July 24, 2012

Episode Review: THE GLEE PROJECT, "Tenacity"

Now that Nellie's no long in the competition, it's going to be harder to get excited about episodes of The Glee Project, but I'm going to try for the sake of these write-ups. This week's theme was "tenacity," and I do have to give the show credit for handling it better than it did last year.

Homework Assignment
This week the Wanna-Glees had to sing Destiny Child's "Survivor" for Amber Riley (who didn't really mesh with the theme in my opinion, but oh well), and it was a decent enough number but no one really wowed me. After criticizing Abraham and Lily, Amber eventually picked Ali as the winner which meant we had to be reminded over and over again how she's tenacious due to her situation.

Video Shoot
Unfortunately, there wasn't a choreography sessions so we didn't get nearly enough Zach and an overemphasis on Nikki and the recording booth. This week's shoot was a one-shot of the contestants doing random sports in a gym while singing "Eye of the Tiger." In their sessions with Nikki, Abraham, Michael and Lily all struggled to varying extents, so we had a pretty good idea of what the Bottom Three was going to look like.

The shot itself was an exercise in repetition as the hopefuls had to go through the motions 30+ times so Erik White could pull off his masterpiece. Putting aside the fact that the shoot didn't have to take so long (Erik should've pulled the double dutch section way earlier than he did) it was a good example of The Glee Project utilizing its theme well. Having to do the same thing over and over again was a good way to test which contestants could roll with the punches and make things happen. The actual video though was kind of underwhelming.

Last Chance Performance
It was pretty easy to guess who was going to be at risk based on the recording booth and video shoot since there were some glaring issues. Shanna, Blake and Ali were all called back because they messed up the least (except for Ali who couldn't sink that shot to save her life), which meant that the three who struggled in the studio were joined by Aylin. The four of them had trouble jumping rope and were responsible for so many takes, or at least that was the rationale the mentors used. Luckily, Aylin did just enough to be saved, so the Bottom Three consisted of Abraham, Michael and Lily.

Michael performed for Ryan first, and he sang Ben Folds Five "Brick" (which I hadn't heard before this episode), and he had a little bit of a swagger that worked for him. Since I didn't have any emotional ties to the song, I thought he did a fine job with it, and I thought it was good enough to buy him some more time.

Abraham was up next, and he had the challenge of singing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror." Again, I thought he did a decent enough job but it wasn't anything that made me stand up and cheer. His evaluation had more to do with his hurt ankle than anything else, and overall I wasn't impressed enough to cheer for him over Michael.

Finally, Lily performed "I'm the Greatest Star" from Funny Girl. As much as I hate to admit it, Lily did extremely well with such a tough song, and it was clear that she saved herself. Unfortunately, she had to use her time with the mentors to complain about Aylin which reminded me why I disliked her so much to begin with.

During deliberations, Abraham took it upon himself to storm back onto the stage to give Ryan Murphy an ultimatum. He'll either win The Glee Project or he will not leave until Ryan writes him a role. I kind of understood what Abraham was trying to do, but his execution was so off-putting that he pretty much sealed his fate.

It was callback time, and I was sure that Abraham was going to be sent home although I still had a lingering fear that it would be Michael since he had the same issues that have been plaguing him throughout the competition. At the end of the day, it was Abraham who was cut, and I can't say that I blame the mentors.

Final Thoughts
Abraham was one of my early favorites, but he really didn't do anything that made me want to root for him as the show progressed. His constant butt-kissing started to rub me the wrong way, and it became so distracting that Ryan Murphy even mandated that he cut it out. For me, his tantrum on stage was the final straw, and I'm kind of glad he went home instead of the more unlikable Lily.

As for Michael, I was relived that he got to stick around because I do think he has a lot to offer. He's probably one of the strongest actors left, but he doesn't get enough credit in that regard. Much like how Nellie never got credit for rising up every week to give good performances in spite of her lack of confidence. Regardless, he's a distant second to Blake when it comes to the boys and he has his work cut out for him.

The lack of Nellie did have an impact on my interest level, but Michael slipped into the "underdog"role for me, so at least I still have someone to cheer for. Like I mentioned above, it's going to be tough for him to topple Blake or even Shanna, but I'm just glad he gets another week to prove that he's worthy.


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