Glee Project Winner 'Not Who You'd Expect,' Says Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy’s résumé includes everything from Nip/Tuck and Popular to Eat Pray Love and Running With Scissors. But his latest endeavor, The Glee Project, which airs Sundays 9/8 c on Oxygen, ranks as “one of my favorite things I’ve ever done,” says the writer-director-producer. Not only will the winner of this fledgling reality competition score a seven-episode arc on Glee‘s upcoming season, explains Murphy, but the reality spinoff has had the unexpected bonus of inspiring his fictional writing, too. Specifically, Sunday’s Glee Project episode involves a shocking revelation by a contestant that Murphy says he expects to inspire a future story arc on the Glee mothership. Murphy shared some added tidbits about what to expect over the course of the Glee Project season:

If you think you’ve already pegged the eventual Glee Project winner, you’re probably wrong. | “The person that we ended up picking is not who you would expect, but is so talented that it’s really inspired us as writers,” says Murphy. “The person who wins is not necessarily the best singer or the best dancer. It’s the person who can serve Glee best. What kind of character did we need for next season? That’s the person who won.”

You won’t have to wait long for the winning contestant to make his or her Glee debut. | “Our first episode back [on Glee] is always auditions,” Murphy says, and that’s exactly when you should expect The Glee Project champ to turn up as a McKinley High student who’ll try to earn a spot on the New Directions squad “in a different and unusual way than what we’ve done before.”

Murphy didn’t concern himself with whether contestants were naughty or nice outside of challenges. | “I don’t care if you’re likable, but what I do care about is ‘Are you professional? Do you have a good attitude?’ That’s really important to me,” he explains. To that end, the first two contestants to get the boot this season — Bryce and Ellis — both had minor clashes with Glee‘s behind-the-scenes gurus during the course of the show. “The person we’ve chosen has a great work ethic, really wants to be there, and having hung out with that person now quite a bit, is actually very lovable,” says Murphy. “People are going to go crazy for them.”

Murphy admits he wasn’t a perfect Glee Project judge. | “I made a huge mistake at one point in the season,” confesses the producer, who arrives each week to see the Bottom 3 contestants perform a song, and then confers with his fellow judges about which one to cut. While editing one particular episode, though, says Murphy, and seeing the doomed contestant’s full contributions, “I was like, ‘Holy s***! I make a big mistake!’ The episode was one where that person was having a bad day, and got voted off; I look back and I think, ‘I wish I would have kept that person on.” Asked if he invites said contestant to make a return to the competition at any point, though, Murphy remains coy: “Maybe I do. Maybe not.”

The Glee Project champ got the stamp of approval from the current Glee cast. | Murphy explains that by using Glee staples like Darren Criss, Dot Marie Jones, and Idina Menzel as Glee Project mentors, he was able to get a better idea about which hopefuls had “the potential to be really big breakout stars” and which ones his current cast “would want to hang out with day to day.”

Because he was casting for an undetermined role, Murphy says the contestants’ abilities to inspire the creation of potential characters became particularly important. | “It wasn’t really just a talent competition but also a personality competition,” he expains. “Show us who you are. Let me see as many facets to you as I can. Let me be inspired by that. And thus create a character which shows off quite frankly not just the best of who you are but also your flaws.” Murphy says it’s not unusual for him to draw off the experiences of his current cast when he’s writing a script, either. “Lea Michele has learned not to tell me anything about her life because I’ll put it into the script,” he says with a laugh. “You write what you know, as they say.”

Are you watching The Glee Project? What do you think of it thus far? Who are you rooting for and against? Sound off below, and for all my Glee Project news and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bradon & Beth says:

    I am voting for Damien or Samuel. They are both totally different. I really hope thge Glee show steps up therir game and gets off the whole “gay” focus. It is really getting old. They dfont need another gay character, (Kurt/Alex), snob/bitchy character (Quinn/Lindsey), talented but insecure (/MercedesMcKynleigh),physically challenged (Artie/Matteus), overweight but talented (Mercedes/Hannah).

  2. sara says:

    PLEASE BE DAMIAN!!!!! i geuss i would be happy if either matteus or samuel won but i think damian would be best on glee. everybody else already resembles someone in glee or just isnt good for the show.
    cameron-hes just boringgg
    hannah-um theres already lauren and mercedes
    lindsay-SHUT UP!
    marissa-i seriosly forget about her all the time
    samuel-hes different and is kinda cool but i wouldnt like him on glee
    matteus-he is very different which makes him perfect for the show. but, i think he looks a little like artie and with how tall he is he is axactly the same hight as artie!
    damian- even though sunshine is a forgein axchange student they need another one cuz she was in 2 episodes. DAMIAN FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Dalii-c says:

    Mathues is okay justt weird for me to wattchh. I’m I n love with Cameron Mitchell<3

  4. amber says:

    I really hope Damien wins!(: hes different from everyone else on the show, and is an amazing singer and he also really wants to be their. He opened up on the show…wich made me like him even more. I honestly think he would make a positive impact on the show, He already has been on tour so he wont crack under pressure. but seriousally i would watch every episode if he won. Forreal.

  5. Gabii N M says:

    I hope Ryan Murphy has chosen Cameron, Damian or Samuel.
    Cameron has a different style, has a good voice and he’s too cute. His dance can be too bad for the standards but I must confess it’s cute and funny. He would fit in Glee cast perfectly!
    Damian has one of the best voices I’ve already heard, he’s funny and he has incredible eyes… He remembers me a little of David Archuleta – maybe this is the thing I love the most about him…
    Samuel is exotic, has style, amazing voice, he’s a good dancer, not to mention the fact he’s really handsome!
    Matheus and Alex are cool, but when I think about Matheus it reminds me Artie (I don’t know why!) and when I think about Alex it reminds me a good mix of Kurt and Mercedes …
    I’m not the biggest fan of Lindsay, although she has an amazing voice, because for me, she would be so much like Rachel (and I prefer to hear Chris Colfer singing than Lea Michele) and also, I’m not the biggest fan of her behaviour in front of the cameras… And I can’t imagine Marissa in the cast…
    I must confess I’m too curious to know who won The Glee Project!

    • Gabii N M says:

      just to fix something before it’s misunderstood: I’m not the biggest fan of Lindsay’s behaviour in front of the cameras – for what I’ve seen on tv show so far…

  6. gabby says:


  7. Emily says:

    I like Matheus.

  8. DorseyLunenhill says:


  9. ganley17 says:

    I really want damian to win. he fit the description perfectly. They said in the third episode he was not the best singer, and judging from the first episode he is not the best dancer either. And you don’t really expect him to win even though he is a great fit for glee.

    Alex- Kurt/Mercedes

    Cameron- is good but not as good

    Hannah- thinks she is way funnier and cooler than she is

    Lindsay- is super annoying and selfish

    Marissa-is probably the best girl but they basically said it was a boy and either way she is not nearly as good as damian

    Matheus- good but too much like artie

    Samuel- is ok but kinda weird

    Mcknleigh-is not that good

    and since damian is from ireland they could say he was a foreign exchange student and after the 7 episodes they could easily say he went back
    also he is really cute

  10. Amanda says:

    Its marissa. Im not that much of a fan of hers but i really am a fan of damian. I know its her because in an interview on the seven(a show from MTV) everyone from the competition was there talking about how it was on the show. She was the only one who wasnt there. Also, the interview was after the competition had finished. The show still has new epidodes but the actual competition really finished.

    • lollie says:

      marissa is already of the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. lexie and megan :) says:


  12. Charisse says:

    I think it could be Mckynleigh, Matheus,Samuel, or Damian.
    Alex: is like Kurt/ Mercedes
    Lindsay: is like Rachel and they don’t need another rival
    Hannah: is just like Lauren zizes
    Cameron: is somewhat like Artie
    Marissa: is really anyone but could be molded I guess…

  13. Armando Gonzalez says:

    knowing that im a guy i would pick a girl but the girl i had pick got booted poor emily (shes hot and sings great) so since shes was the only girl i liked the guy i now choosed to win is Damian McGinty. i wasnt sure who to pick but when i herd damian sing “are u lonesome 2night” i was like ok if shes out its so up to u damian to win it for the guys. so now im in team damian

  14. Alissa says:

    I really hope Cameron wins and if not him I hope it’s Damian :) I’d be fine really with either of them. It makes me think they wont though when it says “not someone you would expect.” cause they’re the 2 favorites out of them all. And now I’m paranoid..but then agaian neither of them I would say is the best dancer hahaha and they can sing amazingly, but so can a lot of the others. I really hope Lyndsay doesn’t win though. I mean, she is a great singer and a good dancer, but she acts like she’s better than everyone else by saying “it doesn’t even feel like a competition” and by voting herself “top of the class”, and she is kinda mean (about the whole “best first kiss” thing, blah blah blah)… it makes me think she might win because Ryan said it doesn’t matter if they’re liked outside of the challenges or not, which not many people do like her from what I’ve seen, but then agian he did say the person who wins isn’t the best singer/dancer, which she does happen to have a really great voice so…there’s also a good chance it isn’t her? I dont know . Also, everyone is saying it’s going to be a boy who is the winner because they would be a new warbler…hmm . I’m nervous to see who wins. And for the person Ryan brings back (or not? ; he obviously does..), they said it’s the person voted off on the 6th episode, which I’m pretty sure is Alex, but I’m not 100% sure . So as my conclusion, TEAM CAMERON<3

  15. alexis says:

    I don’t know who’s gonna win, but these characters in the glee project are real so if this were glee instead of glee project, it would be just as good as the actuall glee or BETTER! Woo!

  16. Armando Gonzalez says:

    i saw that1st episode thing with the post list and i was able see the names so ill put in order what i saw 1.marissa 2.samuel 3.lindsay 4.hannah 5.damian 6.alex 7.cameron and the one to go was Matheus it was blury when i stoped it but that is how i saw it so yea i might be wrong but i really think thats how i saw it

    • kathryn says:

      i stopped to see that too. and thats what i saw. but eventually, the top three should conclude down to damian, cameron, and samuel. ryan murphy wants a guy, and after matheus, alex gets out. then hannah. then maybe lindsay? thats what i think.

  17. Katie says:

    i literally just read ALL of these comments. and i did my math to come with the literal conclusion that the last 3 standing are guys; Cameron, Damian, and Samuel. either one of them could make an outstanding storyline, depending on how Ryan Murphy puts them in. i honestly think that more than one person should be able to come on the show. they have to have at least more than one normal person from the world to be on the show. wouldnt it be nice if all twelve contenders got a short cameo in an episode? than the winner would have 7 episodes to appear in. thats the way i see it.

  18. Jenn * says:

    -Alex is…weird… We already have a struggling gay boy. And a big black diva. I don’t see him surviving.
    -Damian is cool, but he’s compensating for something… Don’t know what, though.
    -Cameron is too lax.
    -Ditto for Samuel
    -Hannah… No. Just, no.
    -Marissa is fabulous, but too quiet. She needs more screen time.
    -Matheus. Flat out confuses me. One week, he’s really cool and works well. And the next, he’s a diva and pisses me off. Don’t get it.

    That being said…

    I really want Lindsay to win. I don’t care if she’s annoying. She’s definitely not fake, and she’s sweet as hell. Also, she’s a facking classically trained soprano. She has major musical theater experience. She’s absolutely perfect. I can’t see them getting rid of her for any reason.

  19. Armando G. says:

    Well lindsay is a good singer but that doesnt mean shell win. I really dont want her to win shes so FAKE!! sorry to those voting 4 her but after Dot called her fake the next episode she was more like thinking of others and not herself which made her seem more fake.

    • skykat4 says:

      I can’t stand Lindsay. She is a typical “Mean Girl”. Others have just as much talent and would be fun to watch. Lindsay just makes me want to change channels. Samuel or Cameron would be great!

  20. Samantha says:

    Lindsay won…

  21. Joan Miller says:

    As I have watched this program
    As I have watched this show I know that the next three that I
    would vote OFF the show would be Lindsey, Alex and Mattheus. (not sure of his spelling) She is a real B—- and the other two are so annoying. My vote for the best candidate would be DAMIAN. He is the best overall in my opinion and would make a great addition to the Glee cast. He has talent, charisma and is a genuinely nice young man.

  22. Mcginty says:

    If Damian doesn´t win I swear I´ll never watch Glee again, he was the reason why I started watching the glee project and Glee.

  23. Alex says:

    yeah, GO DAMIAN!!

  24. Bob says:

    I think Damian is the only person in the glee project that could really get along with the glee cast, i mean look at the videos on youtube posted by cory or amber they all look really friendly and they are hilarious and Damian is both of them.

  25. Mary says:

    I agree with you Damian could totally fit on the glee cast and just look at him on the show he gets along with EVERYONE i´ve never seen him fighting or making negative comments about the other contenders i can totally picture him winning the competition and spending time with the glee cast.

  26. Marcie says:

    As much as I would love for Damian to win, the band that he’s a part of (Celtic Thunder) is touring America this fall. Looking at their tour schedule, it would be really hard, almost impossible, for Damian to do both the Celtic Thunder tour and Glee. However, the group’s creator, Sharon, could make an announcement later on if Damian does win but on Damian’s facebook page, he mentioned that he was in the studio recording with the rest of the Celtic Thunder guys.

    • Nessa says:

      Filming starts in August for Glee apparently (I could be wrong but that is what I understood from someone else) and the tour begins September. I don’t know anything about how long it takes to film, but he could very well finish 7 episodes in a little over a month. I am concerned about that if he were to win simply because I am really looking forward to seeing CT in October and it would break my heart to see it without the baby of the group.

      • Marcie says:

        Filming for Glee starts around August 10, at least that’s what I read on a recent interview with Ryan Murphy, and the tour starts September 8. Celtic Thunder would be in Canada at least a couple days before the tour starts to rehearse. I’m not disputing the fact that the winner could definitely be Damian from the Murphy’s description of the winner but I feel like that would be really hectic (I also don’t know how long filming takes for each episode)for Damian to film 7 episodes in less than a month.

        • Ally says:

          It was announced on a page (I can’t remember where) I read that Celtic Thunder has someone substituting for a member for some performances. So it might well be that they are subbing for Damian so he can film Glee. No idea if this is true or not, but it give us hope.

  27. Margaret says:

    Damian. He’s the only one I like on this show and fits perfectly in every way on glee and the other contenders fade in the background (for me) I think Damian’s the only one who doesn’t remind me of somebody who is already on glee! Now stop being negative and saying Damian “has no personality” which obviously he does! He has the most experience from Celtic Thunder and as Paul Bryom said, “just because he is not in everyone’s face doesn’t mean he’s unconfident” (he said something similar to that.)

  28. Nessa says:

    Apparently the new season of Glee is set to begin filming in August, so yes, he would have the time.

  29. Nessa says:

    I really honestly disagree with your comment on Damian. Since learning about his existence, I have seen him in several situations. Though his accent is quite attractive, lacking it would not take away from his charming modest disposition and raw talent. I would be rooting for him even without the accent or the Irish background.

  30. Nessa says:

    I was accidentally dragged into the Glee Project. I had no intentions of watching it until last Friday, and I don’t regret it. I am really rooting for either Cameron or Damian. Ryan seems to really eat up this whole “nerd” thing of his (even though I don’t find him nerdy, just hipster-esque in his wardrobe choices). Damian, although he has taken a little while to step out of his shell, has really proven himself and especially in the Dance Ability episode, become a “whole new contender.” Really, if you’ve seen his Celtic Thunder stuff and even footage from the show, he was horrible. He didn’t know where to move his feet so he would do an awkward shuffle. But he has progressed so significantly. Both attractive and talented, I would like them as characters on the show. I am finding it easier to picture Damian on the show.

  31. Saoirse says:

    I really hope it’s Damien because he’s Irish and I’m Irish and I love his northern accent . Ryan murphy said the winner is not the best dancer and Damien himself said he’s not great at dancing. Team Damien all the way go Damien :)

    • Shioban says:

      I’m also Irish and I love Damian :) He’s so cute funny and sweet, unlike all the other people on The Glee Project he has an amazing personality and he is so driven to do this. Lindsay also is but I’m just not feeling it. I’m not saying anything negative towards Lindsay it’s just she doesn’t pop in my opinion. Love you all,
      Shioban <3

  32. Armando G. says:

    Yea!!! GO Damian!

  33. JJ says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a girl who wins because in one article Ryan Murphy said “she is going to get in Sue’s way” because she’s running for congress

  34. Jessica says:

    K, personally I think Damian won.aLL THE clues point to him, Not the best dancer/singer and is very funny, when glee was touring Nothern Ireland, Damian was in the same cities as glee.

  35. Armando says:

    Well it said the the winner of the glee project will be the son or daughter of sue`s new boyfriend and is against her for congress. it can still be a guy and that guy is damian. GO!! Damian!

  36. Kurt says:


    The winner of the Glee Project is Damian.

    How do I know this because I’ve seen his photo in one of the Season 3 Spolier Alert. In the piture he is sitting in chair and Sue beside in another and she is screaming at him.

    To see it for yourselkf search Glee season 3 or Glee Season 4 and you will find the picture.

    • Kurt says:

      To see the picture revealing the winner of The Glee Project search and there you will find the articale and the picture I spoke about.

      • azn_Seddie says:

        Um, I’m positive that’s Chris Colfer sitting next to Sue. And filming doesn’t supposedly begin until August.

      • Karlee says:

        I so wish you were right, I’m sooo team Damian McGinty.. but I found the picture you were talking about and it is Kurt :'( That doesn’t mean Damian wont win though :) I LOVE DAMIAN THE SEXY BEAST!!! :D

  37. Johanna says:

    It’s obviusly that is between Cameron and Damian… Ryan said that the winner is gonna be a male and is not exactly the best singer or the best dancer. Cameron and Damian aren’t good dancers and Damian, well he’s not the best singer to me and Cameron is amazing as singer but I don’t know what Ryan think of him. Samuel is not the winner, he’s a good singer and dancer. TEAM CAMERON<3

  38. Sue says:

    Cameron or Damian for sure, but all are so talented. Wait and see, show turned out better than I thought after actually watching.

  39. Kimmie says:

    I hope damieian wins he is so talented and cute. Marrisa and lindesy r also awesome.Hannah is awesome if she wins her and lauren zicous shoulld b bffs. Cammron is such a nerd but i love him.Sam is super talented but hate the dreads. Mathues was funny, talented, smexy,cute and a great personality. He was the best one who should have won but alex but him in such a bad place. Alex is amazing but can b a divaand a brat! He should have been eliminated they take evryone off 4 baad attiutes. He was olny such a jerk to mathues because he was thertented by his talent and angry because mathues wouldnt pretend to b a homo.Alex is just anthor kurt

  40. Beth says:

    I love Cameron! I really hope he wins. With the hair, he could be Jesse St. James’s sibling, lol. It seems like a lot of glee characters have”sob stories” while Cameron is completely normal.. I love him.
    I also like Samuel too! He could be someone Puck met at juvie.
    Better be Cameron or Samuel. Damian would be ok too.

  41. Armando says:

    i think its gonna come down to cameron or damian. but i hope its damian. Go Damian!!!

  42. Natalie says:

    I am personally just in love with Cameron. I really think that he is the perfect person for Glee! However, I don’t really see him as a warbler. And for anyone who keeps saying he is like Artie, he really isn’t. In the pairability episode, he introduced a new side of him as this Christian “good” guy with simply good morals: something that Ryan Murphy suddenly became interested in. And it is an unexpected choice. Throughout the season so far, Ryan Murphy has expressed a small dislike for Cameron while Robert and Zac have been fighting so hard for him. I really hope that their battle to keep him prevails and Cameron is the newest cast member. If, though, he is not the winner, Ryan Murphy also said that he made a huge mistake in the season. If Cameron does not win, I hope that he is the mistake and Ryan Murphy brings him into the cast anyways because he is JUST THAT AWESOME!
    NERDS FTW! TEAM CAM! i love cameron mitchell <3

    • Natalie says:

      In addition (^^^^^), Ryan Murphy said that the winner is going to be Sue’s new rival, the person she will hate most in the history of Glee. I really think that Sue will hate Cameron. He is a kind, sweet-hearted, amazing singer with really good morals. That is probably the worst thing that Sue could ever see.

  43. teamdamian says:

    i love damian!!!!!! he is sooooooo hotttt! but hes also a really good singer and he has a lot of experience! i absolutely dont lik lindsay!!!! shes sooo mean! i h8 wat she said 2 ellis bout her having her first kiss!! it was horrible!!! TEAM DAMIAN 4EVA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Gah! says:

    Seriously heartbroken to hear the winner is a guy!
    I so, so, so wanted Marissa to win.
    She was so sweet and gorgeous and talented. And I know she was quiet, but she was so willing, and confident at the same time.
    They’re crazy not to have chosen her. She was awesome. I am sad :(

  45. IT WAS THE FISH says:

    If the winner needs to be a professional then that means it would be Damian. He already has musical experience from working with Celtic Thunder. He gets along great with everyone and his voice is just something new that we have never heard on Glee before. I will just be so sad to see Lindsay leave, if Damian does win. Cameron probably won’t win, but he does look cute without his glasses! :) I would like to see a lot more of Marissa’s background. Now I really don’t see Samuel being cast as any character on Glee. The character they will play on Glee is what I am basing my predictions on.

  46. Insidious Demon says:

    WTF people! Samuel is the ugliest guy I have ever seen. No one would want to watch Glee if they had to see his nose ring all the time! Damian is soooooooo handsome and will definately win. He and Lindsay would most certainly look cute as a couple. Alex needs to “come out” to the fact that he won’t win because Kurt is already the Queen Bee at McKinley High. Hannah seems nice, but I know the judges won’t let her win. Mr. Ulrich just creeps me the hell out. He probably makes out with Mr. Murphy behind the scenes.

  47. Lindsay says:

    Did anyone see how Ryan Murphy acted when he first met Lindsay? I think he really wants to cast her, but something tells me that he can’t because Damian has won his heart first.

  48. candy says:

    I’m almost positive it’s Damien or Cameron, because you would expect Sam or Lyndsey to be on the show, but you wouldn’t really expect Damien. And I just want Cameron to win so badly I just threw him in there. :)

  49. Francis says:

    If Rachel’s graduating, Lindsey could be a great replacement. Marissa is really pretty & sounds like Christina Aguilera so she’d be a great addition. The boys, Samuel, Damien & Cameron, already look like characters in Glee. Actually, all of the contestants already look like characters in Glee. Get ’em all!!!

    • francisco says:

      damian does NOT look like anyone on the show, u probably don’t even watch glee and lindsay is stupid don’t even try to argue because i won’t change my mind about that faker

  50. Emma says:

    i hope cameron wins because he would be amazing and he could be the sexy nerd that everyone wants and damian would be cool too like an irish person (we’re the best) would be really funny