Was the U.S. team able to take the prize at the world championship of beard growing? Did ginger bearded champ Jack Passion retire on top? The season finale of Whisker Wars highlighted the sport’s ultimate competition in Germany and the struggles of the various teams as they went for the gold.
The Whisker Wars Season Finale starring Jack Passion and Phil Olsen aired on IFC Friday at 10:00 pm ET.
They’re Here, They’re Beards, Get Used to It
The season finale of Whisker Wars began with interviews with contestants from the various teams competing in this year’s world championship of beard-growing. There were several unique styles of beards, and the U.S. team contained members from all over the country, but one unifying factor seemed to be everyone’s fear of the Germans having a hometown advantage. Apparently Germans are great beard-growers – who knew? For that matter, apparently beard-growing is a sport. But I’ve been to competitive cat shows, so I’m not one to judge other people’s hobbies.
Freestyle is clearly the most exciting and interesting area of the competition. More than one contestant went with what I’ll call the “octopus eating my face” style of beard. Each bearded fella promenades in front of the judges (much like at a cat show), and scores of 1-10 are held up on cards. The criteria seem to be quite subjective, and apparently the combination of one’s hair and overall look play into the score.
Jack Passion and the U.S. Team Win Medals
Jack Passion, a former champion in the Full Natural Beard category, was disheartened to receive scores in the 8-8.5 range, rendering him incapable of recapturing his glory. He said he was disappointed in his performance, but it was hard to tell what he could have done differently to win the judges’ favor. As beards go, his is certainly impressive. Chin up, Jack Passion!
USA Takes Home A Gold!
Aarne Bielefeldt took the top prize in the freestyle category, over two German contestants in second and third, much to the pleasure of the U.S. team. Jack was redeemed when he ultimately took second place in the natural category, over New York’s Myk O’Connor with the bronze. Jack then proceeded to use a fairly disgusting expletive-filled description of his journey to the silver, and he declared that he would in fact compete again next year. I suppose the hunger for bearding gold is hard to sate.
Myk seemed the most excited of the American winners, with his wife cheering him on from the crowd. The entire team from Austin went home empty-handed, but they were glad to learn that four of their members actually ended up in fourth place, just off the podium in nearly every category. This news cheered the team and inspired them for the future.
So, yeah, that happened. There are certainly worse ways one can spend half an hour than watching a television show about professional bearders. The show moved quickly and contained as many images of happily hirsute fellows as one would wish, so it did deliver on the promises of its title. There was less drama than in other reality television series, but it was kind of refreshing. With all the insanity in the world right now, it’s kind of nice to know that people still take pleasure in the simple things, like growing and grooming a really long beard. Or attending a competitive cat show, whatever floats your boat.