June 20, 2012

Episode Review: THE GLEE PROJECT, "Vulnerability"

With "Vulnerability," it started to seem like The Glee Project had a good understanding of what its shortcomings are and decided to just steer into skid. But there were some entertaining bits among the more frustrating moments, so it wasn't a total letdown.

Homework Assignment
The weekly drama about who gets to sing which line has become as much a part of the show as the other segments, so we once again got some annoyingly tense moments as Aylin and Lily fought over lines while Michael kept up his nice guy routine by giving into Mario's diva ways. After the dust settled, the contestants were able to put on a fairly impressive, stripped down version of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" for Finn Hudson himself.

Since the theme of the week was "vulnerability," having the hopefuls sing a pop song was a bit odd, but they made it work with their performances and low-key staging. When it was all said and done, Cory decided that Abraham and Ali were trying too hard, Lily was too busy trying to be sexy, and Shanna and Nellie were the standouts. Ultimately, he picked Nellie as the homework winner.

Nellie's not the most dynamic performer in the bunch, but I understood why Cory went with her because she had one of the more difficult lines and nailed it. She also doesn't constantly fight for the spotlight and sticks to the background, which made her a natural fit for vulnerability. Plus, she's one of my favorite contestants, so it was only fitting that one of my favorite Glee characters/cast members agreed with me.

Video Shoot
Cory told the group that they would be performing R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" for vulnerability week. Since it was going to be more of an emotional video, they were not going to be put through their choreography paces with Zach, but they did have to share some of their most intimate moments involving bullying with Erik White.

The video itself focused on the very real problem of teen bullying, and everyone had to take turns being the bullies and the bullied. Some were clearly up for the challenge like Blake who was effective in both roles while still sounding pretty good. Others were not, namely Lily. After her attitude got in her way during "Dance-ability," she once again struggled to take direction and blamed everyone around her instead of looking at herself.

Last Chance Performance
This week's video shoot wasn't as demanding as last week's, so everyone was able to up their game, but the mentors still had to pick a Bottom Three to perform for Ryan. They had to take a more holistic approach because Zach couldn't pick apart their dance skills, so they decided to put Lily, Mario and Charlie at risk based on their struggles during the shoot and in the recording studio.

Lily was up first, and she found herself back in the Bottom Three because of her inability to take simple directions. She was asked to sing Duffy's "Mercy," and she did a good job with the song, but her tough as nails bit wasn't impressing Ryan Murphy and he even said that she lacks the underdog quality that's so important to Glee. The critique opened the floodgates, and Lily promised that she has a softer side that they haven't seen yet.

Charlie was up next, and he was in the Bottom Three because he made a poor choice during the video shoot by taking Mario's cane. At the time, he thought it was in character for a bully to do such a thing, but he didn't realize how dangerous and disrespectful it was. He had to sing "Fix You" by Coldplay, and he definitely made it his own by making some bold decisions instead of mimicking the original. Ryan told him that being a "brave" actor's not always the right move, but he was happy that he was in the Bottom Three because he had the chance to see his performance.

Last was Mario who was on the chopping block because he didn't excel in the recording studio with Nikki, and he became very defensive when he was given notes instead of using them to improve. His Bottom Three song was "Over the Rainbow," and he hit it out of the park which wasn't surprising because his issue has never been his talent but his attitude.

Overall, it felt like Ryan was mixed about all three because he saw the obvious flaws but he also saw what made them special. When push came to shove, the mentors decided to keep all three so nobody was eliminated this week. Typical Ryan Murphy move.

Final Thoughts
It'd be easy to feel cheated about the decision to keep all three bottom contestants, but it made more and more sense once I thought about it. Since Taryn left the competition last week, there was theoretically an open spot left, so having all three stick around didn't really change much from a numbers and logistical stand point. It just felt like a cop out, but this is The Glee Project and these type of moves are par for the course.

While I can understand why the mentors kept all three, I was so sure that Lily was going home based on her piss-poor attitude alone, but that probably has to do with the fact that I find her so off-putting and the fact that she's probably very hard to work with. Yet, I do appreciate her talent and her honesty but it's not enough for me to root for her.

Aside from not being able to pull the trigger, I was also a little put off by Ryan Murphy underlining the fatal flaw of this show, which is the fact that the Bottom Three somehow have an advantage since they get to perform and interact with him. I do think that Season 2 was able to address this issue by having Ryan be in on the decision of the final fourteen, but Charlie was able to make an impression that he wouldn't have been able to do had he been one of the strongest contestants this week and that's an advantage that other's have been denied. That being said, I do think that he's one of the top wanna-Glees along with Blake, Michael and Nellie, so I can't be too upset about it.

So, it looks like The Glee Project's just going to embrace its flaws as it continues, which is fine I suppose since it's starting to own up to them, but if it gets a third season it really needs to figure out a better way to evaluate the talent because it's not fair that the most successful contestants get the least amount of face time with Ryan. Ah well.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Updates Via E-Mail