“The Glee Project” hits all the right notes in first season

By Tom Comi

You really have to hand it to Ryan Murphy. Not only did he create the FOX mega-hit Glee, but he found a way to come up with a reality show on Oxygen to ultimately replace the stars that made Glee a hit.

Although The Glee Project (season finale airs Sunday at 9pm ET) doesn’t come remotely close to drawing the eyeballs of its mother ship, the contest in which the winner gets a 7-episode appearance on the forthcoming season of Glee has managed to accomplish several things:

1. It demonstrates how talented you have to be to be cast in Glee. Contestants must be able able to sing, dance, act, play musical instruments (or at least pretend to do so) and show emotion.

2. It disproves the notion that Glee is all about singing. Murphy, who ultimately decides who gets sent home each week, has oftentimes cut those with the best voices because they lack in other areas. If viewers want a singing competition, they should watch American Idol.

3. Storylines drive everything. If Murphy can’t write for you, you can’t be on his show. Fans of Glee know that each character has flaws that makes them unique, and Murphy is always looking to give a voice to the underdogs who watch. If you are a contestant with a great personality and perfect pitch, you picked the wrong show for which to audition.

4. It brilliantly helps lessen the blow of losing the stars on Glee. Anytime you revolve a show around high school kids, you encounter the unavoidable cast turnover. So as much as we love Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Kevin McHale and Dianna Agron, we know it’s only a matter of time before their characters will graduate. What The Glee Project has done is give us a test drive of the person or people who will be part of the new wave of stars to step into those shoes.

So when you tune in Sunday night for the finale — and I would suggest you do so even if you haven’t been following the series to this point — do so with the knowledge that Glee is in very good hands. Murphy will ultimately declare a winner from the remaining four contestants (Alex, Damian, Samuel and Lindsay, pictured left to right), but my guess is that we will eventually see each of them getting slushied on the FOX show at some point in the future.

And with all the bad things going on in the world, I think all of us could use a little more glee.

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Credit: Matt Sersion/Oxygen