The Glee Project
was the brainchild of the creators of Glee,
and their goal was to bring new personalities and characters into the show because they knew that the original members of New Directions weren't going to be around forever. The show only aired on Oxygen for two seasons, but it brought us Gleeks some memorable voices and characters to root for on the show. Let's check out the Pop 5 Glee Project
contestants who made it to the big show!
5. Lindsay Pearce aka Harmony
During the competition, many dubbed Lindsay "Rachel Berry 2.0" based on her 'I'm a star' attitude and Broadway background. There was no denying the girl had a big voice and an attitude to match, with many of her fellow competitors often confessing that they really wish that she'd just shut it. But Lindsay survived until the finale, despite Ryan Murphy commenting that he wanted to get rid of her but just couldn't bring himself to do so. When it came down to it, Lindsay didn't end up winning The Glee Project
but she still got herself a two episode arc on Glee
Lindsay was the first of The Glee Project
competitors to appear on season 3. She played Harmony, a fierce competitor, former 'Gerber Baby' and NYADA hopeful who Kurt and Rachel run into at a NYADA mixer. She totally intimidates the pair with a rousing mash-up of "Anything Goes/Anything I Can Do" leaving them shaken and questioning their whole futures.
4. Damian McGinty aka Rory Flannigan
"Me name's Rory Flannigan, I'm a foreign exchange student from Ireland and I love everything about America,... especially NASCAR, your half- black president and Victoria's Secret catalogs."
So goes one of the best character introductions in Glee
history. After co-winning season one of The Glee Project
with Samuel Larsen, Damian made his debut on Glee
with the appropriately titled Pot O'Gold
episode of season 3 with 2 solos! During his time on The Glee Project,
Damian earned the moniker of "Most Improved Cast Member" and Ryan Murphy easily developed a character based on Damian's heritage.
The set-up of Finn as Rory's mentor has so much potential, but as seems to be the pattern with Glee,
continuity with Rory's story never really panned out. Instead we get Rory being the punch line of many a joke with only Blaine Anderson to stick up for him. Thankfully for Rory, he's a quick study and learns the sneaky ways of New Directions to win Sugar Motta's heart from under Artie's wheels on Valentine's Day.
When Damian's time on Glee was over (with his student visa not being extended), we all thought that we'd never get to see Rory Flannigan again. Thankfully for us, Adam Shankman love his character too much to leave him out of season 4's "Glee, Actually" Christmas episode where he played a spiritual advisor to Artie Abrams.
3. Samuel Larsen aka Joseph 'Teen Jesus' Hart
Courtesy of stereohart.dreamwidth.org/
Samuel's character made his debut on the fittingly titled "Heart" episode of Glee
as Joseph Hart, the sophomore (we think) aged, home-schooled, guitar-playing Christian. Just the character Ryan Murphy had hinted at him becoming during his time on The Glee Project
. As the winner of the competition, Samuel was promised a 7 episode arc and again, it seemed like Murphy and the writers were laying down the groundwork for a solid character to develop.
Joe's naivety as a character led to the opportunity for deep conversations about how those who follow the Christian faith feel about same sex relationships. And then, when Joe finds himself falling for Quinn after her accident, he turns to Sam for guidance on how to handle his feelings and urges. After his storyline with Quinn, Joe kind of faded into the background for the remainder of season 3 and was around in season 4 in its entirety, but never got a solo. Then *poof!* In season 5 Samuel's character was out.
2. Blake Jenner aka Ryder Lynn
Blake was the only competitor of season two of The Glee Project
who made it to the 'big time' - well, Ali made a cameo at Will's 'wedding that never was,' on Valentine's Day but that hardly counts. Ryder is definitely 'Finn 2.0' with some Sam Evans thrown in. The first time we see him it's on the football field and with Finn looking for members for glee club and the musical, why NOT look at the football players? It worked once before.
With most of the originals of New Directions graduated, it's obvious that the glee club needs some new blood; and with the addition of Ryder, Jake Puckerman, Marley Rose and Kitty, maybe they have a chance. Ryder and Jake are trying to be the new Finn and Puck and their storyline is definitely allowing it; fighting over who is top dog on the field and off and fighting over girls. Personally, I'd pick Ryder's soft, kind-hearted soul over Jake's bad-boy persona any day.
Courtesy of FOX
Besides his storyline with Marley, Ryder took on two other hot button issues in season 4, catfishing and learning disabilities. It's revealed that Ryder has dyslexia early in the season. Ryan Murphy talked about
touching on learning disabilities which they had "never written about before." But I believe he meant, 'never written about WELL
before because I'm pretty sure Sam Evans was supposed to have one, too, way back in season 2. Oh Ryan, how quickly you forget your own show...
As for the catfishing, that was an admittedly interestingly written storyline. With Ryder and Unique at odds over Unique's sexual identity, having someone to talk to (the infamous 'Katie') about the whole situation seems to help Ryder. Until everyone starts ragging on him for not meeting the girl in person. When Katie's true identity is revealed as Unique, we got to see that Blake is more than just a pretty face; he can act too.
1. Alex Newell aka Wade 'Unique' Adams
From runner-up on The Glee Project
to front and center on the Glee stage, Alex Newell, aka Wade 'Unique' Adams is clearly the #1 winner of The Glee Project. Alex made his mark on The Glee Project stage when he dressed in drag to do his second 'last chance performance.' Alex definitely showed he was living up to the name of his alter ego.
Courtesy of Matt Sersion
Alex first appeared on Glee during 'Saturday Night Glee-ver' when Wade Adams invades McKinley to seek out help in dealing with Jesse St. James, his classmates and his parents. He tells them about Unique, a fierce lovechild of Kurt and Mercedes who just so happens to be a female, another first for Glee - a transgendered youth. Unique makes a splash on stage at Carmel High's regionals when she KILLS "Boogie Shoes."
After his 3 episodes were over, we thought we had seen the end of Wade Adams, but we were in luck - Season 4 came around and Unique was back! She had made the transfer to McKinley and threw her fabulous hat into the race for 'The New Rachel.' Unlike the other Glee Project
contenders, it seems like Alex and Unique were built to stay in the spotlight. So many times in season 4 Unique took the spotlight, from wanting to play Rizzo in Grease and having her parents pull her out at the last moment, to 'out diva-ing' everyone in New Directions, to constantly being bullied because of her sexual identity (including her feud with Ryder). In terms of 'doing it right' in the Glee world, Alex's portrayal of Unique Adams may be just what so many young people need to see.
So there you have it - the Top 5 Glee Project contenders to Glee characters. Do you agree with our list??
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