It seems that being asked to sing for Ryan Murphy two weeks in a row is the kiss of death on “The Glee Project.” At least that was the case with Ellis Wylie, whose sassy rendition of “Mack the Knife” in the last chance round wasn’t enough to keep her in the competition.
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Throughout the week of choreography training, studio recording, and video shooting, Ellis got repeatedly pinged for having a negative attitude. Sometimes it was warranted; who could blame E for being a little snappish after Miss Classically-Trained Soprano Lindsay brought attention to her first kiss in front of the whole soundstage, Mean Girls style?
But Ellis’s prickliness extended beyond the other contenders to the choreographers and video director, which is the cardinal no-no of “The Glee Project.” Don’t question the people running the show. Just don’t. It’s what got Bryce sent home last week, and now it sent Ellis packing. Ryan Murphy and Co. clearly take attitude very seriously, because they lauded Ellis’s actual performance at the end of the show. Murphy was even excited by the prospect of bringing a jazz singer like her to “Glee,” but in the end, he was more concerned by Ellis’s lack of a can-and-will-do spirit.
Joining Ellis in the bottom three were self-proclaimed country girl McKynleigh and abs-obsessed Matheus, who also did their bit of hand-wringing during the video shoot. Matheus, who usually shows confidence, worried he looked foolish playing drums. McKynleigh retreated inward as she focused on perfecting her already-stellar vocals.
The bottom three contenders could have saved themselves by taking to heart the words of Broadway powerhouse and “Glee” guest star Idina Menzel. As this week’s mentor, she said the best form of the week’s theme – theatricality – is “when you guys are honest and true, and most importantly, fearless.”
Ellis, McKynleigh, and Matheus let their doubts and fears get to them, and it showed. It will be interesting to see how the surviving two attempt to balance showing strength and self-assurance while tackling next week’s theme of vulnerability with guest mentor Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee’s” Coach Beiste).