Animal Planet’s second season of Groomer Has It ended Saturday night, and 42-year-old Hollywood groomer Huber won the $50,000 cash prize, and the product placement Subaru Forester and Wag’n Tails mobile grooming van, never mind the made-up title of “groomer of the year.” He beat Lisa, the 42-year-old groomer from the Chicago area.
After grooming three rare breeds and winning, Huber told us he emigrated to the U.S. and started off cleaning toilets, so he said, “it’s a bit cliche, but the American dream really does exist.” He beat Lisa because, as judge Joey Villani said, “I just loved how professional, how safety conscious,how you treated the dogs, how your overall grooms came out–it was unbelievable.” Ornery judge Xavier Santiago said, “Huber, you have heart, you have passion, you have a wonderful skill set.”
The last episode was free of the sort of absurdity, ridiculousness, and low-rent elements the show is known for, but that wasn’t true of last week’s episode, when Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris showed up to coach and judge the final three in a challenge that involved presenting grooming skills on camera.
Yes, Samantha Harris was giving advice about how to be an effective communicator on camera. This is a woman who once talked as if she had injected herself with Novocaine and who repeatedly held a microphone in front of Marlee Matlin’s mouth as the contestant signed answers to Samantha’s questions was giving advice. On the Animal Planet series, Samantha interrupted one contestant after she’d given a “great” introduction because Samantha had no yet had a chance to call “action.” She did that multiple times, which coming from someone else would seem like an attempt to unnerve the contestants, but I think it was just Samantha being Samantha.
When she was first introduced by Jai Rodriguez, she gave the contestants some advice, and almost started babbling before recovering: “Well, I think, first of all, you hit the nail on the head. You need to be clear and concise. It’s very important that you break it down for everyone. The pet owners that are watching are going to need you to talk to them–not over their head,” Samantha said. “But more than anything, let your personality shine through.”
She later criticized Danielle for not showing her personality enough, which Samantha said is necessary to “make the viewer want to continue watching you”–and then Danielle won despite not showing enough personality. Is it really a surprise that Samantha’s decision would reward someone who did not make viewers want to watch her?