Runner-up contenders Alex Newell and Lindsay Pearce also surprised with guest starring roles
After nine weeks of grueling competition, last night's surprising finale episode of Oxygen's "The Glee Project" charged the four finalists with their definitive "Glee"-inspired homework assignment of "Glee-ality," performing Journey's epic hit "Don't Stop Believin'." The final episode turned into an emotional reunion as the eight eliminated contenders and previous "Glee" guest mentors returned in support of the four finalists. All 12 contenders joined forces one last time to create a celebratory yet bittersweet music video shoot to end the season. The contenders performed Pink's triumphant "Raise Your Glass," in dramatic fashion atop a high-rise building overlooking downtown Los Angeles.
In another game-changing twist, all four finalists were allowed to choose their own song for a last chance performance for "Glee" suits Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan, Robert Ulrich and Zach Woodlee. Previous "Glee" guest mentors Darren Criss, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum Jr., Max Adler, Ashley Fink and Jenna Ushkowitz sat in the audience with the eight previously eliminated contenders to lend support and cheer on the "Glee" hopefuls. With absolutely no room for error, Lindsay Pearce's vocals soared with "Gimme Gimme" from the Broadway musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie," Alex Newell wowed the room in drag with "I Am Changing" from "Dreamgirls," Samuel Larsen strummed his guitar to a soulful rendition of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and Damian McGinty brought back '50s flair with Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea." In the dramatic final moments of "The Glee Project," Ryan stunned everyone by choosing not one winner, but two!
Samuel (19, of Los Angeles) and Damian (18, of Derry City, Northern Ireland) were both proclaimed the winners of "The Glee Project," each awarded with a life- and career-changing guest-starring role on season three of "Glee" spanning seven episodes.
But Murphy wasn't done yet. To add yet another layer of surprise, he praised both Alex (18, of Lynn, Mass.) and Lindsay (20 of Modesto, Calif.) for their vocal talent and perseverance throughout the season and gave them both two episode guest-starring roles on season three of "Glee."
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.
Damian has toured 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."