enhanced himself to look like Guy Smiley. For Serious.
Tabatha wanted Scott to realize is that Chicago Male isn’t as much a “unique” salon as it is a “money pit” or a “bad investment” or a “health hazard”. Scott takes a punch in his silicone chin from TC when she inspected the salon and called the boys out on double dipping in the esthetician room. In layman’s terms, they were waxing balls with used sticks. There’s a sentence I didn’t think I’m be formulating. Again.
In the staff meeting the stylists said that their reputation was in the shitter because the business model is bad. In fact, when Tabatha tested it, all the cuts suffered because the stylists ran out of time. Newbie Stylist Drew continued to be a problem, he didn’t really know what he was doing, and instead of setting up a education plan, the owner Scott and manager RicTac where just letting him cry it out. Because he’s just friggin’ adore-balls when he’s teary.
Tabatha manages to teach Drew a couple techniques but that’s not enough to save him from the task she had planned next.
Don’t off your lashes yet, hun.
Scott’s chin enters the salon, several minutes later Scott joined them and the staff is tasked with styling some wigs, for drag queens. When they complete their cuts, Tabatha had Scott accompany her through the salon so he can get an idea of his staffs skills. Manager RicTac enjoyed the challenge and tells TC that it reminded him that “it’s fun to be a creative hairdresser.” Scott piped in and said he liked Ric’s work. He likes that the style is fluffy.
Great commentary, from a Muppet.
The next day Tabatha sat down with Scott to confront him with news that his high-volume service plan sucks. It’s time to consider chicks… Scott Do-right refuses and Tabatha responded nicely.
Well, if it were season three she would have.
Tabatha told him “you keep talking about your community and that’s great. I am actually a member of your community, I just don’t have a couple of inches.”
Tabatha Further pushed the idea of opening the salon to women, she took the stylists to the Paul Mitchell school for some more education. The stylists are happy to take the class and take on new challenges, all except Drew who couldn’t even pull off a shampoo that’s up to Tabatha’s standards.
Scott swore to Tabatha that he would be open-minded and embrace her recommendations. Where new policies enacted?
Tabatha strolls through the door at Chicago Male to find a slightly grey-er but equally strong chined Scott. With a resentful tone in his voice Scott says that she walked through the door like she owned the place. He brings Tabatha up to date, they’ve had some turn over. Richard was replaced at reception and Drew moved onto another salon because their wasn’t the right education structure in place for him as Chicago Male.
Manager RicTac says that much of the education plans that Tabatha had proposed has fallen to the wayside because Drew the sniveling brat is not longer a drain on the salon. The stylists say the 30 minute model is not totally dead. Tabatha confronts Scott and Scott says that he has hired a female stylist and she does take some female clients, but since the name is such a hinderance, there aren’t a huge effort to bring in women.
Born this way.
Scott claims he’s in the salon more, but it’s still only a couple hours a day. If a couple hours a day is all it takes, then I’m officially the manager of the NJ PATH trains and Chipotle.
Tabatha looks at Scott in disbelief — he hasn’t taken her seriously and demands the keys back. With his bravest face, supported by only his original face muscles Scott smiles, returns the keys but assures Tabatha that they don’t need her.
They were once at 25% capacity, they’re now at almost 50% capacity. At that rate Scott can lose another house and have his silicone facial implants repossessed before Tabatha’s next season begins. Miss T re-states all her prior recommendations and insists on getting a new commitment from Scott before she leaves Chicago Male. Under the gaze of the CM staff Scott begrudgingly agrees to TC’s terms. Tabatha leaves and gives up on men, again.
Tabatha leaves and gives up on men, again.
Refuge! Oh, ever since last week’s previews I have been waiting for this…
Last year Tabatha visited Refuge Salon in Cera-lake (Silverlake, California). The salon is owned by Miriam, and Amish outcast and current hipster. Miriam is a brilliant combination for a small business owner. She has the rich education of an Amish girl and the sharp business sense of a modern hipster… which means she knows nothing and cares little.
Miriam doesn’t have any knowledge of or interest in business… her professional demeanor consists of blowing raspberries at her bills and spilling vodka on her clients. Now Miriam has more problems than she can count… the salon has a matter of weeks before it will close. In addition, she’s supporting her ten year old daughter.
Tabatha took a lap around Refuge and found bleach gunked in the dryer and hairballs rolling across the floor. At one station Tabatha discovered empty beer bottle hidden behind the mirror. Miriam admitted that “our clients come back is because we give them alcohol.”
Look at that f*ucking shitshow.
Once plied with Tecate and vodka, the hipsters no longer care that they look like this…
Miriam wasn’t the only problem, stylist Michelle works as slowly as cheap Mexican beer. She says that Tabatha was “out for blood, and that was mine.” Jessica and Memosa were also a mess in a headband.
You give me an ironic headache.
The next day the staff assures Tabatha that Miriam is every bit as apathetic and inept as she claims to be. And they’re right behind her. Miss T calls for the assessment, and the all perform pretty badly. Memosa tells TC that she doesn’t have much experience doing color and Tabatha’s response is, “you’re a stylist, right?”
Next up is Michelle who dances her way through the consultation and drives Tabatha into a fit of giggles. Michelle’s terrible time management skills make her consultations as painfully long as her haircuts. Tabatha intervenes (on the client’s behalf) and tells Michelle that the consultation should be more of a conversation and less of a performance piece. Michelle nods in agreement and Tabatha moves on.
Memosa is working on her color. She’s put on the touch-up and is now going back in to put in the highlights over the single process color. Tabatha’s face momentarily lights up with alarm as Memosa describes her intended approach and adds that she decided on this technique on the advice of Miriam, owner and professional f*ck-up. Tabatha confronts Miriam and is told that “rules are made to be broken.”
Like the rule that says you can’t wear your grandmother’s cardigan with your sister’s purse…
The next day Tabatha attempts to scare Miriam straight, so she empties the salon and puts up closing notices on the window. Miriam pretends like this has an effect on her inbred Amish mind, and assures Tabatha she’ll take her role as business owner seriously.
Tabatha tests Miriam’s leadership skills by bringing the staff to a photo shoot for a local band. Tabatha wants Miriam to take control of the shoot, and her staff, and really take an artistic lead. Miriam has a word with the photographer and is told that the guys should be clean-cut and the chicks’ hair should be over the top. The staff goes about doing a crappy job and Tabatha has to step in and finish the work. Across the room the stylists are offended and are carrying on a conversation full of “I could do that!” exclamations. Tabatha has had enough and storms out, and calls Miriam a “stupid little up-start bitch,” during her exit.
Now, Tabatha has returned to Refuge to find the doors locked. Refuge was gone faster than PBR at a Williamsburg party. When Tabatha tracks Miriam down, she is at a new location with some of the Refuge-era decorations. The new space is noticeably larger than Refuge and Miriam tells Tabatha that she’s “moved” and has the salon running in conjunction with a school of Hip-craft and Wizardry.
Miriam continues to spin the new location just as a “move” and when Tabatha asks about the staff of Refuge, Miriam says they weren’t on board with the concept and none of them came with her. As Miriam continues to smirk, Tabatha presses her on the funds for the salon/school. Miriam says she has $250K invested in this property and six others, but the mortgage hasn’t come through yet so she’s currently debt-free. The financials don’t make any sense to Tabatha, because they don’t make any sense. Miriam has 5th grade education, until the age of 18 she wasn’t allowed to complete transactions on anything but an abacus. No way has she pulled off such a sizable investment.
With the residuals from Cruel Summer?
Only answer. It’s a front for a cult.
Tabatha is going to go off in search or more logical answers, but first Miriam tells Tabatha she should return because they’re having an event on Saturday night. There will be creamed corn wrestling to determine Creamed Corn Queen 2010. How nice of hipsters to embrace foods even abandoned by lunch ladies.
Slow-Stylist Michelle now has her own salon and Tabatha goes to visit and meet Michelle and two other stylists. Jessica tells Tabatha that she thinks that Miriam knew she was going to be evicted, so she went and rented a place before she has an eviction on her record. Barber Ian tells Tabatha that they jut got a text one day to say she had changed the locks and to come and pick up their stuff. There were no invites to come along to the new space, just a stone cold ditch.
Miriam didn’t get anything from Tabatha’s time at Refuge, but Michelle did. Michelle tells Tabatha “no one like criticism, but I think you’re a fool if you don’t look at what it is and try to work on those things.” So Tabatha’s visit wasn’t all for naught. She did inspire Michelle to open her own business and put good practices in place.
Back to Jersey, back home, (Doesn’t everything come back to Jersey?) to the season one salon, owned by Martino Cartier. J-Mo was covering Tabatha at the time, but it only takes one glance at this Situation to know what’s up with Martino.
A. Martino isn’t his real first name.
B. He has a small penis.
C. He gets his jollies and his client base from old ladies who pay for his pervy complements.
Season one footage rolls, “Everything I do is over the top,” Martino tells the camera. “Everything I do has to be … WOW.”
That was my reaction. Yep.
Tabatha says the “lavish playboy lifestyle,” (GAAAAAAAAAGGGGGG) is driving his business into the ground. He has a “vette” and an Escalade, and a history of getting his ass kicked in restrooms all over NJ. He was in debt, borrowing money from his mom and his salon is run down. When Tabatha arrives she shows him the footage from the day and he continues to defend his behavior. “What this is why these people come!” he told Tabatha, apparently proud of himself for building a reputation on molesting the snowbirds of southern NJ.
Tabatha takes the keys from his bedazzled belt and examines the salon. There’s receipts overflowing in the office and dogshit lining the walls. It’s filthy and run-down and Martino continued to giggle like he’s in on the joke.
You are the joke, dude.
Stylist Donnie refuses to clean eventhough his personality that is more hazardous than the 20 volume bleach. Martino is also a source of pain for Tabatha, she catches him talking to his mother and he refuses to get off the phone and just complains to his mother that Tabatha’s a bitch and he hates her.
Tabatha also tries to curb his extravagant spending, so she arrives in his lavendar-walled 1989 bedroom and makes him throw money out the window and cut up his credit cards. At the end of the visit, Martino claims to be reformed. When Tabatha enters the salon after two years Martino practically dives at her feet. He’s still dressing in the clothes of a Bon Jovi cover bad, but he says he’s changed.
Who says you can’t go home?
Tabatha says the place looks great. The staff is all happy to see her, including Drama Donnie who has a clean station.
Martino continues with the I <3 TC theatrics, smiling and giggling as Miss T discusses his prior behavior with his mother, Joann. I’m sorry Joann-o.
The office is even clean and Tabatha has inspired him to finally go ahead on creating his own product line. It’s been a nightmare but it’s complete. They’re up 56% from her last visit, and the salon is paid off in full.
Martino is ready to top himself and grab a couple more minutes of screen time by asking Tabatha to “take over his life” and presents her with a ring as gaudy as his image.
He’s ready to commit.
She accepts the jewelry but not the proposal and leaves the salon, Tabatha says that he’s responsible and focused.
SO that’s it for season 3? I’m underwhelmed. Tabatha must have had a piece on the road with her, she was in awfully good mood. And what did you think of Miriam’s fairy tales? Any thoughts on what the hell that place is a front for?