Belfast Telegraph

Glee glory beckons for Derry teen

By Brendan McDaid

Londonderry teenager Damian McGinty is now within touching distance of a starring role in one of the world’s biggest TV shows.

The delighted Galliagh man announced on Twitter that he is through to the final of The Glee Project after judges scrapped the rule book and put all four semi-finalists through to the final.

Eighteen-year-old Damian is now one of two hot favourites to win the coveted spot on the world’s most watched TV show, and will be going into battle with dreadlocked Californian rocker Samuel Larsen.

Bloggers have ranked fellow finalists Alex Newell from Massachussetts and sole remaining girl Lindsay Pearce from California as least likely to take the role.

A spot alongside Will, Sue, Quinn, Rachel and co will automatically result in one of the four becoming instantly recognisable across the globe. Well over a million people have now cast votes online for the teen, putting him neck-and-neck with fellow top 12 contestant Cameron Mitchell for a £10,000 Fan Favourite prize.

Damian was one of 12 people plucked from 34,000 who submitted auditions via MySpace to star in the televised series. The winner will be handed a contract for a seven-episode role in the long-anticipated third series. The Glee Project final this Sunday is expected to be watched by millions across America and Canada. The show is also screened weekly in the UK on Sky One.

Speaking about his hopes of success, Damian said: “If I end up getting this role my life changes in a million different ways.

“Obviously I become famous worldwide — Glee is a phenomenon and the great thing about it is is it is going to get bigger.

“It is going to open so many doors, let me meet more amazing people than I already have. It is going to showcase your talent to the world and that’s an exciting thought,” he added.

Damian will now be hoping to impress Glee producers when he battles it out in the final.

The competition

Alex Newell (18) from Lynn, Massachussetts

Alex has been performing since he was two, and has sung his way through various amateur shows since High School, not unlike the Glee cast. He has been praised by judges for his tremendous range and having the ability to tackle lead dramatic roles, both male or female. He has been critised by fans for failing to endear himself to a mass audience.

Lindsay Pearce (19) from Modesta, California

Lindsay was deaf for the first six months of her life and was adopted. According to her biography she hasn't always been accepted as a performer and has described having experienced a particularly hard time in school, but is singled out as a hard grafter and a high achiever, achieving a scholarship at a young age to help her puruse her interest in musical drama. Like Alex though she has also been criticised for not connecting with audiences as much as some of the others.

Samuel Larsen (19) from Los Angeles, California

Damian’s main rival is billed as a musician at heart. He not only fronts his his own band as the lead singer, but can also plays guitar, drums, bass and piano. Described as a hopeless romantic, he is said to have a knack for serenading ladies, but is often more confident singing to them than talking to them. He has become a fan favourite and his rock star image and dreadlocks could see him snatch the Glee homecoming king crown from clean-cut Damian.

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