'Glee' spoilers! Ryan Murphy unveils premiere episode, vows to 'never say people are leaving'

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Image Credit: Adam Rose/Fox

After a series of headlines about Glee’s future that didn’t exactly endear him to fans, a very humble Ryan Murphy on Thursday demonstrated that he can still deliver more than a few surprises — and lots of big entertainment value — on his Emmy-nominated series.

Murphy screened the first episode of season three for reporters that had him talking about feeling revitalized and passionate for the new season. But first, a spoiler alert! If you don’t want to read about what happens in the Sept. 20 episode and beyond, stop reading now.

Here goes: The premiere episode next week features a terrific performance by The Glee Project runner-up Lindsay Pearce and the very unexpected ouster of Santana (Naya Rivera) from New Directions. For a show that’s under constant scrutiny by press (including — we admit it! — EW), Murphy was shocked but obviously pleased that these two major plot points managed to stay under the radar. In fact, Pearce’s number was shot under a cloak of secrecy: the 20-year-old was literally snuck into a soundstage to make sure no one recognized her.

Don’t worry, Murphy reassured reporters: Santana will be back, as will Pearce. In fact, both the 20-year-old Pearce and fellow runner-up Alex Newell, 19, will each appear in two episodes this season while Glee Project winner Damian McGinty, 18, will debut in week 4 as a foreign exchange student who “shacks up” with Brittany (Heather Morris). The show’s other winner Samuel Larsen will appear in episode 10 or 11 as a relative of Puck (Mark Salling).

Here are some other highlights from the episode directed by Eric Stoltz: It features four musical numbers, including a rousing cafeteria performance of “We Got The Beat” by the cast and a sexy solo by Blaine (Darren Criss), who (finally!) leaves the Warblers to be with his beloved Kurt (Chris Colfer) at McKinley High. Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt check their egos at the door, as they learn it won’t be so easy to get into a performing arts college after high school. And much to the despair of Will (Matthew Morrison), Sue (Jane Lynch) vows to cut all arts programming to public schools as part of her platform to run for a congressional seat.

And look who’s too cool for school these days? Quinn (Dianna Agron) dyes her hair pink, lights up the cigs, and vows never to sing again. (We’ll see about that!) Mercedes’ new boyfriend appears, too! If that’s not enough, Murphy jam-packs the episode with kneeslappers about tiny trophies, making cocoa babies and Will’s “macaroni hair.” He even quotes John F. Kennedy.

So what did Murphy learn over the last three months?

“I will never again say people are leaving,” Murphy declared, smiling. But he turned serious when admitting that maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to discuss the idea of a spinoff with so many people in Hollywood, which led to an explosion of stories about the show’s future and what it could mean to seniors Rachel, Kurt and Finn (Cory Monteith).

“It just snowballed,” Murphy admitted about the reaction. “It took a turn and got nasty … I think fans resented it.”

Instead, he and fellow Glee scribe Brad Falchuk decided to “not talk about it” and “wait until spring to figure out” the next chapter — assuming a spinoff remains a possibility. (Hey, Fox is still in need of a strong Glee companion). In the meantime, he spoke about how there is a very real possibility that his McKinley High graduates will stick around Ohio and assume other vocations. Teacher, anyone?

Lastly, Murphy teased that Gwyneth Paltrow may return for another episode but said there won’t be a sea of tributes this year. Right now, he’s only considering one two-hour tribute in the spring.

“I feel great about it again,” Murphy said of the show.

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For more:

Glee going back to basics
Glee scoop: Time to add a new hottie?
Chris Colfer talks intense new season


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  • Danielle

    LOL I love how they were concerned people would recognize Lindsay if they saw her on set. No one watched ‘The Glee Project’ and when they shot her “cameo,” it hadn’t even premiered yet anyway.

    • lady

      That’s exactly what I thought. The majority of Glee fans do not know or care about the Glee Project kids. They’re just more people taking screentime away from the regulars.

      • Larry

        Actually, this is not true for everyone. A lot of us DID watch the Glee Project and became interested in the cast. By the middle of the run, the series was getting much better ratings.

      • Sean

        Pardon me, lady, but who the heck are you to speak for the “majority of Glee fans”? If you’re as big a Gleek as many of us are, you’d know that a lot of people watched the Glee Project and really got to know the winners including Lindsay. You’ll soon learn why she got a spot on the show…hopefully they decide to keep her around for more than two episodes.

      • Monty

        It’s simple math. Unless the show was getting 7 million viewers, over half of the people who watch Glee didn’t watch the Glee Project.

      • Tarc

        First, it’s always a mistake to speak for anyone but yourself – it always ends badly. Second – to Monty – seven million people a week is a lot of people… any they aren;t the SAME seven million people each week… and the ratings these days are completely inaccurate, and various people followed the show by other means. Really, we have no idea how many people watched the show, or care. And even then, it means nothing because the kids get their own shot to win more fans.

      • PSac

        Yeah, 16 million people+ watch Glee, only about 1 million (at best) watched the Glee Project, so saying the “majority” don’t care is correct. However, if you didn’t watch the Glee Project, you made a BIG MISTAKE. The show was really good, had the heart and spirit of Glee, and was very enjoyable. I think three of the four kids (not an Alex fan, although he can sing his butt off) will make a very positive impression.

      • RCB

        I watched the Glee Project online. Avoided spoilers until I saw the finale. Very satisfied that Damian won!

      • jayemeff

        Glad that Damien won except for the fact he is not touring with Celtic Thunder right now. Saw them last week and it just wasn’t the same without him.

      • Anna

        Its still that people would be wondering who she is, and then when the Glee Project aired, it would be a spoiler.

      • Kris

        But many of the rabid fans did watch The Glee Project and they’re the ones that care enough to comment on the message boards. Most of the casual watchers didn’t care enough but I’m sure most of the passionate fans did watch. They may have DVR’ed it or watched it online.

      • Lisa

        I watched the glee project and Loved it. I saw it as a way for us to get to know new cast members and come to love them so they can be welcomed in with the regulars.

    • nunu

      gleeks watch it, tbh, but not that we care abt it so much.

    • Andrea

      Yes someone that agree with me, don’t care if she sings is taking the spot of a core character

      • Gleek

        Andrea, Lindsay is only in TWO episodes. How is that taking the spot of a “core” character? Many of you are seriously being childish.

      • Ronnie

        I hope the person she replaces is Lea Michelle. I’m really tired of her.

    • Puckleberry

      All that secrecy! LOL! I am with Danielle. I am not a bit interested in the Glee Project kids at all. Don’t care if they are lovely, talented or the exact opposite. The one thing that got me a bit “worried” is the possibility of the McKinley High graduates sticking around Ohio. Rachel has been written and portrayed as a very talented, driven and ambitious character. She’s vowed to leave. And I hope she does. Anyway, I am soooo excited about Glee Season 3!!! And not because of the new characters.

      • Jenny

        I agree about that. Rachel needs to get out of Lima to at least attempt performing. I also want to see Finn get out of Lima as well. He was one to talk about not wanting to be a Lima loser or how he didn’t want the life that he didn’t really want. He doesn’t need to go to the same school as Rachel, I just want to see them get out of Lima even if they are no longer on the show.

    • M

      RMurphy needs to vow to not say “I’m going to focus more on the core characters’ storylines”, dropping/diminishing (formerly) current characters and then putting ALL the project contest kids on the show… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if he is a person of his word….

      • Erin

        All of “The Glee Project” contest “kids” were not put on the show. Forty thousand people auditioned, twelve finalists competed, and two winners were announced. Two second place winners were also announced. That is far from all of the kids. I find it strange that people who claim to love “Glee” so much are so argumentative about “The Glee Project”. That show featured people who love “Glee” too. To hate on them is essentially to hate on yourself. They worked really hard, are all talented, and were giving the opportunity simply because it has been rumored that some “Glee” regulars are leaving. Don’t fear change. They won’t the show to remain awesome, just like the rest of us do.

      • Christy A

        Seriously. He promised to focus on the core characters, but we’re supposed to put up with these ridiculous reality show people? Every minute wasted on them is a minute we could have spent with the REAL cast members.

      • benny

        It’s funny that the Glee Project kids supposedly “love” Glee, when there were at least four separate instances of them getting assigned a song that’s been done on Glee for their number and remarked that they’d never heard of it.

    • Gleek

      Another thing you have to remember is that Oxygen is a SMALL channel. Not many people have it in the first place. So Of Course it’s not going to pull 16 million people. Sure it was expected to do better, but by Oxygen standards it did pretty well. The only hit show they have is “Bad Girls Club” and that never goes above 1 million itself.

      • Meech

        Exactly what I was going to say… Not everyone has the Oxygen channel or has access to it or has even heard of it!! If there were never any new characters you wouldn’t have chord overstreet (Sam) or Darren Criss (Blaine) for example… It’s called evolving! Samuel Larsen and Damien are amazing! They are a breath of fresh air. I think Ryan Murphy knows what he’s doing… Tacky reality show… Definitely not. He would have done it on a bigger network and in a different way if that were the case. If you don’t care about TGP how can you say your a big Glee fan? It’s influencing the show? If you can do better than these four people audition yourself!!

    • Sarah

      actually they started filming “the purple piano project” on august 9th- august 19th The Glee project was almost done by that time

  • Amy

    Looking forward to Damien living with Brittany as a foreign exchange student. That should be great. Not sure how I feel about the whole Quinn thing, we will see.

  • Ali

    Finally, confirmation! The uniform is gone! Can’t wait to see the transfer on my TV. And also, Santana? My favorite, kicked out? Not looking forward to seeing that, but it looks like an amazing episode. Can’t wait!

  • kaley

    What is going on with Finn and Rachel!!?!?! THAT IS ALL I CARE ABOUT

    • Ana

      Finchel Kiss!!!

      • Em

        Rumor has it they kiss

        And also they have a small duet in You Can’t Stop The Beat I think

    • Liz

      Perhaps I’m alone, but I can’t stand Finn and Rachel…

      • L

        You’re not alone…

      • TayMads

        You are not alone. I can’t stand them either.

  • jets

    who’s worthy of a two hour tribute episode? Must be Murphy’s all time favorite. Already did Madona and GaGa, and they’ve done enough Barbra Striesen that rachel is basically a “tribute character” to her already…so, I’m guessing Cher? What other gay icons are there that have cross over apeal?

    • nunu

      want elton john, tbh. but i won’t bet my money on it.

      • Raymond

        This is weird. I was just trying to write a post about Glee (about how I’m wollfuey behind like seasons behind), and then I read this while I’m taking a break. Didn’t we meet her Dad’s in the first season, though?

    • L

      Yeah there have been a lot of rumors about and Elton John tribute episode so that’s my guess. Honestly that is the only tribute episode I would like to see happen on Glee anymore.

    • Tarc

      Hmmm. Not a gay icon, but I understood it’s Michael Jackson.

      • jennie

        I thought the couldnt do MJ do to not being able to get the rights to his catalog.. although i know they did thriller and pyt last year

    • Audioellen

      Billy Joel, anyone?

  • Amy

    And again no mention of the core couple of the show. It’s kind of getting ridiculous now. All that angst we got last year and we’re what? Swept under the rug? I am not a happy Finchel fan.

    • hubs

      They’re together. What more do you want? I’d rather have them have stability than a whole lot of relationship drama headlining each episode – the drama gets old.

  • Kathy

    When is that piano guy going to get a name?

    • Kathy

      He his on every episode but they don’t seem to care about him

    • nunu

      his name is brad, u awful gleek.

    • Erin

      His name is Brad. It has been used on the show before.

  • nunu

    coz nobody cares abt him tbh.

  • LC

    Santana getting kicked out of New Directions?!?! Whoa, didn’t see that coming. I’m eager to know how she’ll react now. :D

  • lola

    Hah, you haven’t met the obsessive Finn and Finchel stans yet have you?

  • Daniel Gonzales

    Finn and Rachel are the most uninteresting thing about the entire show. Love the spoilers. Quinn as a bad girl, Samuel as Puck’s relative, Damien as a foreign exchange student, Blaine coming to McKinley, they seriously are firing on all cylinders now. Thank God! Now we need Blaine to take his shirt off and dance.

    • mike

      Tell that to the hoards of Finchel fans who hound and tweet these reporters regularly for Finchel spoilers. LOL

      • Frosh

        Lol, that is very true. Until I got a twitter, I never knew how powerful and quite scary Finchel fans are. There are thousands of them too. Possibly millions. Can’t complain though. But if Finchel fans scream for spoilers that interesting considering I hardly see any to none about that couple.

    • Julie

      I don’t like Finchel at all, but IMO Quinn, Will and Emma are the most uniteresting things about the entire show. You can make her hair pink, but she’s still just so…blah. Thank goodness no more Warblers (that was a huge waste)!

      • Puckleberry

        I agree with you, Julie. Will was partially the heart and soul of the glee club back in season 1. During season 2, I became kind of turned off and completely unimpressed by his character, along with Quinn and Emma. As for RM’s declaring Quinn has given up on singing, I say, as long as it lasts I’ll be happy!

      • L

        I think making Quinn a bad girl will at least make her more interesting. Let’s face it though, she would be a lot more interesting if she occasionally remembered how she had a baby and gave it up for adoption that one time.

    • Anna

      I loved Finchel when they were back in season 1 and rachel couldnt have him, but she wanted, him. All the sexual tension was great. Now they are just boring. The show is better when they arent together.

  • Kelsey

    I’m sorry but Finn and Rachel made this show from Season One. Without FInn and Rachel, and the talents of Lea and Cory, there would be no Blaine, no Santana,no Brittany, no Glee Project Winners. But it’s OK if you don’t find them interesting, because they have lots of other devoted fans.

    • Aaron

      I think everyone with a brain knows Glee wouldn’t be anything without Lea Michele, she saved that show amd kept me watching S2. I hope the powers that be at Glee recognized Rachel was pushed back last seasom, and we got a little to much of Santana, Blaine, Kurt, Brittany, I LOVE those characters but in small doses. None have the star quality and/or likeablity or acting talent to be featured every week.

      • Nell

        While I do agree with the idea that Lea did not get good material to work with for the majority of last season, and I hope they give her great storylines this year, I think you’re way off in saying others shouldn’t also be featured every week. Chris Colfer was nominated twice for an Emmy and won the Golden Globe. He’s also got the whole Time 100 thing. I think it’s pretty easy to conclude he does have the star quality, popularity, and acting talent to be featured every week. They’d be stupid not to. I don’t think it has to be an either or thing. I enjoy watching all of the characters to be honest and I think Glee works best when they weave them all into stories. I am however a little leary of the TGP people. I plan to keep an open mind. I just hope they don’t get featured too heavily.

  • Wes

    Seriously, can’t wait for S3. But I do have to say, all throughout the summer there was hardly little to no scoop on Rachel, Finn or their relationship. Seemed to be about people who didn’t matter, (Chord, Ashley, ect) and about supporting characters such as Santana and her relationship with Brittany, over and over again. Quinn is boring, and Diana can’t really act or sing, so I was excited when I heard Quinn would be quitting New Directions for a bit. Why no news on the shows stars? I guess anticipation makes the heart grow fonder.

    • Wes = Wrong

      Sorry Wes, but you got everything wrong.

      By this point, Rachel and Finn are boring. Quinn is probably the best actress on the show (besides Jane Lynch) and I love the sweet simplicity of Dianna Agron’s voice. Not every voice has to be big showy and screaming (oh “American Idol”, what have you wrought on our country??). Dianna is one of my favorites on the show.

      And when you dismiss the supporting cast as “people who don’t matter”, you are completely wrong. The supporting cast of this show is what many of us love the most.

      And I, for one, want to see MUCH more of Quinn, Artie, Puck, Mercedes and Tina.

      • Andrea

        Dianna Agron acting is average by far, there are a handful of good actors in glee and she is not one of them, and putting her at the same level of Jane Lynch us kind of insulting

      • minnie

        @Wes=Wrong, You may think Finn and Rachel are boring, but they have too large a following to be ever neglected by the writers. Rachel, Finn and Kurt have the most number of fans. People at Fox are not stupid, they know who their main attraction is, and it’s not their supporting cast. And Lea and Cory are two of their best actors. Dianna Agron is a lovely girl, but her character is written so inconsistently that Quinn is one of the most incomprehensible character on this show. They’re trying to reinvent her again and I don’t know where it’s going to go.

      • Puckleberry

        The simplicity of Dianna Agron’s voice? Why not say it as it is? She’s not one of the best singers. Agreed that not everyone has to be able to belt out, but she’s just an okay performer. As for her acting, it can be rather bland. Yes, she’s lovely. And she’s been able to exploit her limited vocal range. Yet, you have to admit she’s not that very good actress.

    • Wes = RIGHT

      I concur about Quinn. BORING! And Dianna Agorn? Terrible actress. The group I watch the show with constantly have to strian to understand anythign she says. PLus the crocodil tears make me want to hurl.

  • Sarah

    don’t care. what about brittany and santana?

  • gleekygirl

    I would watch a spin off show that had Kurt and Rachel in a Performance Arts College.

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