Robert on The Glee Project 102
There is a common misconception that being theatrical is only about being big and broad. While theatricality can be big and larger-than-life, it is still necessary to be "real" and grounded in a performance. I had an acting teacher in New York, Bob McAndrew, who used to say "acting is not ordinary, it is EXTRAordinary". Last week's theme was individuality, in which the contenders' job was to show us who they were, without pretense. With this week's theme, theatricality, the task for the contenders was to show us themselves larger-than-life, while still staying true to themselves and "real" in their performances. Idina Menzel was THE PERFECT guest mentor for the theme of theatricality, because her Tony Award-winning performance in "Wicked" was one of the most theatrical performances in the history of Broadway. Idina was brilliant at making the character of Elphaba "real" and grounded. The contenders were thrilled with to work with Idina-- they could not have been more excited. I saw major improvements in the contenders between week 1 and week 2. The contenders are so talented, and they learned very quickly. They realized in a hurry that the competition was very serious.
This week I was impressed with several of the contenders. Samuel was really in his element, and Alex epitomizes theatricality. Marissa seemed to be finding herself in the competition. Cameron embraced the energy of the moment, and Lindsay was electric. And even though Emily and Hannah were in the bottom six, in hindsight I think that in the video, Hannah found a really fun character and Emily popped both visually and vocally.
Every week, the three last chance performance songs were selected to help each individual contender give the best performance they could. "Mack the Knife" is right in Ellis' wheelhouse, "Gives You Hell" matches Matheus' high energy and "Piece of my Heart" is a song that really allows McKynleigh to show off her vocal ability.
It was a very difficult decision for Ryan to eliminate Ellis as he thought she was "a real character", he knew he would be able to write for her, and she has a wonderful voice. However, someone has to go home and when all the areas of the competition were weighed, Ellis was the one to go.
This week, as with every week, it was tough to see someone go, especially since all the contenders are all so talented. I told them all throughout the competition that they had made it to where they were out of a group of 40,000 and they all (Bryce and Ellis included) will go on to do great things, no matter when they leave this competition.
Click here to see pictures from the episode.