Six years ago when producer Stephanie Drachkovitch began pitching the idea for a show that followed the lives of real-life soldiers' wives, the U.S. Army was understandably wary. "The feeling was the families have enough stress," says Lt. Col. Steven Cole, an Army public affairs liaison based in Los Angeles. "There was a general reluctance to have our Army families be the object of entertainment."
But Drachkovitch didn't give up, and last spring, the Army decided the timing was right. "It struck me that the stories of the families were just so invisible during this war," she says. "And yet there are thousands of them who are basically heroes on the other side of the battlefield. We've been at war 10 years as of last spring, and while the war in Iraq [has wound] down, we're still in Afghanistan. The Army felt it was important, now more than ever, to keep the stories of its families and soldiers in front of the American public."
The result is Married to the Army: Alaska, which debuted November 18 on OWN. Drachkovitch and her team at 44 Blue Productions were given unprecedented access to the highs and lows experienced by families stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. "The way all the services look at it, they are the people's military," Drachkovitch says. "So their job is to get those stories out there and to tell us, the citizens, what our Army is doing."
In this special competition episode, seven of the show's most sensational and talented stylists go scissor-to-scissor in three grueling challenges until one is left standing. Scissors chop and tempers fly as as Dontez Love, Arsenio Amadis, Symantha Lawrence, David Lujan, Kookie Maffett, Heather Mills, and Christian Rea (a.k.a. Crystal Mess) vie for the honor of being the winner of "The Big Cut-Off." With eliminations looming at the end of each challenge, the stylists showcase their skills and creativity in order to move on to the next round. And with a $10,000 cash prize and a feature in one of the industry's premiere hair magazines on the line, these stylists will stop at nothing to cut their competition and take home the title. watch
Monica Boccella is used to getting whatever she wants, when she wants it. This 31-year-old spoiled stylist still has all of her needs catered to by her mom, who doubles as her assistant at her salon! But Monica is in for a reality check when she swaps with Tamika Bonner, a tough-yet-compassionate stylist from Memphis, Tennessee. Can Monica keep her diva attitude in check and make the cut at a real down-home urban beauty and barber shop? Meanwhile, Tamika is used to ruling the roost at home, but she finds herself out of her comfort zone when she has to trade in her weaves and fades for foils and highlights! watch