Glee Project should have let all its finalists win this season, not last

The Glee Project cheated its first-season ending, giving its prize to two of its finalists, and giving the other two runners-up roles on Glee, too. Everybody won! This year, we were told repeatedly that would not happen, even though it should have: this is the season when the final three were so different and their talents so varied that they all would have contributed something to the show. (Well, theoretically.)

Blake Jenner defeated Aylin Bayramoglu and Ali Stroker, and that was kind of sad. Blake was revealed as the winner after Ryan Murphy said that his series had “a real need for, I think, a very specific talent and a very specific person.” He cited Blake’s “leadership” and “leading man quality,” and said everyone was “wildly impressed by you from the beginning.”

Based on that, it seems that he intends for Blake to fill the void left by Cory Monteith’s character Finn Hudson, not that Glee really has an kind of coherent structure that defines an obvious “leading man.” Also, Blake’s attractive and young and seemed like both the obvious (he’s a solid actor and singer) and worst choice (the show didn’t give us much about him other than he’s a pretty face).

Blake seemed aware of that, and decided to recite a poem thing that he wrote, and it was super-awkward–really, just read it–except for the hilarious part when he called himself “the whitest half-Cuban ever.”

Despite that, Blake remains the blankest slate of the three finalists, and the least-likely to fill the Glee writers’ stated intent of finding someone they can write for, as weird as that is, as I’ve discussed before.

Alas, the producers of the reality show and/or Glee seemed like they had to make the show about finding a single person, especially after letting everyone win last year. Before rejecting the two women, Ryan Murphy said Ali is “so special and unique” and has “real Broadway talent,” while he told Aylin, “I’ve loved your story from the beginning” and said she “embodies something that is Glee.”

Honestly, I’d be surprised if Ali and Aylin didn’t end up on Glee; they both seemed to inspire Ryan and the writers, and by that I mean Ryan and the writers can just borrow their life stories and use that in a character that has a tiny coating of fiction on top.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.