Tonight is the big start of The Glee Project 2012, the reality competition companion to the ever-popular Glee. The Glee Project season 2 cast consists of fourteen hopefuls rather than last season’s twelve as co-creator Ryan Murphy couldn’t bring himself to cut everyone from the last round.
WARNING: THE GLEE PROJECT SEASON 2 SPOILERS AHEAD!
Please stop reading here if you do not want The Glee Project season 2 spoilers for the premiere episode!
The Glee Project season two cast is definitely a diverse one, ranging in ages from 18 to 24 with many interesting backstories, including a contestant who is transgendered, another who is paralyzed from the waist down, and another who went blind at the age of nine.
The Glee Project season 2 starts with the contestants meeting up with each other. Clearly they all remember each other from casting as they rejoice with every new person through the door which leads me to believe this is the first time they are seeing who made it after the final round from The Glee Project 2012 casting. They get to stay in a pretty cool dorm. I find reality competitions glamourize living quarters a bit too much in my humble opinion. Aylin (who was raised in a Turkish Muslim family) is just excited that they casted so many hot guys. Can’t blame her.
Glee/Glee Project casting director Robert Ulrich shows up to introduce this week’s theme: Individuality! Well they clearly all have that so checkmate. This week’s homework song…Lady Gaga, Born This Way, natch. He also reveals that the group has to assign lyrics and do choreography. Someone suggests the time honored tradition of rock, paper, scissors to help assign lyrics. Which shockingly works…for now!
In the practice room they anxiously await the arrival of the first Glee Project Season 2 guest mentor. And it’s…co-creator Ryan Murphy? He reveals that his year there will be only one winner as opposed to last year’s two (and two runner-ups). He also reveals the other mentor for the week: Glee cast member Lea Michelle. Cue group freak-out. She advises the group to let their “geek flag fly.” And fly it does when they present their first performance. It’s actually pretty impressive how quickly they throw the songs together on their own.
Lea is impressed by androgynous Dani, bubbly Shanna, Mario (who is blind), and Lily Mae. The winner is…Shanna! They also reveal the first big group number: Here I Go Again by 80’s mainstay Whitesnake. Fortunately the video concept does not involve Tawny Kitane writhing on a car top.
Zach Woodlee is back for The Glee Project 2012 as choreographer along with someone else named Brooke. It’s interesting to see how Mario learns the choreography by feeling the dance movements as someone else does them. Tyler, who is transgendered, admits to being the weakest dancer as he is still adjusting to his new body.
Nikki Anders is also back as vocal producer for The Glee Project 2012. And she’s pregnant! Not that that this affects anything, but she is glowing as one performer points out. Taryn has no confidence but she just flew on a plane for the first time so I would still be nervous by life in general too. Shanna has the daunting task of belting out the “gooooo” at the end of the “Here I goooooo” line and nails it. (You know what part I’m talking about, 80’s hair metalheads.) And Maxfield, a country music lover who seemed a little baffled by the Lady Gaga homework, struggles a bit.
Erik White, back for The Glee Project season 2 as the video director, reveals the video concept: a glee club performing in a high school. Makes sense, yeah? But it does transition to a rocking performance. Taryn continues to struggle a bit. Blake feels confident and it shows! Star quality! Aylin is disconnected. Maybe the hot guys are distracting her? Shanna continues to rock. The group then gets glam rocked out and I am brought back to the old days of MTV. Tyler is just worried he will slip on the glitter on the floor. That seems like the kind of thing I would do so I now love him. Max is still not doing so hot and seems destined for the bottom three. The final product is pretty good. Not everyone stands out but those who do are memorable. I never realized how inspirational this song is. I think the original video took a way from that a bit. (Sorry, Tawny.)
It’s time for bottom three for the first episode of The Glee Project 2012 to be revealed but first we congratulate Shanna for topping the callback list. No shock there! She is joined by everyone but Aylin, Maxfield and Tyler. Thus proving my boyfriend’s theory yet again that the bottom is revealed throughout the show by screen time. For the last chance songs Aylin will be performing Without You; Maxfield, Always on my Mind; and Tyler, ABC. (By the Jackson 5, not the alphabet song.)
Aylin is up for the first last chance song round of The Glee Project season 2 and delivers a strong performance then banters well with Ryan. He outs her as a flirt, which I can identify with so I am now rooting for her. Tyler has a good energy. Ryan loves his story but isn’t feeling his talent. Man, Ryan is blunt! Max sounds good but clearly is not a performer, though he is “authentic ”and “charming” as Ryan points out. So it comes down to perennial Ryan question: can they inspire a character on Glee?
Ultimately it comes down to sending one person out of the dorms and cast of The Glee Project 2012…or will it be two? Of course he had to throw that in there! Robert comes in to tell them the list is up. Poor guy always has to deliver the blows. And the first person not called back for episode of The Glee Project 2 is…Maxfield. Which is a bummer but as I admitted I have a soft spot for clumsy Tyler now so I’m OK with it.
And thus ends our first The Glee Project recap for season 2! The previews for the season look promising. And full of high notes. And low falls. And Nikki’s stomach getting bigger. And a possible shomance! (That’s a romance on a show.) Good times ahead!