Monday, June 27, 2011

The Glee Project Recap: "Vulnerability"

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 at 4:01 PM

dot-marie.jpg
This week’s episode of The Glee Project revolved around vulnerability. The contenders attempted to show off their softer sides for guest judge Dot-Marie Jones (left), who plays Coach Beiste on Glee. First, for the Homework Challenge, they each had to sing a line form Pink’s “Please Don’t Leave Me.” Much to Lindsay’s dismay, Dot-Marie thought she came off as fake Matheus ended up winning yet again (despite protests to the contrary).

For the video shoot (of “Mad World” by Tears for Fears) each contestant had to expose one of their insecurities — not only to the crew, but to a crowd of strangers at LA’s Universal City Walk. (And let’s not forget the millions of viewers at home.) They had to wear huge signs displaying one word in big black lettering, not unlike the T-shirts the members of New Directions wore during the last season's “Born this Way” episode. As the contestants each revealed their flaws — some very serious (sexual abuse was mentioned); others not so much — tears sprung to everyone’s eyes and it suddenly seemed like I was watching Dr. Phil or something. During the actual shoot, some contenders excelled at expressing vulnerability (inspired by fellow contender Alex, Marissa found the courage to reveal that she has struggled with anorexia) while other contestants just couldn't connect.

That said, this week's final elimination was a shocker.

Ultimately, sassy Latina Emily, geeky hipster Cameron and Irish Crooner Damien landed in the bottom three. Emily sang Bruno Mars' “Grenade” and Ryan Murphy loved her strength and personality, saying that she showed him how he would write that song into the show. Cameron, a favorite among the mentors, sang Elton John’s classic “Your Song.” He came out in a nice suit which was as much of a performance as his singing, the clothes seeming to get in the way Cameron's being himself and connecting to his sensitive side. So the judges had him change back into his regular clothes and sing it again, liking what they saw during the do-over. While I like Cameron, I don't think it was fair to give him a second chance. Would they even consider doing that for anyone else?

Last was Damien, who sang “Are You Lonesome Tonight” by Elvis Presley. Emotional during the practice period, he came out and impressed the judges with his improvement. In my opinion, however, his vocals and performance were just mediocre.

How could the judges vote off Emily? This whole courts out of order!
  • How could the judges vote off Emily? This whole court's out of order!
I was incredibly surprised — even a little dismayed — by the judge's decision to not call back Emily. How is that even possible after Ryan raved about her performance? Neither Damien's vocals nor his personality are impressive, and the only thing he really has going for him is the fact that his Irish background would make it pretty easy to write him into Glee as a new foreign exchange student. Other than that, Emily did better than both him and Cameron (though I knew there was no chance Cameron would get the boot). Not to mention the fact that Emily has more personality than most of the other contestants combined. But suddenly that doesn’t count for anything?

I still enjoy The Glee Project, and will continue to watch it, but I can't seem to put a finger on what exactly it is that the judges are basing their decisions on? They say they want personality, but they've eliminated the two people with the most of it. It almost seems like they're deciding who to eliminate on a whim.

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