Now that we are three weeks in to “The Glee Project” and have really gotten to know all of the contestants well (with one exception, which you will see below), we can officially start off what is a Cartermatt.com tradition — rankings! We try not to base these on personal preference, but rather on some insight into how Ryan Murphy traditionally selects people to stay and go in the competition. He looks not only at singing and acting ability, but on personality, attitude, and most importantly whether or not you are the sort of person who is interesting enough to be a character people will want to root for. Last season proved that you can be incredibly talented, but without the right spark you may not be the one left standing in the end.
We’ll be back next week to see if any of the contenders step up to the plate, and if someone tanks and finds themselves in the bottom.
11. Mario Bonds – When the show first premiered, we were stoked to have the first blind contestant ever on the screen. After we saw his arrogance and tendency to never think before he speaks, we were slightly less enthused. For a guy who looked like he could be a great contender and an inspirational story, we now think his own attitude will get him sent out the door soon.
10. Lily Mae Harrington – Lily clearly has the personality for a part on “Glee,” but there are also some problems with that personality that make her unappealing as a contestant. She comes across at times as a little bit brash, and doesn’t always respond well to critiquing. Like we said with Mario, you have to take criticism well to succeed in this business!
9. Tyler Ford – There is something there with Tyler beyond just an inspirational story, and he got better last week thanks to a challenge that did not force him to incorporate dancing as much. If he continues to show off this positive attitude and learns from his mistakes, he may fare better in this competition than we first thought he would.
8. Michael Weisman – Michael seems to be perfect for “Glee” in that he has an appealing look about him … but that’s really it right now. We still barely even know who this guy is three episodes in, and we want people to leap off the page at us.
7. Ali Stroker – What Ali does is really rather great, but she has a major problem in this competition in that what she does has been trained for the stage rather than for television. It’s a constant struggle for her to reel it in, and she is clearly working on it — we just don’t know if it will happen fast enough.
6. Charlie Lubeck – Charlie is getting a good bit of airtime thanks to his “friendship” with Aylin, and he’s also an interesting contender. Is he going to get past his incident with Mario last week? We think that Ryan was right when he said that Charlie will probably never make that mistake again, and his talent alone makes him worth another shot.
5. Abraham Lim – At this point, we’re a little torn still on Abraham. He’s clearly a talented guy, but he has the same problem that Samuel Larsen had early last season in not knowing how to channel his intensity properly to his work. If he doesn’t correct this, he could be in trouble later on in the competition.
4. Aylin Bayraboglu – Despite already having an appearance in the bottom 3 under he belt, Aylin reminds us a bit of Damian McGinty in that she is a likable underdog that could improve throughout the season and be a major threat at the end of it all. She’s probably more comfortable in her own skin than any other contestant on the show, and that is something that could translate to being a relatable “Glee” character. Plus, her Muslim background is something that has not been explored on the Fox show (or many shows, for that matter) before.
3. Nellie Veitenheimer – In continuing Aylin’s tradition of having a rather impossible-to-spell last name, we have Nellie. Nellie also have a few other things in common with Aylin in that she is memorable, has a unique look, and brings something new to the table. Could you see Nellie as the female rocker of McKinley High. We are already picturing it in our heads and loving it.
2. Blake Jenner – We don’t know if Blake has the vocal power of our #1 pick, but he far and away seems to be the best actor of the entire bunch right now. During the “Everybody Hurts” music video, he alternated between sweet and scary with ease as he played the characters of the bully as well as the victim.
1. Shanna Henderson – Based on everything we’ve seen from her, there is no reason for us not to believe that Shanna is the undisputed favorite to land a spot on “Glee” season 4. She’s a strong actor, a great singer, and she also has a look that is different than anyone currently at McKinley High (if they were going to make her a student). Even if Jessica Sanchez is cast, they still need more women with big voices to make up for Lea Michele, Naya Rivera, and Amber Riley’s characters all graduating.
Who is at the top of your ranking? Be sure to respond in our handy poll below!