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Tonight, the final 8 contenders will tackle Theatricality with the help of Grant Gustin, who plays the Evil Gay Warbler, Sebastian. BOOO!
The homework assignment is “I Hope I Get It” from the musical, A Chorus Line. Ali won the homework assignment. The music video this week is ‘When I Grow Up” by Pussycat dolls.
Nellie – “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Ethridge
Abraham – “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes
Lily – “Someone Like You” by Adele
Eliminated from The Glee Project – Nellie
Sigh. I knew it. But I’m still disappointed.
This week’s episode of The Glee Project opens with Michael and Blake discussing how the two are BFFSs, like, forever. They seem ready to trade charm bracelets and braid each other’s hair! It’s a shipper’s paradise right up in here. Robert arrives and reveals the theme: Theatricality. The challenge of theatricality, he says, is creating a heightened reality while also keeping it real. The homework assignment is “I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line. Robert feels the song mirrors nicely what the contenders are going through.
The kids divvy up the lines and begin work on the choreography. Lily boasts that theatricality is something that she embodies ALL THE TIME. Aylin, still upset that her boyfriend Charlie was eliminated last week, is doubly annoyed that her biggest competition and arch nemesis, Lily, is yelling her way through rehearsal.
Grant Gustin is introduced as this week’s mentor and his qualifications come by way of an extensive theater background. When he auditioned for the part of Sebastian Smythe on Glee, he was performing as Little John in a National Tour of West Side Story.
Grant Gustin Mentors the Top 8
Grant says theatricality is about living at a heightened emotion, with song and dance all you can do to express that moment. The kids perform. Lily pulls a bunch of distracting faces. But the kids, who are pulling it off, are the ones with big voices like Aylin, Ali and Shanna. Grant compliments Lily but much to her chagrin, he chooses Ali as the homework assignment winner. Grant tells Michael and Nellie that they need to have more confidence. Lily snarks that she doesn’t think Michael wants it as bad as the other kids, because he keeps receiving the same notes over and over again without changing anything.
Grant reveals that the group number this week is “When I Grow Up” by the Pussycat Dolls.” THE KIDS ARE SO EXCITED AS THEY ALWAYS ARE. The concept behind the number, he explains, will involve grocery store clerks who fantasize about becoming music superstars. Each of the contenders is assigned a superstar to transform into. Michael will be Elvis. Aylin KNOWS they chose Madonna for her because she’s just as SUPER SEXY as the material girl coughdeludedcough. Blake will be Boy George. Lily will be Cyndi Lauper. Ali will be Katy Perry , Shanna will be Lady Gaga and Nellie will be Britney Spears. And of course, Nellie is a little freaked out. “Why do you do this to me, every time!” she cries.
The point is to be big and bold and lose themselves in the character.
Grant watches the contenders perform. Chooses Ali to win the assignment
There is choreography this week, which means ZACH IS BACK. Lily thinks she has a big challenge because Cyndi Lauper isn’t an obvious character, which isn’t true AT ALL. Has Lily even watched any of her videos? Maybe she should have said “I CAN’T do Cyndi Lauper.” Zach tells her she just has to pick a character and embody it—it doesn’t necessarily have to be exactly like Cyndi. “OH MY GOD IF YOU EMBARRASS ME AGAIN,” Zach warns the contenders. He swears the steps this week is a series of poses rather than actual dancing. Zach warns them NOT TO BE ZOMBIES.
The bitch is back! The AWESOME Zach Woodlee teaches the contenders choreography
Next, it’s vocals with Nikki. Michael continues to overthink in the booth. I literally write that sentence every single week. She suggested last week that he not practice as hard. But he still has to sing his lines over and over again. Michael leaves the session really discouraged.
Abraham is David Bowie, and when Nikki asks him if he considers himself androgynous when he performs, he’s totally taken aback. “I consider myself free,” he answers. It’s really weird, because “androgynous” is by no means a pejorative word. But for Abraham it’s a trigger back to being bullied in high school for having feminine traits. As a result, he was a little less “on” during his session. It’s sad; because it’s obvious Abraham is still struggling with his identity. And I’m not talking about his sexual identity—he identifies as straight—but his overall presentation. The blending of the masculine and the feminine is what makes Abraham unique.
The contenders record their vocals with Nikki. Abraham is uncomfortable when she suggests he is “androgynous”
The kids join director Erik White to shoot the video. Nikki is too pregnant to participate in a night shoot, but Robert and Zach are on hand to watch and advise the contenders. Abraham realizes that David Bowie IS androgynous, and he plans on embracing it. Shanna is wearing an honest to God meat dress, which sounds pretty disgusting. Everybody looks really fabulous.
Blake has decided not to go the stereotypical route when he plays Boy George and the mentors love it. Blake has a “homosexual brother” (yes, this was the phrase Blake used, although he seems totally cool with it) and realizes being gay is more than just being sassy.
In her one on one session with Grant, Ali wants to know how to make pop music theatrical. Grant says she shouldn’t let the style of music stop her from emoting her feelings. Zach and Robert feel Ali has stepped up to the plate 100 percent. Michael has turned into a different human being. Everyone is digging into their characters, except for Nellie, who is obviously uncomfortable in her blond pigtails and Lolita costume. Lily thinks she’s so much like Cyndi Lauper that she doesn’t need to act. Uh. No. The mentors are disappointed.
After 5 hours, Shanna’s meat dress is gross and smelly. She’s literally nauseated. But she throws herself into the shoot anyway. The video itself is pretty fun to watch. The kids really do throw themselves into their characters.
It’s time to choose the bottom 3. The contenders assemble in the auditorium with Robert, Nikki and Zach. Ali is chosen as the standout contender of the week. She’s the first on the call back list. “You really did own it,” says Robert. Shanna, Blake and Aylin are called back next. Aylin is so close to the win, she can taste it. She just wants the rest of the contenders eliminated so she can get her 7 episodes of Glee.
Michael, Nellie, Lily and Abraham are left. Despite getting the same notes over and over again, Michael is on the call back list. The mentors keep trying to challenge Nellie, and she’s mostly unable to step up to the plate. Abraham gets upset all over again about the “androgynous” comment. Nellie, Abraham and Lily will be performing last chance performances for Ryan Murphy. Lily is PISSED that Michael was called back, despite the repeat note thing (she keeps harping on that).
Nellie will sing. “I’m the Only One” by Melissa Ethridge. Abraham will sing “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes. When Lily finds out that her song is Adele’s “Someone Like You” she completely freaks out. “You gave it to HER!” says Abraham, incredulously.
The bottom 3 is revealed and given their song assignments
Last chance performance! Nellie acquits herself nicely on the Melissa Ethridge song. Ryan tells her it’s the most passionate he’s ever seen her. Ryan asks her what she was thinking as she sang and she’s all “I don’t know.” She also has no idea which pop star she would have preferred to play in the music video. None of these wishy washy answers are what Ryan wants to hear. The mentors aren’t convinced that she really wants to be on Glee. Nellie admits that she’s intimidated.
Abraham is next. His performance is very theatrical and very good. After, he’s still in performance mode, kissing up to Ryan with fake compliments, which Ryan calls him out on. “Cut the diva act,” Ryan tells him. “I don’t know what’s real about you, or what’s fake.” They talk about the androgyny thing again. Ryan says that he loves that he’s a shape shifter. If he comes back next week, Ryan tells him to stop being afraid.
Lily becomes very emotional singing Adele. Ryan felt she just performed a character on stage, and why could Lily NOT do that during the video shoot? Lily becomes very combative, insisting the stage directions were not clear. Ryan disagrees. Why is she arguing with him? She literally throws Zach under the bus, insisting that his direction was unclear.
When it’s obvious she’s losing the argument, she begins crying and wailing about her insecurities around her weight. “I can act my way out of a fucking box,” she cries. It’s super annoying and super manipulative. Ryan tells her to forget the “Yes…but…” if she comes back. Ryan likes her ambition. Ryan is rooting for Nellie, but doesn’t think she wants it enough. And Abraham is both incredibly bold and incredibly fearful. It’s a problem when you split the difference. “The only people who should move forward,” says Ryan, “Are the people who honestly have a chance to win.”
Abraham, Nellie and Lily perform for Ryan Murphy
Robert arrives with the call back list. Lily is convinced she’s going home. Nellie is only sure that she’s not ready to go home. Abraham feels he has so much more to give. And it turns out…Nellie is going home. “I’m walking away with a new sense of pride in what I do and what I can do,” says Nellie, “I’m ready to be confident with what I am.”
Besides the spoilers that said Nellie would be leaving this week. It seemed pretty clear at the end of last week, that she’d be next. I really think they tossed her the Britney Spears character in the music video, because they knew it would be difficult for her. They figured, she’ll either sink or swim. And if it’s the former, she’d be out of here. I loved Nellie, but she was never able to use her insecurities to her advantage. The thing an actor has to do is dive in and go for it. Nellie couldn’t let go.
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