We weren't, however, prepared for the verbal razor he took to his stint as a judge on Bravo's "Shear Genius," where Antin objected to stylist Brig Van Osten being named winner, and now tells StyleList that host Camila Alves, was, um, "mean" and "horrible."
Here is some of our conversation, which also includes hints about his new Jonathan Antin line and still-in-production reality show (yes, a new one!) created by the producers of "Hell's Kitchen."
StyleList: What's it like making over someone who has experienced losing all that weight?
Jonathan Antin: It's awesome!! This kind of work is what I live for. Really, these people are meeting their new selves in the mirror for the first time. They were freaked out and vulnerable. It's the ultimate makeover, and from my perspective, I could not have wanted a better group of clients to work with.
SL: We saw a clip of you telling a male contestant the look you have in mind for him is "penitentiary chic -- in a good way." Is this a trend we haven't heard of?
JA: It's about facial-hair grooming. I was going take his beard down into a Fu Manchu kind of thing -- just a little at the chin -- rather than a filthy, messy, scruffy, all-over-the-place beard. If it becomes a trend, it wouldn't be the first time I started a trend. I've been known to do that.
SL: The female contestants on "The Biggest Loser" tend to have heavy hair. Are they hiding behind it?
JA: The men and women were both doing it. It's a myth that if you are plus-size, big hair is going to hide you. They had great hair and really pretty faces and had done so much for themselves. My job was to show them they could show their faces and be even more beautiful. I was teaching them that hair is an accessory and one that enhances your face.
SL: Any style dos and don'ts for larger women?
JA: I don't believe in the idea of don'ts for men or women, no matter their size or the shape of their face. Hairstyles can be like designer clothes: If you get an amazing, custom-designed coat that's exactly made to measure, that coat is going to look good. The same is true with hair. A brilliant cut by a talented stylist can be worn by just about anyone if the cut is tailored specifically to that person.
That said, I'm not a big fan of bobs on larger women. But if someone really wanted that look, you could probably do something amazing by graduating the layers at angles in the front and back. But you would have to come to me to get it right! Please don't try this with just anybody. (Laughs).
JA: I had something in the vicinity of 20,000 emails and 10,000 Tweets from people telling me I was right, and I want to thank those people, because man, in the name of hair, she shouldn't have won. I tried, as the man who brought hair to television [on his previous reality show "Blow Out"], to do the right thing. I had too many votes against me.
[Finale judge] Linda Wells, the editor of Allure, was way, way wrong. A lot of people at my level in the industry would not have the guts to say the editor of Allure is wrong, but again, in the name of hair, I have to say wrong, wrong, wrong! [Judge] Kim Vo is a sweetheart and a talent, but he was wrong.
Camila Alves was wrong. Well, actually, she might have agreed with me, but no one can understand a word she says, so I'm really not sure what she thought. [Alves, who is from Brazil, speaks with a heavy accent.] But I think she voted for Brig too. And if she did, wrong!
SL: I can't believe what you said about Camila. Are you sure you want to go there?
JA: Finally! I let it out. I have to let out some steam on that one. I was so nice, so helpful, during the show. She was mean and horrible. Really, I could go on and on. Not nice! Trust me. I was there. You can quote me.
SL: You're doing a new reality show. Will it be anything like "Blow Out"?
JA: It's a little bit of "Blow Out," a little bit of everything. To be honest, I did not love "Blow Out." It was OK but it was never exactly what I wanted it to be. This is huge -- I mean "Biggest Loser" big. I love it!
SL: When do we get to see it? Does it have a name or a network?
JA: You're going to have to wait on that. If I say any more they are going to kill me.
SL You're starting a new product line, but I have to tell you, the Dirt hair paste in your original line is one of my favorite products.
JA: That's too bad because it's not my line anymore. [Antin has said he left the original Jonathan brand on good terms.] The new Jonathan Antin line is going to be big, big, big. Better than any hair product you go to the store to get. A lot of the products out there are about end result: volume or shine. This line is about treating the condition of your hair before you start. I liken what I am doing to getting a prescription-level product for your hair in a bottle.
"The Biggest Loser: Couples" airs May 4 at 8pm/EST on NBC.
Meanwhile, read what "Project Runway" winner Seth Aaron Henderson has to say about his "bad ass" collection.