Hey guys! Miss me?
So let's get this going for a few posts longer, shall we?
It took me a hot second to decide who I was going to write about first of the four of these guys, since, essentially, they all won. Ryan has commented that, basically, Lindsay will be getting much more work than what he claimed would be a two episode arc, and he's expressed seeing more of Alex as well.
So with that in mind, I had to figure out how best to do this. My first instinct was to do Lindsay, because I enjoy writing about her more than anyone of these other kids, but then I worried I might just ditch the other four. Then I thought maybe Alex, since he seemed to place fourth, but he seemed to be the least popular to my readers, so he was out, leaving Samuel or Damian. I knew Damian was a fan favorite, as well as my future husband, but you know?
This little ball of fluff really stepped up his game for the finale and FINALLY gave me something to write about. Plus, how freaking cute was it when he heard that he won? Boy could barely keep his dreads in check.
Let's get this out of the way first: Samuel probably wouldn't have been my pick for the win. I saw it coming a while back (even from the posters on the subway, I'd always be like 'oh, wonder who's gonna win THAT one.') But he, out of everyone else in the competition, really embodied what was missing: a true outcast, a rebellious-looking bad ass with a rocker's voice. Basically, a new look that could easily move half a million singles on sexual energy alone. He'll undoubtedly give the show some street cred too, with Samuel's impressive rock music background.
"It's not who's good, it's who's 'Glee'."
Plus, he's got such a cute smile. (Samuel, if you're reading this: SHAVE YOUR HEAD. You have like, world class bone structure.)
I'm not really going to take too much of what these guys said in conversation/confessional into account because everything that came out of their mouths was so unabashedly manipulated, and fed to them, and cut and pasted, and just plainly not organic to care about. For example, see above. It's like they were trying to coin a catch phrase for the show while filming this scene.
Also, Ryan Murphy needs to get a stylist. Or at least get over his hideous 'Oliver Twist' hat obsession, and his seeming fetish for dressing like a homeless person. Dude, you make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS per shitty autotune cover--you can afford some Banana Republic, for crying out loud.
This scene in particular was amusing because instead of like, a billion different groupings and different people to shoot reactions from, we really only had three frames: Samuel/Damian, Robert, and Lindsay/Alex. Not that it really matters. I only say it because such a limited framing system made for some hysterical faces on Samuel. He looked terrified the whole time.
And of course, what's the Glee Project without some... observations from Ryan?
"You're all wearing Don't Stop Believing Red!"
Samuel "AND A CRUCIFIX!"
Damian "Was the American Flag really necessary?"
Lindsay "No shit, Asshat McPaperboy."
Alex "I'm pretty sure you made me wear pink because I'm gay. I hate your hat."
Also, take a second to appreciate the symmetrical body positioning here--that's the human equivalent of a dog with it's tail between it's legs.
Because I have no way to transition myself into talking about Sam's homework performance, we're going to take another moment to look at what happens when Ryan Murphy is allowed to dress himself.
WHAT THE FUCK.
You know, there's a reason I've been hesitant to do these posts, and it's that...well...as happy as this episode was, and as awesome as it was to watch, there's very little point in writing these--these guys were all just really good, and they all won in the end. It's very sort of mushy subject matter at this point.
Anyways, Samuel did a solid job with this song--out of everyone remaining, his voice has the easiest time with songs like these: Lindsay and Alex both way overdid it, and Damian's vocals were so apparently bad that they had to dub them over. Samuel's sounded raw and in pitch the whole time. I will say, however, that he looked really confused whenever the camera wasn't on him. One too many bong hits that morning, and he couldn't figure out whether everyone was back, or he was the only one seeing it.
"I'm not the only one seeing this, right? Right? Okay, good."
"Hey Brooke, let's just do some spontaneous choreography while we hang out in this studio!"
One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I never made up a 'Shit Zach Woodlee Say' post. He had some pretty fantastic (and fantastically obnoxious) one liners throughout the season. Plus, he could have used the ego boost.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, ZACH WOODLEE AND HIS EGO.
"I think people are wondering 'why us, why are we the top four?'"
"HAHAHA, who thought we would end up with these losers? Right Marissa?"
"Fucking seriously. They had to give me Samuel's entire stash to get me here this morning."
I joke, I joke. Out of everyone remaining, Samuel definitely seemed the most uncomfortable with having the past contenders back on set with him, although I'm not one hundred percent sure why--he knew they were eliminated, right?
"Are you holding back at all? Or are you really giving it all you got?"
Because he seemed like he was in SUCH a weird place just all episode long. Nikki didn't even seem bitchy about how horribly he was doing in the recording booth (and believe me, he was doing HORRIBLY) she was just straight with him, and told him to cut the shit.
And then of course there was this whole situation. Honestly, I found myself to be more on Alex's side this time--Samuel really seemed to be bringing this incredibly dour mood onto set, and it seemed like Alex was just trying to get him to shove it. He wasn't exactly tactful about it, mind you, but I can't say his intentions were ill-meaning.
Oh to hell with it, Samuel was being WHINY. Him calling Alex arrogant was hysterical--coming back into the room where everyone was and being like "OMG, it's so hard to sing 'come on and' BE PREPARED" was so completely arrogant and insecure that I'm surprised the room didn't erupt into laughter. Hannah didn't bitch about having to sing 'OOOOOOOOOOOOooooOOOOOO' for 15 straight seconds, so I'm sure you could have managed three legitimate syllables without suffering an identity crisis, Dreads.
Oh I feel SO much better now.
"I think Samuel's stuck in his head, and that could be his downfall."
SO TRUE. Like, where was Nikki this WHOLE SEASON? She was the only mentor that ever made any kind of consistent sense, ever, and even though she hardly spent any time with these kids, she effectively nailed all of their weaknesses every opportunity she had. Unlike Zach, she is definitely more than just her pretty face.
Samuel in the video was pretty much nonexistent. Like, seriously. This video was utterly tragic and aimless to begin with, but when I went through it for screenshots, it dawned on me that there seriously was zero point to this video. It reminded me of the first sectionals episode of Glee, where the cast sang 'My Life Would Suck Without You' to Will, but instead of giving us that sort of nostalgic, greatest moments narrative, all we got was random LA skyline stimulus, and some poorly cut choreography.
Again, it was interesting to see Samuel's transition from day to night, however--he was clearly still very agitated in the 'day' shots, but when it turned to night, he seemed to have totally lightened up, and was really a joy to watch--like he was just embracing the experience instead of worrying about winning.
And now, my favorite part of the episode:
Samuel explains why he inexplicably wants to sing a Dolly Parton song for his final last chance performance.
Honestly, I have no issue with the song--I actually really like it, but then THIS happened:
"So Dreads, what are you going to win us over with?"
"Well, I've been thinking really hard about what this competition means to me, and what Glee means to me."
"And I've decided that you guys are like Jolene, trying to steal my man with your auburn hair."
"And like, I don't even want to practice it."
"Like, I kind of actually want it to suck you know?"
"I want it to be like if I was singing it in a coffeeshop."
"Alone, in my own little world."
"And totally like, high off of life. Or whatever I can bum off Cameron backstage."
"I just think about Glee, and how I really don't want to go back to my life, working on a Rodeo Drive corner..."
"As a street wal...performer...yeah. That...eh hem."
"Heh, I knew I'd break one of these little fuckers eventually."
Thankfully for the collective sanity of everyone involved, he came down off of his acid trip...
And cranked out a truly stellar rendition of Jolene. Completely thoughtful, original, and interesting.
Of course the little judges just totally ate it up:
And gave the boy a little bit of a heart attack, by announcing him the winner of the Glee Project.
You know, I can't say I'm surprised--Samuel really represented something that Glee desparately needed, and seemed incapable of filling: a real, straight male lead. I suspect that when Cory Monteith failed to live up to his role, and then cast both the Blaine and Sam characters with some major hang ups (Sam was impossible to write for, and Blaine was gay) the writers just found themselves in a major block--what could they do? And honestly, how they came up with The Glee Project was ingenious--introduce the country to the actor playing the new male lead(s), get them to fall in love with him as an actor, creating an instant connection before he even came on screen, and then write the role that would save Glee. And assuming that to be their goal, they really couldn't have picked anyone better than Samuel to fill it.
I'll be getting to the rest of the cast in the next...amount of undisclosed time, but I really do want to say congratulations to Samuel heres.