Last night on Shear Genius… Well, I almost lost my mind screaming at the television. Brig WON you guys. I hope there is some kind of model assistance program sponsored by Orlando Pita for Brig’s models because she’s straight up terrorizing hair. Shaving the back of her model’s head in the Short Cut Challenge? Those intense upswing bangs in the Elimination Challenge? Those are not livable bangs. They are just not. Someone needs to slow her down with the theatrics. Remember: Hair is important!
And sadly, Amy Michleb–the youngest and totally cutest contestant on Shear Genius–was sent to pack her shears. I’m bummed to see her go, especially before other contestants I’d much rather see go. Check out my juicy interview with Amy, who reveals herself to be every bit the sweetheart she was on the show. However, a bit of rhe sweetness was strategy! Who’d have guess? Also, try imaging Amy’s answer’s in her cute accent.
Hair on the Brain: At 25, you were the youngest contestant on Shear Genius. Do you think that put you at a disadvantage with the other contestants? Did they underestimated you?
Amy: Well, I definitely think they underestimated me. I don’t think it was necessarily a disadvantage because everyone has different experience levels. You could be in the industry ten years and only have branched out for a few months doing the more avant-garde side of things, or you could have been doing it from the beginning. So I don’t really think age comes into play. But it was definitely fun to tease them about it!
HOTB: During last night’s dry cut/graduated bob Short Cut Challenge, I really liked what you did with your model’s hair. Was that a difficult challenge?
Amy: Thank you. I think that was a really good challenge. It was a hard one and definitely something that tested the abilities of the stylists. I’m very good with cutting, and I wish that we’d been able to do a little bit more cutting on the show because I feel like that’s where my strength is. If we had, maybe I’d been able to stick around a little bit longer. But I enjoyed that challenge very much. It was probably one of my favorites.
HOTB: I liked it too. It gave us a chance to see people’s cutting skills, instead of just their styling skills.
Amy: I think it was nice because it was the only challenge where I didn’t have to put extensions in the models hair.
HOTB: So many extensions this season!
Amy: There are a lot of extensions! And that was probably the most surprising thing for me. Every single challenge we used extensions, except for that bob.
HOTB: Throughout last night’s episode, I thought April was going to be eliminated, especially after she blew up on Moulay Yacoubi during the Short Cut Challenge judging.
Amy: Yes. But there are different judges, and they don’t judge based on the cumulative. So someone could be on the bottom every single week and win the whole thing. Judging is based per challenge, and the judges are very good at judging like that.
HOTB: But were you surprised by April’s strong reaction about the graduated bob?
Amy: I think so. When they give you criteria that they’re looking for, especially when you know they want to be able to search that haircut and make sure every length is correct and it measures properly–to not do it straight and dead straight—is going against the rules of the challenge.
HOTB: During the military wives Elimination Challenge, it seemed like a lot of stylists got down to the wire with time and many styles seemed unfinished. Was time an issue for you?
Amy: I think overall there was a lot going on with that challenge. It was very hard and emotional because you don’t get a lot of time to spend with these clients. You’ve got to please them, please their husbands, you’ve got to please the judges, and you’ve got to do something that you’re proud of—all at the same time. So it’s very hard under the time constraints to balance it all.
HOTB: Was there anything you would have gone back and done differently with that hair?
Amy: I would have not listened to Orlando [Pita] when he came around half way through. I would have stuck to what I was doing initially and carried on. I think I might have been safe because it would have been clean and polished, which is number one. The hairstyle has to be nice, but it has to be clean, and that’s your number one judging criteria.
HOTB: Throughout the show, did you find Orlando Pita’s advice helpful?
Amy: I think it was really hard because you have somebody who is so talented like Orlando, but his hands were tied. He couldn’t advise us on too much because it’s a competition. He couldn’t be seen to favor stylists over other stylists. When you have somebody that’s so talented, but you cannot pick their brain, it’s so frustrating. He’s very talented at educating and training and that’s what he’s use to doing, so I’m sure he felt like his hands were tied on being able to be a proper mentor during the competition.
HOTB: Were you surprised that you were eliminated on the military wives challenge?
Amy: Going into the elimination room, I definitely knew it was between April and me. Of course, we knew it was judged by talent and not by relation, but I hoped that because April had been in the bottom during the Short Cut challenge that might give me a little edge. But if it didn’t, I knew it would be me going home, unfortunately.
HOTB: You were fun to watch, and I was sad to see you go home. And you managed to pick the last scissor box practically every time!
Amy: I know! It became a standing joke. I’ve usually done the best when I’ve picked last, so maybe it was not so good for me that I had to pick first during the elimination challenge.
HOTB: You mentioned on last night’s episode that you had two stepchildren at home. Was it difficult for you to be away from them?
Amy: Yes, I do. I have two boys (ages 9 and 17). It was hard to be away from them and my husband. I’m so use to them being there when I get up every morning, and needing stuff from me. To just have some time to myself was super strange. It was bittersweet when I left because I wanted to carry on in the competition and wanted to see all the other challenges, but at the same time it was a relief to get my phone back and to be able to speak to them. I take family very seriously. It’s very important to me, and I spend a lot of my energy on my family. To be away from them was just out of context to me more than being on the show.
HOTB: Aside from being away from your family, what was the biggest challenge being on Shear Genius?
Amy: I think it was the atmosphere that you’re in. You’re not use to it, and you’re under so much pressure to keep going and going. You’ve got a couple hours and you’ve got to change the outcome of your future with that coupe of hours, every single week. When the number [of contestants] gets smaller and smaller, it starts getting really stressful. The stress in the house when it gets to the final three will probably be just insane!
HOTB: Do you make friends with any of the other contestants while filming?
Amy: I think we were all pretty good friends with each other. There were people that we probably got on with more than others… I thought Jon was always great; he was always like a breath of fresh air. He was always funny and had a smile on his face. He kept you happy when you were missing home. And I keep in touch with Mathew, too.
HOTB: I have to ask everyone this question: Is what we see of Brig on televisions a true representation of her personality or is she “editing that way”?
Amy: I think it’s a combination. She’s definitely a little crazy. But that’s OK because we all have our little things. We all have our personal style and stuff like that. But once you take away the crazy hair and the clothes and the bows, she’s a good hairdresser and she’s not such a bad person. She’s a laugh to be around and I got on with her very well. And I’ve stayed in touch with her since the show ended, as well.
HOTB: It seemed like you guys were close, unlike Brig and Janine who don’t seem to get along at all.
Amy: My philosophy to the whole thing was, I never knew if I was going to make it to the final three and who those other two people were going to be. So the last week of your life could be completely hell, if you really alienated yourself away from other people. And then if they start to team you up during the last episode…that is something else you have to think about. So I never wanted to alienate myself from people in the house. I always kept my mouth shut if they annoyed me.
HOTB: Whom do you think will be the next to go home?
Amy: I definitely think April has been in the bottom, and so has Brian to a point. As far as Brig, she can be up and down, so it depends on what challenge they throw at her. If she gets a good challenge, she’ll still stick around, I think. But if she gets something too challenging, then she might go.
HOTB: Who do you think will win Shear Genius?
Amy: I think Jon is one of the strongest there.
HOTB: What did you think of the judges?
Amy: Jonathan [Antin] wasn’t so bad. He was truthful. He really says it as it is. But the problem I had with the judges was that I never knew what they were looking for. One week I would color the hair and they would say: You should never have colored it. It took you too much time. And then another challenge, like yesterday, I should have colored it, and that was maybe what got me eliminated.
HOTB: That’s true. In the same episode they said both of those things to you.
Amy: Exactly. In the same episode, I got both sides of that. It was very hard to balance and to decide what they were going to look for that day. And even with the guest judges, it’s what they like and they all have different ideas. But it’s a competition. You can’t complain.
Thanks, Amy. You will be missed on Shear Genius!
And for more on Shear Genius, visit Bravotv.com/shear-genius.