Michael on TGP 209: I was ready for a new challenge.

I was really excited for Romanticality Week. We hadn’t done very much work with partners, so I was ready for a new, important challenge.

I think that Shanna and I worked well together in the homework assignment. We spent a long time trying to make sure that what we were doing was natural and came from our real experiences. I like what we came up with and I am glad that she was my partner.

I was legitimately star struck when Darren Criss walked into the room. He is such an incredible performer and a huge presence on GLEE. I would love to play his younger brother on the show. He is always fully committed to his character and always in the moment, so I was nervous to perform in front of him.

Unfortunately we got some negative feedback from Darren, but I don’t think that Shanna blamed me entirely for our performance. Both Shanna and I have a ton of room for improvement. We were working together the whole time, so I will certainly take some of the heat, but it was a joint effort and we were both at fault.

I had the best time in the recording studio this week. Having Lily in the booth with me was really relaxing and let me focus on just emoting in the song. I also have plenty of experience singing harmonies so I was glad to have at least one thing in the competition I knew I could do well. It also really helped that I got to sing the entire song, instead of just one line.

My day on the music video shoot was excellent. Lily and I worked really well together. The bleachers were extremely hot, though. It was about 85 degrees outside but the bleachers acted like a giant oven, so that was distracting. I had some lip-syncing issues in my ad-lib part but it didn’t seem too apparent in the video. I think my biggest challenge was being romantic with Lily, since we were just such good friends and never had really thought of each other in a romantic way. So it was definitely an exercise in acting, but luckily we had developed a trust that let us explore in confidence.

I was thrilled to be called back this week, but I was definitely surprised. Everyone in the competition is so incredible I just didn’t feel safe at all before they announced the bottom three. I was shocked that it ended up being Blake, Aylin, and Shanna, since all of us thought they were the strongest contenders. I felt honored and really proud to be called back with Lily and Ali.

When I found out Shanna was going home I was definitely shocked. She has just an incredible voice and always delivers. We were really close and I was sad to see her go. It was bizarre to watch her leave, I felt like she still deserved to be on the show, but I know she left feeling confident in her ability and excited for the future.

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