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UPDATE: Look what Ryan Murphy just tweeted, “Fan: “I want Aylin on GLEE.” Me: “Me too.”" Ryan may cast Aylin anyway, despite the fact she didn’t officially win a prize. I mean really, the nan can do anything he wants, right?
It’s here! The Glee Project Finale! Chris Colfer is the mentor tonight. HOORAY! Aylin, Blake and Ali will battle it out for that 7 episode Glee arc.
The final homework assignment is “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray. The eliminated contenders all come back to participate in the finale. They will be part of the Homework Assignment. Chris picks ALL THREE as winners of the homework assignment. He can’t pick.
The entire group will perform “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. Damian McGinty makes a special appearance in the music video. Aylin is sneaking out to prom. Blake is a popular but humble prom King. Ali is the flirty mean girl. Each of the Top 3 will be able to pick their own song for their last chance performance in front of Ryan.
Last chance performances
Aylin – “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele
Ali – “Popular” from Wicked
Blake – “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain
And the winner of the Glee Project is…Blake Jenner
OK. I have to say that I am really shocked that Ryan didn’t pick Aylin. Blake is the best actor of the three. But man that last chance performance was as bland as could be. And his poem was dumb. Aylin’s PERFORMANCE was the best of the three. I guess Blake will be cast as The Football Player and the second generation Finn. Whatever. I don’t expect him to be memorable. ETA: Unless he plays a gay character. Hm. Today, Ryan Murphy tweeted, “Writing such a great role for the winner! And just wait until you see who they are dating…” The only surprising outcome would be if he were dating say…Blaine.
The writers did a terrible job flashing out characters for Damian and Samuel last year, I hope they don’t drop the ball with Blake. For the record, Nellie was my favorite. After she left, I didn’t care who won. But I was so sure Aylin would win! It was probably Blake’s consistency, acting ability and marketability that won him the role in the end.
The three remaining contenders: Aylin, Ali and Blake are so close to the end, they can taste that prize, which is a 7 episode arc on Glee.
Robert arrives for the last time! The theme for this week is GLEE-ALITY and the final homework assignment will be “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray. “A celebration of song and dance,” Robert calls it.
The following day, the trio will be performing for Robert and ONE OF GLEE’S BIGGEST STARS! And, as an afterthought, Robert mentions that the trio will have some VERY SPECIAL BACK UP SINGERS. DUN DUN DUN! It’s the eliminated contenders! Back for a reunion! “We’re back bitches!” declares Charlie. Hugging! Kissing! Time to rehearse. Ali becomes the HBIC, leading the contenders through their paces in rehearsal.
It’s time to perform the homework assignment. But first, Robert introduces the very last guest mentor…and it’s a Glee star that is the inspiration for the Glee Project. CHRIS COLFER! YAY. My favorite. I may be more excited than the contenders who proceed to lose their shit.
“Chris Colfer is a big deal,” says Ali, “His character on Glee has touched so many people.”
“I’m so excited to be here!” Chris says with a crinkly smile, “This is so much pressure! I don’t know how you guys do this.” Robert tells the story of how Chris auditioned for Artie, but wasn’t quite right for the role. But he was so special, Ryan was inspired to write him a role, and Kurt Hummel was born.
Next the kids perform a very spunky and spirited rendition of “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” Ali, in particular, is super-vivacious in the performance.
“I thought you guys did a great job!” says Chris afterward. His notes are all compliments. He liked Blake’s “little dance” (which Chris demonstrates to laughs) and the way he kept his intensity throughout the number. Chris was impressed with Aylin’s ability to keep the volume in her voice while she was moving around, “That’s really hard to do!” He complimented Ali on her “character” which is what the musical hairspray is known for.
When it came time to pick a homework winner…Chris couldn’t choose. “I have decided…to pick all three of you. I think you guys are all great.” Later, all 3 will get a one-on-one mentoring session with Chris.
Chris announces the last big group number of the season, which is “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae. High fives all around! The concept for the group number, says Robert, is a high school prom. Each of the final 3 will play a specific character. Aylin will be sneaking into the prom against her parents’ wishes. Blake will play the popular but humble Prom King. (“So you’re playing a fictional character,” quips Chris) and Ali will be the flirty MEAN GIRL.
All three contenders can pick a song to sing for the last chance performance. When kids are finished, Ryan will CHOOSE THE WINNER.
Chris Colfer Mentors the Contenders, “You Can’t Stop the Beat”
Next, it’s Choreography with Brooke and Zach. “It took me this long to realize that you guys look the best when you’re not dancing together,” says Zach, before breaking out into hysterical, adorable laughter. OMG I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. The contestants learn a “pseudo line dance.” Mike is assigned to help Ali, because she’s having trouble adapting. Zach reminds the ex-contenders that they need to show the kids still in the competition respect by learning their parts. But, it’s the three remaining contenders who will have to carry the video. “It’s been a fun time, folks,” says Zach, by way of goodbye. “Come hug me…but not too tight because Y’all are sticky!!” LOVES.
Choreography with Brooke and Zach
Vocals are next. Blake shouts his way through his parts. It’s too high for him. Nikki tells him not to push so hard. Aylin didn’t memorize her words. But she finally gets it. Ali nails it. The rest of the contenders come in to sing the choruses. Basically, everyone did good in the booth this final week.
Vocals with Nikki
In their mentoring session with Chris, he tells them to make sure to pick a song they can live with for the rest of their lives. “I’ll be doing single ladies at a Bar Mitzvah somewhere when I’m in my 50s!” The kids crack up. “Pick one that you really want to be with you forever,” he advises.
The video shoot begins. “Let’s make it big for Ryan,” says director, Erik White. Robert, Zach and Nikki are there to scrutinize every little thing the final 3 does. “Aylin has been fantastic,” says Robert. “When she’s on, she’s on.” Nikki adds, ‘She’s got a really great pop voice. She’d be a really great addition to Glee in general.” But the mentors worry that she may not be able to handle the backlash her character would create.
“Blake is doing great as always,” says Robert, “He’s just so solid. “ Zach thinks Blake has been the most consistent of the contenders. Nikki believes his skill level would allow him to play many different characters. Zach worries that Ryan is looking for Blake to bring a different texture to a leading man role.
Nikki feels Ali is a “true consummate performer. She takes things you give her and applies them and wants to hear more feedback.” Zach is worried that her performance may seem forced.
Erik introduces the contenders to a special guest performer. And it’s….Damian McGinty, winner of The Glee Project, Season 1! The kids do their usual apeshit deal. Damian tells the final 3 that there is no need to be nervous now. “You can’t lose anything,” he says, “You can only gain something.” THAT’S EASY FOR HIM TO SAY.
The resulting video is a fun romp. Ali is perfectly bitchy, the camera loves Blake, and Aylin’s vocals pop. I don’t think you could pick a winner just based on the video. Each of the three has their strengths.
Tonight Tonight Video Shoot
It’s time for the final song selection. Nikki reminds the contenders that Glee cast recordings have reached over 40 million downloads. “It’s an audience that most recording artists can only dream of.” Not that you guys will make any money or get any recognition for your vocals. But I digress.
Aylin has chosen “Rolling in the Deep” as her song because she thinks it’s a great way to show both her sassy and her vulnerable side.” Ali will sing “Popular” from Wicked. She wants to show Ryan that her “mean girl” character belongs on Glee. Blake chooses “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain because it’s a song he’s related to since he was a kid. He wants to show Ryan that there’s more to him than meets the eye. Ryan will only pick one winner, warns Robert. “He definitely has not made up his mind.” Cast members, Darren Criss, Amber Riley, Dianna Agron, Grant Gustin, Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen are in the audience with the writers, mentors and ex-contenders.
Final Song Selection
Last chance performance! Ali is first. She sees Glee as a viable opportunity for someone, like her, in a wheelchair. She does have a nice Broadway voice. Which, I never noticed. She’s got a very vivacious personality. The only problem I see is that she has a tendency to play too broad. I’m not sure how she’ll come across on TV. She hits a killer high note. “It’s impossible to root against her,” says Ryan.
“I’ll Be” is one of those deadly dull AC ballads that really only works if the singer has a killer voice. Blake manages to make the song even blander than it was originally, which is a pretty amazing feat. After, Blake whips out a piece of paper and reads a really lame poem—all about how Ryan hasn’t seen the guy he really is…or something. Robert and Nikki tear up. Mario, the blind guy has tears streaming down his face. This is so contrived; I’m just not feeling it.
Aylin takes the stage last. “All I have to do is sing my heart out,” says Aylin. And that she does. After she’s done tearing the house down, she assures Ryan that she’s ready for whatever comes her way, including any negative backlash from playing a controversial Glee character.
Ryan asks the group what they think. Darren, Dianna, Samuel and Grant like Ali. The writers are split between Blake and Ali. Derek votes for the consistently solid Blake. Charlie speaks up, and this is the point where the discussion begins to feel really scripted. He gives an impassioned plea for his gal pal Aylin who may not be the best actor, but could serve as a role model to “take the bridge of fear and intolerance that has defined the post 9/11 decade in this country and burn it to the ground.” WHOA. MELODRAMTIC MUCH DUDE. We know you want to bone her, but C’MON. Amber loves the way she sang Adele. Damian likes Aylin too. “I think her story would draw so many more people into Glee.”
Ryan says that he came into the last chance performance thinking he knew who would win. But then it changed after the performances. And now, after the pleas, it may be changing again. Ryan and the mentors have one last private conversation before picking the winner. Even after talking with the mentors one last time, Ryan feels really split.
Last Chance Performance
It’s time to choose a winner. Ryan says last year at this time was a much easier decision. THAT’S BECAUSE EVERY FREAKING BODY WON, RYAN. He explains that with some of the Glee kids graduating, there is a need for a “very specific talent.” Ryan tells Blake that he was impressed with his leadership and his talent from the beginning. He loves Ali’s optimism and Broadway talent. And Aylin really embodies something that is Glee. He loves her vocals and tells her that none other than Ms. Amber Riley gave her a compliment.
“Let’s get to it,” says Ryan. “The winner of the Glee Project Season 2 is…Blake.” Upon hearing the news. Blake loses his mind—jumping around the stage like a crazy guy. “OH DUDE.” He says as he hugs his competitors. “This is the greatest moment of my life. I’m going to be on Glee,” he says. Aylin swears it’s not the end for her. Ali is disappointed, but feels so lucky to have experienced the competition. “It just makes me hungrier,” she says. Blake is so happy. He’ll never take his good fortune for granted.
And that’s the Glee Project, Season 2, folks.
Winner is Crowned
Blake impersonating Cameron Mitchell from S1 at the Upfronts
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