Ryan Murphy certainly had three very different, talented performers in the final episode of “The Glee Project” Season 2. But he promised to pick just one winner this year for a seven-episode arc on “Glee.” Was it musical theater champ Ali Stoker, who has a built-in backstory with that wheelchair, sexy Aylin Bayramoglu, whose Muslim background would be a brand-new story on “Glee,” or guy next door Blake Jenner?
Although all three were solid their final performances, Blake won the competition. But let’s back up and talk about how he got there:
The homework assignment seemed well-suited to Ali’s musical theater sensibilities, but mentor Chris Colfer pulled a Ryan Murphy and chose all three as winners for a special mentoring session. During the recording session, though, it seemed like Blake pulled ahead. Aylin struggled at first, but she ended up doing well in the studio. Ali, on the other hand, had trouble with the choreography.
During the music video shoot, Aylin reliably pulled out a slightly fictionalized version of herself, while Ali and Blake did pretty well too. Blake remained consistent, but maybe that’s a bad thing. Aylin seemed less present in the song, though, for some reason. Fun cameo alert: “TGP” Season 1 winner Damian McGinty dropped by to tell the contestants they can’t lose anything, they can only gain. Which isn’t technically true, they can totally lose the competition, but whatever.
Side note: Nice synergy with the Hot Chelle Ray song choice — new series regular Chord Overstreet‘s brother is in the band.
Next came the last chance performances. Here’s how they broke down:
Ali, “Popular” from “Wicked”
Naturally, Ali slayed it. Then again, she’s made for musical theater. But will that translate to TV? And can her voice translate to pop songs? Ryan loved her optimistic attitude.
Blake, “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain
The microphone toss was pretty smooth, and overall this was pretty good. But he was just fine — it didn’t seem to separate him from the pack. But the poem he wrote certainly did! First thought: awwwww. Second thought: smart. He’s the everyguy, of which “Glee” has had many. And it doesn’t hurt to make the judges cry.
Aylin, “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele
If this were “American Idol,” we’d call this the pimp spot. The person who goes last always has the best chance to make a good impression. Girlfriend can SING, and although there’s been a little bit of an Adele overload in 2012, she did a great job. Ryan said he thought she was inspirational. Basically, she had it wrapped up, right?
Uh, maybe not. Ali totally impressed the “Glee” cast members and writers. When the judges talked, they only mentioned Aylin’s storyline but loved Blake’s acting skills and Ali’s personality. It seemed Murphy went in thinking he’d pick Aylin, but after all the positive feedback for everyone else, he had to seriously consider every contestant.
In the end, Blake pulled out the win, following in the footsteps of McGinty and co-winner Samuel Larsen. Murphy said there was a void left from the graduating seniors that he could fill, which totally makes sense.
Are you happy with the winner? Were you rooting for someone else instead? Sound off in the comments!