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Emmys 2011: Making a Case for Chris Colfer

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Sep 14, 2011 | 9:00am EDT

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chris colferEver since Glee first aired in 2009, the show has become a genre unto itself. Combining popular musical numbers with hilarious wit and clever banter, the show has skyrocketed to the top, quickly surpassing many other television comedies. But let’s face it, a show is only as strong as the actors who lift it to greatness and I believe that Chris Colfer has carried more than his own share of weight during this past season. He's steadily blossomed into one of the pillar characters on the show and it’s time he earned some Emmy recognition.

Even though he was nominated last year, Colfer lost to Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet while his fellow Glee-mate Jane Lynch took home a trophy for her classic one-liners and her comedic genius, both of which helped pave the way for the show’s success. But since that time Colfer's character, Kurt Hummel, has shown a genuine vulnerability and dealt with some intense, real-life issues that are a dominating force in our society today. In Season 2's "Grilled Cheesus" episode, after Kurt's dad has a heart attack and ends up in the hospital, Kurt sings a beautiful, heartbreaking rendition of The Beatles song "I Want To Hold Your Hand," showing that you don’t need to be the star of the football team or Prom Queen to earn your right to the spotlight. Feeling alone and full of guilt in that scene, Colfer really succeeds in portraying what it would feel like to potentially lose a parent and leaves his fans reaching for the box of tissues.

It also goes without saying that the glee club members are constantly picked-on, bullied, and even slushied, but Kurt seemed to get a double dose of it this past season and even ended up transferring to another school due to gay bullying. Throughout the course of the year, he learns to become proud of who he is and starts standing up for himself (and he gets a very cute boyfriend along the way). He even ends up returning to McKinley by the end of the season, overcoming all his fears and insecurities about being "different." His character is a great source of power and strength, which is something all kids and even adults can look up to and admire.

And let’s not forget another important factor – he's completely relatable. Colfer successfully portrays real-life struggles that many gay teens face in their everyday lives. We all remember the uncomfortable sex discussion he had with his father and while we all can agree (Kurt included) that it was awkward, it was also really heartwarming. The fact that his father cared enough to try to sit down and relate to his son, provides a great lesson to parents with gay children -- talking helps. Kurt may have been mortified by the situation, but it definitely meant something to him to know that his father was there to listen if he needed him. And what about when Kurt wanted to bring his boyfriend to Prom and as a joke, kids voted him Prom Queen? At first Kurt was both humiliated and embarrassed by the cruelty of his fellow classmates, but he rose above their pettiness and went through with being coronated with a great parting line: "Eat your heart out Kate Middleton." He chose to stand up for himself instead of running away, setting an incredible example for all gay teens who have been bullied and mocked and Colfer brought the performance to a whole new level. I think that has certainly earned him a right to the Emmy spotlight. It’s Colfer's time to shine!

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