Darren Criss – ‘Teenage Dream’ – MTV’s The Seven

Yeah, we’ve already seen Glee new kid, Darren Criss perform “Teenage Dream” at The Mint and at The Grove, but I promise you peeps, his piano-led performance of his heart-stopping tune on MTV’s The Seven is not to be missed. Promise.

Bonus: Darren sings an original song, “Not Alone”

Also, Darren discusses the future of Kurt and Blaine, meeting Katy Perry and the Starkid’s road to gleeksterdom in the accompanying interview.

Watch after the JUMP…

Teenage Dream

Original Song “Not Alone”

Interview

About mj santilli 33688 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!

38 Comments

  1. ahhh.. cannot view. not available in this part of the world. :(

  2. So it will be interesting to watch this all play out…’cause you know that he will get a recording contract and be touted as the next best thing and peeps will marvel at his climb from “singing in the shower” to national celebritism. Hog wash! Just like a lot of other hard working “wannabes” he has put in his time and has made his dream of success his priority. But until Glee popped up he was treading water and now his career is on a whole different path…just like peeps from other reality shows.

    All it takes is one big break..and it doesn’t matter how talented someone is…unless you have some “luck” on your side you may just wallow in relative obscurity for the rest of your life.

  3. He sounds very strained in this video and looks like he is having trouble hitting the notes live. If it wasn’t for glee, this glee would never have made it into mainstream on his own. His voice is not that strong, and he WOULD NEVER be in American Idol. You know that’s the truth..

  4. I found him to be very delightful. He is a great looking guy and on Glee he really shows his talents. I definitely think this gig will help jump start his career for future big projects, kind of like Zac Efron.

  5. His voice is not that strong, and he WOULD NEVER be in American Idol. You know that’s the truth..

    Funny, I had the exact opposite reaction. As much as I love him on Glee (and for me he’s completely stolen the show), I would have loved to have seen him compete on Idol. He doesn’t have a huge voice, but he has amazing musicianship and is a terrific singer. And his charisma and poise are off the charts.

    I just hope Idol is looking for guys AND gals with this type of talent this season. And, given that it’s primarily a television show, they should screen test the wannabes to see how they come across ON TELEVISION. Darren Criss is proof positive that some people just have that something extra going on that translates onto the little screen.

  6. I think he has lot of personal charisma and a prety good voice. His range is very limited though. On glee and on these videos, he demonstrates very little vocal range. But he does well with what he has. I can totally see him crossing over as a pop artist. More than anyone else on Glee actually.

  7. Hmmm think his voice is very good actually. His is much better than Finn’s on the show…just sayin’.

    Question is what is his sexual preference? That’s what I want to know…

  8. Darren Criss is straight. Great interview in Vanity Fair that touched on his upbringing in San Francisco here.

    I was inadvertently raised in the “gay community.” I had straight parents, but I spent massive amounts of time at a very early age with gay, theater-hopeful thirty-somethings. And those were the people I spent time with early on, so my whole perception of “sexuality” just wasn’t there. It just…was. It even got to the point where, later in life… I had all the components in place. I was, well, not super effeminate, but I was into girly things—I liked musical theater, all the stereotypical things. I had to come out and say, well, I’m sorry, but I think I’m straight. And people were like, say it ain’t so! And I would say, “It’s been a secret too long, but I’m actually a straight male.”

  9. I have a question for those who follow everything Glee, has Ryan Murphy made comments about lesbians on TV and said something about it being exploitation?
    I’ve read some comments by people on the subject and I’d like to know what he really said about the subject.

  10. I love Darren. He has tons of charisma and is a real musician, and I love the tone of his voice. Having the perfect range means very very little if you don’t have the full package to support it and make the most of it. To me, he’s the real deal.

    I was thinking just the other day how similar/different it would’ve been if instead of Glee, he got his big break on American Idol. Glee sort of became the platform to stardom that Idol once was, and I’m so glad they found him and introduced him to us.

  11. He sounds very strained in this video and looks like he is having trouble hitting the notes live. If it wasn’t for glee, this glee would never have made it into mainstream on his own. His voice is not that strong, and he WOULD NEVER be in American Idol. You know that’s the truth..

    ITA. I don’t know, he might get on Idol, I can’t say, anymore. But I agree with the rest. Plus, I hate Glee, so that doesn’t help. He’s mediocre at best.

  12. not a big fan of glee anymore, but i wanted to know what the fuss is about with this new kid.

    his interpretation of the song is really good. he’s got a nice tone, but what other’s have said, his range is limited. there are tons of musicians that can sing circles around him. that being said, good for him to have his big break on glee, because i’m pretty sure he’d still be performing at malls and coffee shops.

  13. I love Darren. He has tons of charisma and is a real musician, and I love the tone of his voice. Having the perfect range means very very little if you don’t have the full package to support it and make the most of it. To me, he’s the real deal.

    THANK you! I was starting to think I was living in a parallel universe. I think this kid is amazing. He IS clearly a musician, and I’ll take musicianship and great tone over a huge range any day. Plus the camera just loves him. I also think he’s in a different league as an actor than most of the “kids” in Glee. I like Chord Overstreet and enjoyed Jonathan Groff last season, as well, but Darren is the only one of the kids who can actually upstage Chris Colfer. That’s saying something IMHO.

  14. THANK you! I was starting to think I was living in a parallel universe. I think this kid is amazing.

    I think it has something to do with the extent of knowledge one has about his career. Those who saw A Very Potter Musical and its sequel, those who heard Darren’s original songs, those who know his personal history and accomplishments have a lot more to go on than just his vocals/ performance style in one or two videos.

    I didn’t know him prior to TD, but his charisma and vocals on that song were enough for me to want to dig deeper. I’ve loved everything that digging has led to, and I know there are even better things up ahead. That’s why it feels to me somewhat similar to AI – I feel like Glee helped me discover him by showcasing his talent, and it has that wonderful “plucked from obscurity” appeal. It doesn’t feel all that different from how I felt when I first heard David Cook’s indie album on YouTube and fell in love with his musicianship.

  15. I wish Katy and Darren would duet this song at the Grammy’s. How FUN would that be!!?

  16. Funny, I had the exact opposite reaction. As much as I love him on Glee (and for me he’s completely stolen the show), I would have loved to have seen him compete on Idol. He doesn’t have a huge voice, but he has amazing musicianship and is a terrific singer. And his charisma and poise are off the charts.

    Yeah, that. I think he’d have done extremely well on Idol – he’s cute, he’s charismatic, and he can sing to boot. I think he’s pretty great.

  17. Darren Criss would probably be the first person to say he’s not the best singer out there. I remembered seeing this interview in Entertainment Weekly when his EP came out. In it, he says about his big ballad in AVPS:

    I like to sing, but I don’t have a vibrato or a very classically stage voice. I would love to hear that song sung by a real tenor, especially the end-note. I’m not very good at holding long notes out, so I wish it had turned out a little better, but I am very proud of that song, too.

    It would have been interesting to see him on AI, but I don’t think he would have lasted. He’s got the chops, music-wise, but his tastes aren’t quite as sophisticated they should be to succeed as an idol. I think his love of Disney princess songs does strike a chord in the audience. It’s just not a chord people like to admit they possess. Also, as he admits, he’d have had trouble with the glory notes.

    But the adorkability makes him perfect for Glee.

  18. I enjoyed this performance and think he sounds MUCH better than Katy Perry singing this song. However, his singing seems just a bit above average to me….JMHO. He was often out of breath and at times looked strained trying to reach the notes. These comments, of course, are coming from someone that couldn’t sing a note if forced at gunpoint!!! :)

  19. Oh, he’s definitely not a glory noter, but that’s just fine by me. He has a lovely tone to his voice, and his phrasing is great. That’s the actor in him coming out. I do think he could benefit from voice lessons, as any singer — no matter how good — could. I didn’t take my first voice lesson until I was 23, but after a year of lessons I couldn’t believe how much better a singer I became, especially learning to breathe properly. This kid appears to be very ambitious; I’m sure he’ll be taking voice AND dance lessons (if he isn’t already). :-)

  20. I don’t watch the show, I”ll take people’s word for the acting chops, which would seem to be a plus – but he’s a nice looking, personable young man, from what I can tell. He gives good interview.

    The part you posted, Montavilla, was very open and disarmingly honest about his vocals – it sure disarmed any comments I had, he said it first! Heh.

    Also. Most of what Darren commented on can be improved with the help of a good voice coach, if the opportunity exists, and although a light tenor isn’t a voice I prefer, there’s no reason he can’t learn to do more with it.

    Glee is fortunate to find someone who has his skills, and looks right for the part – and he is fortunate to have this chance at national exposure. IMO.

  21. Oh, he’s definitely not a glory noter, but that’s just fine by me. He has a lovely tone to his voice, and his phrasing is great.

    That’s exactly where I’m coming from on Darren. The entire package works for me.

  22. Love him and love Glee. It is so refreshing to hear everyone on Glee that actually have talent and can sing and sing with feeling. I hope to see more of Darren on Glee and elsewhere.

  23. He reminds me sooooo much of my ex from freshman year of college. If it weren’t for that I think I would really like him. Instead I want to smack the crap out of him and that smug face. But thats my damage lol.

  24. I’ve seen two videos of him singing live and I’m not impressed. In my opinion his singing is not enjoyable to listen to. But all that matters is if there are people who do enjoy listening to him. I don’t begrudge him the success he is having.

  25. I agree, Bootstar and MJ. It’s the total package that works, including the acting, the ability to move, the sense of humor. I think he’s great. I just don’t think he would have worked on AI, since it’s not a place that tends to showcase acting, movement, or humor.

    One thing I wonder about: Was he in the musical theater department at UM? You’d think that if he was, he would have been working with vocal teachers already. But maybe he was in the acting department? I have no idea how the curriculum is set there.

    But again, it hardly matters. He’s in a really good place and there’s a lot open to him, whether he decides to go into film, stage, or music. I hope he’s able to open some doors for the other Starkids, too. They are terrific.

  26. Flamen04: He sounds very strained in this video and looks like he is having trouble hitting the notes live. If it wasn’t for glee, this glee would never have made it into mainstream on his own. His voice is not that strong, and he WOULD NEVER be in American Idol. You know that’s the truth..

    Darren would probably be the first to agree that his voice isn’t particularly strong compared to many other singers but vocal strength and range are low on my list of criteria of what determines an effective performance.

    Are you saying American Idol never featured singers with voices similar in strength to his? Because that’s certainly not true. One of them even won (Kris Allen).

    As for Glee being responsible for making him “mainstream”… perhaps. But I’m thinking his involvement with the Harry Potter musical on YouTube was instrumental in bringing him to the attention of Glee producers, plus it also brought along an instant loyal built-in fanbase.

    I thought his live vocals in the above video were fine, though I’ve seen stronger concert performances from him on YouTube. Unfortunately these days, with all the Autotuned songs on CDs, on radio and in music videos, people expect perfect vocals all the time and when the live performances don’t match the studio-tweaked numbers, they’re disappointed.

  27. Kris: I’ve seen two videos of him singing live and I’m not impressed. In my opinion his singing is not enjoyable to listen to. But all that matters is if there are people who do enjoy listening to him. I don’t begrudge him the success he is having.

    We all have different tastes so I don’t expect to change your mind but still, check out this original song (“The Muse”) he performed in 2007 while attending the University of Michigan:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sba57Msa48

  28. One thing I wonder about: Was he in the musical theater department at UM? You’d think that if he was, he would have been working with vocal teachers already. But maybe he was in the acting department? I have no idea how the curriculum is set there.

    He was in the Theatre Department in UofM, as far as my researches have gathered. He played Mr Wickham, Pride and Prejudice for one of their plays.

    I only came to know about him after the Glee ep and I am in love with him since then. He isn’t as polished as amazing Lambert in his singing, but I still love his riffs.

    Too bad that the MTV videos are not available for rest of the world and as I result I had to resort to watching a crappy youtube of his TD performance. If somebody comes across better quality ones, please share!

    Oh and since then, I have watched his mini movie – Little White Lie and Musical Me and My Dick. They are awesome. Search for them on youtube, you will be hooked on his production company ( Team Starkid) as well. They seem to be a made up of bunch of cool kids.

    EDIT: Have not watched AVPM cos Harry Potter isn’t my thing and wont understand a joke.

  29. Let’s see:

    Charismatic, musically talented, seems to have a great personality AND really, really good looking. Okay, I’m sold. :))

  30. Hakunamatata: OK i was wrong, he is from Musical Theatre background.

    According to this bio entry:

    He attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory and went on to the University of Michigan and graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance, Acting.

    The emphasis may have been more on acting than singing.

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