Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/Oxygen
For months we've been hearing about Oxygen's The Glee Project -- a reality show orchestrated by Glee creator Ryan Murphy. The premise: forty-thousand people auditioned for 12 spots on a televised talent competition. If they made it, they'd get to participate in various challenges to win a seven-episode, guest-starring role on Glee.
On Sunday night's premiere episode, we got to meet the 12 wide-eyed eager beavers who got that chance. All great singers, the contestants appeared to have been hand picked to fit some sort of high school social category. There was an overweight girl, a very short guy with braces, a flirty Latina, a dreadlocked hippie type, an 18-year-old girl who looked 10, a gay-seeming guy, etc. They had one thing in common, though: They were bursting with jaw-dropping enthusiasm -- and soaring emotions.
They covered their mouths in shock when told that each week, a different Glee cast member would be dropping by to help out. (Darren Criss appeared in the premiere.) They cheered and leapt in the air when they heard what famous artists their video director had worked with prior to them. They bubbled over with predictions about what characters they'd play on Glee.
In other words, the overall vibe of the proceedings was very Glee-like. In many ways, the heart of Glee is arguably Rachel Berry (Lea Michele), a central character who wears her naïve exuberance on her sleeve. And when things don't go her way, she's excessively, whole-heartedly crushed. That's also what happens here.
As soon as the going gets tough, the show's emotional pendulum swings the other way. As people make mistakes, the tension rises exponentially. At one point, Glee's choreographer, Zach Woodlee, tells them he doesn't have time to treat them like 3-year-olds. The young-looking girl is chided for acting too young. The skinny, hipster kid is criticized for fading into the background. The hunky pretty boy annoys everyone by pushing his own opinions on the video director.
If you tend to be carried away by the high-stakes drama of TV competitions, get excited: this show will surely take you on an emotional rollercoaster.
Didn't catch the episode last night? Be sure to watch it now!