OXYGEN'S "THE GLEE PROJECT" SHOCKING SEASON FINALE AWARDS BOTH SAMUEL LARSEN AND DAMIAN MCGINTY ROLES OF A LIFETIME ON SEASON THREE OF "GLEE"
RUNNER-UP CONTENDERS ALEX NEWELL AND LINDSAY PEARCE ALSO SURPRISED WITH GUEST STARRING ROLES ON NEXT SEASON'S "GLEE"
All 12 Contenders Reunited on Season Finale of "The Glee Project" Performing Pink's "Raise Your Glass" on a Helipad in Downtown Los Angeles
"Glee" Guest Mentors Darren Criss, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, Ashley Fink and Jenna Ushkowitz Also Returned for Finale
NEW YORK - August 21, 2011 - After nine weeks of grueling competition, last night's surprising finale episode of Oxygen's "The Glee Project" charged the four finalists with their definitive "Glee"-inspired homework assignment of "Glee-ality," performing Journey's epic hit "Don't Stop Believin'." The final episode turned into an emotional reunion as the eight eliminated contenders and previous "Glee" guest mentors returned in support of the four finalists. All 12 contenders joined forces one last time to create a celebratory yet bittersweet music video shoot to end the season. The contenders performed Pink's triumphant "Raise Your Glass," in dramatic fashion atop a high-rise building overlooking downtown Los Angeles.
In another game changing twist, all four finalists were allowed to choose their own song for a last chance performance for Ryan Murphy, "Glee" co-creator and writer, Ian Brennan, "Glee" casting director Robert Ulrich, and "Glee" choreographer Zach Woodlee. Previous "Glee" guest mentors Darren Criss, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, Ashley Fink and Jenna Ushkowitz sat in the audience with the eight previously eliminated contenders to lend support and cheer on the "Glee" hopefuls. With absolutely no room for error, Lindsay's vocals soared with "Gimme Gimme" from the Broadway musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie," Alex wowed the room in drag with "I Am Changing" from "Dreamgirls," Samuel strummed his guitar to a soulful rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and Damian brought back 50's flair with Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea." In the dramatic final moments of "The Glee Project," Ryan stunned everyone by choosing not one winner, but two!
Samuel Larsen (19 of Los Angeles, CA) and Damian McGinty (18, of Derry City, Northern Ireland) were both proclaimed the winners of "The Glee Project," each awarded with a life and career changing guest-starring role on season three of "Glee" spanning seven episodes.
But Ryan Murphy wasn't done yet. To add yet another layer of surprise, he praised both Alex Newell (18, of Lynn, MA) and Lindsay Pearce (20 of Modesto, CA) for their vocal talent and perseverance throughout the season and gave them both two episode guest-starring roles on season three of "Glee."
Samuel, a musician at heart, is not only the lead singer in his band, but he also plays guitar, drums, bass and piano. He's a hopeless romantic and has a knack for serenading the ladies, often more confident singing to them than actually talking to them. Samuel was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
Damian has toured with the Irish vocal group Celtic Thunder and has been performing with them since age 14. While he has a lower voice than most male pop singers, Damian is a versatile vocalist who has learned to master many different styles. A native of Ireland, he brings a different cultural mindset than others competing on the show. Damian was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."
From Ryan Murphy, the creator and Emmy(R) award-winning executive producer of "Glee," and executive producer of "Glee" Dante Di Loreto, "The Glee Project" is a 10-episode competition series seeking to find the next star of "Glee" and will award one winner with the ultimate prize of a seven-episode role in season three of the hit FOX show. The series began with 12 extraordinarily talented individuals that were picked from thousands of entries, and an exhaustive nationwide and online talent search. The series uncovers a unique group of artists from both professional and amateur backgrounds, proving every underdog has a fighting chance at stardom. Each week one contender is sent home through intensive rounds of singing, dancing and acting based assignments. During the final 'Last Chance Round,' the bottom three must perform for Ryan Murphy, casting director Robert Ulrich, and choreographer Zach Woodlee as they carefully assess which of them has what it takes to be one of the next new faces of the award-winning show.
"The Glee Project" is produced by Ryan Murphy Television and Embassy Row with Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto, Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio serving as executive producers.
Fans of "The Glee Project" can follow the show on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/thegleeproject, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thegleeproject and Tumblr at http://thegleeproject.tumblr.com for access to all of the latest news and information. Log-on to www.OxygenLive.com for special live chats with cast. Viewers can log on to http://thegleeproject.oxygen.com for a more in depth look at each contender and to meet the judges, complete with photo galleries and video.
For the first time ever, Shazam's 125 million users will be able to engage with an Oxygen show and chat simultaneously with cast members and fellow fans. Viewers will be able to tag "The Glee Project" using the Shazam feature within the OxygenLive app to unlock an exclusive extended scene each week. Excusive content will also be available directly from the Shazam app itself.
About Ryan Murphy Television
Ryan Murphy Television is the creative force behind some of today's most groundbreaking television. Responsible for the Primetime Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R) winning series "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee," which has become a cultural phenomenon, RMTV strives to bring fresh perspectives to television audiences the world over.
About Embassy Row
Embassy Row is a New York City-based global format and digital production company dedicated to developing original concepts and adapting international formats for television networks, online and wireless distribution in the U.S. and around the world. We specialize in the genres of games, comedy, reality, factual, sports and food and are pioneers in the fields of brand-supported and digital content. Embassy Row is a creative company, led by hands-on producers always on the lookout for the next breakthrough idea. Since 2008, Embassy Row has been a part of the Sony Pictures Television company.
About Oxygen Media
Oxygen Media is a multiplatform lifestyle brand that delivers relevant and engaging content to young women who like to "live out loud." Oxygen is rewriting the rulebook for women's media by changing how the world sees entertainment from a young woman's point of view. Through a vast array of unconventional and original content including "The Glee Project," "Hair Battle Spectacular" and "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," the growing cable network is the premiere destination to find unique and groundbreaking unscripted programming. A social media trendsetter, Oxygen is a leading force in engaging modern young women, wherever they are, with popular, award winning features online including www.OxygenLive.com, the real time social viewing party that is also available as an app for the iPhone and iPad, as well as innovative tools shopOholic, makeOvermatic and tweetOverse. Oxygen is available in 77 million homes and online at www.oxygen.com, or on mobile devices at wap.oxygen.com. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/OxygenPR. Oxygen Media is a service of NBCUniversal.