“The Glee Project” Recap (2.05): “Adaptability”

When I started watching this week’s Glee Project, I was feeling a little sentimental — as sentimental as one can be about The Glee Project — and missing our queer contestants who have been needled out of this competition. But then Robert came in to the room and announced that this week’s homework assignment for the theme of adaptability was Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” And all my happy lesbian senses snapped awake again! Hallelujah!

Robert did, however, amusingly over-annunciate this reveal, telling them that they were to sing some mysterious song called “You – Ought – To – Know.” I don’t know what this “You Ought To Know” song is you speak of, Robert. It sounds way too polite and proper. Who has time to enunciate when you’re busy being real pissed off at Dave Coulier?

In line with the theme of adaptability, Robert then also drops the news that they won’t get to choose their lines for this performance, but will be assigned parts at random. Yay! This will erase all that annoying bickering that always happens at this moment of the show!

Off we go to the next scene in the gym for the reveal of the guest mentor this week. Robert tells us that it is someone on Glee who can tell us all about “rolling with the punches.” Meaning, that it is, of course, Kevin McHale, who plays Artie Abrams. You know, the one in the wheelchair. Roll with the punches, get it?! Right?! (Sigh.)

Artie then lets loose another “Oh snap!” on the contestants: the parts that they rehearsed for “You Oughta Now?” Bam, forget about it. They’re each going to sing the whole song as a solo, on the spot. Shanna is all, “Whoa, but I don’t actually know the words to this song!”  Adaptability, y’all! Things just got real.

We’re shown an edited together montage of their performances, which actually highlights much better than the group performances which voices get it right and which ones are just dull. Even though Shanna wasn’t apparently overly familiar with the song (how can you not be, Shanna?!), she is all over the Alanis angst. The first word we hear Nellie sing is “dinner,” and even though it is just one word, the end of it has the absolute perfect amount of snarl! Yes!

I really dig each section we get to hear Charlie sing, too. In fact, I really like everyone, except for Blake and Michael, who every time ring out as “booooring!” to me. But Artie and Robert seem pleased with everyone.

Artie has a lot of nice comments for several people, but in the end the winner is Aylin. She really did perform well, so I feel it’s deserved. Hurrah Aylin! So she will get a special part in the big group number this week, which is — dun dun dun — who the hell knows?

Artie announces that they won’t know the song until they’re in the studio and won’t practice the dance moves until the day of the video shoot. Which, as he explains, is something that happens on set, and something you have to get used to. I am personally loving all these twists and turns, but some cast members don’t seem as pumped. A lot of them seem to feel like this:

Adaptability, y’all!

Once we do arrive at the studio, Nikki finally reveals the song: “Price Tag” by Jessie J. Things seem to be coming up roses for Aylin this episode, because she is pumped! She jumps up and down and hoots and hollers her excitement. Everyone else sort of gives Nikki a blank stare. Including me.  I have never heard of this song either! Am I old?! (I think I am old.) I hope that when they start singing, it will be one of those, “Ohhh, OK, I’ve heard that before,” moments, but alas. I still have no clue. (Confirmed: I am old.)

When we move on to the video shoot, Erik White explains the concept as being rich mean kids versus poor kids, with all the rich kids eventually abandoning their posse to go join the poor kids, who are apparently having a lot of fun being poor. OK. This could be OK. Maybe.

As the shooting starts, Charlie tells us that his mission is to stay in character for the entire thing. He’s one of the rich kids, and he’s created a persona for himself named Scott Campbell, who is “a terrible human being.” Already I like this. I know I have given Charlie flack in the past, but I’m always a fan of making up personas and naming them just for the heck of it. Also, Scott Campbell is wearing a ridiculous printed shirt and red pants, which I like. The clinker in the deal is that he uses the word “ocelots” as he pretend-talks into a phone to an imaginary being:  “I don’t particularly care how many ocelots you have to skin until the seats on my plane are complete, you will do as I ask, understood?” How often do you hear someone use the word “ocelots”? Not enough, I say.

I feel that Scott Campbell could easily walk the line between being annoying and being entertaining, and right now it is striking me as entertaining. The mentors, however, are apparently viewing it as annoying, taking it as a sign that Charlie doesn’t do well at fitting into the group. Oops.

Mario gets some acting criticism from Erik, to which Mario privately tells the camera that he is “stunned” by because he knows that his acting ability is awesome. Mario, all this super-defensiveness and inability to take criticism is starting to be seriously awkward. And I really liked you at first! Ugh, why is life so disappointing.

However, during Mario’s critique, we get our first glimpse of Nellie, who is hanging out at the table behind him. And OH HOLY HELL. Thank you, sweet mother of all that is good in the world, because Nellie’s get-up right now is outstanding.

That slicked back hair. Those glasses. Is she wearing suspenders? I can’t tell right now, but I really hope they are suspenders.

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