Hi, everybody, and welcome to the Glee Project, the only reality show on television in which the main producer states that he's looking for a talented person to star in a TV show, and proves it by methodically removing the most talented and impressive contestants, week by week, leaving only the dregs and losers! See the genius of it! Glee is about losers! Get it? Get it?
In the last three weeks on Glee, Ryan Murphy has gotten rid of three interesting, creative, talented people while keeping.... Michael. Let's see if he can keep this remarkable streak going as we go into this week's theme, "Romanticality!" Remember, I watch and recap this stuff so that you can keep up with it while watching the infinitely more worthwhile gymnastics final! (Don't cry for me, folks, that final's going to be shown over and over again for the ages. Phelps, too.)
I missed the first minute or so, and it doesn't matter all that much because my enthusiasm for this show got cut in half when Charlie went home and cut by another third when we lost Nellie. Last week I just heard through the internet that they dumped Abraham and I was so disgusted I couldn't be bothered to comment. I'm writing this now so that my blog doesn't die. At the moment I turn off the gymnastics and start paying attention to this episode, Lily is sneering into my screen and I question my decision to change the channel. Robert tells them that the Homework Assignment for the week is "More than Words" by Extreme, and everybody has their normal required exaggerated response. The guy who wrote the song will be with them to accompany them on guitar during their Homework Assignment. Gasp. Squee. Yippee. You may now bite off each other's arms as you struggle to get your chosen lines to the song as per our normal operating procedure. Be ready to perform for one of Glee's biggest breakout stars. Yes, please cue the excited glances as each other. Are your hearts racing appropriately quickly, yet? Hint, hint, he makes people of both genders squeal, and the producers spend a lot of time exploiting that.
Aylin thinks they should choreograph the song in pairs. Everybody begins to look around the room at potential people to couple with and Lily soon realizes the guys are not going to look at her back. It appears the only person who will look at her is... Aylin. Yep, Turkish Muslim from a Conservative Family is out to scandalize the folks at home some more. Lily is not sure she can deal with Aylin. I wonder if Aylin can deal with Lily. She's willing to try; Lily suggest that they put in a kiss, and Aylin is open to the idea. Yep, it's getting pretty damned lonely without Charlie.
Shanna and Michael walk arm and arm warmly as Shanna informs us nervously that Michael's homework feedback is consistently awful. She hopes that maybe it will be okay this week. Ha ha. Gulp. Don't count on it.
And with that, it is homework day. Nuno Bettencourt assures them that he's happy to be there, or at least happy to get paid; Robert informs us that he lost his virginity to this song, which is too much information for me. And who is the other guest? Hints: coffee... he's done some of Glee's most romantic and groundbreaking scenes... what no Warbler outfit? No pink sunglasses? No capri pants and sneakers without socks? Cue the longing sighs and squeals. Lily's about to pass out.
"Darren Criss!" chirps Aylin. Because he's got an amazing voice... and can dance... and is so goodlooking... and is a dreamboat.... SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON! Down, girl. Darren is very happy to meet new people that he might be potentially working with - or not, since I don't remember him having a single memorable scene with any of the Glee Project winners last year. Darren feels that romance is inherently about being vulnerable, even though "Vulnerability" was the theme several weeks ago. The rest is just music, and grandstanding solos to sell big on iTunes. So everybody, go turn Dreamboat Blaine on.
They pair up in semi - darkness: Michael and Shanna, Lily and Aylin, Blake and Ali. Blake woos Ali tenderly and playfully as Michael and Shanna walk like an established happy couple. Lily and Aylin act like two closeted lesbians afraid to reveal their longing, which is an interesting and intelligent approach for this situation. Blake tries to get Ali's attention with a paper airplane. Shanna and Michael look at each other with starry eyes. Lily grabs Aylin's hand as she turns away, and they end the anxious little story they are telling with the hottest kiss in the room. In this assignment, I see two stories of couples beginning a romance and not much interesting from Michael and Shanna.
Robert thinks it's beautiful. Darren critiques. He sees three distinct moods for the three couples.
Darren thinks Michael and Shanna were stiff. Yes, of course they were. It's MICHAEL, people. Shanna is furious to the camera. "I don't get negative feedback!" Well, you do now, cutie. You have entered the Michael Zone. It's a black hole that consumes capable people with terrifying speed and regularity.
Aylin and Lily chose a serious tone. That can veer on the melodramatic, says Darren. You don't say, Mr. "My Character Was Hospitalized By a Killer Slushie". Yes, I know it's not your fault and you didn't write that garbage. Of course, he's also "I Am A Fighter In the Shower Because My Brother Doesn't Praise Me Constantly", but Darren didn't write that nonsense, either.
Blake and Ali were relaxed and natural. So who is the Homework winner? Well, he's just given negative feedback to four of the six contestants, and Ali's already won the Homework Assignment once, so therefore, the winner has to be... Blake. He's literally the only eligible person. This is more predictable than a Chinese gold medal in diving.
Blake enthuses to the camera that he finally won - I am confused that these kids haven't figured out that the mentors let everybody have a turn - so he gets a one on one mentoring session with Darren about being romantic. Oh, I bet Ryan's pulse raced when he heard about that. No, I'm not taking it back. The song for the video shoot is "We Found Love" by Rihanna... oh, for crying out loud, will you all STOP screaming like you just won the lottery every time they announce what you are singing? And the scenario is this: a bunch of kids get put in detention, and then the teacher just leaves them there to find each other in the nooks and crannies of their Hopeless Place. Yes, it sounds like a typical responsible teacher at McKinley.
OK, Blake! You won the Homework Assignment, so now you get to choose which girl you work with! Uh, Darren, he's already chosen who he wants to work with. It's Ali. Duh. Clearly pairing with her worked out for him. Why would he switch? Well, that makes sense, but it's boring, too, so Darren decides to shake up the other pairs. Aylin gets a break from Lily. She gets Shanna now. Yep, Turkish Muslim from the Conservative Family gets to be lesbian both times. Michael gets Lily. Lily complains to the camera that Blake didn't choose her because she thinks there's some kind of spark between her and Blake. Well, clearly Blake does not agree. I think I just figured out why Blake would rather pair off with Ali. Aaaaaawkwaaaard.
Choreography this week is with Brooke. Glee is filming right now and Zach is back at his day job. Brooke shares that she spent a lot of time in detention and the three couples begin to work on chemistry. Lily is clearly working with an ice-cold block of wood. Ali faces some challenging choreography; she has to get out of the wheelchair to be truly romantic with Blake, but feels that this is a good opportunity to show that People With Disabilities Can Be Sexy, Too. Well, good. Kevin McHale doesn't get a lot of chance to do that. Maybe Ali can. Shanna feels like she and Aylin need to outshine Blake and Ali, who are clearly the favorites of the moment.
And now, it's time for my favorite part of the whole show, Vocals with the Obnoxious and Inappropriate Shrew. Nikki is looking for people who can harmonize today. Aylin shares that she's had a really lesbian week. Boy, I bet she misses Charlie. She struggles to harmonize at first, but it gets better. Shanna, unfortunately, is a trainwreck; Nikki informs us that Shanna's situation is worse because she's set a high bar for herself. Yes, right, she's going to be graded down for a bad week because she's usually flawless. Got it. Yep, she's about to make her first trip to the bottom three.
Nikki expects terrible work from Michael - apparently, this expectation is becoming more and more common - but he harmonizes well. Lily sings well; Nikki thinks she may be the best in the studio. Ali sounds very good as she sings to Blake, but Blake struggles terribly as he sings to Ali - he has no experience trying to harmonize. He knows he's in trouble. "They are just looking for reasons... and I just gave them one." Well, that's refreshing and grownup. No whining there.
For the video shoot, says Robert, "It's all about the chemistry." We see Michael and Lily on the bleachers; while the mentors did not expect much from them (why do they think so little of a contestant in the top six?) Zach says Lily is matching Michael's temperature and making it work. So, basically, she's doing all the work.
Blake is grateful for his one on one with Darren, a necessary element as he tries to get back on track. Darren advises him to use his feelings for his girlfriend as an anchor to generate chemistry with Ali; the result is a flirtatious scene in a closet that even I, grumpy curmudgeon that I am this week, agree works really well and is quite convincing. They are much better than Lily and Michael. That bears repeating often, in fact.
Aylin and Shanna try too hard. In an effort to shine and outdo Blake and Ali, they run up around in the auditorium set, and Erik stops them repeatedly because it is too obvious that they are acting. Even after several takes, the choreography they have been given looks like dance moves.
The mentors confab to discuss who will perform for Ryan. You see, there are only six INCREDIBLE people left. Well, no, I think there are five solid people left and... Michael. Nikki states that there are only two boys left... so it's best that neither of them go, since the scenes are beginning to get badly off-balance as it is. Oh, and both boys could win! Well, no, I don't think so, but I guess we have to have a villain, huh? Is that what they are keeping Michael around for? Still, both boys could win because they have something the girls do not have - penises.
The video begins as Figgins gives out the rules. They will be there from 9:00 to noon, and there is to be no talking at all. There will also be no supervision at all. This will work out for the authority figures just as well as The Breakfast Club did. So of course, the moment Figgins leaves the room, the kids, who are not allowed to talk, begin to sing instead. They've fled the detention room before Figgins is out of the hallway, and each couple goes to a different place for their love scene. Blake asks Ali to Prom in the closet; Michael and Lily get close on the bleachers; Shanna and Aylin frolic in the auditorium.
Figgins gets up close and personal with a urinal.
After several of these couples get a little horizontal in a Hopeless Place, they see that it's almost noon and they need to get back before Figgins does. The writers of the Breakfast Club should totally sue for plagiarism.
The reveal of the Bottom Three: Yes, Robert reminds us.... all six of these incredible, amazing people have the potential to win... except for Michael.... but only one of them will.... unless Ryan bends the rules again.
Lily has become a great studio singer, and she managed to be sweet and natural in her chemistry with Michael.
Ali was great in her homework assignment and Darren thought she was the perfect partner for Blake. They think her acting has gotten great. Gee, maybe they should give her a... script? See if she can actually talk onscreen? Lily and Ali are both called back, of course.
Michael - was stiff during the Homework Assignment... and actually, pretty much all the time, everywhere he goes. Look, if Darren Criss thinks you are stiff, you know you have a problem.
Blake did great work in the homework assignment; he just can't harmonize. They just found the crack in Blake's armor. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Aylin was too intense during the Homework Assignment.
Shanna was too stiff during the Homework Assignment. It is her first bad note for a Homework Assignment the entire season. Then, she and Aylin turned their auditorium game of tag into a dance number.
So who is called back?
Holy moly, what are these people smoking? He's the freaking Sanjaya Malakar of the Glee Project, and the mentors are putting people who have never had a misstep in the bottom so that this tin soldier can run back to safety. Nobody else can believe it, either.
Shanna calls bull**** on this, and I don't blame her. She's holding back the tears. Aylin is getting used to being in the bottom three, but she's a little aghast at the company she's keeping. Blake will sing "Losing My Religion" by REM. Aylin gets "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Robert Flack, and Shanna will sing "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson. Robert encourages them to have fun and show Ryan why they are here... I don't think that's what he really meant to say. It's a BAD thing to be here, isn't it, Robert?
Shanna is in shock. She thought they were the top three contenders. (Note to Shanna. Yes, sweetie, you were. For weeks and weeks now.) Blake sounds weak and strained, but he does not want to go home. Aylin in scared. She's intimidated by who she faces in the bottom.
The mentors usher in Mr. Hat, who tells us that he could not tell from the video why these three kids should be in the bottom three. Aylin sings, She's wearing a little minidress. She also forgets the lyrics to the song. I was not blown away by this. However, Ryan seems to be interested in the whole Turkish Muslim from Conservative Family thing, because they get into how her mother will react when she sees what's been going on this week. Ryan thinks he'd like to see a Muslim character who is not a stereotype... oh, she'll be a stereotype when you get through with her, Mr. Hat. Whatcha wanna bet he makes her belly dance, if she gets the gig?
Blake is ONLY here because he can't harmonize for squat. Ryan reveals that Blake bugs him because he's too secure, professional and emotionally stable... er, he's not vulnerable enough. Fortunately, Blake comes out and looks nervous and vulnerable, so that problem is nicely avoided. Blake does a solid, not very exciting version of the song that is vocally better but emotionally vastly inferior to the version done by Cory Monteith, and Ryan asks why he's nervous. Ryan wants to see Blake get more vulnerable if he survives this week. Yeah, he wants to see you sweat, Blake. Inspire him, Blake. Inspire the Master. Gag. I hate this jerk.
Shanna has been consistent all the way through the competition. She's the top girl. She's Jordyn Weiber. And she's... easily the best of the three. There's real excitement, spirit and energy in her performance. She's drawing conviction from the lyrics. It's wonderful. But Ryan, snakelike, asks the question that kills her. What kind of story could she inspire a writer to create for her on Glee? She wants to be the athletic girl involved in everythng!
Honey, you want to be Quinn. Or Santana. Or Brittany. And you want to be a character who is a winner in a show that's about losers. And you have a uterus. Oh, crap. Ryan tells her she needs to be bolder. No, that is not her problem. Oh.... and a little birdie told Ryan that Shanna was pissed off about this particular Bottom Three. Well, she's not the only one, dude. No, she's not happy with the Bottom Three, Ryan. Anybody with sense can tell Michael should have been here instead. Shanna flat out tells them so! Ah, that's bold! Nikki admires that! But it's not going to be enough!
Ryan thinks any of these three could win, but Shanna did not inspire her. He liked Aylin's vulnerability. Blake did nothing special. Nikki thinks they all cracked. Zach makes his recommendation...
And that's it... for Shanna. Shanna!
Next week I predict Michael wins the Homework Assignment by default and they send home Blake because his hair is not short enough. Then Michael wins the whole damned thing because Ryan does not like people with uteruses. Stupid silly show. Did anybody put that gymnastics final on Youtube for me?