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
The bottom 3 sing for their lives.
A contestant is eliminated.