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Mistaking Nipples for Pepperoni (and Tattoos for Irony) – A Recap of Glee’s Season 3 Premiere “The Purple Piano Project”

Blaine is THRILLED that Season 3 of Glee has begun.  Mr. Schue is just excited that he and Blaine own the same sweater vest . . . 

Welcome back, Gleeks!  Well, the summer is over.  And that means school is back in session.

But hey!  School’s not ALL bad!  After all, it’s senior year for most of our McKinley High students.  And senior year is AWESOME!

I mean, think about it . . . that’s when you decide where you’re going to college  . . . and what you want to be when you grow up . . . and if you should bang your boyfriend on prom night, and whether you should dye your hair pink, and get an ironic tattoo of Ryan Seacrest on your ASS . . . wait . . . WHAT?

Between Ripper Stefan on TVD last week, and Bad Quinn on Glee this week, this is quickly shaping up to be Evil Alter Ego Month on prime time television.  What’s next, a Homicidal Blair on Gossip Girl?


But Quinn isn’t the only Glee kid making MAJOR changes this year.  In fact, the entire hour was chock full of breakups, makeouts, oustings, school transfers, political manuevers, fire-starters, glitter bombings, food fights, and, of course, a whole LOTTA show tunes, courtesy of our favorite McKinley High School students . . .

So, tighten up your bow tie, tune up your purple piano, and get ready to dance on the lunch tables, because it’s time for another Glee-cap . . .

He’s BAAAAAAAACK!

If Carrot Top and Woody Allen ever procreated, this is probably what their kid would look like . . . 

In what has become a highly efficient, if slightly lazy, plot device, this season begins, just as last season did, with Jacob Ben Israel “video blogging” about how the entire cast spent its hiatus.  For example, Mercedes dumped Sam because the actor who played him left the show and started dating THIS GUY . . .

“Knock . . . knock.  Hey Sam, are you in there?  It’s me, Mercedes!”

By the way, does anyone else find it funny that all these so-called “outcast” Glee kids, all seem to either be on the football team, or cheerleading squad, or dating someone who’s a cheerleader or football player?  Just wondering . . .

But wait . . . I have even better news.  LAUREN AND PUCK, FINALLY BROKE UP!

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Apparently, it had something to do with Lauren wanting to be more “popular,” and thinking that Puck and the Glee club were somehow, bringing her down  .  . .

In other news, Puck’s balls have returned to the show, as returning cast members . . .  And we all know what THAT means . . .

Now, if we could just get someone to help them change back to their original color.  Any volunteers?

We also learned that Tina and Artie are the only juniors left in Glee club, which actually doesn’t really tell us anything about how they spent the summer, or what they are doing with their lives.  However, apparently, it was something the writers wanted us to know . . . you know . . . to prepare us for next year . . . WHEN THE ENTIRE CAST IS GONE!

Dear Glee Writers,

YOU’RE MEAN!

Hugs and Kisses,

Rachel Berry 

Santana aspires to be the next pre-psychotic breakdown Paula Abdul, until Jacob informs her that Paula isn’t technically a “Latina,” like Santana once thought   . . .

In other news, the cat from that old “Opposites Attract” video?   TOTALLY Latino!

As for besties, Mercedes Rachel and Kurt, the uber dramatic pair aspire to become the next Will and Grace (1) move to Manhattan together, (2) attend a performing arts college in the city, (3) achieve moderate success as broadway stars, and (4) get married by 30, but, obviously, not to one another.  (I smell a Glee reunion special!)

“Shhh . . . this segment of the show is really a campaign for Kurt and I to get our own spinoff show.  Don’t tell anyone.”

Speaking of Rachel, her milquetoasty boyfriend Finn has NO plans for the future, beyond not getting slusheed on his first day back from school . .  .

Way to shoot for the stars, Finn! 

Ohhh . . . nevermind!

Watch Out, Ladies!  This is what becoming impregnated by Puck can do to YOU  . . .

Meanwhile, somewhere underneath the bleachers, where, coincidentally, is where the cast of Freaks and Geeks used to hang out, a newly pink haired, nose-ringed, Seacrest tatttooed, Quinn Febray is hanging out with a clique of girls known as The Skanks.


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But Quinn’s appearance isn’t the only thing about her that’s changed this past summer.  She’s also started dating middle-aged skateboarders, has quit BOTH the Cheerios and Glee club, and suddenly, talks like she’s swallowed a phone sex operator . . . weird.

“You sound hot, Evil Quinn, what are you wearing?” 

I have to say, of all the storylines introduced in this episode of Glee, Bad Quinn’s is the one about which I’m most intrigued.  After all, when you think about it, Quinn’s rebellion against the status quo has been a LONG TIME coming.  I mean, here was a girl who feared that high school would be her Glory Days . . . that she would graduate McKinley High a popular pretty cheerleading prom queen, only to find herself trapped for the rest of her existence in the dull, and unfulfilling, lifestyle of a barefoot and pregnant Lima, Ohio housewife.

And then she got pregnant, and had to give the baby up for adoption . . .

 . . .  and then her boyfriend dumped her for the dork next door . . . and then she lost the title of Prom Queen to a BOY.

Here was a girl who’s only hope was that, even if she wasn’t meant to get out of her hometown, at least let her high school experience be perfect.  And then, she couldn’t even achieve THAT!  Given all that she’s lost in the past couple of years, is it any wonder that Quinn is rebelling now?

Staunchly on Team Return Quinn to Glee club and the Cheerios, are her fellow Unholy Trinity members, Brittany and Santana . .  .


This sapphic duo attempt to convince Quinn to return to the Bright and Perky Side,  by reminding her of the Good Old Days, back when the three of them were all simultaneously f*&king Puck . . .

Talk about Glory Days . . . 

However, since Quinn TOTALLY still has the option of continuing to f*&k Puck, even without returning to those pesky extracurricular activities of yesteryear (He is single again, after all!), this strategy proves ineffective.  Next up is Rachel, who offers Quinn a more heartfelt plea to return to the World of Glee .  . .

“You’ll probably get more screentime, if you come back!” 

Rachel seems immediately to recognize Quinn’s rebellion for what it truly is, a sign of SERIOUS depression.  (I mean, if getting a picture of RYAN SEACREST tattooed on your ass isn’t a cry for help, I don’t know what is!)

Hey, I resemble that remark! 

For someone who’s typically so completely self-absorbed,  Rachel Berry sure can be awfully intuitive, sometimes.  We see this here, when Rachel tells Quinn she is sorry that the latter is so sad.  And despite the fact that the pair have been rivals for most of the series, Rachel’s admission that she misses seeing Quinn at practice, and hopes that this will be the year the two of them can “do it right,” genuinely seems heartfelt.  In fact, Quinn even seems to consider Rachel’s offer for a few extra moments, before returning to her Army of Skanks . . . and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Wannabe Wardrobe . .  .

Speaking of filling those increasingly empty show choir room chairs . . .

We Got Beaten Up The Beat!

Hey Artie . . . I don’t want to be the one to have to tell you this, but you have spaghetti ALL OVER YOUR HEAD! 

Sometimes, I think Will Schuester is the most passive aggressively abusive teacher on the planet.

If the purple piano fits . . .

I mean, sure, the idea to have Glee club members break into song whenever they saw a purple piano (kind of like Pavlov’s Singing Dogs), was a clever one, in terms of advertising the club and drumming up possible new recruits.  But, REALLY, if you KNOW the entire school hates the Glee club, and tends to THROW FOOD at them, even in the most benign of circumstances, what on Earth would make you think it was a GOOD idea to have the entire club perform in the SCHOOL LUNCH ROOM?

I don’t know.  Perhaps, the fact that Will has spent the ENTIRE SUMMER sleeping next to Emma, and she STILL hasn’t given him sex, has caused him to want to provide EVERYONE ELSE just as much pain as his blue balls experience, EVERY SINGLE DAY . . .

But still . . . that DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!

Then again, part of the fault HAS to lie with Rachel, who (1) convinced the group to perform in the first place; and (2) selected “We Got the Beat” by the GoGo’s as their musical number — a song high school kids might have genuinely enjoyed . . . back in 1982.

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And though the choice of song was decidedly MEH, and the student body seemed to be a combination of confused and annoyed, by the fact that the Glee kids were interrupting their meal time to sing it, you have to hand it to New Directions for their Mad Dancing Skillz . . .

*fans self* 

 . . .  infectiously bubbly energy, and their uncanny ability to magically produce a backup band, whenever the need arises.

“Woah!  How did we get here?  Do we even go to this school?” 

Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself . . .

Of course, WAY MORE ENJOYABLE than the actual music number, was the food fight that erupted afterward . . .

Particularly, THIS part . . . (Man, did I get an insane amount of joy out of watching THIS . . .)

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Does that make me a bad person?  Maybe not.  But THIS definitely does . . .

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Oh Sugar!

I mentioned that the Glee club was hoping that their lunchtime performance would drum up some new potential members.  And it did.  The problem of course, was that the ONE prospective Gleek it did entice sounded like THIS . . .

 “W . . . T . . . F?”

Now, a bad new recruit like Sugar would have been a FINE addition to Glee club, back when they were just starting out . . . And back when they weren’t under a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure to return to and win Nationals, following what Kurt lovingly refers to as “The Kiss that Missed.”

But now Schue is torn between being a GOOD teacher, and a GOOD competitor.  Since he was never much of the former, he ultimately chooses the latter, thanks to a rousing speech from Coach Beiste about Crushing Kid’s Dreams in Order to Win . .  . and Stuff . . .

“For  what it’s worth, I’d still very much like to have sex with you.” 

Sugar, who thinks she worked the song “like a Stripper Pole,” not surprisingly, is shocked and crushed by the clubs rejection of her.  Something tells me she won’t be staying away for long . . .

Since we are on the subject of people who WON’T GO AWAY  can’t stay away from the Glee club . . .

Congressman Sylvester, I presume?

Notice how Sue’s tracksuit matches the purple piano.  Coincidence, I think not! 

*sigh*  So, last season, when all this “Sue as Congressman” stuff first came up, I was THRILLED with the idea, because I THOUGHT it would mean that the writers had FINALLY given the prickly cheerleading coach something else to do other than harrass the Glee club.  And it worked . .  . for about two minutes of the season.

Doh!

Then Sue finds herself trailing in the Congressional opinion polls behind, “Undecided,” “that rapist running from prison,” “please don’t call me during dinner,” and “anyone white.”  Then comes that annoying and frustrating fateful day, when that equally curmudgeony geometry teacher actually APPLAUDS her for taking apart one of the Glee kids pianos, because she HATES artsy fartsies.  Suddenly, Sue’s new political platform is born.  And (SURPRISE!) it involves cutting ALL funding to arts and music programs until all the students in Ohio schools read at or above reading level.

And that’s when WILL gets his UBER CREEPY Glitter Bomb Idea, a.k.a. the idea to pour glitter on Sue’s head, while extolling the virtues of Arts in Schools, and putting the result on YouTube.

Perhaps the magical glitter can make this terrible storyline disappear. 

Oddly enough, Will’s flaming vigilantism, has the unintented consequence of making Sue a MORE popular candidate, due to her perceived image as a VICTIM of the Evil White Man and his Glitter.  And wow, I can’t believe I actually just typed that sentence.  Make it stop.  Please make it stop .   . .

In other news . . .

“We Totally Just Did the Gay High Five.”

Wow, I didn’t know they were planning to make Strawberry Shortcake into a live action movie . . . How come nobody tells me these things?

After unsuccessfully trying to give them dating dating advice, (you know because she’s TOTALLY an expert on the subject) . . .

Emma actually helps aspiring stars Kurt and Rachel out by (1) crushing their dreams, by informing them that their dream school Juliard, actually lacks a musical theater program; and (2) reawakening their dreams by informing them about ANOTHER school in New York City that DOES have such a program, AND, (SURPRISE!) just so happens to be holding a mixer for prospective students in Lima that week . . .

And so, our intrepid future theater majors prepare for this live-changing event, by actually researching the school singing a duet to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.  You know, because Kurt and Rachel haven’t done NEARLY enough Wizard of Oz themed numbers together, during the past two seasons . . .

Ding, Dong, this theme is dead . . . 

All sarcasm aside,  the performance was actually kind of cute, in a goofy, should-be-sung-by-actual-munchkins, kind of way . .  .

 Cut to the night of the mixer, when Rachel and Kurt find themselves surrounded by, not surprisingly, a bevy of copycat Rachels and Kurts, led by Glee project winner, Lindsay Pearce, each laden down with a bevy of acting credits (I think one of them actually claimed to be the Gerber baby), overly ambitious Singing Faces, and an over abundance of Spirit Fingers.  This group horrifies Rachel and Kurt by performing, of all things, a mashup of “Anything Goes / Anything You Can Do” that, while definitely not better than MOST of the numbers we’ve seen Rachel and Kurt perform, is DEFINITELY better than “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

Obnoxious, aren’t they?

Cut to Rachel and Kurt boo-hooing intensely in the car about the reality check they’ve just experienced.   Maybe they AREN’T good enough to make it as theater geeks in the REAL WORLD?  Maybe they won’t actually get into this school?  Maybe Dorothy really DIED at the end of Wizard of Oz, and the makers of the movie just didn’t want to tell us the truth.

“I’ll get you my Pretty, and your Little Rachel too . . .” 

But, no!  Kurt and Rachel will not be so easily discouraged.  In the car, the pair comfort one another, vowing to help eachother get out of Lima and into showbiz, no matter what it takes.  And their exchange is both incredibly schmaltzy, and uplifting at the same time.  It even ends with a Gay High Five . . .

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And that’s how Kurt decided to run for student council president (to beef up his extra curriculars . . . Because, you know, Kurt is so popular outside the Glee club)  . . .

Yay Kurt! (He’s so screwed.)

 . . . and Rachel decided to cast herself as the lead in the school’s production of West Side Story (because the opportunity to see Rachel sing more solo show tunes is exactly what Glee needs).

Speaking of Kurt . . . and Blaine

It’s Not Unusual . . . to Commit Arson at Your School . . .

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Guess who just transferred to McKinley?  That’s right, my Gleeky friends!  Apparently, being a local legend / high school hero / Mr. Popularity /Warbler Extraordinaire, is NOTHING, if you can’t spend every waking minute of the day with your high school boyfriend.  Ah, the wonders of Dumb Young Love!

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(Oh, something tells me our super attractive friend is in for a RUDE awakening, the first time he gets DENIED a solo, and when his adorably tight red pants inevitably get covered in blue slushee .  . .)

By way of introducing himself to his new school, and Glee club, Blaine decides to perform an AWESOME rendition of a song that I honestly always thought was incredibly LAME, until I heard Blaine Warbler sing it outside McKinley High, surrounded by a bevvy of cheerleaders, most notably new Cheerio co-captain (along with Sue’s pet, Becky), Santana . .  .

Seriously, this was, BY FAR, the best musical number of the evening.  I mean, he even did the CARLTON DANCE during it, for crying out loud.  It just doesn’t get much cooler than that!

As you might have noticed, Blaine’s McKinley musical debut ended with a BANG, care of the cheerleaders dousing the piano with lighter fluid, and Bad Quinn flicking a cigarette on the now-flammable keys.  While the piano bursting into flames, as a result of Blaine’s AWESOME singing made for a spectacular finale, it certainly did not make one Will Schuester particularly happy.  And he ends up kicking Santana out of the Glee club for (ahem) playing for both teams . . . (See what I did there?)

“Not funny!  Can’t you see I’m in pain here?” 

Man, they really are dropping like flies in Glee club this year, aren’t they?

Oh, did I mention that Finn called Blaine out, when he was introduced to the rest of the Glee club, for being a BALL HOG, and getting all the solos at HIS school?

“Hello, Pot?  This is Kettle calling . . . guess what, YOUR BLACK!” 

The episode concludes with the remaining Glee clubbers performing a rousing rendition of yet another showtune  Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” while Bad Quinn looks on longingly from the rafters . . . undoubtedly wishing her elderly skateboarding boyfriend was there to give her a hug . .  .

*sniffle, sniffle, pout, sniffle* 

And that was the season premiere, in a nutshell.  Next week’s promo promises, among other things, auditions for McKinley High’s production of West Side Story, the return of Rachel’s bio mom / Quinn’s adopted baby mama, Shelby Corcoran, some Finchel makeout sessions, and Brittany teaching us what the the REAL capital of Ohio is . . . You can watch it in its entirety (with Portugese subtitles, of course ;)), right here:

So, now that the premiere has come and gone, what are your thoughts?  Are you psyched for this upcoming season?  Or do you feel its time the whole series got itself glitter bombed?  Sound off in the comments section below . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Who’s YOUR Next Gleek? – A Peek at Oxygen’s New Reality Show “The Glee Project”

Have nightmares about the future of your favorite musical comedy show kept you up nights? 

Did Rachel’s and Kurt’s conversation about the “c” word, during the Season 2 Glee finale, send shivers up your spine?  (I’m talking about “college,” obviously.  Get your mind out of the gutter!) 

Have you spent the past few summer hiatus weeks writing long “fan letters” to Ryan Murphy, in which you plot out, in great detail, scenarios that will enable your favorite McKinley High characters to get left back another year, just so that you can maintain your own sanity?

If so, then you are a TOTAL NUTBALL!  then “The Glee Project” is the summer series for you!  Starting this week, every Sunday at 9 p.m. on the Oxygen channel, twelve (well . . . now, eleven) hopeful late teens and early twenty-somethings will duke it out for the chance to win a seven-episode arc on the most popular musical program on Fox that isn’t American Idol.  And as teen drama fans know, A LOT can happen in seven episodes.  (If you recall, Darren Criss’s Blaine Anderson was upgraded to a series regular on Glee, after appearing in half that amount.)

Entertainment industry nerds like me will undoubtedly appreciate the “behind the curtain” peek that this show offers at what the casting process for a successful prime time program actually looks like.  (Well . . . at least you get a peek at what casting for a successful prime time program WOULD look like, if it was done through a reality television show.)  Acting as both mentors and judges of the prospective new Gleeks’ are Robert Ulrich (Glee’s casting director) Zach Woodlee (the show’s choreographer), and Nikki Anders (a vocal coach for the series).

Ryan Murphy, himself, will also be on hand to make the final elimination decisions . . .

As if that wasn’t enough, each episode will also feature a REAL GLEE CAST MEMBER, who will basically be there to stand around, smile, look pretty, and collect his or her hiatus paycheck.   This week’s lucky guest star was the sexy Darren Criss.

Next week, we get Idina Menzel, who played Rachel bio’s mom, and former Vocal Adrenaline coach, Shelby Corcoran, during the show’s first season.

But I have to say that my FAVORITE Glee cast inclusion into The Glee Project was the “celebrity” who appeared during the “audition” episode.  Of course, I’m referring to THIS GUY  . . .

Brad Ellis, i.e. “The Random Dude at the Piano” is just the Captain of Cool, as far as I am concerned . . .

Even those of you who AREN’T Entertainment Industry Geeks, will likely get a kick out of observing the various contestants, and trying to pinpoint precisely what type of character each would play, if he or she was lucky enough to make it onto the show.  After all, stereotyping people, and making snap judgments about them, based solely on a picture and under ten minutes of screen time per episode, is what Glee is all about, right?

 Yes, that was meant to be sarcastic. 🙂 

Let’s put it a nicer way.  The Glee Project gives fans of Glee the opportunity to “play” casting director, and try to envision the future of the show.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let the stereotyping casting begin! 

(By the way, if you are interested in learning more about the show, or any of the cast members you see here, feel free to check out Oxygen’s surprisingly comprehensive show website, which features, among other things, cast bios, photographs, and audition tapes.)

In case you haven’t seen this yet, here is a photograph featuring all twelve Glee Project contestants . . .

Please note that this article WILL contain spoilers from the first episode of the show.  In other words, I plan to mention that a certain Glee hopeful has already been eliminated from the running.  So, if you don’t want to be spoiled, you may want to stop here, until you’ve actually seen episode 1.

Now that I’ve gotten that little disclaimer out of the way, allow me to introduce the twelve cast members of The Glee Project.

First up, we have Damian . . .

Damian kind of seems to have a Young Hugh Grant thing going for him . . .

First off, he’s got the accent (though HIS is an Irish Broque, as opposed to Grant’s British lilt).  This will work immediately in his favor, I suspect, as chicks tend to dig accents, BIG TIME.  Damian also has a baby face, and a sort of goofy, self-deprecating charm, that makes him instantly likeable.  Cons for Damian include his dorky dancing (Finn!  You have company!), and a quiet singing voice, that might find itself overpowered by Glee’s current cast of “belters.”

I can envision Damian playing an Artie-type character, someone who is generally liked by everybody, and doesn’t make too many waves.  In terms of romantic interests, it might be fun to see Damian paired with Rachel, since his low-key, easy-going, nature might balance out her Type-A intensity and diva-like ways.

Next up is Bryce . . .

I’m actually a tad surprised, and a smidge disappointed, that this guy was eliminated so early in the competition, as he’s someone I can definitely see on the show, as a friend / rival to Puck.  Just like a certain Mohawk-sporting sexpot we all know and love .  . .

. . . Bryce has the body of an athlete, the style of a rebel, and the confident swagger of a guy who SEEMS like a conceited jerk on the surface, but who hides hidden depths.  Had Bryce won the competition, I could definitely have envisioned him as being a fun love interest for Mercedes (if the whole “Sam” thing doesn’t work out) and/or for Quinn.

Then, there’s Samuel . . .

I must say that this guy is one of my early favorites.  I already love his voice, his style, and his maturity.  (Though, admittedly, I suspect this actor, in particular, might have some difficulty passing for a 16-year old.)  If Samuel wins this competition, he could bring an element to New Directions that we haven’t seen yet, that of the “sensitive hippie.”  I can envision Samuel’s character intially butting heads with either Rachel or Quinn, and, eventually developing a love/hate relationship with either female. 

Love/hate relationships are always my favorites on teen dramas, as I tend to find them SO INSANELY HOT!  It’s high time they put one of those types of relationships on Glee.  And that is yet another reason, why I am rooting for Samuel to take it all in this competition.

My other favorite to win The Glee Project is Cameron . . .

This guy is the epitome of Geek Chic.  Sure, he’s skinny, and a bit clumsy, when it comes to “fancy foot work,” but there is something undeniably sexy about Cameron.  He plays guitar, and has a sweet mellow voice and singing style that evokes comparisons to artists like Jack Johnson or Bruno Mars.  Personally, I would love to hear Cameron sing a duet with either Mark Salling (Puck) or Kevin McHale (Artie), as I think those two voices would compliment his quite well. 

In terms of love interests, no one really sticks out for me just yet, who would be a good match for Cameron.  However, in terms of social networking, I do think a character like this could become fast friends with Artie, Sam, or even Mike Chang.

Another early fan favorite to take this competition is Lindsay . . .

The first thing that struck me about this contestant is how much she looks like a Young Carla Gugino .  . .

The cool thing about Lindsay, in terms of character development, is that she seems pretty versatile.  She’s obviously pretty enough to play a cheerleader / Queen Bee type, like Quinn.  And yet, she also has the style, and relatability, to play a more Earthy / Do-Gooder type.  Romantically, I could see Lindsay paired with any of the main male characters on the show, with the most obvious candidates for her affection being Puck and Finn.

One of the more unique casting choices on the show would be Ellis . .  .

Ellis is kind of a dichotomy, in that she looks and dresses like a middle-schooler, but has the sad soulful eyes, and singing voice of a thirty-something.  I can picture Ellis playing one of those child-prodigy types, who skipped a few grades to get into McKinley High.  Her character would be precocious, and very serious, verging on dour.  Depending on HOW much younger this character would be than the rest of the cast, I could potentially see her as a love interest for Artie.

Next up, we have Hannah . . . 

Having been voted Class Clown in her own high school, Hannah demonstrates the perkiness of Rachel Berry, the humor of Lauren Zizes, and the powerful voice and dancing skills of Mercedes Jones.  On the surface, this would seem to make her the ideal candidate to be a character on Glee

And yet, I wonder whether these positive attributes will ultimately end up working against her.  Specifically, I fear that the casting directors might have difficulty envisioning for Hannah a place within the Glee cast that is not already inhabited by other characters.

Another Gleeky hopeful who might experience the same problem as Hannah is Marissa . . .

. . . with her confident attitude, perfect figure, and Pantene Pro-V hair, Marissa seems primed to play a Mean Girl.  She would also make a rather sexy romantic pairing with Puck.  But with Quinn and Santana already constantly battling one another for Queen Bee status, does McKinley High really need another Alpha Female?

Speaking of characters who would undoubtedly but heads with Santana, check out Emily . . .

Since Emily struck me as a perkier (some might say, more annoying) version of Santana, I could envision her playing either Santana’s younger sister, or her scheming neighbor, over in Lima Heights Adjacent . . .

Other viewers have suggested that Emily would make a good love interest for Santana.  But, personally, I don’t see it.  I think these two are WAY too much alike to mesh well as a couple.  In fact, it’s their similarities that may work against Emily in this competition.

Another character who may be too much like a pre-existing one on the show is Alex . . .

. . . this sweet and rather flamboyant teen, with a love for all things fashion, and a high voice, perfect for belting out show tunes is . . . let’s face it . . . the African American version of Kurt Hummel . . . and I mean that in the nicest way possible. 🙂

One type of voice Glee has genuinely lacked in the first two seasons is that of a country singer.  And, though I am not necessarily a fan of country music, myself, the need for that kind of voice on Glee was what intrigued me most about McKyleigh . . .

This Texas’ natives love of all things country definitely makes her stand out in a crowd.  In fact, I suspect the character SHE would play on Glee would be much like the person she is in real life.  It would be fun to watch McKyleigh and Mercedes interact with one another, in particular, as the two couldn’t have more different tastes and styles. 

And hey, why not take that one step further, and have McKyleigh show some romantic interest in Sam?  A little love triangle never hurt ANY show!

Daddy LIKE!

Finally, last, but certainly not least, we have the adorably diminutive Brazilian native, Matheus . . .

Of all the cast members, this was probably the one who got the most screentime in Episode 1 of The Glee Project.  There are a couple of reasons for this: (1) he has the most uplifting personal story of the group, having taught himself English just months after emigrating to the United States, and having survived a near fatal accident, that almost deprived him of the use of his limbs; (2) he won the first “homework” challenge on the show, giving him an early lead amongst his competitors; and (3) everything about Matheus is just so DARN likeable, from his short stature, to his kind eyes, to his brace-faced smile, to his surprisingly cut abdominals (which he gladly flashed to the cameras . . . TWICE), to his unfailingly upbeat outlook on life.

Though I honestly don’t have a clear picture of what role Matheus would play on Glee, he definitely seems like he would be a stellar addition to the cast, one that would immediately resonate with fans.  Oh yeah, and he has an amazing voice too!

So, there you have it, a brief glimpse into the twelve prospective Gleek hopefuls who will be competing this summer on The Glee Project.  Which one is YOUR favorite?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Fresh Faces, Altered Alliances, Same Sue! – A Recap of Glee’s Season 2 Premiere “Audition”

Your pals at New Directions would like to wish you a Big Ole’ “WELCOME BACK!”

Tonight’s season premiere of Glee offered us a number of things we thought would NEVER happen at McKinley High!  Artie, a Football Jock?  Finn, a Cheerleader?  Will and Sue, best buddies / Partners in Crime?  Rachel, dethroned as Queen Diva of New Directions?  WHAT THE GLEEK?

“What is the world coming to?  Oh, the HUMANITY!”

Perhaps, now would be a good time to backtrack and explain  . . .

Glee’s Big Gay Summer

According to Jacob Ben Israel’s video blog, a lot has happened to our favorite Glee kids during those warm hot summer months.  Finn and Rachel became a couple . . .

 . . . despite the fact that Finn still thinks Rachel is “control-ist.”

Tina dumped Artie . . .

. . .  because he and her just don’t share the same interests, anymore.  For example, lately, Tina has become very interested in Mike Chang’s abs .  . .

 . . . which are AWESOME, by the way!  Who knew?

I don’t know about you, but I smell another Love Triangle in our future . . .

(Speaking of abs, check out these new pics of Matthew Morrison, who plays Will Schuester on Glee.)

Holy, PECTORALS, Batman!

Also, Puck . . .

 . . . got a VASECTOMY??????

Presumably, this means that, never again, will another unsuspecting teen be forced to carry a Little Puckerman in their belly for nine months . . .

 He can still give them crabs, though . . .

Perhaps, most importantly, whatever “esteemed status” our Glee kids may have gained last year (read: no status at all), was lost the moment New Directions failed to place at Sectionals, last year.

Without a trophy on the mantel to justify their existence as a school club, New Directions’ ever tenuous funding is now on shakier footing than ever.  It certainly doesn’t help that Principal Figgins has hired a new football coach, Ms. Beist (played by Dot Jones).

The result of this “new hire” is that the Glee Club’s already anorexic budget has been cut by an additional ten percent.  But, here’s the kicker . . . so has the budget for SUE SYLVESTER’S CHEERIOS!

Understandably, this does not make Sue a Happy Camper . . .

Sue and Will: BFF?

With the Beist breathing down their necks, and snagging a big chunk of each of their club’s cash, Will Schuester and Sue Sylvester find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  They are both  .  . . ON THE SAME SIDE!

Clearly, the Apocalypse has arrived.  In order to recover the lost budgets for their respective clubs, Sue and Will decide to team up to topple the Beist.  Their Evil Genius Plan?  Operation Mean Girls . . .

An Expert Bully, Sue knows a High School Geek when she sees one: “She’s oversized, humorless, and refers to herself in the third person, as an animal (a Panther, to be exact),” Sue says of the Beist.  Sue figures that the best way to eliminate this beastly nemesis would be to capitalize on her insecurities and permanent outsider status.  For their first order of business, Sue and Schue order 25 pizzas, to be delivered to the Boy’s Locker room, precisely, when the first football practice of the Season is about to begin . . .

All right . . . now who gets the Sausage?

To Beist’s credit, she doesn’t appear to be at all fazed by the prank.  And when the new football coach learns that, if the pizzas are not paid for, the delivery boy won’t be able to afford to buy his kid Pampers . . .

 . . . Beist gallantly pays for the entire order.  She then offers all of her football players pizza, forcing them each to eat four slices prior to football tryouts.  “The first person who pukes, is cut!”  She barks.

Well, played Beist (or should I say, Panther)!

Then, in the faculty lounge (where Guidance Counselor Emma is no where to be found, by the way) . . .

Missing in Action

 .  . . Will and Sue sit at different lunch tables, both of which are otherwise empty.  However, when Beist tries to sit at both of them, the “mature educators” instruct her that she can’t, because the seats are already taken by their “imaginary friends.”

“Everyone said that Sue was the school bully, and you were really cool,” Beist says to Will, as she exits the faculty lounge.  “I guess they got that last part wrong.”

She sure showed him, didn’t she?

Then, Sue takes things one step further, by commandeering Brittany to claim that the Beist touched her boobies.  Using a doll that looks suspiciously similar to McKinley High’s Most Scholarly Cheerio (down to the vacant expression in its eyes), Brittany demonstrates to Principal Figgins the inappropriate conduct that she purportedly suffered at the hands of the Beist.  “She touched me here,” says Brittany emotionlessly, her thin fingers poking Little Brittany’s cotton-stuffed knockers . . .

Realizing that Operation Mean Girls has gone too far, Will begs Brittany to tell the truth about her “traumatic experience.”  Almost instantly, the Blonde Cheerleader cracks under interrogation.

“OK.  I lied.  Ms. Beist didn’t touch my boobs.  In fact, I really wanted to touch her boobs,” mumbles the not-so-closeted bisexual.

Later, when Sue tries to get Beist to eat cookies made of dog poop (“They’re organic!”), Will FINALLY intervenes on Beist’s behalf.  Later, he apologizes to the female football coach.  “Losing Sectionals forced me to realize that New Directions is still an Outsider at this school, and that’s how I made you feel.  I’m sorry,” offers McKinley High’s Most Recently Redeemed Bad Boy.

Awwww, it seems our Little Schuester has FINALLY grown up!  The question is, for how long?

A Little Sunshine can go a LONG way . . .

Still smarting from their Sectionals loss, and down one Glee Club member  .  . .

(Oh, Matt, we barely knew thee . . . and never even really learned what your voice sounded like)

 .  . . New Directions is going to need some new blood, if it wants to have a shot at attending Nationals in New York City this year.  To drum up interest in the club, and to show the school they aren’t just about “80’s music and show tunes” (which, lets face it, up until this episode . . . they kind of were), our favorite Glee kids decide to put on a show for their high school classmates at lunch.  Clad in the kind of vastly overpriced NYC t-shirts you might find at an illegally operated bodega in Times Square, the crew performs a fairly stripped-down, but still quite funky, rendition of Jay Z and Alicia Key’s Empire State of Mind.

And . . . basically, everybody ignores them . . .

 . . . well . . . everybody, except for THIS girl . . .

Rachel finds new foreign exchange student, Sunshine Corazone (played by Filipino pop sensation, Charise), in the ladies’ restroom.  In typical Rachel-fashion, New Directions Queen Diva immediately suggests that Sunshine join the Glee club, in a manner that is both patronizing and more than a little bit racist.  “Ah, I can see you don’t speak English,” Rachel begins sweetly.  “I . . . en-cour-age . . . you . . . to join Glee.  We need people who can stand in back of me, waving a fan, and looking on ado-ring-ly, while I sing.  Waving . . . a . .  .  flag . . . fun . . . Glee . . .  is fun.”

(Now, I am not a violent person, by nature.  But I wanted to slap Rachel so hard during this scene, that my fist very nearly detached itself from my body, and flew into the television screen . . .)

To her credit, Sunshine DIDN’T punch Rachel.  Instead, she started rocking out to her iPod, and singing along (extremely well, I might add), to the Beyonce and Lady Gaga song “Telephone.”

Impressed, and more than a bit threatened, Rachel begins to sing the song as well.  Soon, the two diminutive girls are engaged in a full on sing-off, circling one another like wrestlers at a WWF title match.

Then, Sue comes in to the bathroom, and catches wind of the whole exchange.  “SHUT UP!” She exclaims, stopping the girls’ right in the middle of their Glass Breaking Belt-fest.

You’ve gotta love Sue . . .

“That was fun!  I would love to join your club.  When are auditions?”  Sunshine inquires, with faux innocence.  (Clearly, this girl isn’t as naive as she appears .  . .)

Worried that Sunshine will upstage her during Glee Club performances will mess up the “team dynamic,” Rachel tries to convince the other Glee Club members not to allow Sunshine to audition.  And when her initial attempts at Sunshine Sabotage are unsuccessful, Rachel REALLY turns to the Dark Side . . .

“RACHEL . . . I am one of your two Gay Fathers!”

“Here are specific directions to the Glee Club auditions,” Rachel says sweetly to Sunshine, providing her with a slip of paper, that looks as though it says a hell of a lot more than, “Turn left at the girl’s bathroom, and enter the auditiorium, on your right.”

Little did Poor Sunshine know that Evil Rachel had just provided her with directions to a Crack House . . .

And if anyone would know where all the good crack houses are in Ohio, its Rachel!  After all, she practically grew up in Crack Den!

“Crack is WACK!”

When the other Glee Club members find out what Rachel did to Sunshine they are furious, particularly Tina and Mike (The Asian community is VERY tight, after all)!  And so, with her tail between her legs, Rachel must apologize to the now Partly Cloudy, Sunshine.  “They took my sheet music and used it for toilet paper,” whines Sunshine, when Rachel offers her condolences.

Ultimately, however, Sunshine agrees to audition for the Glee club, for real, this time.  On stage, she performs a rendition of Dreamgirls’ “Listen” that literally blows everybody away. 

Immediately, upon the song’s completion, Will offers Sunshine a position in the club.  Unfortunately, for Will, and the rest of New Directions, however, Sunshine has other plans.  And when Will arrives at Sunshine’s locker to personally hand her a practice schedule, he finds her being coddled by none other than THIS GUY . . .

He can “coddle” ME, anytime!

It’s the New Vocal Adrenaline Coach, Dustin Goldsberry (played by Cheyenne Jackson)!  Dustin has just waltzed into McKinley High to pick up Vocal Adrenaline’s newest star singer.  (Seriously?  Is there NO security in this high school?  I hope they have good insurance . . .) 

“They gave my mom and me a condo and a greencard,” Sunshine tells Will, excitedly. 

 (And this is all supposedly coming from a Public School?  I don’t think so, Glee Writers . . .)

Sunshine admits to Will, that she would have stayed with New Directions, had it not been for Rachel’s intimidation tactics.  “I just don’t think I could work with her, after she sent me to a Crack House” Sunshine explains, apologetically. 

With Sunshine’s Hello Kitty backpack, hugging his shoulders . . .

Bookbag of Champions

  .  . . Diego puts his arm creepily around Sunshine, and the two walk off into the Sunset (no pun intended), taking Will Schuester’s dreams of a slam dunk Sectional win, right along with them.

Apparently, Vocal Adrenaline’s new coach was tipped off to Sunshine’s incredible talents, by none other than Sue Sylvester . . .

 . . . who, if you recall, heard Sunshine sing in the bathroom, earlier in the episode.  So, much for the short-lived alliance between Sue and Will!  Perhaps, next time Mr. Schuester will think twice before turning down Poop Cookies . . .

The Downside of Big Boobs  . . .

Speaking of Sue Sylvester, apparently, she has decided to make little change to the Cheerios roster. 

Not only has she reluctantly allowed Quinn back on the squad, post-Baby Debacle . . .

. . . she has also reappointed her as Head Cheerleader, forcing Santana to give up her golden pom-poms, and relocate to the bottom of the proverbial Cheer Pyramid.

The reason for this change?  Santana’s new boobs!

Apparently, “having Massively Large Fake Tatas” and “Cheerleading” do not mix, at least, as far as Sue is concerned.

“Take your juicy vine-ripened chest fruit, and GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE!”  Sue yells at the recently dethroned Santana.

Sayonara, Suckers!

Santana responds to her demotion, by engaging in a full on catfight with Quinn, who has once again returned to her high-ponytail wearing, tiny uniform-flaunting glory.

So, much for the Glee kids being “One Big Happy Family” . . .

The Outsiders

You know who else is NEVER going to be Head Cheerleader?  THIS GUY . . .

Unfortuntely, after this episode, he might not be Quarterback, either . . .

No stranger to being on the losing end of a love triangle, himself, Finn sympathized with Artie’s desire to be “cool,” in order to win Tina back . . . as well as Artie’s desire to “have abs” . . .

Honestly, can you blame Quinn for “Pucking” this guy, over Finn?

And so, when Artie expressed a desire to join the football team, not only did Finn see an opportunity to help out a friend, he also saw a chance to utilize Artie’s wheelchair as a very unique weapon on the football field — a “human cannonball” of sorts.  (Ummm, Finn?  I’m not really sure that kind of thing is ALLOWED in high school football.  But, hey, what do I know?)

However, when Coach Beist hears Finn’s idea about letting Artie on the team, she becomes CONVINCED the idea is just another stunt of Sue’s and Will’s to make her look insensitive to physically challenged students, like Artie.  And so, “the Panther” lashes out, and THROWS FINN OFF THE FOOTBALL TEAM!

This results in Finn trying out for the Cheerios, in a hilarious audition, that reminded me a bit of that iconic scene from Napoleon Dynamite . . .

It also resulted in New Student Sam, despite his penchant for singing Poison’s “Every Rose has its Thorn” in the shower . . .

. . . and rocking out on the guitar to Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire” . . .

. . .  to ditch Glee club auditions, out of fear of catching the virulent contagion that is Finn’s new “OUTSIDER” status.  Did I forget to mention that Sam is also McKinley High’s newest Quarterback?

The episode ends with a very sweet scene between Finn and Rachel . . .

. . . during which they accept one another’s faults and mutual outsider status, and agree never to dump one another at least, until someone better comes along.  After the pair share an admittedly sweet, and, surprisingly not too nauseating, kiss, a dejected Rachel heads off by herself to sing a rousing, if slightly maudlin, rendition of “What I Did For Love.” 

Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I was certain it was another Streisand ditty.  (We all know how much Rachel LOVES those!)  However, upon doing a little research, I quickly learned that the song is actually from the Broadway show “A Chorus Line.”

Shows how much I know . . .

 (Seriously, Glee?  What happened to Will’s promise of LESS show tunes?  It’s only the first episode back, and we already had two . . . just saying.)

Certain mundane song choices aside, I was quite impressed with “Audition.”  The episode offered some solid development of veteran characters, like Rachel and Finn, as well as introduced some promising new ones, like Sunshine, Sam, and Coach Beist. 

I am also excited by some of the new plotlines that were teased out during the hour, and the questions raised by those plotlines.  For example: How long will Finn and Rachel manage to keep it together as a couple, before someone ELSE — most likely, Quinn or Puck — gets in the way?  Is Finn really off the football team for good?  Is Sunshine destined to be the next Jesse St. James?  What grand gesture will Artie inevitably plan to win back Tina’s heart?

And that was this week’s installment of Glee, in a nutshell . . .

So, now that you know my thoughts on the subject, how did YOU like the Glee premiere?  Did it deserve a standing ovation?  Or did you find some of the new storylines and characters a bit “pitchy?”

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Shut up and SING! It’s almost time for Season 2 of Glee!

 

If last Sunday’s Gleek-tastic Emmy opener put you in the mood to watch your favorite show about singing and dancing teens, Glee, well then you’ve come to the right blog post.  Unfortunately, I don’t have quite enough clout in the entertainment world (read: “no clout at all”) to show you episodes from the show’s groundbreaking Second Season, which is set to premiere Tuesday, September 21st, at 8 p.m. on Fox.

However, I DO have plenty of mildly spoilerish intel about the new season, complete with a few pretty pictures, and some relevant YouTube videos. These should tide you over, while you eagerly await the season premiere.

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s get GLEEK-Y!

For starters, here’s the new promo for the show, which aired just a few days ago on Fox. 

Pretty cool, right?  Now, let’s breakdown what we’ve learned about Season 2 so far . . .

The Episodes

Season 2 of Glee is slated to have 22 episodes.  The first few episodes will air on Tuesday at 8 p.m on Fox.  These early episodes will culminate in a SPECIAL extended episode, which will air following Superbowl XLV.

Following that episode, Glee will move to the much coveted Wednesday at 9 p.m. timeslot.  And, you know what that means?  More sex, drugs, and violence ALLOWED by the censors!

Yes, PLEASE!

So far, the producers of Glee have released titles for the first THREE episodes of Season 2, along with brief synopses of each.  In the first episode, entitled Audition, New Directions will be forced, due to more budget cuts, to bring on additional members — a task that will cause tension between on-again, off-again couple, Rachel and Finn.

Two auditioners likely to “make the cut,” are foreign exchange student Sunshine Corzan, played by YouTube sensation and master songstress of the Philippines, Charice (more on her later)  . . .

 Newbie Sunshine duking it out with Rachel Berry in the school bathroom, to the tune of Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s Telephone.

. . . and transfer student / football jock, Sam Evans (played by Chord Overstreet) . . .

Just like another one of our favorite Gleeks, it appears that Sam’s “talents” will be discovered in the shower.  How convenient for those of us scouring the net for shirtless shots of the actor to use in future recaps.  Just saying . . .

Sam is described by producers as being a protege and eventual rival of Finn’s.  It is also rumored that he may be an upcoming MAJOR love interest for one Kurt Hummel.

The second episode is entitled “Britney / Brittany.”  This one will obviously be the much talked about “Britney Spears-themed episode,” comprised entirely of songs by the aforementioned artist, and featuring a cameo appearance by Spears herself.

Heather Morris (as Brittany) posing with Britney Spears — I can see a resemblance.  Can’t you?

The show’s third episode, entitled “Faith,” will be religous-themed, and feature songs including R.E.M’s “Losing my Religion” . . .

 . . . and Barbara Streisand’s “Papa Can You Hear Me.”

Other episodes airing this Season will include a Rocky Horror Picture Show – themed episode .  . .

 .  . . during which the cast of New Directions will undoubtedly perform the Time Warp dance.

Another episode will feature the cast singing entirely ORIGINAL songs.  There will also be a second Madonna-themed episode.

In the Season 2 finale, the cast will head to  New York City, to compete in the national Glee club competition.  There, they will most likely perform Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ anthem to the Big Apple, “Empire State of Mind.”

“New Directions” for our original Gleeks

If the scoop about Kurt’s new love interest enticed you, there is plenty more where that came from!  Speaking of Kurt, Mike O’Malley, who warmed everybody’s hearts with his performance as Kurt’s Dad, Burt Hummel, has been upgraded to season regular status . . .

. . . as have our two favorite “mean girl” Cheerios (and possible lovers?) Heather Morris (Brittany) and Naya Rivera (Santana) . . .

Our favorite love square, starring Rachel, Finn,  Quinn and Puck, is said to be in full effect next year.  However, a NEW love TRIANGLE will ALSO invade the Glee club.   This one will star, the loveable Artie, quirky goth, Tina, and awesome dancer, Mike Chang.

Sources say that when the season opens, Tina will be dating MIKE, having dumped Artie, due to his poor social skills and frequently rude comments.

New Cast Members and Guest Stars

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the cast additions of Chord Overstreet . . .

 . . . and Charice.

What I DIDN’T mention was that Charice’s character’s singing voice will be SO impressive, that it will enable her to make a play for Rachel Berry’s crown as Queen Bee of New Directions.  Listen to her sing this rather impressive cover of Beyonce’s “Halo” (a song which just so happened to be performed on the show, by Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry last season), and compare for yourself.

Another addition to the cast will be John Stamos . . .

John will be playing that dentist boyfriend of Emma Pillsbury, Carl Howell, who was briefly mentioned last season.

Although I sincerely doubt John will be singing on the show, fans of the oh-so-cheesetastic 90’s sitcom Full House, will likely remember that he CAN, in fact, sing.  This will become evident in the VERY retro clip, below.

Also featured in Season 2 will be Cheyenne Jackson, who’s character will replace Idina Menzel’s Shelby Corcoran as the coach for New Directions’ rivals, Vocal Adrenaline.  Since I am nothing without my journalistic integrity, I’ve decided it is absolutely imperative that I provide you with a picture of Cheyenne in his underwear . . .

You’re welcome.

I will not, however, be providing you with an equally scantily clad photograph of our next new cast member.  Dot Jones will appear as McKinley High’s new football coach, and rival to BOTH Sue and Will Schuester, Shannon Beiste.

Beware of THE BEISTE!

Other Glee guest stars will include Carol Burnett . . .

. . . who will play Mommy to, none other than, Sue Sylvester . . .

Speaking of Sue, Javier Bardem will guest star as one of her exes.

Woah!  Maybe I should start wearing track suits.

Susan Boyle will also guest star as the Singing Lunch Lady.

New Music

Look for songs by Billy Joel . . .

. . . Coldplay . . .

 . . . Paul McCartney . . .

 . . . Courtney Love . . .

 . . .  and Led Zeppelin . . .

. . . to be featured on the show.

Oh, and just in case you CAN’T wait until September 21st to get your Glee fix, the Complete First Season of Glee DVD set will be available for purchase on September 14th.  

You can preorder it (at reduced cost) here.

Of course, September 14th is still over a week away.  Is that too many Glee-less days, for you?  If so, worry not.  Glee: The Beginning, a young adult novel said to function as a prequel for the series, is available in stores, RIGHT NOW!

You can order it, by clicking here.

Not much of a reader?   Low on cash?  That’s OK.  I’ve got something for you too.  To conclude this Glee-themed post, I have provided, for your viewing pleasure, a video of that fabulous Journey Medley, performed by the New Directions, during the Season 1 finale.  And, just in case, you didn’t see it when it first aired, you can find a picturesque recap of the entire episode right here.

Well, that’s all I’ve got, for now.  See you on September 21st!  Until then, happy Gleek-ing out!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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