Can you believe last night was the season finale of The Glee Project? It’s been quite a ride, and our contenders certainly did not make this an easy decision for GLEE creator Ryan Murphy! Throughout the season, the contenders faced homework assignments and challenges that fit with each week’s theme. They belted out vocals with Nikki in the recording studio, plunged through choreography with Zach, and were always challenged and pushed to the limit by Robert. Our mentors could not be prouder of the contenders! But at the end of the day this is a competition, so decisions had to be made.
Fitting for the final episode of the season, this week’s theme was “Glee-Ality”, and the homework assignment was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. The contenders were so excited to tackle one of GLEE’s signature songs, but were a bit intimidated when they found out that this week’s guest mentor was none other than Ryan himself! Always fearless, the contenders braced themselves to perform for Ryan. Damian started off the show, but Ryan stopped him right away. The contenders were downcast to say the least when Ryan told them their performance was “flat”… But it was really just a rouse for an awesome surprise! The 8 fallen contenders returned to help the final four face the last week of the competition!!! The contenders were euphoric to all be together again, and rocked their socks off singing “Don’t Stop Believing”. The performance was so heartwarming and joyful -- even Ryan couldn’t help smiling at how cute they all were!
Since this was the last stretch of the competition, there was no homework winner. This week was all about showing Ryan who was best fitted to be on the next season of GLEE. So off to a great start with the homework assignment, the contenders now faced the challenge: P!nk’s “Raise Your Glass”. The video shoot took place on a helipad on one of the tallest building in Los Angles, and featured the entire cast of The Glee Project. Words cannot describe how amazing this video was – everyone was so pumped and energized giving this last shoot their all, and the vocals were pretty freakin’ incredible. We could not be prouder of our contenders!
Now it was time for the last stretch of the competition before Ryan would choose the winner – the final performances. This time the contenders each got to sing a song of their choosing. They needed to show Ryan who they are, that they are relateable, and that GLEE needs them. So no pressure, right? :) To support the contenders, all of the previous guest mentors from the GLEE cast were there, and the rest of the top 12 too, of course. The contenders could not have asked for a more supportive and encouraging audience. Everyone was rooting for them!
Lindsay went first and sang her heart out to “Gimme, Gimme” from the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her voice was stunning and powerful as usual, but this time she really connected on a truly deep level, and Ryan was so impressed and proud of her. It was her best performance yet, and Ryan could totally see her giving Lea Michele a run for her money!
Damian wanted to prove that he could be a leading man, and charmed everyone with his vocals and style singing “Beyond the Sea”, made famous by Bobby Darin. He even dedicated the song to Cameron and Hannah – it was just all too adorable! New hunky foreign exchange student? Damian would be the guy for Ryan.
Sam wanted to convey his unique energy and groove, and decided to create an intimate coffee shop atmosphere singing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. His performance was simple but powerful, and Ryan was fascinated by him, saying that he was wholesome but dark. He knew the show needed someone like him.
Last, but certainly not least, Alex sang “I’m Changing” from the musical Dream Girls. Alex wanted to show off his versatility and decided to perform the song in drag. His vocals were unreal. Ryan was so impressed not only with his vocal prowess, but with how brave he was to perform in drag on national television. GLEE is all about giving power and courage to the underdog, the unheard and the unrepresented, and Alex showcased an entire demographic that is hardly portrayed on television. Ryan knew he was something special.
After the contenders sang their last notes, it was time to deliberate. Ryan wanted to know what the other GLEE cast members thought. They loved Damian and just wanted so bad to work with him, were enchanted by Lindsay’s vocals, moved by Alex’s performance, and enthralled by that hauntingly beautiful quality that Sam had. After listening to what they had to say, Ryan asked them to leave so that he could make his final decision.
The contenders were called back on to the stage and it felt like the tension was going to explode! Ryan told Lindsay and Alex that they were incredible, but that they were not the winners of The Glee Project. That left Damian and Samuel. After much careful thought, Ryan announced that the winner of The Glee Project was… Samuel!!! Damian was so gracious and told everyone that Sam totally deserved it. But Ryan had other plans. Because he couldn’t really bring himself to choose between the two, Ryan decided that Damian would also be the winner of The Glee Project!!! And so Sam and Damo will BOTH get seven episode arcs on the next season of GLEE!!
But Ryan wasn’t done yet. He just couldn’t let Lindsay and Alex slip away – the show needed them. To their total shock, Ryan announced that he would write them each a two episode arc in the show! As a bewildered Lindsay said – “did we all just win?” It would certainly seem so!
And so season one of The Glee Project came to an incredible end. From the stellar top twelve contenders chosen out of over 40,000 applications, the judges narrowed it down to two winners through ten grueling weeks of singing, acting and dancing. This season the contenders faced many challenges, twists and turns, and fell down and picked themselves up by the bootstraps to fight as hard as they could for their dream. They inspired audiences across America and the world, and even those who didn’t win felt so blessed to be a part of such an amazing journey. Be sure to be on the GLEEkout for the winners of our hottest competition series, The Glee Project, only from Oxygen.