Grab the hankies! In this week’s extra-emotional “Vulnerability” episode of The Glee Project, Charlie and Aylin continue to get handsy; Mario bickers with just about everyone; and Ryan Murphy refers to one performance as the best he’s ever heard on the show. And if Cory Monteith ever wants to give us a little one-on-one time, count us in.
At the start of the episode, the remaining contestants learn that this week’s theme is in fact “vulnerability,” and they will be performing “My Life Would Suck Without You” for guest judge Cory Monteith. And after seeing how downright adorable Cory looked, we have a message for him: Dear Cory, We belong together now (yeah), forever united here somehow (yeah). Sincerely, Your
stalkers friends at Wetpaint.
After hearing the homework-assignment song, Cory had some helpful hints, including telling Ali to tone it down a notch, and telling Lily that her hair-flip was more sexy than vulnerable. In the end, it seemed that his two favorites were Shanna and Nellie, with Nellie getting her first taste of victory. And we’re not gonna lie — Nellie not only sounded super-fab, but she was totally humble about it, too. Suddenly, we’re intrigued by this girl.
The group number this week is “Everybody Hurts,” and in lieu of choreography this week, music video director Erik will instead sit down with the contestants to talk about times that they’ve been bullied or witnessed bullying. To say that this was an emotional scene would be like saying that the instructions for IKEA furniture are confusing. (Seriously — could IKEA instructions be any harder to follow, with all those crazy illustrations? You basically need a degree in architecture in order to put together a shoe rack.)
As for the confessions from the contestants, Tyler admits to feeling isolated at times; Shanna says she’s been teased because of her mom’s drug problems; and Abraham has been picked on for having gay parents. Meanwhile, Blake regrets a time when he didn’t help someone else who was being beaten up, and Lily says that she used to be a bully but that Mean Girls changed her life. Long story short: No one wants to emulate Lindsay Lohan, whether it’s onscreen or off.
In the recording studio, Nikki says that Ali was “not great today” and that she tries too hard to seem upbeat. Meanwhile, Nikki tells Mario that he’s a little pitchy, dawg. (Oops — wrong singing show.) However, Nikki goes crazy for Aylin’s performance, who finally gives a sensitive and emotional performance. Perhaps all that cuddling with Charlie is bringing out Aylin’s softer side?
However, we certainly don’t get Charlie’s sensitive side during the video shoot. Charlie fancies himself a highly trained actor, and to prove it, he taps into the psyche of a bully by unexpectedly grabbing Mario’s cane from him as he’s walking. To Charlie’s credit, he seemed to feel legitimately badly about the incident, and he later apologized to Mario. But we kinda wish that Charlie would stop referring to it as a “bad blocking choice” and instead acknowledge it as an error in judgment, and then move on.
Blake and Michael seemed to earn the best feedback for their acting. Meanwhile, Lily was good at acting like a bully — and maybe a little too good, judging from the way she pounced on top of Aylin — but she struggled with her more vulnerable scene. When Lily was asked to reshoot it, she blamed her lip-syncing problems on Mario and Shanna, whom she said were distracting her. Um... okay.
It’s time to hear from the judges, who choose Blake as having given the week’s best performance. Nikki calls out Mario for his notes being flat, saying that he may need to retrain his muscle memory, to which Mario bristles, saying that he’s classically trained. At that, Nikki replies by saying that none of them are ready for Glee yet. That’s our Nikki! She’ll decide who’s ready, thank you very much. And seriously — does Mario just need a hug this week, or is he starting to seem a bit too difficult?
So the bottom three are: Lily, Charlie, and Mario. Lily performs “Mercy,” which impresses Ryan Murphy, although he’s struggling to see her as an underdog. At this point, Lily finally shows her vulnerable side, bursting into tears as she explains that she puts on her tough exterior to protect herself. We found Lily to be a little too confrontational at times this week, but it was nice to see this more relatable side to her.
Next is Charlie, who absolutely blows Ryan Murphy’s mind with his “Fix You.” Ryan tells Charlie not to always try to make the brave choice as an actor, but Ryan says he’s glad Charlie was in the bottom three because he now loves him so much more. After Charlie walks away, Ryan even tells the other judges that this was his all-time favorite performance on the show. So tell us, Ryan — did you like Charlie’s performance or not??
And finally, Mario performed “Over the Rainbow,” which Ryan says was great, although none of the judges seemed to flip for it. The conversation then turns to Mario’s attitude, and Mario cries while explaining that he’s a sensitive guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.
And this was touching, although it would have been more touching if Mario hadn’t soon thereafter told the other contestants that some of them were as pitchy as he was. Aylin didn’t appreciate this, leading Mario and Lily to butt heads. Uh, maybe Mario and Lily aren’t as sensitive as they each think? Then again, we’ll cut Mario some slack, since he was clearly feeling defensive about getting called out by the judges. We just hope that Mario can tone down the fighting just a tad.
In the end, it turns out that those so-called “last-chance” performance were more like “second-to-last chance,” since no one was actually cut from this week episode (presumably because Taryn’s surprise exit last week left the show with not enough contestants). But we found ourselves having a very tough time deciding who should have gone home, so we can’t wait to see who gets cut next time. The suspense is killing us! (Seriously, we’re a wreck. It's borderline unhealthy.)
So who stood out this week? Well, we always knew that Blake was completely dreamy, but now it appears that he also has some talent, too. (Whaddya know?) And Nellie has a dynamite voice, although it appears her acting skills may leave something to be desired. Even Aylin is starting to grow on us, as she got a little more serious this week. We’re not sure yet how real her feelings are for Charlie, but how cute was it when Charlie told her he would miss her if he left? Swoon!
And speaking of Charlie, we’re happy for him that he totally won over Ryan Murphy. But was Ryan serious when he said that Charlie gave the best performance ever? Like, better than even some of those ahhh-mazing performances by Damian and Cameron last year?! Blasphemy!
Long story short, this week’s ending was more anticlimactic than the ending of Titanic (spoiler alert: the boat sinks!), but the episode was a reminder that there’s a ton of talent on this show again this year. Ultimately, winning this show will require some seriously heroic performances — and by “heroic,” we’re not referring to guys who pretend to be superheroes by tying towels around their necks. That kind of heroism is something we could probably do without.