August 21, 2011 7:10pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Glee Project' Winner Crowned
After a 10-episode competition that saw contestants quit and a finale with four finalists competing instead of three, Oxygen’s The Glee Project crowned its first winner.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers.]
All four finalists won – in some fashion: Damian McGinty and Samuel Larson each won seven-episode arcs, while fellow finalists Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell will appear in a pair of episodes of Glee.
In the penultimate episode, Murphy and Brennan opted not to send one of the four final contestants home, and with all four contestants going head-to-head in the finale, the Glee duo wanted a little bit of everyone for the Fox hit.
While there's no word yet on what role each of the four will be playing, Murphy in recent episodes has taken a liking to Larsen's Catholic background -- his tattoos include a few Bible verses.
Murphy also dubbed Newell "the best singer" among the four finalists, and called him the "lovechild of Kurt [Chris Colfer] and Mercedes [Amber Riley]."
For McGinty, Brennan said he'd likely come in to the show as a freshman. How Pearce will come in, however, is more unclear.
Murphy told The Hollywood Reporter in July that the writing staff was in the midst of scripting the part for the winner and that he was open to having more than just one contestant from the series appear on the Fox hit.
"Some of [the contestants] are so talented," he told THR. "We’re in the middle of writing Glee Season 3 and I don’t want to have a lot of guest stars this year, but we’re writing a lot of kids’ stories and I’m thinking, 'You know who would be good for those two lines is [eliminated contestant] McKynleigh, who got kicked off might be good for something like that.' It’s definitely being discussed but we haven’t done anything yet. We’re also writing the part for the winner and it’s quite a great role. They’re all talented and I think they all fit. They’re all part of the Glee family."
Glee casting director Robert Ulrich -- one of the three mentors on Glee Project -- told The Hollywood Reporter in May that all 12 of the contestants could likely appear on the Fox series.
“I do think that all 12 of these kids could not only be on Glee but they will go on to do other things,” Ulrich told THR. “We will see them all around whether it be in music or in acting, stage or film and theater. I’m hoping that we see more than just the winner on Glee.”
Oxygen has not yet renewed the reality competition series for a second season, but executive producer Michael Davies told reporters at this month's Television Critics Association's press tour that talks were under way for a new season. The series has continued to gain ratings in key demographics, further building its case for a renewal.