For 10 weeks we have been watching The Glee Project, and as lame as this sounds, we watched it religiously over these 10 weeks. It was all we talked about, we always voted for fan favorite, and we speculated what would happen each week.
And this week was the end, the finale, the last hurrah.
And we knew who we wanted to win, and we knew who we didn't. We had our doubts and speculations. And we were utterly enthused by the end.
I think that finale was the best episode of any show on TV, and this is why: these aren't some stuck up people pretending to be from New Jersey who get everything they've ever wanted. These people aren't some overpaid actors who do medical murder shows or psychotic moms who want their kids to become professional athletes. These are kids - kids from your neighborhood, kids from your school, kids who didn't have much self esteem or friends but had a spark inside that they could finally show here in this safe haven called Glee. And these kids did not have to have any sort of training at all. As long as you were 18 years old, you could audition for The Glee Project.
40,000 people auditioned in person and in front of web cams across the world, and 12 were chosen to be on this show. Every kid had an amazing voice - one that you couldn't even auto tune to sound better - and they had humility and passion like no one I've ever seen. They walked into a room full of professional and renown casting directors - just ordinary kids - with inhibitions behind and a song in their heart. They sang their hearts out. And then 12 amazing, talented, ambitious, fun-loving, cool, and incredibly determined kids were picked to be on this show that consumed every Sunday night from 9 to 10pm for the past 2 and a half months.
And tonight, every contender, as they say, came back to do the last group performance music video, "Raise Your Glass" on the top of a 35 story building in LA. An at the very end, everyone came together for a big group hug. These people, who never would have come together in any other circumstance, standing on top of a building hugging and crying tears of joy and belonging. Some from upper-middle class California suburbs, some who immigrated from South America in middle school. Some with think Irish accents and some with dreadlocks and nose rings. Short, tall, big, small, all races and ethnicities, coming together and becoming a big family, is really amazing.
But the best part was, this was real life. Kids given a chance to be the next big thing, and they got it. And in fact, all 4 finalists got something. And when they won, they fell to their knees in glee (like the pun?), thanking God for giving them this chance and crying in shock that they had won. It left me feeling overjoyed for them, all of them, for doing something that they believed in and wanted so badly.
This is what life's about. Chasing your dreams and getting your big break. And showing the world how great you really are.