July 4, 2012

Episode Review: THE GLEE PROJECT, "Adaptability"

After a pretty straight forward competition up to date, The Glee Project decided to throw its contestants a curve ball with "Adaptability" to see who could go with the flow and still be successful. Now, you'd think that throwing the Wanna-Glees into the fire would be a surefire source of drama, but in the end it was just another episode of the reality competition.

Homework Assignment
Robert did not waste time establishing this week's theme as he told the kids that they would be performing "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette, but they would not divvy up the lyrics that they've been doing. Instead, they would be given lines at random. Some were OK with the twist while the control freaks (i.e. Lily) were not too happy.

Things got even nuttier during the actual Homework Assignment performance as guest mentor Kevin McHale told everyone that they would not be doing a group number but solos. So, instead of only knocking out their handful of lyrics, they had to sing the entire song with zero preparation. Predictably, some did better than others, but it was Aylin who impressed Kevin the most and she won her first Homework Assignment. The fun didn't stop though because yet another swerve was thrown at the competitors as Kevin informed them that they would not know the music video song until they showed up at the recording booth with Nikki.

Video Shoot
Nikki broke the news that they'd be performing Jessie J's "Price Tag," and most of them did a decent enough job on the fly but Abraham and Ali had an off day. The surprises kept coming because the hopefuls didn't have a choreography rehearsal with Zach because they'd be learning the steps on sight, and once again some excelled while others didn't. For the first time since the season started, Blake was not perfect and Nellie once again faded into the background during the group number.

The video itself was another solid effort from Erik White as he had Abraham and Shanna play working class characters who convinced the others, who were snobby rich kids, that there's more to life than having money. Since I had never heard the song before this episode, I thought the concept was fitting and they pulled it off.

Last Chance Performance
After a week of being adaptable, the mentors decided that Aylin, Shanna, Michael and Lily were the most successful, thus putting the other six at risk. Abraham and Ali were there because of their rough spots during their recording sessions with Nikki, Blake was in danger because he wasn't able to dance on the fly and was visibily struggling with the challenge, Nellie's tendency to fade didn't help her, and Mario and Charlie were once again on the chopping block because of their lackluster acting performances.

Just when you thought the show was done with the theme of the week, Robert once again pulled a fast one as he said that all six would be performing for Ryan and that they'd be paired off to sing duets. Ali and Abraham were given Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night," Mario and Charlie were assigned "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," and Nellie and Blake had to perform "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner.

Nellie and Blake were first. While I was a little irked that my top two were at risk of going home, boy did they knock it out of the park with their melancholy love story. It didn't hurt that they both sounded really good, and that they have some chemistry. What was even better was the fact that Nikki and Zach were both moved, and that Ryan loved everything about their performance. He did tell them to keep doing what they've been doing but to amp it up a bit.

Next up was Ali and Abraham, and honestly I could not get through this performance. I've never been a big fan of Ali's mostly because her singing voice has a high pitch to it that gets grating after a while. At the start of the show, I was backing Abraham but he hasn't really wowed me, and he was totally washed out by Ali's perkiness (which was put her in the Bottom Six to being with and yet they gave her a Katy Perry song to perform). Their arrangement didn't do anything for me either, and I had to skip to the end because it started to become painful to watch.

Last, it was Mario and Charlie who had some issues working together while prepping, but they did a decent job with their song which should be shocking since singing's never been their weakest areas. Their pairing was also somewhat appropriate since Mario's been a sub-par actor while Charlie's been too enthusiastic of one. It's The Glee Project's very own odd couple.

The Bottom Six were brought out on stage, and Ryan revealed that three would be safe and the other three could face elimination. He decided that Nellie, Blake and Ali stood out the most, so Charlie and Mario were once again at risk while it was Abraham's first trip into the Bottom Three. After deliberation, Mario was sent home due to the fact that his acting was not up to par compared to everyone else.

Final Thoughts
I want more of Nellie and Blake because they just pop when they're paired off, and their chemistry's been evident since last week when he tried to eat her face during "I Want to Sex You Up" and she wanted his hot body during the video shoot. Like I mentioned earlier, I was upset that my two favorites were in bottom, but their Last Chance Performance took away the initial sting, and plus they got to perform for Ryan.

Speaking of, I thought having a Bottom Six instead of a Bottom Three was kind of a cop-out, but I remember that they did it last year, and it also meant that everyone has sang for Ryan after only four episodes. I don't think Samuel was at risk until late in Season 1 which probably ended up helping him.

As for the elimination, it was Mario's time to leave, and I'm honestly not all that sad to see him go, which I feel is the opposite of what the show was going for. Philosophically, I understand why Mario, Ali and Tyler were selected for the Final 14, but it's hard not to feel a little manipulated. We're supposed to cheer for them because of their setbacks, and yet they haven't been the strongest contenders, but rooting against them makes you feel like a jerk. OK, rant over.

Overall, "Adaptability" had its moments thanks to the hammering home of the theme, but it failed to be anything special. We really didn't learn anything new about any of the contestants (aside from the continued will they, won't they drama between Aylin and Charlie), and the final result was another decent music video and another underdog sent packing. That's about it. At least we got some more of Nellie and Blake though.


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