“The Glee Project” wraps up Season 2 on Tuesday, Aug. 14 when finalists Ali Stoker, Blake Jenner and Aylin Bayramoglu battle it out for a role on “Glee”. But which of the three triple-threats deserves a seven-episode arc on “Glee”? And which one has the best shot at being chosen by executive producer Ryan Murphy? Let’s handicap the final three:
The 24-year-old has a great personality and is always willing to do another take and improve her performance. She is extremely determined and has an interesting storyline, perhaps similar to Artie’s (Kevin McHale). Ali has won two homework assignments and has been praised by both Robert Ulrich and Zach Woodlee for her determination. That being said, her voice is more geared toward musical theater. Aside from Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer), most of the singers lean more towards pop music. Show writer Ian Brennan saw Ali’s character as a “promiscuous bitch,” but we’re just not seeing it.
For a guy who’s never taken any vocal lessons, Blake shines in all areas. He is a trained actor and conducts himself in a professional manner. This season “The Glee Project” has emphasized professionalism with contestants Charlie Lubek, Lily Mae Harrington, and Mario Bonds at times criticized for their lack of it. Blake has won one homework assignment, but has been repeatedly called back in the top three. The show’s demographic is skewed toward teenage girls so another handsome male character (a la a newer Finn) couldn’t hurt. The worry with Blake is his lack of a compelling backstory compared to the other two finalists. The judges want to see more of Blake’s vulnerability, as they’re worried he is seemingly too perfect.
The 19-year-old has the most compelling backstory of all the contenders. Murphy has repeatedly mentioned that “Glee” does not currently have a Muslim student on the show and that Aylin could be a role model for a lot of viewers. Her voice is stellar and is the best of the remaining finalists. However, there are still some worries: her ability to focus during video shoots and remain on the ball was constantly questioned until the music video “Perfect” during Actability week. She has also been the most at-risk of elimination of the three finalists, having been in the bottom three times and distracted by her romance with fellow “Glee” hopeful Charlie.
“Glee” is a television show that happens to feature good singers. It is not supposed to be a singing show with mediocre actors. “The Glee Project” does not feature enough concrete acting or improvisation challenges (aside from Actability week). Because of Blake’s strong acting skills, he’d be a good addition to the show. Instead of weak actors like Season 1 winner Damian McGinty (love the guy, but he’s not the greatest actor) the writers should pick strong actors who are adaptable to storylines that may not mirror their own journey. Aylin’s backstory is interesting, but her acting skills are not as strong as Blake’s. Ali’s acting is a bit over-the-top. Perfect for musical theater roles, but maybe not so much for “Glee.”
That being said, Ryan Murphy is not easy to read. Damian was the underdog all last season while Samuel Larsen was never one and Murphy realized that. This season’s underdog has switched quite a bit with Ali taking that slot going into the finale. Aylin seems to be the favorite in Murphy’s eyes due to his background as a writer and her ready-to-go storyline.
Who do you think should follow in Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen’s footsteps? Who do you think will win? Murphy has already promised that only one person will win, so don’t expect a surprise like the one we got during Season 1’s finale.
“The Glee Project” Season 2 finale airs Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.