By Abbey Stone, Hollywood.com Staff
We're getting down to the wire here. Only seven kids remain on The Glee Project, and they're ready to fight to the death for that coveted role on Glee. It's fitting, to say the least, that this week's theme is tenacity, which Ali so kindly defines for viewers who may not happen to be up to snuff with their SAT vocabulary. ""Tenacity is, when an obstacle comes your way, looking at it as an opportunity and using it,"" she says. Nicely put.
To showcase their tenacity, the contenders are first faced with the challenge of performing my favorite song ever, Destiny's Child's 2001 hit ""Survivor."" (Has Glee ever done an episode dedicated to Destiny's Child? They really should. Think of all the hits! ""Say My Name,"" ""Jumpin' Jumpin,'"" ""Bills, Bills, Bills,"" ""Bootylicious,"" the list really is never-ending.)
If Destiny's Child is around, it means Amber Riley can't be far behind. Am I right? I'm right. This week's not-so-secret surprise mentor/judge is Mercedes. And she is digging on Ali and her blonde pigtails. Girl is on fi-yah with the homework wins! Aylin's eyes flash with rage and envy-fueled contempt as her lips curl into a grinch-like smile. She's just so happy for Ali, you see, and not jealous at all. Not one bit, no sir.
Robert breaks Aylin's fury-induced trance by announcing tenacity week's group number song. Dun, dundundun, dundundun, dundundunnnnnn It's ""Eye of the Tiger"" by Survivor. Survivor the band, not the aforementioned Destiny's Child song. It's confusing, I know; are you taking notes? It's at this point that Robert reveals the sadistic plan he cooked up with the other mentors: the video shoot this week will be an obstacle course in a high school gym, and the entire video will be filmed in a single shot. This is going to be a nightmare, and every person in that dusty choir room knows it.
But before the kids hit the gym, they must face Nikki in the recording booth. She is practically gleeful while explaining to the camera that this song is out of everyone's vocal range. Is she bouncing a bit while she says that, or do my eyes deceive me? It's a good thing there's a glass wall to separate Nikki and her sound-mixing cohort from the contenders, because otherwise Blake would have been in danger. Pregnant Nikki, hormones racing, looks like she's about to pounce on Blake and drag him back to her cougar's lair. He'll be lucky if he gets out of there with all his limbs.
Following Blake in the studio is pretty boy numero dos, Michael. Unfortunately for Michael, Nikki has a thing for shaggy-haired blonds. For like the 67th time this season which is impressive, considering there have only been eight episodes Michael can't pull himself together in the booth. I'm already getting a whiff of the bottom three.
NEXT: The gym class from hell[PAGEBREAK]
No more messing around, it's time to explore the fiery pits of hell that is a gym class obstacle course. And, like Groundhog's Day for Bill Murray, this is one obstacle course that is doomed to repeat itself.
To kick things off, Blake runs up a row of bleachers holding a ball, which he throws to Michael. Michael must catch the ball and dive through a tire ring like a show dog. Cue Abraham, who runs through some more tires. And was that flash Aylin? Yep, Aylin has to clear some hurdles. Then Lily pitches a softball to Ali who jumps out of her wheelchair and swims 25 laps in an Olympic-sized pool. At this point, Shanna must stay on hold with Time Warner Cable for 45 minutes while simultaneously baking muffins for her sister's kindergarden field trip to the science museum. Finally, everyone makes a pyramid and Ali slam dunks a dodge ball into the basketball hoop. Got that? Go!
Take 1: Michael doesn't make it through the hoop. Take 2: Abraham forgets to lip sync. Take 11: The jump ropers (did I miss the jump rope portion in the above rundown? My bad), lose all nerve control in their faces. Take 16: Abraham pretends to sprain his ankle. Take 24: Shanna vomits into a trash can. Take 27: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 29: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 32: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 34: PERFECT. Head count, is everyone still alive?
Following such a grueling video shoot, the judges are almost remorseful about picking a bottom three. Almost. Immediately safe are Ali (could it be my friend was right, and Ali is the sleeper winner?), Shanna, and Blake. This leaves Abraham, Michael, Lily, and Aylin on the chopping block. Aylin, tears streaming down her face, is safe, too. So that leaves a bottom three of Don't Call Me Androgynous Abraham, Michael, and Lily Mae. These three were picked, Robert explains and here I'm being totally serious because they couldn't jump rope. Oh, and Ryan Murphy, who magically knew that Abraham was going to be in the bottom, has a bit of advice for our friend the fierce Asian. ""Don't suck up to me, it's not cute,"" says Murphy.
On to the performances!
Michael is up first and he's singing ""Brick"" by Ben Folds Five. Even before Michael takes the stage Nikki is throwing him under the bus. ""Is he a good singer?"" Murphy asks. ""He's good,"" says Nikki, ""but not as good as Blake."" Zing! As though he heard Nikki's comments, Michael puts on a performance oozing with charm and charisma. His smile is just made for a tween girl's locker poster. This boy is so gosh darn telegenic, Murphy is like peeing his pants. But is The Glee Project big enough for more than one prettyboy? Maybe Blake and Michael should settle this in a duel; it worked for Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.
Following Michael on stage is Abraham, singing Michael Jackson's ""Man in the Mirror."" He's solid. This is probably the best we've heard Abraham sound, and it almost erases all memory of his Katy Perry duet from a couple weeks back. Murphy takes note of Abraham's shifty eyes and tells him he needs to focus. He also tells Abraham that he needs to learn how to jump rope. In response, Abraham limps off stage.
Last to take the stage is Lily with ""I'm the Greatest Star"" from the musical Funny Girl. Lily is a regular Barbra Streisand under the lights, acting the s***t out of her theatrical song. Nikki is in stitches, Murphy is glowing, Zach is awesome. Following Lily's showstopping number, Murphy has two important questions for our larger-than-life diva. 1) ""What would you have done if you were performing that with a jumprope?"" and 2) What happened to you this week? Lily explains that she was distracted all week because Aylin said a ""really rude"" comment to her while they were in the recording booth. She was *gasp* singing too loudly. Why would someone say something so mean?
The judges begin to deliberate when out of the shadows creeps limpy gimpy Abraham. He's here, he explains, to demand a role on Glee. An irate Ryan Murphy politely tells Abraham to shut the eff up and makes a mental note to purchase one of those oversized shepherd's crooks used to drag people offstage.
Before Abraham's little outburst I was truly torn as to who would be sent home. Thanks, Abe, for making it all clear. Of course Abraham is the one not called back this week. Au revoir, Abraham, we'll miss you (but not as much as I miss Nellie).
Follow Abbey Stone on Twitter @abbeystone
[Photo Credit: Oxygen]
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