What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger — unless it means you get eliminated from The Glee Project. In this week’s episode, Lily has a crush on Blake (join the club, Lily!); Darren Criss is clearly the most perfect person on the planet; and Shanna is not impressed by Michael. And the worst news of the night? It wasn't the elimination — it was when Blake said he has a girlfriend. We're like, "Nooo!" (Sure, we had known about her, but we prefer to pretnend she doesn't exist. That's healthy, right?)
The episode, “Romanticality,” begins with the contestants learning that the homework assignment is “More Than Words,” and they’ll be accompanied by the guy who actually wrote the song. Wait — so you’re saying that the guitarist from the band Extreme doesn't have a busy schedule? What a shocker!
Then, we’re told that this is the song that Robert Ulrich lost his virginity to. Thanks so much for that mental image, buddy.
The contestants have to break up into pairs for the song, and so they decide to use the most awkward method of breaking into pairs imaginable: They are somehow going to telepathically communicate to someone that they want to be partners with them, and they will then stare at that person at the exact right moment. Lily apparently hasn’t quite mastered telekinesis as well as the others, as she gets ignored by both Blake — who she’s totally crushing on! — and Michael. Ouch!
They will be performing their homework assignment for Mr. Swoon-Worthy himself, Darren Criss. And so Darren will be teaching everyone how to be romantic? We can’t think of anything more appropriate — that is, unless perhaps the theme of the week had been “Squeezability,” with Darren teaching everyone how to be as pincahbly cute as possible.
Darren calls Michael and Shanna overly stiff, which Shanna blames on Michael, as she tells us that she never gets negative attention. Way to take the feedback and learn from it, Shanna.
Darren thought that Aylin and Lily were too melodramatic, meaning that Ali and Blake were the best and the most natural, and it’s Blake who wins his first assignment. Frankly, we think Blake deserves a hug to celebrate his win. C’mon, Blake — we’re waiting with outstretched arms to give you a hug here! Uh, whenever you’re ready.
The group number is “We Found Love,” which will involve pairs again. Blake picks Ali again, which we think makes sense, but Lily appears to be shocked that he doesn’t pick her. Instead, Lily ends up with Michael, who apparently doesn’t have the “fire and spark” with her that she has with Blake. If that's true, we're thinking Smokey the Bear would tell Lily and Blake to stay away from wooded areas.
It’s time to harmonize in the recording studio, and it’s apparently Opposite Day, as Shanna and Aylin are struggling to find the notes, while Michael is nailing it. (Go, Michael!) But having the most trouble is Blake. It appears the show has found Blake’s one weakness, like Superman with kryptonite or the Wicked Witch of the West with, uh, plain ol' water. (Wait — so does that witch not need eight glasses of water a day like rest of us? How does her skin stay that healthy shade of green?)
It’s time for the detention-themed video shoot. Robert and Zach praise Lily and Michael’s chemistry, as well as Blake and Ali’s playfulness. However, they find Lily and Shanna’s performance to be overly choreographed and that it resembles a square dance. And we’re thinking that a square dance is probably the least sexy dance of all-time (not counting whatever dance Elaine is doing in that episode of Seinfeld).
And then we watching the smoldering video, which even includes a role for Mr. Figgins! Okay, so we could have done without the shot of him peeing, but that’s a minor quibble.
It’s time to see what the judges felt this week. Lily and Ali pass with flying colors, but the remaining four contestants are in hot water (so thank goodness they’re not witches). Robert points out that Michael had been stiff in the homework assignment, but he still ends up getting called back, which Shanna cannot believe. In case you can’t tell, Shanna is not on Team Michael.
Up first to perform for Ryan Murphy is Aylin doing “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” and Aylin admits this is the First Time Ever She Heard This Song. That quickly becomes clear, as Ryan points out that she forgot a bunch of words. Oops. However, Robert feels that Aylin gave the best vocal performance of the night. And Ryan focuses mostly on what Aylin’s presence on Glee will mean for girls like her — and for Aylin's not-super-open-minded family members.
Blake does “Losing My Religion,” which Ryan likes but feels isn’t vulnerable enough. However, we loved hearing Blake say that he belonged in the bottom three (whatta guy!), unlike Shanna, who performs “Stronger” and then has no problem telling Ryan that it should have been Michael instead of her who had to perform. Ryan is worried that Shanna doesn’t have a clear enough identity for Glee.
It’s time to learn who’s leaving, but first, we hear Blake give a tear-inducing speech about how the other contestants are the best friends he’s had “in a long, long time.” Seriously — how adorable is this dude? No wonder everyone in the northern hemisphere has a massive crush on him. But in the end, it’s — total shocker alert! — Shanna who is sent packing. What what WHAT?
That’s right: Shanna — who had yet to give a last-chance performance and had never really gotten any negative feedback — was given the boot, just like that. How could this be?! Frankly, we didn’t want any of the bottom three to go, but it seemed like this would be Aylin’s week to leave, after she forgot the words and has been in the bottom three several times before. However, the lack of a clear onscreen persona really hurt Shanna. We miss you, Shanna!
And it was definitely hard to see Nellie go home two weeks ago, but we stand by this week's episode as the most shocking ouster of all time. Last year didn't have much in the line of startling eliminations, since Cameron took himself out of the running, and then there were four winners. Meanwhile, as much as we miss Nellie, we knew that the judges were having problems with her, whereas there was no such writing on the walls for Shanna.
So after that shocking shake-up, where does that leave our top three rankings? Last week, we had 1.) Blake, 2.) Shanna — so much for that! — and 3.) Lily. After this week, it seems clear that Ali keeps getting better, so we’re giving her the number one slot for the first time. At number two is Blake, who has slipped from last week, but we’re thinking he’ll rebound next week. And at third, we’ll put Michael in the top three for the first time ever! This guy is finally getting it together.
Anyway, we don’t know about you, but we’re still trying to wrap our heads around this episode’s shocking conclusion. (Then again, we’re still freaking out about the end of The Sixth Sense, and that movie came out 13 years ago.) So with the season winding down, we can’t wait until next week, although we hope to not hear anything more about Robert losing his V-card. And if you see Blake, tell him we’re still waiting to give him that hug.