The Glee Project Exec Producer Talks Odds of Season 2 Pickup

The Glee Project aired its buzziest episode last Sunday — centered around early front-runner Cameron’s decision to exit the competition due to moral and religious discomfort during kissing scenes — but will an uptick in Gleekosphere chatter result in Oxygen’s latest reality entry scoring a second season? Executive producer Michael Davies addressed that question when Glee Project‘s producers, mentors and contestants gathered in Beverly Hills Tuesday for the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Although the show has not been “officially picked up” for a second season, Davies revealed that “talks have begun. A lot of the planning has begun. … I feel incredibly confident that we’re coming back.” Among other topics covered at the Glee Project TCA panel:

* Did Cameron really not think that maybe one day he’d have to lock lips on Glee? “I never acted before. Maybe I was a little naïve in that area,” he admitted. “I knew there was a possibility. When I got down into it, it was a very emotional time. Everything is magnified.” Despite torpedoing his own chances at a seven-episode guest stint on one of TV’s most popular shows, Cameron insisted he doesn’t regret his decision at all. “It was something I felt in my heart. It was something that really spoke to me. It’s only going to lead to [better] things.”

* Glee casting director and Glee Project judge Robert Ulrich admitted that it has not been determined how the latter show’s winner will be incorporated into the series. Nor does he know whether more than one contestant might appear on the mothership, a decision that’s left up to Glee creator Ryan Murphy. But one thing is certain: “Anything is possible in the world of Glee,” Ulrich said, and that includes the possibility of the winner’s arc being extended. “It can certainly be more [than seven episodes] if it takes off.”

* Thus far, dreadlocked contestant Samuel has yet to hit the bottom three, and as a result, he hasn’t been asked to do a last-chance performance in front of Murphy, making it a possibility that Glee‘s head honcho won’t “meet” the winner until the very end of the series. Ulrich described the process as “very truthful and realistic and authentic” to the way casting works in the industry. But he added that “there so much more that you didn’t see. Ryan spent so much time with [the contestants].” (Plus, Samuel actually met Mr. Murphy during an unsuccessful audition several years prior.)

* Are the Glee wannabes concerned about the scrutiny and occasional negative press that surrounds the show and its cast? “You’re going to get that anywhere in life,” replied Samuel. “You have to expect that with anything you would do. I personally would be totally OK with it.”

* Irish cutie Damian “harangued” casting director/mentor Robert Ulrich for a year because “Glee is one of the most amazing things ever created,” he said. But it’s not all amazing trying to cram in dancing, singing and acting under such a tight schedule. “I’ve aged quite a bit through this experience,” he said. “But it’s been phenomenal.”

* Ulrich described the elimination process as difficult. “We agonized every week,” he said. “Not only are [the contestants] extraordinary talented, they’re unique.” Ultimately, it’s about who’s made the most progress and who’s the most Season 3 ready, added choreographer/mentor Zach Woodlee.

* Not making it onto Glee might not be the end of the contestants’ superstar dreams. They all made such a positive impression that Ulrich “will keep them in mind for everything else I do,” he noted.

* This fall, one of these kids will be a star on Glee, but for now, they’re still starstruck. “Cameron and I geeked out when we saw the cast of The Office [at the NBC Universal party],” said Hannah. Thankfully, the kids still have time to get that gushing in-check. “The person who won the competition has not started on Glee yet,” revealed Ulrich. “Many of [the Glee cast members] have not met them.”



Comments (26)

  • It must be really complicated doing events like this and not accidentally letting slip who won though some tiny glance or inadvertent comment. Definitely liking this show way more than I expected to. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

    Comment by wordsmith – August 2, 2011 01:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • If Alex wins, that’d be a joke…

      Comment by Daniel – August 2, 2011 02:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I can’t imagine the series will be renewed. It had a certain innocence going in, and the benefit of the doubt due to the good will garnered by “Glee”.

        But much of that has been dissipated due to the haphazard and arbitrary judging.

        Marissa wins the homework assignment yet inexplicably ends up in the bottom three because she apparently wasn’t “electric” enough while having Slushee run down her face, this after receiving specific instructions from the video director to look stunned after being Slushee’d. One guesses she was supposed to look stunned, yet in a magnetic sort of way.

        Meanwhile, although BYU’s theatre department is filled with devout Christians who understand a stage kiss is just a stage kiss, this show manages to find an “Ask-me-about-my-beliefs” character whom, at the ripe old age of 21, bursts into tears and calls home to mommy when a girl kisses him.

        He gets pass after pass, as does Alex for whom even rolling out of bed is apparently taxing, much less actually rehearsing choreography.
        The show’s fatal flaw is Ryan Murphy’s drive-by judging, as he apparently knows so little about the contestants, that he merely acts as the drop-in executioner.

        Hence, his boy-crush crush on Cameron and his ignorance of Alex’s absurd diva behavior trump Marissa knocking her bottom three song out of the park in a bottom three competition she should never have been in.

        We’re left, after the fact, with Murphy saying he got that one wrong because he either wasn’t paying attention, or was guilty of getting bad info from Zack and Robert, who apparently are indulging their own boy crushes.

        Either way, they’d best just put the show down when it’s over, not start the thing all over again. It’s not fair to many of the kids the way it’s currently being judged.

        Comment by filmex – August 3, 2011 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously, is anyone going to watch Glee after Season 3? I was being lenient by sticking around this season and that was only because of the current cast. I doubt I can get attatched like that again. Besides, there are other shows on TV to watch. Let me also remind people that I don’t know any successful TV show that swaps out characters religiously. And no, Degrassi dosen’t count they get an averaged 500,000 views a week. Negative.

    Comment by Gerry – August 2, 2011 01:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree! i just stuck around this last season bc of the terrific cast. I don’t plan on watching season 3 though– the show has just sold out too much that i feel the storyline has suffered. :/

      Comment by sk – August 2, 2011 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I use to feel that way until I learned of the new writing staff. And besides that I want to see the characters graduate and see their “future” plans. Definetly won’t be tuned in, come Season 4.

        Comment by Gerry – August 2, 2011 02:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • They already said that the cast will come back even after graduation, Ryan Murphy spoke too soon… And I agree, I’m looking forward to the direction it takes with the new writers.

          Comment by Jessie – August 2, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Eh, then he said they would absolutely not be seen at Mckinnley but as of now he’s not working on the spinoff. RM backtracks so much, I don’t know what to believe. The only thing that seems 100% certain is that some characters will be graduating.

            Comment by Gerry – August 2, 2011 03:28 PM PDT  
    • There’s a show called Skins in the UK that swaps the entire cast every 2 seasons. Been going for 5 seasons so far (3 different casts) and still popular.

      Comment by Kaia – August 2, 2011 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I was thinking that too. Its a phenomenal show that Glee could learn a lot from in terms of character building and consistency.

        In in 2 seasons ok the UK Skins (seasons that are only 8-10 episodes long) you learn way more about each character than we’ve learned about in 2 (22 episode) seasons of Glee. I believe it airs on the same channel that airs Glee over there.

        It can totally work; it takes a ton of effort but it can be more amazing than you’d ever imagine. America is missing out on this format.

        Comment by Jay – August 2, 2011 03:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yes, I’m aware of Skins but because it dosen’t show in the U.S and because the U.S MTV version of the show tanked I feel that it didn’t need mentioning. America isn’t “in” on that format so there are and hasn’t been TV shows like that are successful. American’s get really attatched to characters because thats what keeps people invested into a show. If we knew from day one that these kids wouldn’t be around forever and some characters had graduated in S2, I don’t think most fans or Glee would be in the position it is now. I think if Glee could rewind the clock they should of made the show about a teacher and HIS Glee Club (like Friday Night Lights was always about the Taylors AND football) not about a Glee club AND their teacher.

        Comment by Gerry – August 2, 2011 03:33 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Wasn’t a huge hit but Friday Night Lights routinely got rid of the high school students and broguht in new ones. At least creatively it worked fine after Jason Street, Smash Williams, MAtt Saracen, Lyla Garrity left. They were smart as the show started with seniors, juniors and sophmores so they could gradually let the kids go one or two at a time. Also the show was about the town as much as the high school. Of course Friday Night Lights is about a thousand times better in every way then Glee was.

          Comment by Jason – August 2, 2011 09:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Degrassi has been doing that as well for the last 3 decades. New Directions need to 12 people if they want to continue competing and it would be nice to see new faces and voices alongside the current ones.

            Although for Degrassi, trying to show both high school and college life in the recent years of The Next Generation didn’t work as well as the creators and producers thought cuz focus shifted from Degrassi and Degrassi students to just Degrassi students. As much as I had grown attached to and wanted to continue seeing Mariam McDonald, Cassie Steele, Sarah Barble-Tishauer, Lauren Collins, Stacey Farber, and Adamo Ruggiero, etc as their characters in college, it was definitely time for them to either move on or disappear into the Degrassi Black Hole. And that’s what they’re doing with the Lakehurst transfers.

            In short, Glee wants to be realistic with their choir members moving up grades…….unless they want them to suffer from the Chantay-effect (she was the last and only Degrassi 7th grader to be introduced when they shifted focus to just their HS years for the next 6 seasons and is gonna finally graduate this season) and weirdly spread out their timeline.

            Comment by aznSeddie – August 3, 2011 12:47 AM PDT  
          • True, about FNL. The show was never centered around the highschoolers as Glee is. @Seddie, Degrassi dosen’t recieve a large amount of viewers. Degrassi has been on for 10 years and anyone who watches the show knows the characters will graduate and move on. Degrassi also has a different format, they spend 3 or 4 episode arcs on one character (or grade) and then switch focus to another character or grade. Once again the show revolves around the school Degrassi and their students not vice versa. So, kids being followed into college really made no sense. Also, the problem with shows like Degrassi who religiously switch out characters is the fact of repeating storylines or ridiculous ones. Ex: Like a guy who kills his girlfriends attempted rapist (which they stole from FNL). Maybe, Glee will be different but I highly doubt it. Theres nothing wrong with ending a show while its on top, they don’t want to turn into House, Desperate Housewives or Greys Anatomy, shows that are lackluster because they’ve out stayed their welcome.

            Comment by Declan – August 3, 2011 06:44 AM PDT  
    • There’s also this show called “Doctor Who” that you might have heard of… :) They switch out the main cast fairly regularly.

      Comment by Moryssa – August 2, 2011 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Kaia and Moryssa > LOL

      Comment by Mayra – August 2, 2011 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have a great idea, have the contestants from the “The Glee Project” be one of the teams competeing at this years sectionals/regionals or nationals.

    Comment by corey – August 2, 2011 02:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I had this same idea a few episodes back. They look like such a team already in half the homework challenges. Plus, i think it’d make for an interesting Nationals to find another team who are the “plucky underdogs & misfits” instead of all the other teams looking perfect with every member being gorgeous.

      Comment by Chris – August 5, 2011 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Please, please don’t let Alex win! He’s disgusting.

    Comment by Sivat – August 2, 2011 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As I’ve said before (actually yesterday…I might want to get a life), the fact that I absolutely LOVE ‘The Glee Project’ and yet it does nothing to make me want to watch Season 3 of ‘Glee’ is Mr. Murphy’s fatal flaw.

    Comment by MamaLarson3 – August 2, 2011 02:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • haha, that is an awesome idea.

    Comment by Amber – August 2, 2011 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “Ultimately, it’s about who’s made the most progress”

    …Damian…!

    Comment by Mellie – August 2, 2011 06:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As Robert said, “You never know in the world of Glee.”
      But like you said, it doesn’t help that Zach made the “made the most progress” comment a few days after Sexuality aired where him and Robert made a very similar comment about Damian. It was an interesting choice of words.

      But then again, it’s anybody’s game now and I don’t think Zach and Robert wants to risk being sued for $1million.

      Comment by aznSeddie – August 3, 2011 01:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Well, since the series has finished filming and the winner has already been determined, I don’t know who would be suing for a million dollars. Nothing anyone says now will change the outcome.

        Comment by Skip – August 3, 2011 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I believe that the show glee is an amazing show and that a show like the glee project benifits singers and actors I habe no dout in my mind that tge glee cast and crew will not only welcome the winner of the glee project with open arms but make their new character just as much a family member as the original cast now wether u agree with the judging or not ALL of the cast has talent and that leads me to believe that my favorite show EVER glee will still be my fav even after the new member

    Comment by Brytden – August 4, 2011 07:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Please…punctuation. It is your friend.

      It’s just really painful trying to make sense of what you’ve written.

      Comment by blackrising – August 4, 2011 10:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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