August 8, 2011

Episode Review: THE GLEE PROJECT, "Believability"

It's interesting that an episode called "Believability" could be so unbelievable. This week's The Glee Project only proved that Ryan Murphy doesn't even understand what his own show, and he even contradicts himself, which has become beyond frustrating.

Homework Assignment
This week's homework assignment focused on the contestants ability to be believeable while performing, and they had to sing "True Colors" for Jenna Ushkowitz, which was appropriate since that's the only solo she's had that didn't end with her crying. While no one's performance was miles ahead of anyone else's, Jenna went with the one that moved her the most which was Hannah.

I was OK with Hannah's win, although I do want Lindsay to win before the show's over, because she's quickly become my dark horse candidate now that Marissa and Cameron are gone. She's probably the most relateable of the bunch, but she cannot perform at the same level as some of the others. Overall, this week's homework assignment was nice but far from impressive.

Video Shoot
The last couple of music videos have been half-baked train wrecks, so I was a little surprised that they had a concept that worked. The Wanna-Glees had to sing Paramore's "The Only Exception" in a library while expressing unrequited feelings for someone else. It was a simple set-up that really focused on the contestant's ability to emote rather than just sing and dance, and it was a good way to shake things up.

Out of the remaining five, it was clear that three stood out from an acting perspective. Alex was able to dig deep and show his more vulnerable side, and gave a commendable performance. Damian was a little rough around the edges, but took direction well and was willing to make his scenes work. I still think that Lindsay is the not only the strongest singer, but also one of the better actors, and she just popped every time she was on screen.

Last Chance Performance
The Bottom 3 was where The Glee Project really wanted to rattle some cages as Hannah, Lindsay, and Samuel were all asked to sing for Ryan Murphy. Hannah was placed in the Bottom 3 because she couldn't separate her feelings for Damian long enough to pretend to be in love with Alex. Samuel was put there because he has one emotion which is intense, and Lindsay was punished because people don't like her personality.

Now, I totally understand why people dislike Lindsay. She's overly ambitious, grating, and can come off as fake, but she's still the most talented one left of the bunch, so putting her in the Bottom 3 because she frustrated Nikki felt unjustified. I get that she's a handful and may not be the most genuine person, but these people work in Hollywood and should be used to it by now. Heck, Ryan's as fake as they come, but he's not getting punished.

Now on to the actual performances. Hannah's version of Taylor Swift's "Back to December" was fine, but since I've never heard the song before, I have nothing to compare it to. Lindsay did her best with "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, and it was pretty good considering that she had to sing a song that was killed by Lea Michele AND Kristin Chenoweth. Samuel's "Animal" was a little too rock 'n roll for my liking.

Out of all of the weeks, this was the one where Ryan had some compelling feedback for the contestants. He believed that Hannah personified the show, but lacked the confidence. Lindsay cannot connect to others due to her personality, and Samuel was too much of a one-note rocker for Glee. After all of that lip-service, the one person who fit the show was the one cut as Hannah was sent home, and Samuel was saved to scowl another day.

Final Thoughts
I just don't get Ryan Murphy. Out of the three who had to sing for their lives, I cannot understand how the one who "is the show" was the one eliminated instead of the guy who cannot muster more than one emotion. As a writer, I could see how it would hard to write Hannah into the Glee universe based on looks and talent, but she had the right motivation and mind-set to go far. Samuel on the other hand is too slick for the show, and I believe that he was saved thanks to Cameron because he would've been gone if Ryan had not focused on his desire to write a Christian character. Although, I do have to admit that having a devout Christian who looks like Samuel could be an interesting twist.

In the end, I'm just glad Lindsay was saved because it would have been a huge mistake to send her home at this stage in the game. Is she a little fake? Sure. Can she be cut-throat? Yup. Could she be a handful for the showrunners? Maybe. I just don't think we really know her outside of what this show has painted her as, and maybe she is more genuine than people give her credit for. Maybe Alex's experience did spark something in Lindsay, but due to editing and Nikki, we were meant to think that she's putting on an act (I felt more manipulated by Alex BTW). If Lindsay loses, it should be because someone was better than her, not because she's not likable enough to some. Also, why does Lindsay have to be the next Lea or Dianna? Why can't she be the first Lindsay? OK, rant over.

All of the backlash has firmly placed me on Team Lindsay because I'm tired of the haters. It also does hurt that she's clearly got the talent to be on Glee, but I digress. I still think Samuel has a chance to win, especially now that he's the new defacto Christian, but I'm over his squints and dread whips. Damian's definitely the new dark horse, and I kinda want a tie between him and Lindsay so they can both be on the show because I think they have some chemistry.

So, in the last three weeks we've had two homework winners sent packing and one of the favorites quit. This show's became as sporadic and unpredictable as Ryan himself, which seems fitting. I just hope all of this drama doesn't burn me out on Glee itself.


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