'The Glee Project' Season 2 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is ...
'The Glee Project' Season 2 Finale Recap: And the Winner Is ...
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There can be only ONE! That Highlander quote has been the motto of The Glee Project all season long as we've been promised a single winner and not a situation like last year where everyone kind of won.

So The Glee Project season 2 has narrowed it down to three finalists, and tonight one of them will win a seven-episode guest arc on Glee, and possibly more. Season 1 co-winner Damian McGinty was in 17 episodes from last season while fellow winner Samuel Larsen was in 10 (and Larsen is returning for Glee season 4 too).

Who will it be: Ali the very musical theater-y girl in a wheelchair, Aylin the flirtatious Turkish-Muslim or good-looking, All-American Blake? My prediction is that Aylin will win and her character will be dating Sam Evans before Sectionals. I also predict there will be at least three "Turkish Delight" jokes and Sue Sylvester will accuse her of trying to enact Sharia Law at McKinley High. See, this stuff just writes itself.

Anyway, to see if my predictions are true, I'll be live blogging the finale to see which of them wins the prize.

As the episode begins the final three talk about how "amazing" it is that this is the end. They use the word "amazing" about a dozen times. Aylin wastes no time pulling the "I want to inspire Muslim women" card.

Final Homework Assignment: "You Can't Stop the Beat" from Hairspray

Hey, that song was LITERALLY just playing since Oxygen showed Hairspray before this finale. Robert Ulrich brings in some back-up vocalists: the entire season 2 cast! Aylin is so happy to see Charlie again, which is cute, while Michael and Blake bro it out. It's weird seeing people like Maxfield again.

Chris Colfer is the guest mentor, the real-life inspiration for The Glee Project since Ryan Murphy created a role just for him.

The performance is pretty great, as directed by Ali. It's impossible not to smile listening to this song and seeing glimpses of some of my favorites like Nellie swaying in the background.

Chris loves Blake's pseudo-Snoopy dance, Aylin's control and Ali's character work. He names all three the winners of the homework assignment. C'mon, Chris, didn't you get the memo? There can be only ONE!

Final Music Video: "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae

The music video is a prom where the final three get their own characters. Aylin is a girl sneaking out of her conservative house, Blake is the popular but humble prom king and Ali is the flirty mean girl. It's kind of obvious that Blake won't win since he's given such a bland, generic character. Clearly Ryan Murphy and the other writers just can't come up with a decent role for him. It's sad because they can obviously make some stuff up for Ali, as she's the total opposite of a mean girl. What a novel concept, asking someone to play a role that isn't just their real personality.

Choreography: Zach Woodlee gets one last dig in about how awful this group of kids is at dancing, so he's going to simplify it into a semi-line dance. Oh Zach, I love that you're keeping it real, even in the finale. Ali has some problems, but all having to do with her limitations in the wheelchair.

Vocals: Why does Nikki Anders even pretend to have conversations with that other dude in the studio? He's basically the pianist on Glee, never saying anything or having any real purpose. Aylin struggles because she didn't memorize the lyrics. I suspect she was too busy flirting with Charlie.

Video Shoot: The judges love Aylin's pop star energy, but Zach isn't sure she could handle the pressures of being a Muslim role model. That's a real concern, because not everyone is as confident and amazing as Chris Colfer, able to handle all the added scrutiny on him. Ryan Murphy might be eager to get into a national debate about Muslims in America, but could Aylin deal with it?

The judges all agree that Blake is brilliant, but he might lose because Ryan Murphy doesn't see anything interesting in him beyond the typical leading man. Nikki CORRECTLY mentions that Blake is such a good actor that he could play whatever role they want him to play. Of course that would depend on Ryan actually creating a role first, which is the opposite of The Glee Project's mission statement.

As for Ali, the judges think she's a little too smiley and happy, so playing the mean girl is gonna be hard. As always, she's a great singer for musical theater performances, but she doesn't have the subtlety a TV actress needs.

Director Erik White brings last season's co-winner Damian McGinty in for the video shoot, which is a little awkward since we know McGinty is NOT returning to Glee for season 4. He's also a cautionary tale about hiring a singer and compelling personality who ISN'T the best actor.

Final 3 Last Chance Performances

As one last prize, the final three contestants are allowed to pick their own songs. Zach calls it the biggest prize on TV. I agree that a role on Glee is big, but does he know that The X Factor winner gets $5 million?

SIDE NOTE: Did you see the promo for that new movie Pitch Perfect about the all-female a cappella group? It looks insanely funny. Can Glee get a Fat Amy?

The audience is filled with the judges, the past contestants, Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan as well as other writers and cast members from Glee.(including Darren Criss, Amber Riley and both of last season's winners, Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen). That's a whole lot of pressure.

Ali - "Popular" from Wicked: Oh sweetie, this is NOT going to help dissuade people from the idea that you're a musical theater actress not ready for TV. She delivers a crowd-pleasing performance, but it's not really for Glee, unless she's going to play a teenage April Rhodes. Actually, that would be an awesome subplot, following Will's teenage years in flashbacks throughout the season.

Blake - "I'll Be" by Edwin McCain:This is a great choice that can show some different, vulnerable sides to Blake. He does some super cool mic tricks and just kind of rocks it. Basically, every single woman (and every single gay man) now wants Blake to be their boyfriend. Blake then reads a poem he wrote about how sensitive and sweet he is and how, apparently, he's half-Cuban. Nikki and Robert start crying and there's a good chance he just won this competition because he clearly wants this more than anyone.

Aylin - "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele: This is a little on the nose for my taste. It's good and she delivers it exactly how she should, but, vocally, I'm not sure she adds a lot of new elements to Glee. Aylin explains that she could absolutely, 100 percent handle the pressure of being a Muslim role model.

Darren Criss and Dianna Agron think Ali has something special and Grant Gustin thinks she should win. The writers, mostly Ali Adler, have fallen in love with Blake. No one is mentioning Aylin, so Charlie gives a huge speech about how Ryan NEEDS to cast her to help destroy the prejudices against Muslims that have existed since 9/11. Holy crap, he just invoked 9/11. That's a little too pushy in my mind, especially since Charlie started by admitting that Aylin ISN'T the best actress. In the legal system, this strategy is called jury nullification, where you try to get them to ignore the facts and the rules and vote with their hearts.

And the Winner Is...

So the cast likes Ali, the writers like Blake and the sympathy factor goes to Aylin. In private, Zach and Robert really push Ryan to hire Blake because he is a star who is the best ACTOR. By a mile. I wonder if Ryan will listen to his casting director and his writers, or if he'll go rogue.

THE WINNER OF THE GLEE PROJECT SEASON 2 IS...BLAKE JENNER!

Wow, and yay! I know it sucks for women that the three winners over two seasons have been dudes, but Blake really deserved it. And Ryan Murphy basically admitted that he needed a new Finn, and that's who Blake will be.

I still think Ryan Murphy probably wanted to pick someone else, but when your writing staff and casting director are all telling you that Blake Jenner is a huge star and an amazing actor, you have to listen to them.

Now the mystery is about this tweet Ryan Murphy sent out earlier on Tuesday: "Writing such a great role for the winner! And just wait until you see who they are dating... " So who is Blake's character dating? The only options, if he's in high school, would be Tina, Sugar and Brittany. Unless he's gay. I could see him as Sebastian's boyfriend. What role do you think Blake should play on Glee?


(Image courtesy of Oxygen)

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