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The Mia Bella Salon is located in a suburb of San Francisco, California and it’s the site of the first episode of season three of Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. Our favorite headmistress from the land of Oz is back in black and ready to defuse the problems of the four Phun sisters at this Cali-lious salon.
‘Mia Bella’ must translate to ‘Hot f^%*ing Mess’.
Oldest sister Cindy is co-owner of the salon and, subsequently, 190K in debt. Cindy manages three Phun-cubs who all work at Mia Bella. Majorie is a co-owner of the salon, but seems to have no authority or voice in the salon. Youngin’s Karen and Janet are stylists, but each have the attitude of an owner and the talent and professionalism of a car wash employee. All in all, the family business has less structure than the Corleone family. They have three Fredos and 1/2 a Sonny. It’s a mess.
It’s time for Tabatha’s arrival at Mia Bella, she calls inside and Cindy answers the phone. She feigns shock at the sound of Tabatha’s greeting and is able to pick herself up on her tiny Spanx-ed legs and usher her sister outside where Tabatha awaits.
Quick hide the ruby slippers!
In her first magnificent arrival of season 3, Miss T tilts her tiny albino rabbit face towards the teetering salon owners and bats her eyes. “Hello,” she says to the 2Phuns, “You asked for my help so I’m here.”
She brings the owners of Mia Bella to her lair where she has been reviewing footage of the salon. Cindy Phun is wide-eyed and awaiting Tabatha’s critique.
“Why are you so nervous?” T-Dawg asks Cindy, the eldest of the Phuns…
Why. So. Serious?
“Probably my salon and the way it’s ran,” she responds.
Her grammar strikes fear into my heart too.
Tabatha asks her what she thinks the problem is with the salon, and Cindy cops to the chaos. “Everyone gets to pretty much do anything.”
Her sisters break the rules, younger sisters Karen and Janet act like the owners, but they’re not. Cindy started the salon as a family business, but they’re barely breaking even. They’ve taken out loans against their house, the house the older sisters are paying for, but they’re all living in. The also have credit card debt.
In the salon Majorie handles the business, and Cindy is the head stylist and boss. And generally the “bad cop”.
Tabatha is ready to watch the secret footage and the first person they find is Femi. She’s a stylist at the salon and the resident drunken sailor — she’s loud she curses and she drinks on the job. Miss T is less than awed with her professional behavior and asks if this is appropriate of FemBot. “No,” the sisters reply quickly – They all agree it’s a problem. Luckily, the footage rolls again and more light is cast on the “problems” of the salon.
The 12-step kind.
Femi is now joined by Phun sister Karen (3 of 4) and they are drinking in the break room. “When you’re at work, you got to get drunk,” Karen remarks before returning to her station stocked with sharp objects and powerful chemicals.
Cindy says she didn’t know they were drinking, she’s always out in the front of the salon, but it’s unacceptable behavior.
The next batch of footage shows the turmoil in the Phun family, the sisters are arguing amongst themselves about scheduling conflicts only to segue into arguing in front of clients about hair services. Cindy is taking Karen apart on the floor in front of the client. While their hands are both still in the clients hair, they’re bitching at each other. Cindy says Karen isn’t weaving in the highlights correctly…
As a rule I don’t get highlights from the same girl that styles the Le Pews…
And she’s berating her on the floor of the salon. Then she runs back to the clubhouse and tell her sisters how Karen messed up.
Karen is always a bag of douche.
Tabatha thinks it unprofessional for Cindy and Majorie to be so catty and cruel. Karen is an employee and needs to be treated as an employee, she needs to be motivated.
Cindy makes the excuse that she would never talk to a master stylist that way.
Tabatha doesn’t see the logic.
She goes on to explain that Karen is not a master stylist, she hasn’t mastered the “Toni & Guy” hairstyles. Tabatha is cut in to explain that Toni & Guy, “TG”, is an influential company and beauty academy started by five brothers in London who do bangin’ hair.
Tabatha wants to know if the owners think their salon lives up to the TG expectation.
“No Tabatha, I don’t.”
Cindy is always a bag of douche.
Tabatha is done listening to the two sisters and is ready to take on 4phun, for reals. She takes the keys and begins her takeover.
She enters the salon and corrals the quarreling stylists. Littlest cub Janet is the first to speak on behalf of the staff. “I’m actually happy you’re here,” she tells Tabs, “we need your help.”
“You’re one of the problems I saw today Tabatha retorts.”
Tabatha tells them they should be embarrassed about how they treat clients and each other. She begins to inspect the salon. It’s filthy. TC asks the assistant about the last time she cleaned. Assistant Christina pulls down dusty bunnies larger than Tabatha at birth.
The hair clips, sinks, towels, break room, carpet, office, everything is gross. They call the salon “Mia Bella, but there is nothing Bella about it” says Tabatha. It’s so gross that sister Karen cries she’s so embarrassed.
You give your clients bad highlights and asthma. You should be ashamed.
Tabatha reminds them all to come in bright and early for the staff meeting. When the sun rises the next day, there is one empty chair in the arrangement before TC.
FemBot is late — as she arrives TC asks her to say she won’t be late. Femi reluctantly agrees to say that she won’t be late again. But she adds in her interview that tonight is her birthday so no guarantees…
You only turn 37 once, right girl?
Cindy, Majorie, Karen and Janet are not at the meeting. TC wants to get an unbiased view of what the Phun drama is like on an everyday basis. The staff tell Tabs that she saw the girls on their best behavior. It’s usually worse.
Cindy is really hard on her sisters and the staff tries not to get involved, they’re the employees, they can’t intervene. Majorie is silent when Cindy is snippy.
They also don’t provide training to the employees. Mia Bella uses the very specific techniques, the aforementioned Toni & Guy techniques, but Cindy has only been a hair dresser for four years, she’s barely qualified to teach them.
The 4phuns arrive and the first order of business is to clean the salon. The second order of business is to fight over who is going to clean the bathroom. LaFemme doesn’t want anything to do with it, it’s her birthday.
Your shit doesn’t stink on your birthday…
Karen steps up and tackles the task, “what so no one uses the bathroom? No one takes a shit in there?”
Femi sashays through the salon still going on about how she won’t really be contributing today because she has a birthday reprieve. It doesn’t matter if you let your surroundings go to hell 364 days a year, some one else will clean for you on your birthday. Or that’s the lesson I took away from the last Hoarders marathon. It’s all good until someone discovers your cat’s carcass pressed under the collections of radiator covers.
Tabatha has a talk with the birthday girl and tell her to lose the ‘tude. “I’ve got a birthday present for you Femi, pick up a bucket and cleaning your filthy f*^%ing station.”
It’s time for TC to assess their skills, on a TG cut, in front of a Toni & Guy guy. Anthony Mascolo is there, he’s creative director for the academy and the Paul McCartney of the styling world. Cindy immediately tears up.
Or maybe he’s the Ringo…
They’re given the “Laura” TG cut and assigned models. Cindy remarks that they haven’t been educated on the new TG line yet. Tabatha response…? Adapt.
Karen’s consultation is up first, and aside from speaking like the only one of the Phun sisters raised in a junkyard, Karen is also the least swift.
The client doesn’t know if bangs are right for her forehead. “You don’t got that bad of a forehead.”
Buzzer. Sorry, Karen, Wrong answer. You’re sentenced to cornrows.
TC and GuyGuy laugh it off, but point out that it was not smooth. She offended the client, just move on.
Cindy’s consult is next and it’s obvious to TC and GuyGuy that she needs more “education” for herself and her employees — which is exemplified during Melissa’s consultation. She’s obviously lost and Mel cites Cindy as a source of her shit.
TC returns to Karen’s station and tells her that Cindy was too hard on her yesterday. Karen has a confidence problem, worsened by Cindy’s “guidance”.
Melissa has finished her cut and she textured her clients hair, which is exactly what they told her not to do.
Tabatha thinks the work in the salon is mediocre. Cindy’s not that bad, but her leadership sucks. She’s too aggressive, even for those orphaned to the junkyard.
Guy Guy offers his critique and the nicest thing he can say is that they need more education.
And maybe some better choreography.
Anthony and Brother sit down with the sisters Phun to discuss running a family business. The two Toni & Guy guys say they started out with five brothers working for the business, but had to get rid of one brother — family is family, business is business.
Tabatha sees that the women bring their family drama into the salon, it’s not healthy for the business. In order to get a better idea of the family dynamic, Miss T stops buy the Phun house for a slumber party. At the house Tabatha discovers that the house is a mess too.
Speaking of Hoarders.
Tabatha tells Cindy that her life is a mess and that she doesn’t have any support. Tabatha reinforces the need for order. Cindy’s the older sister it’s nice that she thinks of her sisters, but she’s not their mother and these woman are ADULTS. She can’t take care of anyone if she can’t save the business.
Tabatha talks to Majorie too, and MajorGoodCop admits that she’s too silent and a push over. Tabatha wants her to take more responsibility and lead by example.
When she talks to Janet and Karen, they both admit that they take advantage of their sisters and the salon.
… and access to the Blondor.
After a cuddle party, the morning comes and Tabatha waits for the sisters get prepared for the challenge of the day. It’s time to clean the basements. So teetering on tiny heels the girls pull out all the crap housed in the garage and leave it on the lawn. But they did it TOGETHER.
You + Me = Us
Once they’re finished at the Phun estrogen farm they return to the salon where Tabatha has Cindy destroy the “roll about” and kick off the rennovation process. She wants Cindy to exhibit that she’s in control.
When they return three days later the rennovation is complete. It has been repainted and the stations have been replaced. The office has been reorganized and it’s clean.
Tabatha wants the fresh start to be also be professional. She’s bringing in clients for their reopening and everyone does well but Melissa, who continues to struggle. When Tabatha checks her cut it’s not blended though. Tabatha nails her and asks her if she didn’t blend because she was afraid of taking off too much length. Despite 6 years experience, Melissa sucks.
Karen is a totally changed stylist. She even takes it upon herself to clean the fridge.
She trashing the peroxide stash she keeps for cocktails and root touch-ups.
Tabatha is ready to give her final recommendations. Miss T believes that *if* the sisters behave, they’ll do well — the only other problem is Melissa, she’s terrible and Cindy agrees. During the final meeting she strips Melissa of her stylist status. When TC returns 6 weeks later, Melissa has been fired, but the rest of the staff is thriving.
What did you think of Tabatha’s return to Bravo? Will is be a good season? How many people can Tabatha shame in just 10 episodes?