Short-Lived The Glee Project’s Former Contestants Reveal The True Hell Behind-The-Scenes! Alleged Unlivable Conditions, Manipulation, & MORE

This sounds way worse than getting a slushy to the face!


Back when Glee was the talk of the town, it was just about every younger performer’s dream to make it onto the series — and Oxygen execs used that to their favor by launching the reality series, The Glee Project. The show ran for two seasons in 2012 and 2013. Contestants were tasked with impressing showrunner Ryan Murphy to snag a seven-episode arc in the main series. Season 1 co-winners Damian McGinty and Samuel Larsen (top left inset) landed the roles of Rory Flanagan and Joe Hart, respectively. Disgraced star Blake Jenner (Ryder Lynn) won the next and final season.

Related: Why Lea Michele Has NEVER Seen Cory Monteith’s Glee Tribute Episode

While the show may have uncovered lots of talent, the participants were reportedly met with brutal behind-the-scenes shenanigans and mistreatment — all of which they are finally getting candid about!! In a new report by Insider published on Monday, several contestants opened up about their time on the show, calling out the producers for the allegedly awful living conditions, manipulation, and the invasion of privacy they experienced!

To begin, season 1 star Cameron Mitchell told the outlet the cast was forced to stay in less than desirable conditions at a sleepaway camp, explaining:

“We stayed in a Jewish summer camp. We slept in retrofitted bunk bedrooms that didn’t have AC. Fans had to be brought in.”

Yeah, that’s not the lavish lifestyle they must have been expecting after landing a role on a hot new reality series! LOLz! Season 1 runner-up Lindsay Pearce echoed similar comments, adding:

“The first thing they told us when we got there was to watch out for ticks. Our outhouse bathrooms didn’t have roofs.”

Yeesh! Even executive producer Shauna Minoprio admitted the living conditions were extremely s**tty, saying:

“It was the only location we’d come across that worked for our budget and timing.”

Apparently, by season 2, things improved — but only slightly. Ali Stroker, who appeared on the show and landed a guest star role on Glee before going on to win a Tony in 2019, told Insider:

“They turned a soundstage into our home, with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a living space. That kind of stuff isn’t made to live on, so things started falling apart.”

Embassy Row, the production company behind The Glee Project, didn’t reply for comment when E! News reached out. Hmm. Perhaps they know they screwed up!

The real juice came during the actual competition, though. Casting director Robert J. Ulrich revealed he noticed many contestants were struggling throughout the filming process, explaining they were showing signs they were “worn out” by the constant competition and attention:

“When you watch a reality show and see people crying, it’s ’cause they’re worn out. They’re never alone. They never don’t have a camera in their face. They’re mentally and physically exhausted.”

Interestingly, season 2 cast member Harper Grae did share they had a psychologist available to them. A good step, but it probably wasn’t very helpful since they were facing alleged manipulation from those higher up on the crew!

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According to multiple performers, choreographer Nikki Anders often asked invasive questions, making many feel uncomfortable on set. Season 2 star Abraham Lim remembered Anders asked about his sexual identity, recalling:

“They were trying to get an admission of sorts from me, and I’m like, ‘You’re not gonna get anything, because I don’t know.’ I’m not gonna sell my soul down the river for a seven-episode arc on Glee. I’m figuring out who I am.”

Good for him! Lindsay (previously quoted earlier) felt similarly, especially when filming a music video alongside Cameron, who was in a relationship at the time. She dished:

Erik White, our video director, said something like, ‘In this next take, kiss Cameron. It’s what we need.’ The minute I pulled away and saw Cameron’s face, I realized I’d been played.”

Ugh. So awful! She now regrets her actions, but insists she didn’t know any better — she was just a young teen trying to listen to her bosses! She shared:

“I wish I had the language that we have today surrounding consent and awareness and respecting people’s boundaries. I will always take accountability for my own side of things, but I was 19 and being manipulated.”

Sadly, she still faces backlash for her actions, she reflected:

“Eleven years later, I still get hate mail sent to the theaters I work at and DMs telling me to kill myself. It’s easy to think, ‘Well, you knew what you signed up for,’ but we were children.”

Jeez. The poor girl. While Cameron didn’t see the kiss coming, he doesn’t hold a grudge toward his duet partner, at least! He said:

“I felt blindsided because no one asked me about it. That’s where the strings of producers started to twist. They were like, ‘Oh, that’s a hot topic for Cameron. How can we push his buttons even more?’”

Proving how little the producers cared about the contestants rather than the story, they tried to get Mitchell to kiss a second contestant, but he refused and then quit the show. The producers claimed it was for religious reasons. Looking back, the singer considers that time “very traumatic,” adding:

“It truly was one of those moments that altered the course of my life. I was forced to stand up for myself. I was forced to confront what it is I wanted, who it is I wanted to be.”

Whoa. And this is just a handful of the allegations! You can check out the full breakdown of The Glee Project HERE! Reactions, Perezcious readers? Did you suspect things were this bad?

[Image via Very Real Reality/YouTube]

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