The Glee Project – Individuality – Recap & Videos

Tonight was the premiere of The Glee Project. The new reality series, airing on Oxygen at 9 pm on Sunday night, will reward the winner with a 7 episode guest role on Glee.

The premiere was in two parts.  After being introduced to the casting process and meeting the 12 contenders in the 1st part, the premiere episode, “Individuality” featured the contestants preparing for a music video.  The kids worked with Darren Criss on a challenge, Zach Woodlee on choreography,  Allison Anders in the recording studio to lay down tracks for the song “Firework”, and finally with a director to shoot the video.  At the end of the process, the casting director, Robert Ulrich. choses a bottom 3.   The unlucky 3 had to sing a “last chance” number, chosen for them, in front of Glee creator, Ryan Murphy–who ultimately decided which contestant would go home.

The good thing about the process–the kids aren’t expected to do anything out of the ordinary. Decisions are made based on activities these kids would be engaged in, contest or no, so the process does not feel contrived.

I was a little surprised at the make up of the bottom 3, although I guessed right away who would get the boot.  Bryce, who saw himself as “the hearthrob”, had a personality that revealed itself in all the wrong ways.  He had a bit of a ‘tude that unfortunately only came through behind the cameras.  Otherwise, he was pretty much a vanilla bore.

Damian and Ellis both had personality to spare, but struggled with nerves.  Murphy saw through that, which is probably what saved them both.  I was a little surprised that Damien, the 19 year old from Northern Ireland hit bottom. He popped right out at me in the “Firework” video.  But, as fellow contestant Samuel Larsen said, they might put a contestant in the B3 just for show.  Samuel should know all about reality show shenanigans–you may recognize the dread-headed contestant from American Idol Season 9 Hollywood rounds.

I wouldn’t say I’m hooked on the show at this point. But I’m a big enough Glee fan to see this thing through. I’m wondering if Ryan Murphy might decide  to pluck a few more of these cast members for parts in the show. My picks for possible winners right now are the “geeky” kid, Cameron, who has an AMAZING voice, Matheus, a super-short dude who is personality plus, the beautiful and vocally amazing Marissa and Damien (despite his trip to the B3 this week).

It’s hard to say at this point if any of them could shine next to the likes of Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Lea Michele, et. al. We’ll see.

Darren Criss talks about the casting process

The final auditions

Darren Criss mentors the kids

Darren Criss mentors Matheus

Firework Video

The bottom 3 sing for their lives.

A contestant is eliminated.

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mj santilli

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • smartalek

    It feels like a reality show covering the songs covered on Glee. It’s interesting to get insight into casting but more than one could/should be eliminated at a time. I seriously doubt, Damien, the one with a European accent, is going to get cast to play a small town high school student in Lima Ohio!! European exchange student plot would be stupid as the point of the plot is to follow small town students deal with high school and attempt to fulfull bigger dreams. The guy with dreads, Samuel does not resemble a high school student so no way he’ll get cast. Matheson?, the very short guy, probably won’t get cast because he also doesn’t look like a high school student due to his facial hair IMO.
    Is Darren Criss the only one from Glee who will be featured on this reality show. I like him but I find his popularity overbearing. The rest of the cast is great too and it would be nice to get insight from the others as well.

  • missytoots

    The short guy creeps me out in the Firework video.

  • eyelinerandcigarettes

    Cameron, Marissa, and Lindsay FTW.

  • St.Lucia

    I’m intrigued enough I think to continue watching. Darren Criss helped keep my interest in this one. :)

    I really enjoy Cameron out of this bunch. He’s really the only one that grabs my attention in the right way with his voice. I like Damien but I prefer listening to him speak to him sing.

    It is definitely a different twist on a reality show, but I’m not sure it is one I LOVE just yet. I’ll keep watching if nothing else for Glee guest stars alone. :)

    ETA: I don’t remember the names of the contestants very well, but whoever the girl is who likes to flip her hair and sex herself up on the show, I’m over her already. Please send her away. :)

  • Jolene

    Is Darren Criss the only one from Glee who will be featured on this reality show.

    No, every week supposedly has another Glee cast member as a guest menotor. Darren’s episode was the premiere, other actors will appear in other episodes.

    I only really wanted to see Darren’s bits in this, so I really appreciate you posting them all here, MJ! Thanks a lot.

    I love him. I just do. This show seems like fun but I probably won’t watch it on a regular basis. Based on the little I’ve seen, I’m rooting for Cameron.

  • rayni

    Cameron and Matheus for sure! I don’t even watch Glee anymore but I can see a story line for both these guys. I am a reality-show-competition ho.

  • nate2582

    Is there anyone else who thinks Alex could play Mercedes’ little brother or cousin named Lexus??? They both have similar diva personalities and look like they could actually be brother and sister. I think we have a winner.

  • georgiarealist

    It seems a bit odd to me that Damian is on this show. He’s part of Celtic Thunder, so not exactly an unknown teenager. Not complaining – I love his voice.

  • canadiandcfan

    I really, really enjoyed watching this. I’m a huge Glee fan and I can see some potential for a few of these contestants and theres some decent talent there. Thank you so so much MJ for posting this, I don’t think I could watch it otherwise. Looking forward to the next episode and hoping to catch all the Gleeks as guest mentors/visitors/anything!

  • idolfan92

    I thought it was a really interesting show last night. And very intense. Wasn’t expecting them to get 2 hours to prepare (sometimes even learn) a song given to them. I have no idea why Damien was in the B3. You know how they had a commercial saying to go vote for your “fan favorite” on Yeah, Damien has 5,872 votes. Cameron has 3,337. NO ONE else has even 900, most have in the 300s. He’s not going anywhere. I like him and Cameron the best. I think the idea of a foreign exchange student could work. Cameron could be like a brainiac kid who someone discovers can sing, and then ND has to convince him to join Glee Club.

  • idolfan92

    Damien is leading the fan voting with 5,000+ votes. Cameron is second with 3,000+. No one else has even 900, and most are in the 300s. Cameron and Damien are my top 2, so I hope one of them wins. But who knows what goes on inside Ryan Murphy’s head?

    The show was more intense than I was expecting, but then again, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to next week!

  • brittneybabyy

    Cameron and Samuel caught my eye. Cameron’s voice is BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely beautiful. I could totally Samuel on the show. What role he’ll play I couldn’t even begin to narrow it down. But I think these two have a good shot. I’m actually not a fan of Matheus or Damian. And as someone said, how the heck would they put in a European student story line for only 7 episodes? And I just don’t think Matheus has that fantastic of a voice. Anyway, I like it!

  • dancingqueen

    Had my doubts, but ended up enjoying it. I could definitely see Alex as Mercedes’ brother. Cameron seems too much like Chord to me. Don’t care for Emily, Lindsey, or Mattheus. I like Samuel & Marissa, but, it’s early.

  • sue

    I love Cameron too MJ. :) I flove Damien’s eyes and accent!!!!! I like a lot of them. It seems like a fun show just to watch plus you get to see the behind the scene process of Glee. I love this show.
    I like a lot of the girls too.

    I was wondering why Todrick Hall wasn’t trying to get on this show, lolz, since he is dying to be on Glee. It’s not that easy.
    Love watching the girls swoon over Darren.

  • sumidol

    The little guy kinda creeped me out also, I liked Samuel, Marissa, Damian, most of them actually. Great bunch of talented singers and I really liked this show