‘The Glee Project’s Hannah: ‘I Was Just Outperformed’

Hannah McIalwain of 'The Glee Project' (Photo: Oxygen)

Hannah McIalwain of 'The Glee Project' (Photo: Oxygen)

This week, the Bottom Three on “The Glee Project” were all contenders who’d never been there before. Yes, Lindsay and Hannah had to sing with partners for Ryan Murphy and Co. during the pairability week, but so did almost everyone else, and neither girl landed in the official Bottom Three of that episode.

So the stakes were incredibly high as Sam, Lindsay and Hannah entered the last-chance rounds knowing that for one of them, one time in the bottom would be enough to get the boot.

“I think at that point the competition was so intense it came down to who performed the best in front of [Murphy],” said Hannah McIalwain – who ended up on the receiving end of that boot – in a conference call Monday.

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Hannah said she had been struggling with vocal issues that week, and the state of her voice was fragile. But she’s not using that as an excuse for her elimination.

“I was just outperformed by Lindsay and Sam, who both did an absolutely amazing job,” she said. “I think in that moment their talent shined through a bit more than mine did.”

Murphy also alluded to low self-confidence as a reason for sending Hannah back home to Asheville, NC. “I think that that’s something I’m always going to be working on,” she acknowledged. “I’m always going to be striving to better myself and to improve on that.” She does feel that being on the show has already made a difference in how she sees herself. “I think just the more experience I get, the more confident I’ll be in myself as a performer,” she added.

She surprised and impressed herself by making it as far as she did in the competition. “I’ve never done anything that difficult…. A lot of the things we did I had never done before, like be on a set and record in a studio.”

But the highlight of the experience was a first of a different kind. Her favorite moment ‘”was the first time that I sang for Ryan, when I got to do the duet with Alex and we sang ‘Valerie.’” Murphy’s glowing compliments were a lasting boost for Hannah. “I couldn’t believe that Ryan liked me as much as he did. And you know, any time I’m sad about being eliminated, I just think about that and how amazing that felt.”

Hannah described herself as a very open person, which is no surprise given her willingness to repeatedly provide the audience with updates on her romantic feelings for Damian as the season progressed. But was Damian as clued in as we were? “He knew how I felt about him during the show. It was one of those unspoken but completely obvious things, you know, like you think you’re playing it off well, and you think you’re being coy about it, but you’re actually totally obvious.”

Fortunately, there’s no awkwardness between them, and they’ve kept in touch. “We still joke around and have a good time,” she said, adding that they just saw each other Saturday at the premiere of “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.”

Since her stint on “The Glee Project,” Hannah has taken the plunge and moved to Los Angeles. She plans to hit the audition circuit and start a career for herself. She even has a specific goal in mind: “I still haven’t given up on the dream of being on ‘Glee,’” she said. “Maybe Ryan will second-think it and give me a call someday.”

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