Ryan Murphy made a mark by setting up and exploding his previous TV shows, especially “Nip/Tuck” and he’s put “Glee” on the edge more than once.
His upcoming “American Horror Story” looks fabulous in an oldschool 70s way – “The Shining” for FX. But it has every chance of falling apart in plot as well.
So, naturally, for his combined reality competition and casting process, “The Glee Project,” a show whose point was to find a new character on “Glee,” Murphy blew it up at the end Sunday as well.
Murphy has been the sole decider on who stays and goes, as a showrunner and executive producer has the right to do for his own show. It’s been fascinating to watch him in action, considering each talented finalist and figuring how he could “write to” their personality. It was an eye opening look at his process: No longer do writers need to come up with characters in their head and hire actors to play them; now they hire personalities and write for them.
So when it came time for the finale of “Glee Project” Sunday, when he was supposed to decide on the winner of a seven-episode role in the new season, Murphy went against expectations again.
It was down to four – musical theater buff Lindsay Pearce, 19; indie rocker Samuel Larsen, 19; power singer Alex Newell, 18, who sang his final song in drag; and Damian McGinty Jr., the kid who already had a musical headstart as the kid among the PBS pledge time favorites, Celtic Thunder.
They sang together, they all sang “Don’t Stop Believin,’” with backup singers made up of runners-up (because the people on this show don’t stop singin’ Journey), and they sang their self-chosen final songs.
In the end, explaining nothing, Murphy chose Samuel.
But then he chose Damian too. Why not?
And because Alex and Lindsay don’t deserve to go away empty-handed, instead of the home version of the game, they get their own two-episode arcs.
But if Murphy changes his mind, they might be in seven-episode arcs, too. Or permanent cast members. Or stars of spin-off series. Or guest ghosts on “American Horror Story.” The guy can clearly do whatever he wants.