“Glee” has been keeping Lauren Gottlieb busy before she returns as an all-star on “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The 21-year-old dancer is one of the members of Vocal Adrenaline, the show choir nemesis of William McKinley High’s underdog glee club New Directions. In Tuesday’s (June 1) episode “Funk,” our heroes get discouraged after seeing Vocal Adrenaline kicking butt as usual, so it’s up to Mr. Schue (Matthew Morrison) to raise their morale.
Although Gottlieb enjoys being the villain on “Glee,” the actors’ heartbreaking performances sometimes make it hard to play the bad guy.
“It’s crazy and we love it because we’re all together, so we just ham it up all day,” she tells Zap2it. “But it’s really sad to look over when we’re shooting a scene with the main cast and Lea Michele is almost in tears. It’s really sad. I’m definitely not that person to just stand there and laugh at someone for losing. And when you really see her go there, I’m like, ‘God.’ She’s so good. I love her.”
Although there aren’t many standouts besides Jesse St. James (Jonathan Groff) in Vocal Adrenaline, Gottlieb does have a featured part in one of the group’s earlier songs, “Mercy.”
“I was really excited. I was the main girl that started it in the beginning of the song,” she explains. “So you can see me the whole time in that episode. I think that was one of my favorite ones that they shot of us because they really showed the dance as a whole.”
Check her out with the short shag ‘do in “Mercy”:
The worlds of “Glee” and “SYTYCD” have lots of overlap and not just because they share the same network. Besides Gottlieb, “Glee” has also featured “SYTYCD” alums Katee Shean, Kherington Payne (now with the Pussycat Dolls), Nathan Trasoras, Jason Glover, Janette Manrara, Brandon Dumlao as well as fellow Season 7 all-stars Comfort Fedoke and Courtney Galiano.
Gottlieb also just happens to be friends with Heather Morris, who plays ditzy blonde cheerleader Brittany on the show. The two of them went to the same Arizona high school together and danced at the same studio.
Just like that other dancing show, “Dancing With the Stars,” “Glee” has its share of wardrobe malfunctions and injuries. It’s not really a surprise that the acrobatic movements cause a little wear and tear on their costumes, especially since some of the clothes aren’t meant for dancing anyway.
“We wear amazing outfits and they’re all Betsey Johnson dresses, which is crazy expensive,” explains Gottlieb. “They’re not made to dance in so we’ve gotten a little better with it and have been given pointers. Like with straps, they don’t have any give and pull, you’re going to be ripping and whatnot, so there are definitely little tricks.
“Sometimes we cut our straps and cross them in the back instead of going straight back. Little things like that. We have to tape everything down. I am a huge fan double stick tape. I tape everything especially with the lifts that we do. If our dresses get caught and it pulls it down, then everything’s coming out. It’s not cute.”
Yes, this is a primetime network series after all, not the Super Bowl halftime show.
Besides the dangers of possible exposure, the dancers also risk physical harm when performing the elaborate and taxing routines. Gottlieb’s first week on set was particularly memorable since she got sick while rehearsing “Rehab.”
“The dress that they gave me was kind of a size too small, they ran out [of my size],” she says. “I remember [choreographer Zachary Woodlee] just came up and said the nicest compliment ever to me, and everything started spinning and I started throwing up. It wasn’t just once, but a good handful of times. You have to get right back out there and do your thing.”
It appears that Gottlieb got off lightly with just nausea. Some of the other dancers weren’t as lucky.
“We shot the final episode of the first season and it was a six-minute long number,” she says. “During the first run-through we had a broken pinkie and a sprained ankle. Later on, someone tried to do a dive roll, and his hand slipped and he cracked his head. Actually, it was Jason Glover from ‘So You Think.’ So he had a concussion and he was out the rest of the day. You could see it in his eyes. It was not good. Also, someone did a head whip into the steadicam.”
Ouch, ouch and ouch. Well, we’re glad to know that New Directions isn’t the only group feeling the pain of showbiz. That’s dedication.
“Glee’s” penultimate episode of the season airs Tuesday, June 1, with the big injury-filled finale on June 8. You can also check out Gottlieb on “SYTYCD” on Thursday nights and Part I of her interview with Zap2it.