Good Guys Can Finish First: Artist Knox Wins ‘Groomer Has It’ (Update)

I tried.  I tried.  And then, I tried again to catch the final episode of the reality television series, Groomer Has It. (Animal Planet, Saturdays, 9 p.m) After a series of challenges and subsequent eliminations, it was down to the final two dog groomers, Artist and Jonathan, with the victor winning $50,000 and a tricked out mobile grooming truck.  I woke up the next morning to find out that Artist Knox won and I could not have been happier.  And if Animal Planet’s blog/community board is any indication, many others feel the same.

Artist was the underdog (no pun intended) from the start — a single father from the rough side of town with the least amount of professional grooming experience. The other contender, Jonathan, is a self-described celebrity dog groomer.  What Artist lacked in experience, he more than made up for in patience, compassion and the willingness to take and learn from criticism.  From challenge to challenge, Artist grew in confidence and ability.

His most impressive effort was evidenced during the “shelter” challenge in which the contestants visited an animal shelter and to select and groom a dog that they later had to find a home for.  The other three contestants, Jonathan included, selected dogs that were relatively easy to groom.  But Artist, chose a dog with an extremely matted coat despite knowing that his selection could place him at an extreme disadvantage thus making him eligible for elimination.

After a couple passed on his dog, Artist directed them to fellow contestant Jose, whose dog Artist thought would be more suited the couple’s needs/desires. Although he did not complete the challenge, thankfully, Artist was not eliminated.

As you may know, I watch way too many shows like this.  And I have grown weary of the outright manipulation that is done in the name of gamesmanship.  Too many times, the ruthless villain, the insufferable prick, or the conniving beyotch wins in the end.  Case and point:  This season’s Survivor (CBS) had some real pieces of work — sewer wenches who cozied up to then proceeded to shank their fellow contestants in the back as they laughed and congratulated themselves all the way to the finals. One admitted to using flirtation to get what she wanted in the game of both Survivor and life.

The behavior of the Survivor broads (and previous contestants as well) makes Artist’s win all the more rewarding.  Score one for people who dare to hold themselves to higher standards.

For a recap of the final episode, click here.

UPDATE

It seems that Artist Knox has his business up and running.  He has website.  To check it out, click here.

UPDATE 2

Artist will be getting his own show, set to premiere on Saturday, May 16 at  10 p.m. ET/PT, called Beverly Hills Groomer.

Here’s the scoop:

BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER continues Artist’s story after being crowned 2008 Groomer of the Year. This 12-part, half-hour, fish-out-of-water reality series, documents the trials and tribulations Artist faces as he recruits furry and fabulous clients alike, raises funds to open his own shop, balances the demands of being a single father, and hopes to beat the odds of becoming a business success. With his “one for me, one for free,” motto, Artist’s ultimate goals are to give back to his community and the dogs that need him most.

UPDATE/RELATED POST

Read Q&A with Artist who talks about new series: Pet Groomer Artist Knox Head for Greener Pastures in Animal Planet’s ‘Beverly Hills Groomer’ (The Ride)

~ by cwriteandtheride on June 30, 2008.

23 Responses to “Good Guys Can Finish First: Artist Knox Wins ‘Groomer Has It’ (Update)”

  1. artist brought tears to my eyes and I am a former MARINE! I thought his dogs came out the best especially in the finals mutt creative category where he wasnt afraid to be…CREATIVE! Jonathan gave a collie mix a setter grooming…how creative is that. For me, being a regular guy, I would have instinctively groomed the dog to the most dominant breed feature then like Artist put a festive touch to finish the look. ARTIST did not let the possibility of elimination get in the way of his decisions. He deserved the prize…not to mention he is a cutie!

  2. This is a true-life Cinderella story (or in this case “Manderella”). Artist is a real life role model with an amazing story to go along with his great talent. I am so so happy he won and now look to him as an example to live by.

  3. I was brought to tears during the last episode. Artist is a true hero. I became a big fan of Artist after the “shelter” episode. He was more concerned about giving a dog a better life than winning. He made great choices and thought less of himself and more about the animals. He truly deserved to win! Artist has a great heart and I pray that he makes it straight to the top! What a great example he set before his little son. It was so inspirational. I can’t even put it into words how much Artist touched my heart.

  4. i love artist. period. his personality was impossible to not root for. in the end, jonathan was saying “this should have been mine.” i was completely shocked that he would say this, especially after spending 3 months with artist, hearing his story and being around this giving, amazing man. that shows that the judges made the right decision, hands down.

  5. Charity Case Has It

    Artist is an inadequate groomer. Period. Throughout the show Artist constantly used being poor and inexperienced as a shield during judging. Karen Halligan took the bait early on. Xavier quickly followed. Artist knew all he had to do was pick “difficult” dogs and at least try to groom them. The judges would then fall all over themselves that an inexperienced groomer attempted to groom a “difficult” dog. Artist was judged by a different and lower standard than the other contestants. Karen Halligan of all people should know that being well intentioned and capable are sometimes two different things. Many animals in shelters are there because their owners are incapable of taking care of them. It doesn’t matter how much love the owner has for their pet that won’t get the animal groomed, fed, or protected.

    Jonathan, in the finale, was given TWO dogs that already had bad hair cuts. One dog had several areas of its body shaved to the skin. The day of the contest it was raining. The owners of each dog was handling them in a pavilion in the parking lot. I wonder where that dirt came from?

    The American Dream of one earning their prosperity through hard work and SKILL was shattered. The winner of Groomer Has It won because he happened to have the “right” personal characteristics and background to satisfy the judges and public. He did not earn it through hard work and SKILL. Groomer Has It sent out a terrible message not only shattering the American Dream but also endorsing discrimination. If you can promote someone because of their personal characteristics and background you can also demote them for the same reasons.

  6. Wow. It’s amazing that the above post is almost IDENTICAL to those written on two other sites by a guy named “David.” Yolanda-David is so bitter you would almost think that he/she is that guy who didn’t win. I didn’t say the LOSER, I said he didn’t win. The David I mentioned ripped this woman apart who said she used to have two shops and they always hired their groomers based on personality first (she also said skill was important). His reply was “Kathy, that’s why you don’t have pet stores anymore…New York City is the toughest market in the world. Obviously Jonathan knows what he is doing to survive there. You clearly have no clue what you are doing.” Mary (or, whatever your name is)…someone stole your ice cream didn’t they? This was my reply to he/she…

    David,

    Aren’t you JUDGMENTAL JUDY. I guess you don’t realize that the same things that you are accusing Kathy of you seem to be guilty of yourself. Who’s prejudiced? How do you know why she no longer owns her stores? You’re as big of a know-it-all as that guy who took SECOND best in show. It’s no wonder you are so upset by the outcome…you have identical attitudes.

    Kathy, I don’t know where you live, however, geographics, doesn’t determine a person’s skill level no matter what Jonathan..umm DAVID says.

    Since you may not live in NYC, Kathy, let me break down another perspective for you and DAVID. I live in NYC. I’m the guy that pays the groomers’ rent. I know, when you live in the clouds it’s sometimes hard to remember the client. Anyway, since Jonathan works for himself he doesn’t have to deal with others much so I wouldn’t expect him to know this. Most companies these days hire people based on personality…they figure if the candidate has some skill, is smart, and has a good personality, they can be taught the rest. Who wants to work with a complainer all day long? I don’t care how well they groom, it brings everyone down. As a result, creativity is stifled and productivity suffers. I personally put a lot of weight on service people’s demeanor. I do it with the person who cuts MY hair, why wouldn’t I do it for my dog?

    As a client, of course I am looking for good grooming (I want the health stuff taken care of foremost…glands, nails, ear hair…as far as the style, yes, I want her to look hot…but, if she doesn’t…I DON’T CARE…she certainly doesn’t…the pretty factor is a people thing…do you think the dog cares if that hair is out of place?) I know the show standards require more, but guess what? Most people in NYC don’t show their dogs…we just love them…that’s all. Also, David is trying to fool you into thinking the standards are higher here. Bull. There are more people, more dogs….that means more great groomers and more complete hacks. The best groomer in the world might live in Des Moines. The only thing that we have here in NYC is more pretentiousness. For that, Jonathan, is in the perfect spot.

    Remember, Jonathan works alone. I think his grooming skills are fantastic. I think his people skills are poor. It reminds me of dogs that don’t ever get socialized and then one day they get taken to the dog park. They don’t know what to do. Those are the dogs I feel most sorry for. I feel the same for Jonathan.

    I know most people loved the show, but I am on the fence. I learned some things and liked that aspect. I also learned that I am going to have to get a better feel of anyone that I trust with my baby. I’m not sure why more groomers aren’t complaining about this. I am not sure the show casting did the industry any favors. In order for these shows to succeed, you need different personalities, yes? I just wish that they had thought a little more about it this season. Surely these weren’t the best you could come up with? Hire a consultant from Bravo…they have the best reality talent shows. They get people that have skill and that you want to watch. Some of those groomers were embarrassing. Also, can someone teach the host how to housetrain his dog? That’s really embarrassing!

    • John, you are obviously a dog groomer as you display the antagonistic attitude so common in the industry. I will take compassion in a groomer over skill any day. I don’t want my dog mistreated, beaten with a hairbrush or fried to death by a forgotten electric dryer as has happened in so many grooming shops. Given a choice, I would select Artist over Jonathan any day. Jonathan always chose poodles as his choice to groom and flunked out on other breeds. He is now in 2009 appearing with short commentaries on various dog programs and bills himself as a “Celebrity Dog Groomer”. Celebrity? Being a losing groomer makes him a celebrity? He is nothing more than an braggart with no qualifications. Go get ‘em, Artist!

  7. In response to Yolanda, et al:
    To insinuate that Jonathan is the more experienced groomer but then complain that he had to groom more challenging dogs is contradictory. Disgruntled customers often seek out others in the same profession to correct mistakes made by another, therefore, if Jonathan was more advanced, he should have taken those dogs who were having a bad hair day and “worked them”. Because he didn’t then obviously he isn’t ready for the “big time” either. Therefore, the judges choose the one they thought had grown the most, which is Artist. In addition, it might be a good idea for Jonathan to brush up on this driving skills before he considers mobile grooming.

  8. do artist knox has an myspace page

  9. im glad that artist won because i new he would win and i seen his rough and tough times so yeah he deserved it he deservfed to win this and it meen alot to my buddy.artist knox my brother from anouther mother.congrats

  10. I myself am truly glad that Artist won. I think through it all he showed remarkable restraint and at the same time courage. When he and Jonathan were told they had 7 dogs to groom in 10 hours, neither were excited at the prospect. You could see in Jonathan’s eyes how frightened he was that he couldn’t do it. Artist just acted like “ok. If that’s what it takes, let’s do it”. Then they gave them help to bathe and dry the dogs! At the shop I work in, 7 dogs in 8 hours is NORMAL. Eight to 10 animals in a day are not uncommon either. Besides none of the “show dogs” even had breed patterns. It was ALL creative grooming!!! Artist deserved to win if for no other reason than he didn’t have a kink in his neck from holding his nose in the air.(However if these were “12 of the country’s Top groomers” we’re all in serious trouble.)

  11. I am SOOOO happy and relieved that ARTIST WON!!!!
    WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    .
    Jonathan is the most pretentious, conceited individual and I would NEVER EVER allow him to touch my baby.
    .
    It’s very obvious that Jonathan’s lack of people skills demonstrates that he has a lot to learn in the business.
    It is not rocket-science to groom and dog, so even though Jonathan did win some of the competition, he did NOT deserve to win the show.
    A person must have compassion and people skills, along with an ability to groom ALL BREEDS despite socio-economic status.
    .
    If Jonathan continues to treat people and animals the way he does, HE WILL FAIL just as he failed to win the show.
    .
    Finally, Jonathan’s pretentious and conceited facade is really a cover-up for his insecurities. Jonathan is a very insecure individual and he needs to see a therapist…not to mention spend some time helping some needy shelters.
    .
    .
    WAY TO GO ARTIST…You will GO FAR with your kindness.

  12. I missed the last show, but I’m glad Artist won. He had grown the most, taking what the judges said each week to work on it. I did not want the pretentious little pr**k Johnathon to win. If he was as good as he thinks he is, he wouldn’t have used the excuses he did about how his dogs had mistakes before he got them.
    Artist will benefit the most from the prize and use it to better himself and his skills. Jonathon already saw himself as a celebrity dog groomer but I doubt he’s really earned that title.

  13. Love it! Artist is a great groomer with a big heart. Of course the show is edited to give us the view that that they want to show. It is just a part of each person but Jonathan did display arrogance that felt uncomfortable to me. If I took my dog to him and experienced that level of arrogance, i would not come back.
    So I find blogs on the show… now where is his website, so I can call him up and hire him today? Anyone got a contact page or number?

  14. Wow..New England Girl..You were able to get all that from a badly edited reality show..sounds like you are the one who needs a therapist. I never understand people who get nasty and snarky at people for being nasty and snarky..seems redundant..folks, you were led by the nose by the producers of the show to believe what they wanted you to believe…I decided to think for myself and draw my own conclusions by actually meeting him at the petquest grooming show..all the other competitors made a point of saying how they have known him for years and he’s not the guy they made him out to be..and they were right, what a sweetheart! As far as I am concerned Animal Planet sucks for not giving an honest portrayal and instead going for the drama..I am done with the show.

  15. THIS IS FOR THE PERSON WHO SAID THAT “JOHNATHAN DESERVED TO WIN AND HIS DREAMS WE SHATTERED”….. I THINK THAT IS SUCH BS… THINK ABOUT IT… JOHNATHAN WAS A “GROOMER TO THE STARS” BEFORE THE COMPETITION. HE SHOULDNT HAVE EVEN BEEN ALLOWED TO ENTER INTO IT. I BELIEVE THAT JOHNATHAN IS JUST GREEDY AND HE WANTED IT ALL… AND HE PROVED THAT TO BE RIGHT IN HIS FINAL COMMENTS TO THE CAMERA AFTER ARTIST WON… ARTIST DESERVED THAT WIN 100% AND, HIS BACK STORY HAD NOTHING TO WITH IT… HE IS A GREAT GROOMER… IM GLAD THAT HE WON.

  16. I sent Artist a quick email wishing him well after watching the final of Groomer Has it. He sent me one back on Christmas day !! What a guy to go out of his way to respond. He is a Diamond and always will be. Best wishes Artist and Merry Christmas

    Regards Cyndy in the UK

  17. Artist is a fake….I heard he doesn’t even use his Mobile truck or even groom for that matter ..he has his brother using it. I live in LA and I know someone who tried him. They were very disappointed with the work. I don’t see what Jonathan would have done with it either but I think he was clearly a better groomer and the show went for theatrics rather than reality.

  18. Wow I have to laugh. I can across this site on accident and cannot believe how “into” a show about dog grooming you guys are! Seriously they’re so many more important things going on in the world than debating the end result of a reality show. Who honestly cares?! Does it really affect your life? Has your quality of exsistance improved or decreased because of how this shoe turned out. Please people focus this energy on something that would benefit your own community. If we had more people with this amount of passion dedicated to community programs or volunteer work the world would be a better person. If you feel compelled to attack my opinion your playing into my arguement. Stop think change!!!

  19. I was wondering where is Artist’s sons mother?

  20. I am so happy for Artist. He truly deserved to win. There is nothing wrong with remembering where you come from. Strength and character develope from adversities in life. Artist proved your attitude determines your altitude. This young brother is on his way anc no one deserves it better. I am 20 years his senior and he taught me some things about perservence and maintaining a positive attitude. Artist may be in Berverly Hills but he’s destined to 1600 Penn. Ave. Once he grooms Bo Obama the sky is the limit and all the back biters and haters will just have to deal with that. To all the readers with a vision, I have a word for you today: Don’t grow weary of well doing, for you shall reap if you faint not. Love you Artist! Peace and Blessings to you and your family.

  21. I just learned about Artist & the show. I actually went to high school with him. He was my high school hero. He was very funny, charismatic, clever, creative, and good-hearted. I’m so proud of his success! I wish him all the best!

  22. desde argentina, te felicitamos y estamos orgullosas de tu sensilles y tu gran corazon hacia los perros, lastima que estemos lejos sino serias nuestro peluquero o mejor dicho el de nuestro perro, te queremos FELICIDADES QUE LO DISFRUTES!!!!!!!!
    Mariana y Natalia

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