‘The Glee Project’ Finale: Samuel Larsen and Damian McGinty Win
Both dreadlocked hearthrob Samuel Larsen and Irish exchange student underdog Damian McGinty won the first-ever ‘The Glee Project!’ The grand prize? A guest-starring role on ‘Glee‘ for seven episodes on Season 3 of the series. Both entertainers demonstrated the ability to sing, act and be believable enough to make creator and producer Ryan Murphy want to write a role and/or a character for him/her.
However, Alex Newell and Lindsay Pearce were not written off; rather, they will also be written into the show with two-episode arcs. Everybody wins on ‘The Glee Project.’
The four finalists were Samuel, Alex, Lindsay and Damian and they were tasked with demonstrating their ‘Glee-ality.’ The final homework assignment was Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’,’ which has enjoyed a pop culture resurgence thanks to TV (‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Glee’) and Murphy — who was the mentor this week. The remaining hopefuls went straight for the gusto with a video shoot for Pink‘s upbeat ‘Raise Your Glass.’ The video was shot on the rooftop of a 35-story skyscraper in Los Angeles.
The goal of the performances in the “big group number” aka “the video” was to pop on camera and to stand out the most, more so than the other three. Samuel, Alex, Lindsay and Damian were given a final video assist by the voted off members from the season. It was a big happy ‘The Glee Project’ family.
All four remaining contestants were required to do the last chance performance, but they were allowed to choose their own songs, also a series/season first. We have to give ‘The Glee Project’ producers credit for choosing not to throw a series of hokey, complicated, drama-inducing, convoluted curve balls to the Final Four. They saved that for the viewers and during the episode-ending reveal, since every one of the Final Four is going to appear on the show in some way this coming season.
By the way, Cameron, who took himself out of the competition despite being told he could have made it to the finals, was voted the “Bing Fan Favorite.” Mentors from the season along with former contestants sat in the audience for the last chances.
Lindsay sang ‘Gimme Gimme’ from the musical ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie.’ It was her best and most believable performance of the season. Damian tackled Bobby Darin’s standard ‘Beyond the Sea,’ which he sent out to Hannah, who made no secret of her season-long crush on him. Samuel offered up emotional rendition of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene.’ Alex went drag for ‘I Am Changing’ from ‘Dreamgirls,’ which was a risky move, since it makes Murphy question “which” version of Alex we’re going to get. He still slayed those high notes.
It was tough decision for Murphy, since Lindsay could be the foil to Rachel Berry, while Samuel could give Puck a run for his leading man money. Damian was so representative of the underdog, while Alex is the one you can’t and won’t see on TV, but should.
Alex and Lindsay were eliminated first, with Damian and Samuel standing shoulder to shoulder. Murphy told Damian he was the cast favorite, while Samuel resonated constantly with “It” factor, which was the reason he was selected first. Then Murphy told Damian he was also getting a seven-episode role. He couldn’t say goodbye to Lindsay and Alex, and their acting and singing skills earned them two episodes a piece.
Congrats to Samuel and Damian and Alex and Lindsay on winning ‘The Glee Project.’
Watch ‘The Glee Project’ Season Finale Promo