Marissa on The Glee Project 106

To be honest, when I saw this week's theme on the board, I had to rack my vocabulary for the exact definition. Tenacity is one of those words that you understand the meaning of vaguely, but is hard to explain! At least in the case of the other contenders and me! When I fully understood what it meant and would entail, I thought, “well, obviously we've all been tenacious enough so far to be here, so how much harder could it be?!”

I like the song “Bulletproof” a lot! I didn't think La Roux was an artist that a lot of people in America knew about! I like her other songs "In for the Kill" and "Quicksand" better. She's a very unique, funky artist! And a redhead ;)

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When I won the homework assignment, I was thrilled of course, but also taken aback at the fact that it was a consecutive win! I was nervous about the other contenders being upset but they were nice and gracious about it. I was happy with my performance. I don't recommend kicking chairs when you perform or audition for as a rule, but I heard Lea Michele slapped one of the auditioners when she was trying out for GLEE and it ended up working for her! In all other cases I'm pretty sure it could lead to a lawsuit! :P

Working with Max Adler was intimidating at first. How can it not be? He was cast in GLEE for that purpose! Plus, this was my first real one on one session with a GLEE cast member, as I had to share Darren Criss with Sam last week. One more thing that made it intimidating was the fact that he would be teaching me how to throw a slushie with finesse and precision at a dummy placed in the room with us. I told him "You know, I'm a theater kid for a reason!" Hand-eye coordination, a good sense of aim, and anything having to do with athletics were the last things I was expecting to encounter in The Glee Project! However, Max was very patient, helpful, and kind about it. We had a long talk before the slushie-ing commenced. He told me about the struggles he's been through and the time it's taken him to get to where he is now, the loss he's experienced, and how it was discouraging at first but ultimately strengthened his resolve to fight to pursue his dream. I was incredibly moved and reminded of how fortunate I was to have even been given the opportunity to stand in front of him! It doesn't normally work like this; where dreams come true immediately. In the real world, a lot more constant work, willpower and faith go into achieving success. Max is proof of that! Additionally, he was very nice about slushie-ing me. Let's just say it was a very cold and uncomfortable introduction to what was in store!

I definitely had heard both of the mash-up songs, but I didn't really know the lyrics to either of them. I thought that going back to group recordings from the duets the week before would be easier, as we would all have smaller parts to learn again instead of whole songs. However, this wasn't the case for me. As the homework winner, I was given a few more parts to learn. I focused a great amount of my attention on getting the belting note at the end of Hannah's rap right, and consequently looked over other parts I should have observed more closely. I only meant to be honest with Nikki in admitting that to her, but, unfortunately, instead it came off as if I hadn't practiced at all. It was a poor choice of words and, while I never felt like I impressed Nikki as much as I would've liked to throughout my time in the competition, it became certain that my statement was only counterproductive :(

Dancing this week was actually a lot of fun for me! It was one of the most exhausting routines we'd worked on yet, but the idea of it going in reverse on the video was exciting to us. The floor work was a little challenging at first, but the sliding made it a lot of fun in my opinion. Once again, I knew I shouldn't stop practicing even after I felt confident with the choreography.

Here's the thing to know about getting slushied: NOT as fun as it looks! It's one of the worst sensations you could ever experience! It's like a combination of stickiness, extreme brain freeze, eye burning, and the sensation of tiny needles all over your skin. Not to mention the discomfort you feel once the syrup part drips down into your underwear! As the homework winner, I got to experience what it would feel like to be slushied before the other contenders, but I don't think that was to my benefit. I also experienced more slushie-ing than the others during the shoot because of the additional parts I'd won. It was funny: It almost seemed like "Congratulations! You won the challenge! We will now reward you by inflicting you with double the amount of pain, torture, and general discomfort!" haha. Regardless, somehow I feel I pulled through.

One thing I learned is for sure: I will never forget the definition of ‘tenacity’ ever again! (I think I might even flinch if I hear it from now on!)

I was not expecting to be in the bottom three. It was a shock. When all the other contenders were discussing who the potentials were, I seemed to be the only one who they deemed "safe." This week, I won the homework challenge, I'd had worse recording sessions, I got the choreography down pretty well, and I took the slushies to the best of my ability during the music video shoot. Over all, I was satisfied with my general performance, but to my misfortune, the mentors were not. I wasn't surprised to hear that I'd received a lukewarm review from Nikki, but I was a little surprised about not doing well in the video. Robert said it was the least electric performance he'd seen from me yet. I immediately tried to retrace my steps and figure out where I went wrong... did I focus too much on the clapping routine rather than connect with the camera? Did I let the slushie get to me when I should have tried to keep my eyes open for the camera more? However, my curiosity could not be satisfied in this case, as "electricity" is truly a quality that can only be measured from an observational standpoint, and, as a renowned casting director, that is what Robert does. Therefore, I accepted my fate and the mentors’ reasoning behind it fully. I hoped to evade the great Ryan Murphy longer than this, but I found a small and somewhat selfish solace in knowing that I was competing against two contenders that had already been in the bottom three twice and surely that would factor in the final decision... or so I thought. *dramatic music*

Now, “Hate on Me” is not an easy song to sing at all. I knew the judges were trying to go easy on us by letting us sing our original audition songs, and that is certainly much better than having to learn a whole new song in less than an hour or two, but in my case I wasn't entirely overjoyed. I love “Hate on Me”, but it's a song I like to be prepared and in good vocal shape for... not after having crawled in slushy up until 5 am this morning from the night before! However, in a competition where every little factor is judged and everything is at stake, there is absolutely zero room for excuses. I wasn't going to waste time feeling sorry for myself! As soon as I got into my dressing room, I shrieked my lungs out in some insane rush of adrenaline, and I think ended up doing more harm than good. Looking back, I regret not having more of the technical vocal training that some of the other contenders have had to know that this wasn't a good idea. I tried not to let it throw me in my performance for Ryan, and while I believe I could have done quite a few things better, I was okay with my performance overall.

I was shocked to be eliminated. I felt that I had been doing well in the competition; I had stayed in the top since the first week, and I'd even had two consecutive wins prior to being cut! I'd competed against two people who had already been in the bottom twice, so at first I felt angry that they'd been given a fourth chance when I hadn't even been given a second! Yes, I had to follow up unearthly-voiced Alex's rendition of “And I am Telling You”, and yes, I was preceded by Cameron's charming performance of his own written work, so maybe that is what did me in at the end. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time I suppose. However, it was made clear from the beginning that the most important deciding factor in this competition would be what Ryan saw in you that he could write for. You must be able to fit in with and compliment the GLEE cast in the upcoming season. That is the bottom line. It was unlucky for me that he didn't see that in me in that instance.

Yet, how could I ever walk away from this with sadness, bitterness, or regret? I got to live my dream for a short while. That's more than anyone can ask for! I know I am more than fortunate, and I have still made so many new friends and connections and have impressed and interested and inspired others as well. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and it was my time to go. I look back on this experience with so much joy and love, and I look forward to a future with endless possibilities! Thank you TGP! :)

Click here to see Marissa's extended exit interview.

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