Alright Gleek Project babies, here it is:
The picture of American masculinity himself, Alex Newell. Also known as 'the finalist who didn't have a shot in hell of winning this thing.'
Listen, Alex, sweetheart, you have a brilliant instrument with your voice, and you kinda sorta had half a shot at winning this at the beginning, but...you really had to play the part of 'Glee cast hopeful yay!'
Not 'Courtney Love impersonator in training'.
Sorry Aretha Junior fans, but Alex getting fourth place was pretty much written on the wall from the get go. The last thing Glee needed was another gay character, let alone one that they edited to make look like a lazy asshole. Anyone who's followed Alex on twitter know that he is quite the opposite, but let that be a lesson to you--never give reality television producers something to work with. I lesson I'm sure all of us will utilize at some point in our lives. Right.
Although I do love how the producers behind the scenes were probably telling them "Be energetic! Excited! Happy! You're almost there!" and Alex was probably so exhausted by this point that all he could manage was the occasionally crazy smile and high pitched scream.
How many scarves does this kid own?
Skipping over the bitchy recording studio incident, I actually found myself surprised at just how...good and energetic Alex was in the video, embracing his inner drag diva and sashaying his ass all up and down that rooftop like Karl was flipping his fan open at the end of it, screaming "Work my little Aretha puppet!"
Apparently I had whatever the gay equivalent of Wheaties is this morning.
If I'm reading into this at all (and let's face it, you knew this was coming) Alex probably figured something along the lines of "Oh shit, Asshat McWhatthefuckareyouwearing only likes it when I'm in a dress...so I'll have to get as close to Beyonce as possible in these jeans." And thus, we wound up with him pretty much killing it in the video, in terms of energy. Unfortunately, Murphy's mind was probably already pretty much made up at this point...slash since the beginning of the season.
Before I get to Alex's final vocal, can we talk about the costuming for this? He's singing yet another Effie White song--WHY IS HE NOT DRESSED DIVALICIOUSLY? Hell, forget that--why is he dressed in like, a table cloth? He clearly ate some of the costume gays celery without asking because if they liked him:
This is what my Massachusetts homegirl would have shown up in, looking fierce as shit and literally dripping in sequins. Not dressed in some high schoolers first sewing project.
As for the actual performance, honestly?
Sometimes a photo says it all: it was truly astonishing. Sure, he relying on a little too much growling to get through it, but Alex really his his mark singing this thing: it's probably the reason he ended up getting a part. Alex, contrary to what I had thought at the beginning of the season, really does have a tremendous voice--especially when he's really just letting it shine, instead of masking it with that high pitched shriek. Just beautiful, powerful clarity.
So Alex gets a part, too, and the news makes him pass out and cry a little, but hey, who's gonna blame him for that?
Work it Aretha Junior! Can't wait to watch you kick some ass on Glee!