During Tuesday night’s The Glee Project 2 finale, one of the final three contenders was chosen for a role Glee with a 7-episode story arc, and Aylin Bayramoglu had long been considered one of the frontrunners.
With her confident and sassy personality, not to mention her unique Turkish Muslim background, Aylin seems to have Glee written all over her. Yet, creator Ryan Murphy promised there would really will be only one winner this year, and in the end, Aylin just wasn't the last one standing.
Speaking exclusively with Wetpaint Entertainment before the finale aired, the 19-year-old Chicago native sharee her favorite moments from her time on The Glee Project, which of the guest mentors was her favorite, and why she would have hoped that her potential Glee character would be “a little controversial.”
What has it like to watch the show on TV?
I love watching the show because I never know what they're going to put on. I think it's hilarious to see what we all say in our little individual interviews and to tune in and see what Lily’s going to say about me that week.
That's probably not something you were aware of as the show was filming, or were you?
I mean, Lily and I were actually good about telling each other, like, “I just said a bunch of horrible things about you in an interview.” But, I don't think I really knew the extent of it. Not that it matters because she's one of my closest friends, but, it's just funny.
Shanna mentioned in one of her interviews that too much is being made out of your Muslim background. What were your thoughts about that?
It's obnoxious because I don't talk about it that often. I don't think anybody talks about it that often. It's a great part of who I am, so if talking about it kind of helped me get on Glee, then you bet your ass I'm going to talk about it.
In all fairness, we know from the past that people have gotten characters that are written around who they are in real life, so why would you not emphasize who you are?
Right. I mean I came to this competition to show Ryan who I was and to inspire him and that's what I set out to do.
When you know from last year's Glee Project that four people got on the show, and they were playing characters that were close to their personalities, to what extent does that influence you?
I actually love the fact that they play characters close to who they are in real life because the show really is about being inspirational and being able to inspire Ryan to write a character for you. And it is nerve‑wracking at first, but once you just start being yourself, things get so much easier.
So have you thought about what kind of character you would want to play on Glee?
Yeah. Of course, I have. I would want my character to be a little controversial because I do want being Muslim to be represented. And I just kind of want to be super flirtatious and cause trouble and stir things up.
What was the highlight of your competition?
The highlight of the competition was probably when I found out I was in the finale. I mean, like literally, there is no feeling that could describe that moment. I was really sad about Lily and Michael, but on the other hand, I was going to be in the finale. It was just a moment of like, pure, finally happy. I felt like I was going to graduation.
Was there a moment where you thought like, oh, no, I'm going home? This is it.
Oh God, yeah. “Romanticality” week when I was with Shanna and Blake. I was like, “Yeah. Cool. Peace. I'm out.” I thought, there's no way they're going to keep me because it’s Shanna's first time, and they're not going to pull a Marissa [von Bleicken, of Season 1] and get rid of her. And Blake is Blake. So they're not going to get rid of him, and I had already been in the bottom two other times. So I'm like, “Yeah. It's my time to go."
What's that moment like when you realized you weren’t going home?
Oh my God, it's like a big weight lifted off your shoulders when you realize that you're not the one going home. And unfortunately — well, fortunately, I guess I got in the bottom the first week, but that kind of lit a fire in me, and I was like, yeah. I'm not going to keep being in the bottom.
Who was your favorite mentor?
I'm going to have to go with Kevin McHale (Artie) because I won that week, and I actually got to like work with him one-on-one.
What was it like to meet Kevin? I assume you had some sort of expectations?
I don't really know what I was expecting, but he was super nice. And he was really insightful, and he seemed like a really smart guy. And he's genuine which I appreciated. I liked Kevin.
If you were to win this and go on to do seven episodes on Glee, what would that mean?
Oh God. It would literally be a dream come true for me. I've dreamt about doing this and being in this business and just doing what I'm doing since I was a little kid. And being able to have a seven episode arc on Glee, and accomplishing that at 19, 20, would be amazing.
I just think that people that look like me and people that have my story aren't represented on TV at all. Growing up, I couldn't relate to anybody on television. And it would mean a lot to me for little girl that do look just different to feel represented on television. I think I could do that for them.
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