'The Glee Project' recap: 'Glee-ality'
It's the big finale, and our final three will be competing for a chance at getting a character arc of seven episodes on "Glee." Considering that "The Glee Project" has been a lot more entertaining than "Glee" lately, I'm not sure if this is the big reward it used to be, but everyone seems excited about it nonetheless.
Robert comes in to tell them, duh, the theme is Glee-ality. And their homework assignment is "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray. Our three finalists are sad and happy and… well, they're just emotional. Robert has one last thing to say -- they will have some amazing back-up vocalists for this last assignment. And, hey, it's the eliminated castmates.
They all flood into the room and there's hugging and tears. Ali steps forward to take charge of the rehearsal, as she wants to win this thing. Aylin is grateful Ali has stepped forward, because she doesn't know what to do.
Our final guest mentor is… Chris Colfer (Kurt on "Glee"). He initially auditioned for the role of Artie, and while he wasn't right for Artie, Ryan created a role for him. So, Chris wants to talk to them about how to get Ryan to create roles for them. But wait! It's time for "You Can't Stop the Beat"!
It's… okay. Blake is Blake, which is to say consistent as always, but his singing has never really wowed me. Aylin, oddly, seems a little uncomfortable. Just a little, though. And Ali is giving her all, but this might be the first time I really heard the high, whiny quality one of you guys mentioned in a previous post. I mean, it's all very good by any measure, so I'm just nitpicking, but… not my favorite performance.
Chris loved Blake's dancing and thought his intensity was consistent. He gave Aylin points for keeping her voice up while moving around, and he praised Ali for being a character. But who's the winner? He picks all three of them. Awww, how sweet!
The last big number will be "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae and the concept will be high school prom. Aylin will be sneaking to prom against her parents' wishes, Blake will be popular but humble prom king and Ali will be the flirty mean girl. And each of the final three will get to choose their final performance song.
They go to choreography, which concludes with a big, group Zach hug.
Working with Nikki is next. At first, Blake is AWFUL. The piece is too high for him. Once that's adjusted, he's spot on. Next, Aylin hasn't learned the words. Ali knocks it out of the park, though, and impresses Nikki.
Time to remember Chris Colfer! Chris tells them that whatever song they choose, they should know they'll have to perform it FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. So, better like it.
The mentors talk about the finalists at the video shoot. Aylin has a great pop voice! But will she be able to handle the backlash over what she represents as a modern Muslim girl. They love Blake. He's so consistent! They think Ali is a consummate performer. But she's so vibrant she might look forced!
But wait! They need a special guest! It's Damian McGinty (Rory) from "Glee"!
In the video, I think Ali stands out -- as one of the writers had said during the acting challenge, she can play bitchy. But Aylin and Blake are good, too. I think they are actually a bit disadvantaged, as Blake doesn't have anything to work with, and Aylin's "character" is boiled down to her taking off a sweatshirt. If I had to guess, I'd say the video is meant to show off Ali's range and no one else's
Time for the final three to reveal their songs! Aylin chose "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. It gives her a chance to show both her sassy side and her vulnerability. Ali will be singing "Popular" from "Wicked." She thinks it reflects the bitchy thing she did in the video, and she wants Ryan to realize that character needs to be on "Glee." Blake is performing "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain. He wants to show all the sides of Blake.
Robert assures them that no decision has been made yet, so their songs will be critical. I somehow doubt that, but that does guarantee some great performances.
The audience is loaded with cast members, former contestants, writers, you name it. Our final three muse on
Ali is up first. It's good, but her voice is just a little… grating. Blake is good, but then he reads a poem. Well, it works better as lyrics, really. Nikki and Robert cry. Ryan thinks it was brave and wonderful that he read a poem. And then there's Aylin. And wow. That was so good.
Time for the cast members to weigh in. Ali is a favorite. She's talented and there's a certain poignancy she can bring to a role given that we'll know she can't get up and walk. The writers like Blake. There are depths we can't see! It's the Blake and Ali show until Charlie tearfully tells Ryan that Aylin could bring an important element to the show! Then everyone talks about how great Aylin is. Let's just say there's no consensus and cut to the person who counts - Ryan.
But Ryan feels split, too. And honestly, I do, too. I had been really rooting for Ali, but I thought Aylin's performance was just stunning. And hey, I do like Blake. He's definitely a leading man.
Ryan tells each of them why he likes them. Blake is a leader who's wildly impressive. Ali is wonderful and optimistic, plus he likes her Broadway sensibility. He tells Aylin she embodies something that is "Glee." Okay, okay, WHO WON?
The winner of "The Glee Project" season two is… Blake. REALLY? Seriously? Okay, now that he's won, I have to say I'm disappointed. As I said, I like Blake, but he was kind of a blank slate to me, and simply lacked the texture and interest of the girls. Yes, cute and totally competent -- but was he a star? I didn't see it, even if the writers and Ryan did. Did you?
What did you think of the results? Whose single would you buy? And do you think "Glee" is as good as it used to be?