We're getting down to the wire here. Only seven kids remain on The Glee Project, and they're ready to fight to the death for that coveted role on Glee. It's fitting, to say the least, that this week's theme is tenacity, which Ali so kindly defines for viewers who may not happen to be up to snuff with their SAT vocabulary. "Tenacity is, when an obstacle comes your way, looking at it as an opportunity and using it," she says. Nicely put.
To showcase their tenacity, the contenders are first faced with the challenge of performing my favorite song ever, Destiny's Child's 2001 hit "Survivor." (Has Glee ever done an episode dedicated to Destiny's Child? They really should. Think of all the hits! "Say My Name," "Jumpin' Jumpin,'" "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Bootylicious," the list really is never-ending.)
If Destiny's Child is around, it means Amber Riley can't be far behind. Am I right? I'm right. This week's not-so-secret surprise mentor/judge is Mercedes. And she is digging on Ali and her blonde pigtails. Girl is on fi-yah with the homework wins! Aylin's eyes flash with rage and envy-fueled contempt as her lips curl into a grinch-like smile. She's just so happy for Ali, you see, and not jealous at all. Not one bit, no sir.
Robert breaks Aylin's fury-induced trance by announcing tenacity week's group number song. Dun, dundundun, dundundun, dundundunnnnnn … It's "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. Survivor the band, not the aforementioned Destiny's Child song. It's confusing, I know; are you taking notes? It's at this point that Robert reveals the sadistic plan he cooked up with the other mentors: the video shoot this week will be an obstacle course in a high school gym, and the entire video will be filmed in a single shot. This is going to be a nightmare, and every person in that dusty choir room knows it.
But before the kids hit the gym, they must face Nikki in the recording booth. She is practically gleeful while explaining to the camera that this song is out of everyone's vocal range. Is she bouncing a bit while she says that, or do my eyes deceive me? It's a good thing there's a glass wall to separate Nikki and her sound-mixing cohort from the contenders, because otherwise Blake would have been in danger. Pregnant Nikki, hormones racing, looks like she's about to pounce on Blake and drag him back to her cougar's lair. He'll be lucky if he gets out of there with all his limbs.
Following Blake in the studio is pretty boy numero dos, Michael. Unfortunately for Michael, Nikki has a thing for shaggy-haired blonds. For like the 67th time this season — which is impressive, considering there have only been eight episodes — Michael can't pull himself together in the booth. I'm already getting a whiff of the bottom three.
NEXT: The gym class from hell
No more messing around, it's time to explore the fiery pits of hell that is a gym class obstacle course. And, like Groundhog's Day for Bill Murray, this is one obstacle course that is doomed to repeat itself.
To kick things off, Blake runs up a row of bleachers holding a ball, which he throws to Michael. Michael must catch the ball and dive through a tire ring like a show dog. Cue Abraham, who runs through some more tires. And was that flash Aylin? Yep, Aylin has to clear some hurdles. Then Lily pitches a softball to Ali who jumps out of her wheelchair and swims 25 laps in an Olympic-sized pool. At this point, Shanna must stay on hold with Time Warner Cable for 45 minutes while simultaneously baking muffins for her sister's kindergarden field trip to the science museum. Finally, everyone makes a pyramid and Ali slam dunks a dodge ball into the basketball hoop. Got that? Go!
Take 1: Michael doesn't make it through the hoop. Take 2: Abraham forgets to lip sync. Take 11: The jump ropers (did I miss the jump rope portion in the above rundown? My bad), lose all nerve control in their faces. Take 16: Abraham pretends to sprain his ankle. Take 24: Shanna vomits into a trash can. Take 27: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 29: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 32: Ali misses the basketball shot. Take 34: PERFECT. Head count, is everyone still alive?
Following such a grueling video shoot, the judges are almost remorseful about picking a bottom three. Almost. Immediately safe are Ali (could it be my friend was right, and