Oxygen reveals 12 contenders of "The Glee Project," premiering Sunday, June 12
Reality competition will never be the same as Oxygen introduces the 12 contenders of "The Glee Project," premiering on Sunday, June 12, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. From Ryan Murphy, the creator and Emmy-winning executive producer of "Glee," and executive producer of "Glee" Dante Di Loreto, comes a ground-breaking 10-episode competition series, "The Glee Project," which finds and trains a group of 12 extraordinarily talented performers who compete against one another to win a seven episode guest starring role on "Glee." From thousands of entries, and an exhaustive nationwide and online talent search, the series uncovers a unique group of artists from both professional and amateur backgrounds proving every underdog has a fighting chance at stardom.
Additionally, Oxygen will air its second round of "Glee" episodes during its "Glee" marathon on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 11p.m. ET/PT. Oxygen's first "Glee" marathon reached more than four million viewers.
"'The Glee Project' is one of the most exciting shows we've ever produced," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, senior vice president of original programming and development. "This group of kids is incredible to watch as they immerse themselves into this series...it's uplifting, heartfelt and emotional."
Across 10 episodes, the hopefuls will be narrowed down through intensive rounds of workshops, singing, dancing and acting-based assignments as the creative forces of "Glee" carefully assess which of them has what it takes to be one of the next new faces on the show. Murphy will join casting director Robert Ulrich, choreographer and "Glee" co-producer Zach Woodlee in the final deliberations of each installment of the series.
In addition, Oxygen also announced that a group of "Glee" series regulars would appear as guest mentors in each episode. Fan favorite Darren Criss will make a guest appearance in the series premiere as the first of these mentors. Criss joined the cast of "Glee" last season as 'Blaine' and quickly became a breakout sensation.
The group of young performers represents a diverse cross-section of society and comes from large cities including New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles, as well as small towns like Paducah, Ky. and Derry City, Ireland. The stakes for them are enormous - a prize that money can't buy: a multi-episode guest-starring role on "Glee."
"Each and every one of these kids has what it takes to be a star. I was captivated by their passion and charisma, and I know viewers will be too," Ulrich said.
Hometown: Lynn, Mass.
Alex has been a performer since he was a toddler, and has been performing in amateur shows since high school. He lost his father to cancer at the age of 6, and finding his love for acting and singing has helped him find a way to express his emotions. Extracurricular activities such as church choir, school choir, improv club and costume design keep him extremely busy. He has tremendous range and has the ability to tackle any lead role - male or female. Alex was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
Hometown: Westlake Village, Calif.
Bryce has been performing ever since he picked up an acoustic guitar and taught himself to play at age 13. In his junior year of high school, he discovered the theater department and, for the first time in his life, felt comfortable in his own skin. At 15, while vacationing in the Bahamas, Bryce dove headfirst into a coral reef, splitting open his head and breaking his neck. For the next seven months he lived in a neck brace unsure of whether he would walk again. Currently, Bryce attends Berklee College of Music in Boston where he is a voice major with a scholarship. He sings jazz, rap, pop, punk, reggae and gospel and is also an accomplished songwriter. Bryce was one of the 34,000 to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Cameron is a natural musician who, up until six months ago, had never taken a single music lesson. He's been performing in amateur shows for four years. In high school, Cameron was hated by all the guys, but loved by all the girls. He grew up loving the Beatles - they inspire him and influence him as a musician and a performer. He originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call.
Hometown: Derry City, Northern Ireland
Damian tours with the Irish vocal group Celtic Thunder and has been performing with them since age 14. While he has a lower voice than most male pop singers, Damian is a versatile vocalist who has learned to master many different styles. A native of Ireland, he brings a different cultural mindset than others competing on the show. Damian was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."
Originally from Brazil, Matheus moved to the U.S. eight years ago to consult American doctors about his 4'9" height. Their conclusion: he is "just short." Despite not knowing any English, he enrolled in school three days after moving to the states and, through the help of his trusty dictionary, mastered the language within months. Music has always been his best companion - helping him get through life's difficult challenges. Finally overcoming his insecurities, Matheus decided to audition for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call. He proudly proves that being different is never a bad thing.
Hometown: Los Angeles
Samuel, a musician at heart, is not only the lead singer in his band, but he also plays guitar, drums, bass and piano. He's a hopeless romantic and has a knack for serenading the ladies, often more confident singing to them than actually talking to them. Samuel was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
Hometown: Grayslake, Ill.
Ellis has been performing in amateur shows for four years. Always the outcast in high school, Ellis used her vocal talents and musical theater to find friends and express herself. Ellis originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Chicago open casting call.
Hometown: New York City
Emily has been performing for 11 years, both in off-Broadway shows and in Las Vegas. She attended LaGuardia High School - New York City's "Fame" school - and prides herself on her training. Her feisty and flirty personality commands attention and comes out in the way she performs. She has her eye on the prize and will do whatever it takes to win, competition and all. Emily was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.
Hannah has been performing in amateur shows for six years. Even though she sometimes feels self-conscious about her weight, she uses her sense of humor and exuberance to overcome any negative feelings she has about her appearance. Besides her talent for singing, Hannah can also rap (under the alias Rogue), which illustrates her sincere quirkiness and positive attitude. Hannah originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call.
Hometown: Modesto, Calif.
Lindsay has been performing in amateur shows for 13 years. Deaf for the first six months of her life, she especially appreciates her ear for music now more than ever. She hasn't always been accepted as a performer, but she continues to work hard, accept who she is, and allow her inner beauty to shine. Lindsay was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."
Hometown: New York City
Marissa has been performing in commercials and shows on both an amateur and professional level for more than 12 years. She is a native New Yorker with a colorful bohemian style. She is an artist in every sense of the word: skilled in singing, acting, dancing, drawing and design. Marissa was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
Hometown: Paducah, Ky.
McKynleigh has been performing in amateur shows for 13 years. As a biracial musician, she surprises people when they discover her strength is singing country music. Growing up home-schooled, she always wanted to be in show choir but never had the chance. McKynleigh originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Chicago open casting call.
"The Glee Project" is
produced by Ryan Murphy Television and Embassy Row with Murphy, Di Loreto,
Michael Davies and Shauna Minoprio serving as executive producers.
Fans can get all of the latest info about "The Glee Project" and how to follow the contenders from the official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/thegleeproject and by following "The Glee Project" on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/thegleeproject.
Additionally, viewers can log on to www.Oxygen.com for a more in depth look at each contender and to meet the judges, complete with photo galleries and video. During the "Gleekend" on May 21, fans can log on to www.OxygenLive.com at 9:30 p.m. ET for a chat with "Glee" and "The Glee Project" casting director Ulrich.