It’s not uncommon for a competition reality show to pull the “No one gets eliminated right before the finale!” trick (see, for example: “Project Runway” Season 3, “Top Chef: All Stars”). But this move doesn’t typically happen in the freshman season of a series.
Then there was “The Glee Project.”
According to Sunday’s episode, “Glee” god Ryan Murphy allowed resident mentors Robert Ulrich and Zach Woodlee to agonize over whom to save from the last Bottom Three of the season. It was only after they’d reached a decision that Murphy swooped in with a phone call and rendered their verdict useless, asking instead that all four remaining contenders perform in a last chance round for him and fellow “Glee” heavyweight Ian Brennan.
With their pawn-like duties over for the evening, Ulrich and Woodlee were free from further deliberation with Murphy about which contender would get the ax this week. Perhaps Murphy rejected their counsel too hastily, given that he and Brennan ultimately couldn’t make a decision and thus sent no one packing.
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This was a lucky break for the contenders, not only in the obvious sense of getting to see the competition through to the end, but also because it would have been a shame for any of them to go out on such a lackluster video week.
The inclusion of kids from the Education Through Music program in the generosity-themed video of My Chemical Romance’s “Sing” could have been spunky and fun, a la Richard Linklater’s “School of Rock.” The young musicians were bold and spirited enough, but the contenders all appeared to flail a bit while trying to fake-play instruments and make meaningful connections with their young counterparts at the same time. The end result felt forced and a little awkward, despite genuine efforts from all the contenders.
As the contenders prepare for the ultimate last-chance round, with a seven-episode guest spot on “Glee” up for grabs, a few questions come to mind:
• Does Samuel wear those neon pink rehearsal shorts for good luck, and will they take him all they way?
• Has Alex been practicing his high-heels strutting, lest he stumble his way through his most important performance yet?
• If Damian (of the adorably bouncy shoulders) wins, will Sue Sylvester need subtitles or a translator to understand him?
• Lindsay may be “a beast of a performer,” but has her classical training aptly prepared her to sing Perry tunes (of the Steve or Katy variety) with New Directions?
The season finale is almost here, and it’s sure to be intense right from the start, as Murphy himself shows up to judge the “Glee-ality”-themed homework assignment. Find out the fate of your favorite contender next Sunday night on Oxygen.