Reality competition ‘Blown Away’ highlights unique passion

Andi Kovel works to create a glass blown piece for Netflix’s “Blown Away.” (Fair use from Chron)

Netflix’s “Blown Away” brings light to the uncommon passion of glassblowing as 10 professional glass blowers compete. Having not watched the first season, I was pleasantly surprised by this series because of the unique and creative glass pieces the contestants make.

This Netflix original follows professional glass blowers as they compete for a prize of glassblowing equipment valued at $60,000. Each episode there is a new challenge, and in the end, one contestant is named “Best in Blow” and another is eliminated. Each of the challenges have themes, along with a special guest judge, such as perfume maker Michel Germain, who came along with the challenge of a large glass blown perfume bottle. This structure allows for each contestant to show off their strengths, which makes it a more enjoyable watch.

The judge Katherine Gray assesses each of the competitors alongside the host and the guest judge Nick Uhas. Gray has a lot of experience in glass, having studied glass creation in college, while Uhas has experience from “Big Brother USA” along with a science YouTube channel. In the glass creations, the judges looked for creativity in the pieces and if the glass blower responded to the challenge theme well enough.

The contestants have a range of experience from 15 to 30 years. The eldest and most experienced of the group, Chris Taylor, was instantly feared due to his 30 years of experience. He uses many glass blowing techniques that the other competitors were not familiar with, which made him a crowd favorite and added interest to the show.

With many twists and turns, the contestants pull off impressive glass pieces that amaze the judges. Watching their ideas go from a sketch to a finished product within just a few hours is fascinating.

The contestants are passionate and motivated to take part in the competition, which make it exciting to watch. They are always ready to show their skills, but they definitely share their sob stories in order to secure their spot in the next challenge. For example, right before they announced who would be leaving, a competitor brings up their sacrifices to be in this competition like leaving their families or work. As a result, I was put off by a few of the contestants. That being said, the work of the competitors is always astounding, which at times outweighs their sob stories.

Overall, this glass blowing competition is exciting to watch because of its twists and turns, and the contestants always produce creative glass blown pieces.