Glee star, Darren Criss will be on hand to help the remaining 6 The Glee Project contenders get their romance on! “Romanticality” is all about the Heart Eyes. Or at least it should be.
The homework assignment is “More Than Words” by Extreme. Nuno Bettencourt is on hand to accompany the kids on guitar. The group number is Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”
Shanna – “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
Aylin – “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack
Blake – “Losing My Religion” by REM
Shanna is eliminated
Oh man. I totally expected Shanna to make it to the final. But, by the end of her last chance performance tonight, I knew she would be cut. Her chipper, happy, Barbie doll affect just does not interest Ryan, no matter how well she sings and acts. The end. he finds Blake kind of boring too, but he’s the last of two boys–it’s not time to lose one yet. Both Micheal and Blake are ciphers, although Blake’s all around talent is apparent. We rarely see what makes Michael tick–although there are glimmers of a sense of humor here and there. If TGP was a voting show, he would have been gone long ago.
We’re down to six contenders on The Glee Project and the kids are really feeling the pressure now. Robert arrives and notes how weird it is to see only 6 contestants. Michae, whol sees Blake as his main competition (just because he’s a guy?) is determined to beat him.
The theme this week is “Romanticality.” Robert wants to know if the remaining 6 can convincingly create chemistry in a romantic relationship. Lily reveals that she has a crush on Blake and is super hoping to be paired up with him at some point during the week. The homework assignment is “More Than Words” by Extreme.
The group gets together to divvy up parts. They decide to perform in pairs. Lily is disappointed when Blake doesn’t even look at her! Neither did Michael. So Lily and Aylin end up together. The two have been butting heads all through the competition, so Lily is wary. The other two couples are Ali/Blake and Shanna/Michael. Shanna is nervous about paring up with Michael, because basically—he sucks.
It’s the next day, and time to perform. Extreme guitarist, Nuno Bettencourt will be accompanying the kids as they sing. Nuno says he heard a rumor that Robert lost his virginity to the song. When Robert “confirms” the rumor, I immediately reach for the brain bleach. “TOO MUCH INFORMATION,” scream the voices inside my head. But thankfully, it was just a joke.
Time to introduce the special guest mentor! “So our other guest today has done some of Glee’s most romantic and groundbreaking scenes,” teases Robert. OH HELL YES. It’s Darren Criss! Of course, the kids totally freak the eff out. Cute and compact as ever!!! Darren says he loves coming on the Glee Project (he mentored last year) because it’s a chance to get to know new people he could be potentially working with.
Darren explains that romance is inherently being vulnerable and having a real sincere and unique connection because of that vulnerability. The kids perform and pour it on pretty thick. Lily and Ailyn plant a big kiss on each other—a move they secretly planned earlier. Next it’s NOTES WITH DARREN.. Shanna is aghast when Darren tells her she and Michael were stiff. Shanna has never received a bad note on a homework assignment, and she blames Michael. Aylin and Lily were maybe “a bit more than it needed to be.” He felt Blake and Ali were the most natural and relaxed of all the couples. Darren was especially impressed with Blake, whom he picks as the homework winner. “It was just really earnest. You nailed it. It felt really nice,” says Darren of Blake’s performance For all the praise Blake has gotten throughout the competition, he had never won a homework assignment.
Before he leaves, Darren reveals that the big group number is “We Found Love” by Rihanna. The kids collectively blow a gasket. In the video, the kids will play high school students who are in detention on the weekend. When the teacher leaves them alone, they sneak off to different corners of the school to indulge in a little romance. As the homework assignment winner, Blake gets to choose his partner. And he figures if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. He chooses Ali again. Darren thinks the rest of the group needs to shake it up. You know. It’s exactly the way he feels about Klaine! He pairs Aylin with Shanna and Lily with Michael. Lily is disappointed that Blake didn’t choose her. Michael is cool, but Lily thinks of him as a brother. THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED ACTING LILY. She also believes she and Blake have chemistry. Hm.
“YOU’RE ALL AMAZING,” Darren whispers loudly as he leaves the room. Aw.
DAMN IT! King Bitch, Zach Woodlee is tied up with Glee and can’t choreograph this week. Oh Glee. Why do you deprive me of the awesomeness that is Zach? His assistant, Brooke Is left to choreograph the kids. The moves are pretty easy this week. Blake and Ali may be the favorites right now, but Shanna is determined to make it the Aylin and Shanna show. The duo plan to rehearse until “we aren’t straight anymore.”
It’s time for vocals with Nikki. She’s worried the kids will have trouble harmonizing, so, she brings them together in the booth as a pair (this is certainly not how it’s done at Glee). Aylin and Lily are up first. Aylin says it will be interesting to see her family’s reaction after they see her kiss a girl. Aylin struggles on her harmonies a bit, but gets them eventually. Shanna struggles a little more. “Today she didn’t quite reach it,” says Nikki. Shanna has never been in the bottom 3 and really wants to make it to the finale without seeing Ryan. She is confident.
Here comes Michael who ALWAYS has trouble in the booth–but not this week. Lily more than breezes through her parts. “Lily has become a studio singer,” says Nikke, “She’s almost one of the best now.” Next, it’s Ali and Blake. She does all of her parts first, and it’s perfect. Blake is up next and OH NOES. He can’t sing harmony for crap. Seriously. It’s terrible. The boy literally turns tone deaf. “I think I found the crack in his armor today,” says Nikki. Blake is worried that he’s now made himself vulnerable to be picked for the bottom 3.
The video shoot begins with Erik WhIte telling the kids that he wants to see connection—those little moments. “It’s all about the chemistry,” says Robert. Michael and Lilly’s chemistry impresses the mentors. For once she dials it back, while Michael pushes it up a notch, allowing them to meet in the middle.
Darren tells Blake in their one on one that he needs to tap into any romantic experiences he’s had. The session must have helped, because the mentors LOVED his interaction with Ali. “Creative, playful and fun,” says Robert.
At the other end of the spectrum are Aylin and Shanna, who may be overcompensating for their lack of connection by over acting. “This doesn’t look natural to me at all,” says Nikki. “Could you add a little cat and mouse [to the choreography]” says Zach, “Now, you just look like two girls at a swing dance.” OUCH. Zach rules. Aylin and Shanna never really improve their performance.
The mentors agree that it will be difficult to pick the bottom 3. Nikki can’t imagine losing one of the two guys left, because she feels either boy could win. Robert feels every contender had a moment that could justify their being in the bottom 3. The video features Iqbal Theba ,who plays Principal Figgins on Glee. The scenes between the contenders are very sweet, making it one of my favorite group numbers of the season.
It’s time to choose the bottom 3. “We’re in the final stages of the competition now, and this is where it gets really painful, “says Robert. For their stellar work in the studio and on set, Ali and Lily are put on the call back list first. Robert notes that Michael was stiff this week. It’s a note he gets often. Blake’s inability to sing harmony worries Nikki because being able to harmonize is important on the show. Shanna was stiff with Michael and overdramatic with Aylin. Double wammy. Shanna is in the bottom for the first time. Aylin will also do a performance, as will Blake. And once again, Michael dodges a bullet!
Shanna is shocked that she’s in the bottom 3 instead of Michael, who she thinks has more reason to be in the bottom than anybody. Well…that’s not true, actually. He did fantastic in the studio this week with Nikki and had wonderful chemistry with Lily on the shoot. Just Sayin.
Aylin, Blake and Shanna—basically the three frontrunners of the entire competition are in the bottom 3 together. Everybody is a little shell shocked. Blake is assigned “Losing My Religion” by REM. Aylin gets “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Roberta Flack (which she doesn’t know) and Shanna will be singing “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. All 3 are worried that they’ll be heading home, although Aylin feels being in the bottom before will help her, because she knows what to expect.
Ryan Murphy arrives with the mentors for the last chance performance. Ryan thought all six contenders did really well in the music video. Aylin is first. She sings a lovely, nuanced version of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” although Ryan calls her out on forgetting the words. After, Ryan quizzes her once again about how she thinks young Muslim girls will react to seeing a role model on television. You can literally see the wheels turning in Ryan’s head at this point. He’s literally writing the part for her as he speaks. Aylin Is SOO GOING TO WIN. Aylin says she’s is totally up for the challenge, whether It upsets her conservative family or not.
Blake is next. Ryan doesn’t like that he seems to have a lack of vulnerability and nerves. Here, in front of Ryan, he’s super nervous. Blake always brings it, especially when he has to. Not really sure WHY he’s in the bottom 3, and Michael isn’t–unless the mentors thought it would make good TV. Ryan calls him the “sweetheart” of the competition. Blake feels he deserves to be in the bottom. If Blake comes back, Ryan wants to see something that’s completely vulnerable, because those vulnerabilities are what Ryan is interested in writing to. “If you want to win this, you have to show me something I haven’t seen yet,” says Ryan.
Shanna takes the stage. Her version of “Stronger” is solid. She’s a powerhouse singer. But when Ryan asks her what kind of a role model she could be on Glee for young girls, she’s SUPER DUPER CHIPPER as she answers, “The athletic girl who is involved with everything who can sing her ass off.” Yeah, that’s way more compelling than casting one of the few Muslim teen characters on TV. YOU’RE TOAST SHANNA. She also throws Michael under the bus, which the mentors admire for some reason. Still, Ryan admits that Shanna hasn’t shown him a reason why she shouldn’t be in the bottom 3. He tells her to be bolder if she comes back.
If I wasn’t so sure Shanna was getting the boot, I might have been more pissed when the result was TOTALLY SPOILED during a promo in the next commercial break. Sheesh.
Robert arrives with the callback sheet, and like I suspected, Shanna is eliminated. She is devastated, because she really believed she could win. Shanna vows to keep on working with “a suitcase and 20 bucks in my pocket.”
She was a frontrunner, in the bottom 3 for the first time, and BOOM. She’s gone, just like that. But I think when Ryan got a look at her, he saw a talented girl with little he felt he could write to. And for Ryan, creating characters that interest him is what it’s all about.