My absolute favourite contestant went home because her real emotions for one contestant got in the way of her attempts to fake emotion for another contestant. Lamest reason ever. Sure Hannah was distracted during the video shoot but 1) she should have channeled that and just pretended she was singing to Damian but 2) she does keep getting the hardest partners to work with (prudy Cameron for the sexuality challenge AND Alex for the video about romantic longing? Give the girl a break!). So after a beautiful rendition of my beloved Taylor’s “Back to December”, my girl got sent packing- but not before some sweet, comforting hugs from dreamboat Damian and some genuine tears from her BFF Lindsay.
I say “genuine tears” because the seconds of screentime Lindsay got when she saw that she was safe but her closest friend was leaving, those were the truest seconds of screentime Lindsay’s ever had. I have a friend who adores her but I think that sometimes-bitchy/often-right vocal coach had it down when she pointed out that Lindsay was forcing emotion. She’s competitive, to a fault, and every forced thing from kissing Cameron to breaking down in the sound booth does her no good (neither did her flimsy head-voiced rendition of “Maybe This Time” in my opinion). But what does her tons of good is the real Lindsay. She’s funny when she’s not trying to be, quirky, sweet and endearing most of the time. She does have the best vocals left in the competition, she’s the only remaining girl and she leaves open a ton of writing possibilities. Her grief over losing Hannah and the complicated mixture of her relief at not going home- that was the most touching thing of the episode (and that’s including the ironic heartbreak of Damian’s teasing insistence that he’s in love with Hannah but she doesn’t know he exists).
Speaking of forced behaviour, I once considered Samuel the only smart choice for the Glee casting directors. He’d be a character they haven’t seen before, someone new and confident and well-adjusted, if a little dark. But this episode ruined that for me. The one-note rocker’s silly rendition of “Animal” was predictable but off-putting and while he sold sex week really well apparently “longing” is outside of his repertoire (which, frankly, worries me). None of that is really that bad, since he does have the look, the voice and the attitude for the show. But the way he desperately formed into the version of himself that he thought Ryan Murphy might want just horrified me. First of all, it’s Ryan Murphy, the version of you that he wants is not the version of you that you should be- just ask poor down-trodden Mercedes. If he wins because he played up his parents’ religion when he felt it’d be advantageous, I’ll be really let down. At least with Cameron it came from a real place, religion seems like something Samuel pulled out of his bag of tricks like a dirty hair tie or a Hannah-stolen catchphrase.
That said, we did get some reality this week and from the most unexpected of sources: Alex. I’ve been really hard on the kid and while he still really annoys me and his emotion had nothing to do with the assignment, I’ll be the first to admit that he really impressed this week. He toned right down and, for the first time ever, behaved like a human being instead of a cartoon stereotype of who the backwards world told him his colour and sexuality dictated he should be. You, sir, really stood up tonight. Bravo.
So with Hannah gone there really is only one excellent end to this show: an unexpected Damian upset. If the almost-eliminated Irishman could pull it off it would really make my month. And since the prize is a spot on my DVR for a whole 7 weeks, I really want to see someone I like win this thing. I’d be okay with Lindsay, I guess. But for total happiness, it’s Damian or bust (and maybe a cameo from his good friend/secret amore Hannah?! yes???).