It didn’t come as a shock tonight when Tacoma singer Nellie Veitenheimer was eliminated from “The Glee Project.”
The signs of Veitenheimer’s demise were all over the episode from the beginning. I figured she was doomed when the show’s theme – theatrically – was announced. Uh oh, Nellie!
The episode’s homework assignment was “I Hope I Get It” from “A Chorus Line” and the guest mentor was Grant Gustin (Sebastian on “Glee.”)
Gustin reminded the cast that theatrically translates into heightened emotion. As usual, Veitenheimer gave a strong vocal performance but a lackluster theatrical performance.
“I want to see you be more confident…be brave. You’re on the cliff. Just jump,” Gustin told Veitenheimer during the critique.
Gustin chose Ali as the winner. And I had to concur. She gave a strong vocal and theatrical performance.
The music video, “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls, had the cast as grocery store clerks fantasizing about being pop superstars.
Veitenheimer was given the role of Britney Spears. “Why this girl as Britney Spears? I don’t really get it,” she asked. Other cast members became Elvis, Madonna, Boy George and Lady Gaga among others.
And for those of you keeping score: the show was 8 minutes in when Aylin reminded us she is a Turkish Muslim. That was the reason, she hypothesized, she was given the role of Madonna. Of course! Because when I think of Madonna I think Turkey and Islam.
Veitenheimer seemed to be parked in front of the produce section during most of the shoot. “I don’t even know how to act like Britney Spears,” she confessed during shooting. The creative team didn’t seem to be happy with her, as usual.
Ali was named the winner of the video, a double coup for her on this episode.
Once again, Veitenheimer was in the bottom three. “At the video shoot, it did take a long time to get there,” choreographer Zach Woodlee told her.
“It was a lot to process,” Veitenheimer said of the role.
“It feels like we’ve been begging you to stay….I need you to dive head first,” Woodlee said.
Veitenheimer was given “I’m The Only One” by Melissa Etheridge for her last chance performance.
Contestant Abraham had a sissy-boy crying fit because he was asked if he was androgynous. Then, minutes later, he was jealous that an Adele song was given to a female contestant. Abe: own the lady-boy routine or butch up, boy.
“Nellie is here because she still has the confidence issue,” casting director Robert Ulrich told series creator Ryan Murphy.
Vetienheimer brought the house down with her performance but she had already written one too many bad checks. It just couldn’t balance out her season’s worth of reticent performances.
“Your indecisiveness and lack of passion concerns me the most,” Murphy said. He said he has to create a character for the eventual winner. “I can’t imagine what that character would be,” Murphy said.
“I don’t want to set myself up with hope and then get it shot down,” Veitenheimer told Murphy on why she holds back.
I actually got choked up when Veitenheimer’s name was revealed as the one not getting called back and she erupted in tears. She’s been a stellar vocal performer, if not a theatrical performer, all season and it’s been exciting to see her grow as an entertainer.
“I’m waking away with a new sense of pride in what I can do…I don’t want to go home but I’m still glad for the experience,” Veitenheimer said at the end of the episode.