Gleeks everywhere have been waiting with baited breath to find out who would win Season 2 of "The Glee Project." Now we know, it's Miami native Blake Jenner. The former parrot salesman won the judges over with his consistent performance and adaptive acting skills.
Jenner beat out bubbly blonde Ali Stroker and sultry belter Aylin Bayramoglu in the finale. By mid-season it seemed the ladies had this one in the bag. The guys fell quickly, leaving only two - Jenner and Michael Weisman.- in the top six. It was a tight competition, with "Glee" co-creator, Ryan Murphy confessing that he had changed his mind about who should win several times during the last day of competition.
During the final week each contender was asked to play the "character" the writers envisioned for him or her on "Glee." According to Murphy his decision ultimately came down to which character was the best fit for the direction "Glee" is heading - and this is where it gets interesting.
Based on character alone, Turkish Muslim Bayramoglu was the clear favorite. The potential story line of a conservative Muslim teen struggling with her family's traditional values and racial prejudice in Ohio could have been enormously powerful within the context of a high school glee club.
The same could be said of the character assigned to wheelchair bound Stroker. Her proud, somewhat bratty and flirtatious popular girl is the kind of individual you will find in virtually every high school musical theatre group.
So why didn't either of these ladies win? Maybe it's because the focus of "Glee" is shifting from McKinley High to New York. Look at the characters who've been added for Season 4. Kate Hudson will play Rachel's (Lea Michele) dance teacher, Cassandra July, at NYADA, a performance school in New York. Sarah Jessica Parker's new character is also based in the Big Apple. She's an executive at Vogue.
Two new guys have also signed on for Season 4: Dean Geyer as Brody Weston, a NYADA student who tries to win Rachel's affections; and Jacob Artist, as Puck's (Mark Salling) younger brother Jake (there's one for Ohio).
Whew! This cast just keeps growing, and there's only so much screen time to divvy up among all these actors. It's no wonder Murphy was so firm about choosing only one "Glee Project" winner.
While the female contenders' characters seemed tailor made for the McKinley High Glee Club, Jenner has the flexibility to fit into either environment. He could be the next generation Finn (Cory Monteith), or a competitor (love interest?) for Rachel in New York.
Who knows the mind of Ryan Murphy? One thing's for sure, it'll be fascinating to see how "Glee's" writers pull off the dual local, multi-integrated story line concept, and we'll be curious to see how Jenner fits into the increasingly complex plot.
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