Who said jumping rope was easy? The contestants learned otherwise in this week’s grueling episode of The Glee Project, which also included Abraham talking back to Ryan Murphy; Aylin pissing Lily off; and Ali being expected to make a basketball shot that even LeBron James would have trouble with. Now, go put your jockstrap on over your clothes and let’s get started!
The episode, “Tenacity,” begins with the news that the homework assignment will be Destiny Child’s “Survivor,” and no one is better qualified to judge the performance than Amber Riley (Mercedes), who performed the song herself on Glee.
Amber tells Abraham that she wanted more “vivaciousness” from him, and she feels that Lily didn’t really connect with the song. As for the positive notes, Amber loved Aylin’s voice and was impressed by Ali’s movement and energy. In the end, it’s Ali who gets the win, making that two consecutive victories for her! Get it, girl.
Now it’s time for the tricky part. The music video will be for the song “Eye of the Tiger,” involving an obstacle course in a gym that will have to all be done in only one continuous shot. A note to the contestants: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
First, we start in the recording studio, where Blake knocks it out of the park, with Nikki calling him the guy to beat. Then, Abraham and Michael struggle in the booth, and Nikki even informs Michael that Blake nailed his part. Side note: When in doubt, you should always pretend that you’re wearing boxing gloves — not only when singing, but even just around the house.
Several of the contestants then come together to perform a group section, and Aylin laughs about how Lily’s voice is too loud and prominent. This hits home for Lily, who says she often feels insecure about her “huge, booming voice.” In other words, if you were thinking that Lily and Aylin might patch things up one of these days, today certainly won’t be that day.
It’s now time for that dreaded video shoot, where the contestants must perform a succession of physical stunts, such as Aylin jumping over hurdles, Ali sinking a basketball shot, and the whole group doing a human pyramid. Right off the bat, we see Michael blame Blake for a bad pass, which makes it clear that — gasp! — their friendship might not survive this competition after all. Apparently, all is fair in love and obstacle courses.
The number of repeated takes start to mount up as Lily has trouble removing her pants and needs Aylin to help her with them, which is sorta like Obama asking Romney if he can count on his vote. After that, the biggest problem area is the jump rope segment, as the four contestants involved — Lily, Aylin, Michael, and Abraham — are having trouble maintaining their energy and aren’t lip-syncing properly. Who knew that jumping rope would be anyone’s downfall?
The number of takes keeps getting higher and higher, with exhaustion taking its toll. Abraham somehow trips in a doorway and ends up with an apparently twisted ankle, which he has no problem reminding people about throughout the remainder of the shoot. We then see Shanna puke into a trash can out back. Yes, Hollywood is quite the glamorous place.
Finally, the video gets completed after the group decides to lift Ali’s wheelchair up to the basket to make her shot easier. And seriously, why was that not the idea from the start? Ali was under a ridiculous amount of pressure to make a crazy-difficult shot from way below the basket. Anyway, there you have it — the video ends up looking really awesome, but it did require 34 takes. We’re guessing that not even the U.S. Constitution required that many drafts.
And now for judgment time. The bottom four is occupied by the four jump-ropers, as the final slot for the bottom three being a face-off between Lily and Aylin, with the judges ultimately choosing Aylin to be safe. Seriously — could these two be forced to endure any more conflict?
Michael is up first with “Brick,” and Ryan Murphy refers to his performance as “charm on a stick.” Apparently, in the Glee world, you can describe anybody by putting “on a stick” after a word that’s associated with them. (Remember how Sebastian called Blaine “sex on a stick” on Glee this season?) However, Ryan tells Michael that Blake never would have stumbled over the jump rope scene. Ouch!
Abraham — who has been asked by Robert Ulrich to keep the ass-kissing to a minimum — does “Man in the Mirror.” Ryan comments that Abraham didn’t seem as focused this week, but Abraham says that was because of his injury. Abraham also says that he didn’t stop once during the video shoot despite his ankle, but Ryan doesn’t appear to be buying it.
Finally, Lily performs “I’m the Greatest Star,” and Ryan says that he was blown away. He also says that she “ate the stage,” which we’re assuming is a compliment. Lily then takes the opportunity to rat out Aylin to Ryan for saying that her voice was too loud. Things are getting dirty!
And just when the judges thought that they were free to deliberate, Abraham shows up out of nowhere to apologize for his performance in the video shoot. He says that he is “not freakin’ leaving” until he wins or he gets a role on Glee. Ryan is completely unimpressed, saying he wished that Abraham had returned to ask for another chance to sing “Man in the Mirror.” Ryan explains that he cares more about talent than about big speeches. Uh-oh.
The judges say that all three people seem worthy of a role on Glee, but in the end, it’s Abraham who is sent packing. And this might not have been a huge surprise, since he’s had his struggles, but we’re definitely going to miss him. We could always count on the guy for a funny quip or a great vocal performance.
And now it’s time to update our top three. Last week, we had 1.) Blake, 2.) Ali, and 3.) Shanna. This week, Blake more than earns that top spot again, as he has yet to have anything particularly negative said about him. Seriously — the guy might actually be perfect (and the same could be said about his hair). At number two, we’re going with Shanna, and at number three, we pick Lily. Lily might need an attitude adjustment, but her talent is undeniable.
So we loved watching this week’s episode, but it was a tad stressful (translation: in future episodes, let’s try to keep the puking to a minimum, shall we?). And we’re super-excited for next week’s episode (Darren Criss!). In fact, as Ryan Murphy would say, we’re excitement on a stick.