For all the crap I gave the series earlier this summer, The Glee Project floored me with a finale featuring great performances, believable character growth, and the happiest ending I’ve seen on any reality competition, ever. To say that I watched Sunday night’s episode gleefully would be both obnoxious and accurate—who would’ve thought I could be so moved by a show I thought I hated?
Sure, I could point out that the two (!) winners of The Glee Project are the two cutest guys, Samuel and Damian. But the competition offered the best compromise imaginable, doling out two-episode arcs to runners-up Alex and Lindsay. Is it a cop-out? Oh, definitely. But does it really matter? The Glee Project was always going to make the casting decisions that would bring in the most new viewers—especially after Glee’s 3D concert movie proved a box-office disappointment. And even though I’m confident this outcome was telegraphed from the beginning, I was delighted by the sheer joy of the proceedings.
Now comes the hard part—integrating four new actors into a series that’s already overloaded with show-stealing pretty people. So at the risk of incurring showrunner Ryan Murphy’s wrath, here are my ideas for the winners in Glee Season 3.
Samuel “The Rock Star” Larsen
Puck gets jealous when New Directions' latest addition Samuel seems to be stealing his bad boy act—and distracting his girlfriend, Lauren Zises. When Puck learns that Samuel is actually a devout Christian, he tries to convince him that his rock star persona is sacrilegious, all while pushing him toward abstinence-friendly Quinn.
While all the girls in New Directions are lusting after studly but approachable rocker Samuel, the conservative Christian has a secret—he’s into guys. It’s up to Kurt to help his new friend reconcile his religious beliefs with his sexuality. But how will Blaine feel about his boyfriend spending so much time with Samuel?
Damian “The Foreign Exchange Student” McGinty
All of McKinley is abuzz with the news of an exchange student, especially after Rachel learns that Damian was in a popular Irish boy band. What she doesn’t know is that he’s still reeling from a disastrous performance years before. She’ll need to convince Damian of his natural talent and stage presence before he’s willing to join New Directions.
Santana sees Brittany cozying up to foreign hottie Damian, and she conspires to take him down. Convinced he’s a fraud, Santana will do anything in her power to expose him. But could this just be jealousy? With the help of Blaine, Santana realizes she has to prove her love to Brittany if she wants to reclaim her from the Irish interloper.
Lindsay “The Rachel Berry” Pearce
According to Ryan Murphy, Lindsay will be playing a bad girl. But we can do better than that, right? Lindsay doesn’t just want to be the next Rachel Berry—she wants to be Rachel. That means stealing her solos, her friends, and her boyfriend. Can the new girl “single white female” Rachel, or will Ms. Berry emerge stronger than ever?
Alex “Kurtcedes” Newell
Everyone is calling drag-happy New Directions member Alex “Kurtcedes,” much to Kurt and Mercedes’ chagrin. The two divas feel as though he’s taking their place and want nothing to do with him. Once they realize how alone he is at McKinley, however, they take him under their wings—and send him toward closeted bully Karofsky.
What did you think of four competitors getting roles in the next season of Glee?