August 01, 2012 12:27am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Glee Project': Sizing Up the Final Five
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the July 31 episode of The Glee Project.]
Only two episodes stand between five young contestants and a role on Fox's Glee as Oxygen's The Glee Project turned the competition on its ear this week, sending home the show's biggest voice.
During Tuesday's "Romanticality" theme, Shanna -- the front-runner from Day 1 -- was sent packing after missing the chemistry mark during the group video with partner Aylin.
In a shocking development, the duo -- along with the male front-runner Blake -- were selected for the Bottom 3 on Tuesday as all three thus far were widely deemed likely to make it to the finals. Shanna thus far had widely been considered most likely to win the competition and was the only one of the remaining six who had yet to perform for Ryan Murphy in a last-chance performance.
Despite knocking nailed Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger" out of the park, ultimately it was Murphy's seeming inability to see a role for the talented singer on the series that likely could have sealed her fate. Though her confession that she felt Michael should have been performing in the Bottom 3 in her place probably didn't help her.
Heading into next week's semi-finals, here's a look at the remaining five contenders, ranked from least likely to the favored to win based on the judges' comments in the competition thus far.
5. Michael: He's super sweet but has struggled mentally and in the studio. Even guest mentor Darren Criss noticed and gave him one the notes he's been given repeatedly -- being too stiff and over-thinking everything.
4. Ali: She can thank Blake for keeping her safe this week as he has a way of bringing out amazing chemistry with whomever he's paired with (we miss you, Nellie). The judges biggest criticism of her thus far is that she's happy to always be happy -- even when she's not supposed to be happy, she's still happy.
3. Blake: Anders found his weakness this week -- harmony. After struggling in the studio, he was sent to the Bottom 3 where his take on R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" was underwhelming. Our theory: Blake was safe this week because the show needed more than one guy in the final five since Shanna far outshined his Last Chance performance.
2. Lily: Impressing vocal coach Nikki Anders in the studio is no small feat but she did just that this week, getting the tough judge to actually say as just as much to Murphy and company. She completely shifted the momentum in her favor this week when she killed in the studio and incorporated feedback from the judges when she worked with Michael and didn't try to outshine anyone during the group performance. Now that is adaptability.
1. Aylin: Murphy likes that she comes with a prepackaged story line. She's a strong Muslim woman who isn't afraid to buck her heritage -- and flirt with boys (or even girls after her performance with Shanna this week). Without Shanna in the picture, she's now got the best voice on the show. If she can keep her snippy feelings for Lily in check, she should continue to win the judges over.
Who's your favorite of the final five? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Next week, Glee's Dianna Agron pops in for the semi-finals, with Chris Colfer set for the finale. The Glee Project airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.