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[03/17/08 - 09:54 AM]
Ready, Set ... Groom! Animal Planet Premieres the Top Dog of Reality Shows with Its Newest Series, Groomer Has It, Hosted by Jai Rodriguez
The newcomer premieres Saturday, April 12 at 9:00/8:00c.

[via press release from Animal Planet]

Ready, Set ... Groom! Animal Planet Premieres The Top Dog Of Reality Shows With Its Newest Series, GROOMER HAS IT, Hosted By Jai Rodriguez

-- Elimination Series Premieres Saturday, April 12, at 9 PM (ET/PT) --

SILVER SPRING, Md., March 17 -- Animal Planet enters the world of doggie style with the premiere of its new competition series, GROOMER HAS IT. Hosted by Emmy award-winning actor and singer Jai Rodriguez ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"), GROOMER HAS IT sniffs out 12 of America's most devout dog groomers to compete against each other in a test of desire, creativity and affinity for animals as they shave, shear and shampoo their way through a series of challenges that will crown only one as "Groomer of the Year." The contestants will be put through their paces to see who can turn the shaggiest pooch into a beautiful, prancing pup beginning Saturday, April 12, at 9 PM (ET/PT).

These self-proclaimed best groomers will live together in a swanky Los Angeles loft the "Dog House;" work elbow-to-elbow in one salon; and face grooming challenges that range from styling pups for their runway debut to grooming some of the most exotic dog breeds to making adoptable pups look their fetchingly best for new homes. After each challenge, Jai and our outspoken panel of judges, including esteemed veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan, champion dog handler Xavier Santiago and leading U.S. grooming expert Joey Villani will decide which contestant does not make the cut. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $50,000, a mobile grooming salon from Wag'n Tails Mobile Grooming and the title of "Groomer of the Year" -- three prizes totaling $125,000 that could jump-start the groomers' careers and change their lives. Each of these groomers thinks he/she has what it takes to be top dog in this competition, but in reality, only one ... GROOMER HAS IT.

HOST:

Jai Rodriguez is the multi-talented host of GROOMER HAS IT. A star of television and Broadway, Jai's credits include his Emmy award-winning role as the "Culture Vulture" on Bravo's hit show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," as well as roles on "All My Children," "One Life to Live," the hit Broadway musicals "The Producers" and "Rent" and NIP/TUCK. Each week, Jai and his adorable Yorkie, Nemo, who is the show's messenger dog, introduce the "Quick Sniff" and elimination challenges to the groomers which ultimately will decide who will be named "Groomer of the Year."

JUDGES:

Dr. Karen Halligan is an author, devoted pet owner and respected veterinarian who has made a lifelong commitment to animal welfare and pet owner education. She has appeared on many national television shows as a spokesperson and pet health expert. Dr. Halligan is currently the Director of Veterinary Services at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Los Angeles (SCPA LA). She is also the author of the award-winning book Doc Halligan's What Every Pet Owner Should Know: Prescriptions for Happy, Healthy Cats and Dogs (HarperCollins, 2007).

Joey Villani is the leading U.S. expert in grooming and began his remarkable career apprenticing for industry visionary John Nash. Having trained thousands of groomers as a top instructor for Mr. Nash's schools, in 1998, Joey became president, director and owner of the Nash Academy of Animal Arts in New Jersey. In addition to his three decades of grooming experience and impressive teaching career, Joey is an IJA (International Judges Association) registered judge and has been nominated four times for the Cardinal Crystal Achievement Award for excellence in dog grooming show judging. Joey tells it like it is, and when impressed, he offers a giant grin and his trademark, "That's it, baby!"

Winning first place ribbons at major competitions around the country, including most recently at the prestigious Atlanta Dog Show, Xavier Santiago is a second-generation owner and handler of Alaskan Malamutes. Trained by some of the top handlers and groomers in the dog show industry, Xavier has a well- developed knowledge for dog grooming and breed standards. He has taken over the family tradition from his mentor and father, champion Malamute handler, Ladislao Santiago. Xavier has a superb eye for what a coat should look like for each group of dogs, as well as an incredible breadth of knowledge of the techniques necessary to achieve such grooms. Nothing angers him more than untapped potential, and Xavier's unwavering standards come across in his harsh yet constructive criticism of the show's groomers.

CONTESTANTS:

Animal Planet's nationwide search for talented groomers, both amateur and professional, unearthed 12 highly skilled and competitive contestants from all over the country with diverse backgrounds and a broad range of grooming experience. The GROOMER HAS IT contestants are the following:

-- Amber, 31 -- Lake Elisnore, CA

-- Artist, 26 -- Los Angeles, CA

-- Jasper, 36 -- Stoneham, MA (Boston area)

-- Jessica, 26 -- Montrose, CA

-- Jon, 20 -- Denver, PA

-- Jonathan, 33 -- New York, NY

-- Jorge, 36 -- New York, NY

-- Kathleen, 48 -- Escondido, CA

-- Lisa, 50 -- Phoenix, AZ

-- Malissa, 26 -- Sunvalley, CA

-- Sarah, 27 -- Newton, NH (Manchester area)

-- Will, 25 -- Yucca Valley, CA (Palm Springs area)

Viewers can visit AnimalPlanet.com for more information about the cast including bios, photos and video as well as blogs recapping the previous week's episode and interviews.

GROOMER HAS IT is a production of the 3Ball Productions. For 3Ball Productions, J.D. Roth, Todd Nelson and Adam Greener are executive producers. For Animal Planet, Melinda Toporoff is the executive producer.

SOURCE Animal Planet
http://www.animalplanet.com





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· GROOMER HAS IT (ANIMAL PLANET)
· NIP/TUCK (FX)
· QUEER EYE (BRAVO)





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