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Inside the Hotshop

My Obsession with Blown Away

By RJPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

I was perusing the casual viewing section on Netflix and came across a show with two glass figures, one red, the other blue, leaning against one another. Scrolled across the middle in red lettering read: “Blown Away”

Intrigued, I clicked and noticed it was a glass blowing competition. I pressed play and the rest is history.

Former Big Brother contestant Nick Uhas hosts the show, seemingly unaware of how often he says glory hole (or how enthusiastically). The show could benefit from acknowledging the innuendos and playing off them. For example, the winner of each challenge is called “the best in blow.” (I mean cmon).

Blown Away has breathtaking and innovative art. Sarcastic and overly confident assholes, drama, and competition. My kind of party. Each contestant competing for a prize worth 60,000 dollars is extremely talented. I also love how the editors build the world and give the contestants a personal feel.


Chris Taylor, who has been in the glass-blowing game longer than some of the contestants have been alive, makes it a point to belittle the competition.

Chris Taylor

Most challenges he's taught the special guest in the past. He makes it obvious that he is well known in the glass blowing world, and his work speaks for itself. Chris can replicate items in near-perfect fashion and glides through the challenges with ease. Bouncing from one beautiful creation to another. The show does try to redeem Chris in later episodes by attempting to explain his attitude, showing some of what he has overcome. However, for me, the redemption came too late after several episodes of him degrading the others.

There are also contestants with softer sides like Brad Turner who calls himself the silent killer of the hot shop but spends his days as a stay-at-home dad.

Cat Burns describes herself as “a farm girl from New Jersey who likes fire.” Cat prides herself on being an organic farmer and an avid composter. Cat’s story resonated with me because she has an eye disease that progressively worsens and will eventually end her career. Her sacrifice to do what she loves pulled at my heart strings and made me a genuine fan of hers.

All walks of life congregate to the glass blowing stage and I really enjoyed the lifestyle diversity of the group.

Cat Burns

The Quality of the Work

For a lackluster prize “worth 60,000,” so you know it isn’t cold hard cash- the contestants work incredibly hard. In only a matter of hours, these individuals create evocative, awe-inspiring creations. Unfortunately, the media budget for the show seems slim. There are barely any stills online, no cast photos of season two, coupled with little documentation of the pieces created on it.

Luckily, artists like season two contestant Elliot Walker uploaded their own work to personal social media sites. Tegan Hamilton, who suffered an early elimination, also took to social media to display her skill.

Blown Away is a light show that is easily digestible and borderline mindless. The integrity of the creations by the contestants carry the show. The creators of this program make it special and irreplicable. Somehow the art is enough to circumvent the cheesiness and make it something rare and beautiful.

The Negatives

"I'll live to blow another day." -Andi Kovel Season Two Contestant on Blown Away

By Will Porada on Unsplash

Poor Editing

Though I liked the editor's character building, they fall short in other ways. One of the biggest concerns for me is the lack of documentation of the pieces. Final creations seem to appear out of nowhere with no middle, or beginning sight. Viewers have no idea how the artists get to the final product.

Lack of Contestant Involvement in Judging

The judges critique the pieces in a separate showroom and only ask the contestants a few follow-up questions before announcing the winner and loser of that week's challenge. I wish more information were given to the viewer on why each piece was chosen.

Or perhaps at elimination, the artist is given the opportunity to defend their work. The process as it stands, is leaving the viewer wanting. Something is lacking, and it may be a matter of extending the episode time for more footage.

Parting Words

Netflix should put more money behind the creators on Blown Away. They are fostering a warm feeling, and capturing the hearts of viewers. Their creations are the reason that Blown Away will see popularity.

They’re the reason I watch the show and I hope in future seasons we’ll see the rewards increase and experience a more immersive show. Blown Away is already special, but it could be the next monster reality show. I’m sad to see it escape my living room TV and go out into the world. But the show deserves success, and no matter how tight I hold on, it’ll find it.


About the Creator


Find me on Instagram at @awriterwhodraws

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