an Oral History With the Cast and Crew

Ryan Murphy makes hits. The Emmy-winning showrunner and director is behind loads of the 2010s tv panorama, together with “American Horror Story,” “Pose,” “Scream Queens,” and — in fact — “Glee.” He is identified for taking part in favorites with actors, to the purpose the place followers joke about them dwelling in a “Ryan Murphy universe.” 

However on “The Glee Challenge,” it was Murphy’s world, and contestants had been, fairly actually, dwelling in it.

In 2010, “Glee” had taken over prime time. Its first-season finale nabbed 11 million viewers, making it the highest-rated last episode for any new present that yr. The forged had 25 singles chart on the Billboard Sizzling 100 in 2009, essentially the most by any artist since The Beatles. On-line fan accounts had been devoted to sharing images of the forged day by day. 

In the meantime, the crew behind “Glee” was searching for one other method to money in on the craze. The end result was “The Glee Challenge,” a actuality present devoted to discovering the collection’ subsequent star. The one standards to win? Be inspiring to Murphy.

“What’s fascinating concerning the present is that this was about someone’s inventive imaginative and prescient,” Shauna Minoprio, the chief producer of “The Glee Challenge,” informed Insider. “It wasn’t about who’s one of the best singer or dancer. It was about who Ryan Murphy was essentially the most excited to write down a personality for.”

Harper Grae singing for Robert Ulrich and Kevin McHale in red lighting on "The Glee Project."

Harper Grae singing for Robert J. Ulrich and Kevin McHale on “The Glee Challenge.”

Oxygen Media/Getty Imagess

The present ran for 2 seasons, from 2012 to 2013, on Oxygen, a cable community owned by NBCUniversal that is now primarily identified for its true-crime content material.

Murphy’s solely actuality collection impressed fanatical followers and led to a couple scandals — which can be laborious to recollect since “The Glee Challenge” is not obtainable for streaming.

To have fun the tenth anniversary of the ultimate episode of “The Glee Challenge,” producers, mentors, and forged members informed Insider what it was actually like filming the “Glee”-based reality-competition collection. 

American Idol for theater-nerd youngsters’

Minoprio: “Glee” was super-hot property. It is laborious to think about an equal. The thought for a contest to get on the present most likely got here from Ryan or his crew and was most likely gonna air on Fox. 

Growth of the present went as far as to name for MySpace auditions in early 2010, however for some time, nothing got here of it.

Robert Ulrich, “Glee” casting director and “Glee Challenge” mentor: We thought the present wasn’t gonna occur. 

Damian McGinty, cowinner of “The Glee Challenge” season one and Rory Flanagan on “Glee”: I noticed on MySpace there was a nationwide seek for somebody to be on season two of “Glee.” I recorded a fast model of “Lean On Me,” then forgot about it for a couple of yr. 

Samuel Larsen, cowinner of “The Glee Challenge” season one and Joe Hart on “Glee”: I despatched in a video and so they stated we would hear again in a few months. That point got here and went, and I did not hear something. 

The cast of glee dancing in season one choir room

The forged of “Glee.”

Fox/Getty Photographs

Firstly of June, “The Glee Challenge” was useless within the water due to Murphy’s busy schedule. However by the top of the month — simply two weeks after the first-season finale of “Glee” — the present acquired a second life via a syndication deal.

Ulrich: Oxygen was going to pay Fox a substantial quantity to air episodes of “Glee,” and a part of their deal was they’d get a actuality present out of it. 

“The Glee Challenge” was a sticking level for Oxygen. The community paid about $500,000 an episode for”Glee” and nabbed the still-mysterious “Glee”-based actuality collection, which was scheduled to air in June 2011. And Murphy was again on board.

Ryan Murphy, “Glee” and “Glee Challenge” government producer, in 2011: I went from not eager to be concerned to realizing I needed to be concerned, as a result of it is a part of the model. The particular person we select will probably be on the present subsequent yr. 

Jason Klarman, Oxygen president, in 2011: No deal like this has ever been executed the place you’ve got acquired a actuality spinoff of the most well liked present on tv — on one other community.

As soon as “The Glee Challenge” had the inexperienced mild, auditions for the following “Glee” star started once more. 

Ulrich: When the present got here again, it was fully totally different. We did open calls and on-line submissions. 1000’s of individuals confirmed up. 

Minoprio: It was like “American Idol” for theater-nerd youngsters.

Cameron Mitchell, contestant on “The Glee Challenge” season one: Once I confirmed as much as the casting name, there have been like 3,000 individuals in line. I waited all day. 

Although hopefuls needed to be over 18, additionally they needed to be younger sufficient to efficiently play a excessive schooler.

Lindsay Pearce, runner-up of “The Glee Challenge” season one and Concord on “Glee”: I used to be 19. Technically, it was authorized. However we had been kids.

Minoprio: I needed to provide all of these youngsters auditioning a hug. It is solely “Glee,” it isn’t an important factor that is gonna occur in your life. In all probability.

The cast of "The Glee Project" season two singing in a straight line with microphones.

The forged of “The Glee Challenge” season two.

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Round 50,000 individuals auditioned for the primary season and the casting crew narrowed that group all the way down to 500 candidates. However “The Glee Challenge” wasn’t simply searching for one of the best singer. 

Ulrich: It was about discovering someone Ryan might really feel impressed to write down a personality for. That is what made it stand out as a really uncommon present. 

Christopher Orne, “The Glee Challenge” supervising story producer and editor: A few of them might sing however did not have a narrative — they acquired the boot.

It is solely ‘Glee,’ it isn’t an important factor that is gonna occur in your life. In all probability. Shauna Minoprio to Insider

As soon as Murphy chosen the ultimate contenders — 12 for season one and 14 for season two — filming started in earnest. Every episode begins with contestants discovering out the week’s theme in a colourful lounge. 

Larsen: On season one, you might inform that every one of us — the producers, the forged — had been figuring it out as we went.  

Ulrich: I did not know I used to be gonna be on the present till the day I confirmed up. 

Minoprio: There have been many, many, many occasions the place we might be standing within the automobile park at 4 within the morning, attempting to work out what would occur subsequent.

The cast of "The Glee Project" season two in black-and-red costumes talking to choreographer Zach Woodlee.

The forged of “The Glee Challenge” season two speaking to choreographer Zach Woodlee.

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Throughout season one, “figuring it out” prolonged to the contenders’ dwelling quarters, which is one thing followers did not get to see on-screen.  

Mitchell: We stayed in a Jewish summer time camp. We slept in retrofitted bunk bedrooms that did not have AC. Followers needed to be introduced in.

Pearce: The very first thing they informed us once we acquired there was to be careful for ticks. Our outhouse bogs did not have roofs.

Orne: Mosquitoes had been all over the place, biting all people.

Minoprio: It was the one location we would come throughout that labored for our finances and timing.

Pearce: We could not learn magazines or books. We solely had MP3s to apply our personal songs on.

Mitchell: It felt like half we had been being detained towards our will, and half “That is TV.”

Minoprio: It was a bit mad as a result of we had been trodding via the woods within the mud to get from one room to a different — none of which you noticed on the present.

Mitchell: It wasn’t a set. It definitely wasn’t any form of Hollywood, MTV “Actual World” home. 

Through the second season, contenders really did stay on the retired “Actual World” set. 

Larsen: Bastards.

McGinty: These youngsters had it simple.

Pearce: We had been undoubtedly the guinea pigs.

Ali Stroker, runner-up of “The Glee Challenge” season two: They turned a soundstage into our house, with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a dwelling house. That form of stuff is not made to stay on, so issues began falling aside.

Orne: It was terrible — it sucks to stay in a studio on Ikea furnishings.

Chris Colfer and Robert Ulrich talking in yellow room on "The Glee Project"

Chris Colfer and Robert J. Ulrich on “The Glee Challenge.”

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Minoprio beforehand was a producer for “High Chef,” which impressed the three-part format of the present. First, contenders would compete in a gaggle musical quantity — or “homework project” — in a colourful choir room with classroom chairs to win further mentorship time with a “Glee” forged member. 

Ulrich: In season one, no person from the “Glee” forged knew what “The Glee Challenge” was.

Mitchell: We did not have a ton of contact with the “Glee” stars. They got here in, did their little bit, and had been out. They did not need something to do with us.

Then contestants would then movie a music video, rehearsing choreography with “Glee” choreographer Zach Woodlee and prerecording vocals with singing coach Nikki Anders. 

Pearce: The filming was — in each method, form, and kind — a boot camp. 

Minoprio: We needed to do a giant quantity each week to essentially get that DNA of the “Glee” group quantity. We recorded vocals, then labored on a routine. 

Lastly, Ulrich, Woodlee, and Anders would resolve that week’s backside three, who’d sing for his or her life to Murphy. Murphy, Woodlee, and Ulrich would decide every efficiency from the entrance of what gave the impression to be a college auditorium.

Minoprio: With the last-chance performances, we needed a dramatic last act that was comparatively fast to shoot, ‘trigger Ryan’s a really busy man.

I did not care what occurred every week, I simply did not wish to see Ryan Murphy’s face on the finish of it. Cameron Mitchell to Insider

Orne: Ryan is aware of precisely what’s good and what’s dangerous. He isn’t afraid to let you know — and he should not be. You have to be open to his criticism, as a result of he is a mad genius. he is gonna make the appropriate name.

Minoprio: Ryan needed every part to be very environment friendly. He’d flip up for the last-chance performances, and I might temporary him on every part that occurred within the episode whereas he was in make-up. After the performances, he’d inform me who he was going to remove, then he’d go away.

Larsen: I will watch out with my phrases right here. Ryan’s a sweetheart, however he’s additionally a genius and is aware of it. He likes to push individuals’s buttons slightly bit.

Pearce: He was unimaginable. I do not assume he appreciated me, however I believe that was skewed by my insecurity, concern, and stress.

Mitchell: I did not care what occurred every week, I simply did not wish to see Ryan Murphy’s face on the finish of it. 

For last-chance performances, Minoprio and her crew chosen a tune for every contender to sing. 

Minoprio: We made Damian sing “Danny Boy,” which he wasn’t completely happy about. It was very on the nostril as a result of he is Irish, and I actually remorse that.

McGinty: I used to be discouraged and I needed to go house, then I used to be informed to sing “Danny Boy.” I did not know methods to ship that tune — it felt so unsuitable. How are you going to battle in your life on a TV present singing “Danny Boy”?

Contestants discovered they had been lower via a “Glee”-style casting discover on a bulletin board.

Ulrich: I used to be proper there week after week. It was a really intimate method to expertise the casting course of.

Minoprio: I used to be all the time completely happy we did not must make Robert announce it. It was laborious sufficient for him to inform the forged the checklist was up.

Ulrich: I felt horrible each week. My spouse used to inform me, “Robert, it is a competitors. Any person’s gonna get lower.” 

Samuel Larsen and Robert J. Ulrich talking to contestants on "The Glee Project."

Samuel Larsen and Robert J. Ulrich on “The Glee Challenge” season two.

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Every eradicated contestant then sang backup on Avril Lavigne’s “Hold Holding On” with the remainder of the contenders. 

Minoprio: I needed to make use of “I am Going House” from “Rocky Horror,” however everybody informed me it was loopy. 

Mitchell: There have been actual tears shed when individuals left. It was as real as actuality TV might be.

Larsen: Everybody would cry when somebody acquired kicked off, and I might be high quality. For me to win, everybody else needed to lose. The present was an extended job interview.

Regardless of the aggressive nature of the present, the forged and crew say they had been extraordinarily shut throughout filming, which lasted months. 

Pearce: The laughter was very, very actual. I’ll all the time cherish that.

Ulrich: We would get house actually late, like 2 or 3 within the morning. Then Zach Woodlee would name, and my spouse would go, “Go discuss to your girlfriend on the cellphone.” I might be on with Zach for hours.

Stroker: The individuals from “The Glee Challenge” really feel like household as a result of we lived collectively and weren’t allowed any contact with the surface world. We had been one another’s every part.

Orne: On each present I have been on, I’ve had a powwow the place I bitch concerning the present, its producers, and its expertise. However I by no means had a nasty day at “The Glee Challenge.”

Charlie Lubeck, Lily Mae Harrington, Harper Grae, and Michael Weisman in red bathing suits on "The Glee Project"

The forged of “The Glee Challenge” filmed a number of music movies.

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

However as filming wore on, the competitors turned extra intense. 

Larsen: I used to be so decided to win. I would just executed “American Idol,” and gotten kicked off. So I used to be like, “I am unable to simply be the reality-show man. What number of of those am I gonna do?”

Abraham Lim, contestant on “The Glee Challenge” season two: You naturally develop into a bit extra aggressive. You clock when somebody would not hit a notice or struggles with choreography.

Larsen: There have been loads of egos going round.

Lim: There have been so many nice components of the present, nevertheless it was additionally actually anxiety-inducing and there was loads of trauma. Trauma bonds had been made. 

Harper Grae, contestant on “The Glee Challenge” season two: That they had a psychologist on employees to deal with us and put together us for what was to return.

Pearce: I don’t know if anyone used the psychologist, however I did not.

Ulrich: While you watch a actuality present and see individuals crying, it is ‘trigger they’re worn out. They’re by no means alone. They by no means haven’t got a digital camera of their face. They’re mentally and bodily exhausted.

The price was excessive for a few of us

Orne: As in any actuality present, the vibe’s nice originally, after which because the weeks go on, all people’s — excuse me — fucking uninterested in having to go to confessionals and getting requested the identical questions time and again.

Minoprio: It is a aggressive surroundings with a bunch of emotional, dramatic, aggressive youngsters of high-school age, just about. That is inevitable. 

Grae: I by no means felt tokenized or put in a scenario that felt scripted. They had been attempting to get me and a man contestant collectively for a very long time — all the time partnering us up or placing us subsequent to 1 one other. After they discovered I am homosexual, they realized that wasn’t gonna work. 

Harper Grae singing in the center of the "Glee Project" cast

Harper Grae and the forged of “The Glee Challenge” season two.

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Grae really got here out onstage to Murphy throughout “Sexuality” week, nevertheless it was not included within the last edit. 

Grae: I used to be within the backside 4. By way of tears and panic, I absolutely got here out onstage. I am very grateful they did not air that. They may’ve. That will’ve been TV drama. 

Minoprio: When the contestants are in entrance of Ryan and preventing to remain within the present, they’d say something as a result of it is such a giant deal. 

Grae: If another person had taken that from me, it will’ve wrecked me. I am from Alabama, southern Evangelical tradition. That shit do not play down there. 

However not each incident that got here up was dealt with as nicely. 

Lim: There are loads of issues on that present that, in the event that they occurred now, individuals can be getting canceled left and proper. Sure issues had been dealt with poorly again then.

A kind of issues, Lim stated, was an incident the place Anders pressed him throughout a recording session, asking if he recognized as “androgynous.” 

Lim: I believe Nikki’s improbable, and I do not wanna villainize anybody. However when it got here to androgyny, it was like, “Oh, what is the massive deal? Why will not he simply declare it?” It’s a must to keep in mind, I did not develop up with a contemporary household or “Will and Grace.” I used to be hurled loads of criticism from individuals watching the present again within the day.

Minoprio: I do not know the way anybody goes on TV anymore with the web feedback. They’re youngsters, and he stated he wasn’t comfy. Folks ought to help that. 

Lim stated he was informed by “one of many individuals on set and one other” that manufacturing needed him to verify his sexuality and gender id for the cameras.

Lim: They had been attempting to get an admission of kinds from me, and I am like, “You are not gonna get something, as a result of I do not know.” I am not gonna promote my soul down the river for a seven-episode arc on “Glee.” I am determining who I’m.

I am not gonna promote my soul down the river for a seven-episode arc on ‘Glee.’ Abraham Lim to Insider

Pearce stated that one in every of her most detrimental experiences on the present got here throughout “Vulnerability” week. Contestants had been requested to share a few of their darkest moments and insecurities, which might be boiled all the way down to a phrase or phrase to put on within the “Mad World” music video.

Pearce: They sat us down and basically requested us to inform them our deepest, darkest secrets and techniques. I shared about my sexual assault. I stated one thing like, “Going via that made me really feel like I wasn’t an individual — like I used to be only a physique and a pleasant face.” To take care of these feelings, I needed to placed on a entrance. 

She shot the video carrying an indication that learn “pretend.”

Pearce: That story wasn’t on tv. The lower is me saying individuals like me as a result of I am fairly, which makes me really feel pretend. That was gut-wrenching, ‘trigger I would not have shared my expertise if I knew the way it’d be edited. It did not match the narrative that they had been attempting to make. 

Pearce was additionally concerned in one of many present’s largest dramas. Throughout season one’s “Pairability” week, Pearce kissed Mitchell whereas taking pictures the “Child It is Chilly Exterior” music video, however Mitchell informed Insider the kiss was “a setup.” 

Mitchell: Once we’d choreographed the scene, it did not finish with a kiss. 

Pearce: Erik White, our video director, stated one thing like, “On this subsequent take, kiss Cameron. It is what we want.” 

Pearce stated White informed her kissing had labored nicely for different contestants, so she ought to do it as nicely. 

Pearce: The minute I pulled away and noticed Cameron’s face, I spotted I might been performed. 

Mitchell: After, I made it clear to all people that it wasn’t cool and that I had a girlfriend again house. I felt blindsided as a result of nobody requested me about it. That is the place the strings of producers began to twist. They had been like, “Oh, that is a sizzling matter for Cameron. How can we push his buttons much more?” 

Pearce: I could not sleep. That evening, I snuck to the boys’ dorm to apologize to Cameron. I stated I used to be simply listening to the director and wished I might take it again. All he might say was it wasn’t my fault.

Mitchell: I used to be very upset and felt taken benefit of — not by Lindsay, clearly.

Pearce: I want I had the language that we’ve got at present surrounding consent and consciousness and respecting individuals’s boundaries. I’ll all the time take accountability for my very own facet of issues, however I used to be 19 and being manipulated.

Lindsay Pearce, Cameron Mitchell and Hannah McIalwain posing in front of "Glee Project" background.

Lindsay Pearce, Cameron Mitchell, and Hannah McIalwain had been on season one in every of “The Glee Challenge.”

Theo Wargo/Oxygen/Getty Photographs

Mitchell was within the backside three that week, however stayed within the competitors. Then, two weeks later, the identical producer requested Cameron to kiss a unique contestant, Hannah McIalwain, throughout “Sexuality” week’s “Teenage Dream” video shoot.

Mitchell: The identical producer got here as much as me midway via our video and was like, “Hey, would you thoughts kissing Hannah on this subsequent take?” This was after I made it very clear that is not one thing I needed to do once more. 

Minoprio: There was this sense from Ryan and the writers of like, “That is what ‘Glee’ is. That is the present you’re making use of to be on. It is fairly a sexual present, and there is loads of romance. Are you able to get comfy with that? Or is that this not for you?”

Mitchell: I wasn’t an actor and did not care to be one. So he requested me about it and pushed, and I saved saying no. By that time, I used to be fed up. I did not wanna be a quitter, however I did not really feel proper about every part. 

Mitchell give up the present that episode. The ultimate lower attributed his departure to his non secular values.

Mitchell: It really was a type of moments that altered the course of my life. I used to be compelled to face up for myself. I used to be compelled to confront what it’s I needed, who it’s I needed to be. You do not have loads of moments like that in life. 

Pearce: It was abuse, whether or not they thought it was or wasn’t. They made a profitable reality-television present, however the fee was excessive for a few of us. 

Mitchell: It was very traumatic. 

Minoprio: There’s most likely stuff in that present we might do otherwise now — inevitably.

Pearce: I do not maintain any hatred or harbor any resentment.

Sam Larsen and Damian McGinty with other "Glee" cast members in front of red wall

Samuel Larsen and Damian McGinty appeared on a number of “Glee” episodes collectively.

Fox/Getty Photographs

Ryan’s going to do what Ryan does

Mitchell leaving opened the door for McGinty and Larsen, who’d develop into the cowinners of season one.  

Larsen: I needed it essentially the most. Producers had been coming as much as me earlier than they introduced the winner and had been like, “Hear, Samuel. Should you do not win, it isn’t the top of your life.”

McGinty: It was a loopy cocktail of feelings.

Larsen: I did not know the way the hell I might win as a result of I felt just like the least proficient particular person within the last 4. Backstage, I opened my Bible, closed my eyes, and prayed. I requested for a message I wanted and put my finger on the web page. Once I opened my eyes, I used to be pointing to how David defeated Goliath. 

All the season, viewers had thought there can be just one “Glee Challenge” winner. However after Murphy awarded the grand prize to Larsen, he stated McGinty was a winner, too. Pearce and Alex Newell, the runners-up, had been additionally awarded two-episode arcs on “Glee.”

McGinty: I assumed I might misplaced. Then Ryan was like, “Properly, you’ve got additionally gained.” I went from the bottom low to the best excessive. 

Larsen: It was actually cool, even humbling, when Damian gained proper after — it was God’s method of telling me, “It is not all about me.”

McGinty: One million issues went via my head. I believe the primary was, “Oh my God, I’ve to maneuver to LA. That does not sound enjoyable.”

Minoprio: That is Ryan’s course of. He is writing the present, he desires them within the present, so that is what’s gonna occur.

Ali Stroker wearing a pink dress in a crowd on "The Glee Project

Ali Stroker on “The Glee Challenge.”

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

After the season-one twist, Oxygen execs warned Murphy there might solely be one winner for season two. 

Orne: The season-two tagline was “There can solely be one,” ‘trigger Ryan gave Samuel, Damian, Alex, and Lindsay a prize on season one. However you’ll be able to’t inform Ryan what to do. Ryan’s going to do what Ryan does. 

Regardless that Blake Jenner took the crown on season two, Murphy additionally gave Stroker, the runner-up, a one-episode guest-starring function on “Glee.” 

Jenner would later go on to develop into a “Glee” collection common. For the reason that present ended, he has admitted to abusing his fellow “Glee” star and ex-wife, Melissa Benoist.


When “The Glee Challenge” premiered on June 12, 2011, the response was instantaneous. 

Larsen: Instantly, individuals had been all about it. What actually blew my thoughts was the billboards all over the place. We had been on the facet of buses. We had been on elevators.

Minoprio: “Glee” was white-hot, so loads of the response needed to do with that. It is enjoyable to see backstage.

Ulrich: For the premiere of “The Glee Challenge,” I acquired a name from someone saying, “What time would you like the automobile to choose you up?” Casting administrators often do not get handled like that. 

Stroker: While you’re in a wheelchair, individuals have a look at you. After “The Glee Challenge,” there was this shift. When individuals seemed my method, I assumed, “Possibly they’re wanting as a result of they noticed me on ‘The Glee Challenge.'” It modified my confidence.

Abraham Lim dancing in a multicolored outfit with red face makeup on "The Glee Project."

Abraham Lim on “The Glee Challenge.”

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Mitchell: It felt fairly cool and peculiar to be, like, an F-list celeb. There have been perks, like when me and Damian went to Nobu and did not have to attend. 

Lim: Typically individuals will nonetheless cease me and say one thing pretty about “The Glee Challenge.” I am amazed a actuality present on Oxygen from 10 years in the past can nonetheless have some kind of impression. 

Much more intense than the in-person response was the web one. 

Orne: Should you checked out Tumblr in 2012 or 2013, it was actually all “The Glee Challenge.” 

Mitchell: The Tumblr fan fiction that began to roll in caught me off guard. I used to be enamored that somebody might write an entire fantasy realm of tales about me.

Grae: In fan fiction, I all the time acquired paired with the blokes, and we would chuckle ‘trigger we had been like, “That is by no means gonna occur.”

However the response wasn’t all constructive. 

Pearce: I’ve by no means been so hated in my life. It is not simple for a 20-year-old to be known as a sexual assailant, a sexual predator, an abuser — all due to the music-video kiss. Eleven years later, I nonetheless get hate mail despatched to the theaters I work at and DMs telling me to kill myself. It is easy to assume, “Properly, you knew what you signed up for,” however we had been kids. All of us signed this contract however had no concept what that high quality print really meant.

‘I discovered rather a lot, on the very least’

“The Glee Challenge” was canceled on July 16, 2013, after two seasons. In October, Murphy introduced that the sixth season of “Glee” would even be its final.

Orne: There was going to be a 3rd season, however there have been cash points. I do not know what I am allowed to say, nevertheless it was a monetary choice. No one stated they did not need it. Everyone needed it. 

Ulrich: It was so all-consuming for thus lengthy that when it ended, we had been all so unhappy. We liked doing it. 

McGinty: I’ve made peace with the truth that it is one of the enjoyable issues I am going to most likely ever do in my life.

Mitchell: Actually, I’ve nothing however love for that present and the individuals on it.

Harper Grae and Abraham Lim sitting together by a stereo on "The Glee Project"

Harper Grae and Abraham Lim on “The Glee Challenge.”

Oxygen Media/Getty Photographs

Pearce: I believe it was a product of its time — all of us had been. 

Stroker: For lots of us, it was the very first thing we did that broke us into the business. 

Lim: I do not know if I might’ve began performing if it weren’t for “The Glee Challenge.” I am grateful, however there is a distinction between gratitude and being indebted. 

Pearce: It is a harmful factor to say, “Properly, you would not have the profession you’ve gotten.” Yeah, perhaps not. However I additionally would not be as wounded as I’m at present.

Lim: There have been sure problematic issues about it, however on the finish of the day, it was individuals from all totally different components of the world and the spectrum and totally different colours and sexualities and religions, and we got here collectively and we did one thing we liked.

I do not wanna be bitter about it, you understand? I wanna be like, what? That was good.” I discovered rather a lot, on the very least. 

Pearce: I discovered loads of classes — they simply occurred to be on nationwide tv. 

These interviews have been edited and condensed for readability.

Oxygen declined to remark. Representatives for Murphy, “The Glee Challenge” manufacturing firm Embassy Row, and White didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s requests for remark. Insider was unable to achieve Anders for remark. Murphy declined to be interviewed for the piece.

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