‘The Glee Project’ Recap: Episode 1

The first episode of Oxygen’s reality competition show The Glee Project aired last night to the delight of many Glee fans (including THIS girl)! If you aren’t aware, the premise of the show is to find the next Glee star, in which the winner of the competition is set to get a 7-episode guest star gig on season 3 of the hit FOX show.

Last night’s series premiere introduced us to the lucky 12 contestants who were chosen out of the 40,000 that auditioned for the show. The dirty dozen included: Alex, Bryce, Cameron, Damian, Ellis, Emily, Hannah, Lindsay, Marissa, Matheus, McKynleigh, and Samuel.

For their first feat, the twelve were given an assignment: to showcase their individuality on Stevie Wonder’s hit song “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The contestants would each get an individual line in the song that they’d have to sing and really make their own. It was also revealed that in each episode of the series, there would be a guest judge involved. This week’s guest judge: Glee dreamboat Darren Criss! Darren chatted with the cast, getting to know each of them and mentoring the kids all he can.

It was then time for the contestants to show what they were made of. One by one the contestants were made to showcase their line in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” In the end, contestant Matheus won the challenge. His prize: a featured spot in the big group number AND a one-on-one mentoring with Darren Criss. Lucky fella!

Speaking of the group number, this week’s was a performance of the hit Katy Perry song “Firework.” The contestants would receive one line to really make their own in the song, much like the Stevie Wonder song assignment – but that’s not all! In addition to recording the song in an actual recording studio (Hannah was especially excited over this!), the contestants would also star in the music video. Sounds cool, right? As cool as it sounded, there was definitely a catch to it. Turns out – it being a competition and all – that the contestants would all be assessed for their performances, and the three lowest performing contestants would have to perform a last performance in front of Glee honcho Ryan Murphy – for one, it will be their LAST performance. Yikes!

After the “Firework” shoot, it was made clear who the bottom three contestants were: Bryce, Ellis and Damian. The three were each given a handpicked song that would either make or break their spot in the competition. Bryce would be performing Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are,” Ellis would be doing Broadway fave “Big Spender,” and Damian would have to rock Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” Each of the three had an issue with their songs: for Bryce it was that the song was too high for his range; Ellis had to make the song broad; and Damian had never heard the song… EVER.

Still, despite their reservations about the songs, the three performed to the best of their abilities, only to ultimately be judged by the MAN, Ryan Murphy. The best critique from Ryan: he pointed out to Damian that Damian had completely changed the meaning of the song, singing “I wish that I WAS Jessie’s girl” rather than the actual lyric “I wish that I HAD Jessie’s girl.” TOO FUNNY.

In true Glee fashion, to announce their decision, they placed a callback sheet on the wall to show who made the cut – and which one of the twelve was going home. In the end it was Bryce who didn’t make the callback.

One down – ten more to go!

The Glee Project airs every Sunday night on Oxygen at 9/8c.

Did you watch The Glee Project last night? Who do you want to win the competition?