'Glee Project' winners relive last night's shocking twist!

Last night, Glee Project judge and executive producer Ryan Murphy surprised everyone, including the contestants, by announcing that there were TWO winners of the reality competition: Samuel Larsen, 19, and Damian McGinty, 18 both won seven-episode arcs this season on Fox’s hit series. But Murphy wasn’t done with the twists: runners-up Lindsay Pearce, 20, and Alex Newell, 18, would ALSO receive two-episode arcs during Glee‘s third season. Says McGinty, “For the four of us, it’s an amazing feeling knowing that as a group and as a unit we have all basically got ourselves a part on Glee. So in many ways all four of us won at this point.”

EW talked to Larsen and McGinty about their big wins last night.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Take me through being named the winners last night.
SAMUEL LARSEN: I think the best way to describe it is I basically forgot how to function as a human being. It felt like I was floating or something. I was flipping out! It felt like I couldn’t do anything.
DAMIAN MCGINTY: Ryan said great things about us. But then he said,” Samuel, you’ve won The Glee Project.” For me, it was very much a sinking feeling. My heart sunk. I felt like I got so close but I was a million miles away. But I congratulated Samuel because he deserved it and he worked hard for it and he was consistent. But then Ryan turned around and said, “Well Damian you don’t have to worry because you also won.” Seeing my reaction, I nearly killed myself. I nearly hit my head off of a piano. It was just ridiculous.

What made you both choose your respective songs, “Jolene” and “Beyond the Sea?”
SL: I remember being 11 or 12 and seeing a video of Jack White sing that song and I remember thinking, ‘Whoa I totally forgot this song was from the point of view of a woman. I totally forgot it was a Dolly Parton song. I totally forgot it was a country song.’ I knew if I could get close to that kind of performance for Ryan that it would be risky but I might be working with something. It’s a great tune.
DM: I wanted a song that was lively. Ryan told me that he had seen me as a lead man so I wanted to show him I could own the stage. I wanted to show him that I was strong and a good performer and that I could have fun.

Damian, you dedicated your performance to your fellow contestants Hannah and Cameron. Why?
DM: We just had such a great friendship, the three of us.  We really bonded. There were times when we really pulled each other through because it got quite hard. I didn’t plan it. It was in the heat of the moment. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Damian, last night Ian Brennan said you were kind of an old man trapped in a young guy’s body. Do you think that’s true?
DM: [Laughs] I have been told that for being 18 I look very young, but I am quite mature. Being with the group Celtic Thunder and touring since the age of 14, you don’t really have a choice but to grow up quicker. You’re touring the world at such a young age and you don’t have your family with you.  So it doesn’t give you much leeway to kind of be a kid. So I just had to grow up quicker.

Have you heard anything about your characters?
SL: I mean every time we’d go sing for Ryan he would kind of spitball at us any ideas he had. But nothing is set in stone. Ryan is a very busy guy. He has created an entire empire of the greatest show ever so I’m not worried it’s going to suck or anything.

For more with the winners of The Glee Project, including what type of character they’d like to play on Glee, pick up this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, Aug. 26.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @EWTimStack

Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • karenb

    Loved Sam from the beginning. Damian grew on me. I had no idea who would win and was pleasantly surprised that they both won! All good!

    • Tamara

      The Q&A at TVLine was a lot more comprehensive.

  • RCB

    Will definitely tune in to see Damian.

  • Gail B.

    FINALLY…A show that got it right.

  • JHankwitz

    So, there was no winner.


    • Megan

      there were two winners. Damian and Sam both won.

      • Marie

        Actually, there were 4 winners – Lindsay and Alex both are getting 2 episode arcs each.

  • Erin A.

    YAY! I will so be watching Glee more since Damian is on there. I have been watching him since Celtic Thunder!

  • Christina

    So happy to see Damien win. He is so likable and I love his accent.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, he’s just too cute.

  • mlb

    I always loved Sam, but I think they chickened out when they decided to put all 4 of them on the show. Lindsey was fake and Alex was inconsistent. The only thing I liked about Damian was when Ian and Ryan talked about the fact that Brittany wouldn’t be able to understand a word he said.

    • betsybug

      I agree it’s not the aggressive choice, but it was a calculated choice to have all of them appear on the show in some fashion.

      You’ve got people who’ve spent the summer cheering on their favorite(s), and if that person doesn’t win “The Glee Project”, I could see some fans deciding not to tune into Season 3 in (misplaced) protest.

      The trouble now is that he’s established this as a precedent. Will everyone cry foul if the runner-up of Season 2 of TGP is NOT also offered the same prize as the winner?

      • Geek

        Excellent point you made at the end.

      • Leigh

        I thought about that too. I think next time they can only pick ONE winner. Maybe because it was the first show, it will always be the best. Fresh, no expectations. Just like the very first SURVIVOR show!
        I love Glee, but I am surprised at how sucked in I was to the Glee Project. Really fun and some really talented kids!

  • RCB

    I hope Damian will eventually become a series regular. He definitely has the charisma to do well in showbusiness.

  • Bonnie streit

    Loved the G project and love the 2 winners! Big fan here!!! Can’t wait to see the next season with some new blood.

  • Jill

    It was a pleasant surprise for both Damian and Sam to win… I’ve loved Damian since the beginning with his bubbly personality and adorable accent! Glee will be so much better with Damian on it! <3 I hope the writers decide to write more than 7 episodes with his character!! :D

  • Meri

    I am so thrilled that Sam and Damien both earned spots on the show. I am anxious to see how they will be used…thank God we won’t have to endure seven weeks of Alex…he’s talented but his immaturity is grating.

    • a

      that’s the benefit of ACTING – hopefully, his immaturity won’t be featured in his lines. :-)

      b/c these contenders weren’t competing to be the one and only BEST, b/c they were competing to fill a to-be-written niche on an open-minded show, i really am pleased that all four will be utilized and given a chance. in fact, i hope that ryan would consider any of the contenders – even beyond the top four – as he writes any new roles that might play to any of their strengths. seriously, how often does a casting agent and producer get to see 10 weeks of audition tapes that incorporate assessments of talent, learning ability, and professionalism? he’d be a fool to not take advantage of this tremendous weeding-out process!

  • tommymommy

    Glee Season 3 cannot get here soon enough! I saw Cameron last night on TGP and was like “Please, come back!” Damian was my choice after Cameron and Hannah. I loved the threesome.

  • Evie

    Glee got me back as a viewer for a little while. I wish Cameron were still around but I will definitley be watching for Damien. So glad he won! And I’m excited to see Lindsay for a short while too!

  • Glenn

    Lindsey, had the talent but I think it will be good to see all of the on the show.

  • Alexus

    I have to say, I am very sad to see Hannah not going to Glee. She is so fantastic in my mind. I am very happy for Sam and Damian though. They are both amazing young men. I wish the best to both of them, and pray that they do not let the fame get to them! <3

    • NB

      I was just going to write the same thing about Hannah, I really wish she could be on Glee too!

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