Belfast Telegraph

It’s just amazing, says Derry teen Glee finalist

It's one of the world’s biggest television hits — and one Londonderry teenager is within grasping distance of a coveted role.

Damian McGinty has made it through to the final four of televised auditions for a starring role in US hit Glee.

Well over one million people have voted online for the 18-year-old since he burst to fame in America as one of 12 contestants on spin-off programme The Glee Project, which offers the prize of a part in the show.

The Galliagh lad will now be hoping to impress Glee’s executive producers Ryan Murphy and Dante Di Loreto when he battles against Californians Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay Pearce and Alex Newell from Massachussetts in the all-singing, all-dancing semi-final this weekend.

An avalanche of support from fans of the show has put him neck-and-neck with fellow semi-finalist Cameron, raising hopes he will make it to the final.

Young Damian was one of 12 people plucked from thousands to star in the The Glee Project which is being watched by millions. It is also being screened weekly on Sky One in the UK.

He is the only contestant from outside the US.

A former child star of Phil Coulter’s group Celtic Thunder, Damian said he was now shocked to have come up trumps in the latest round of singing, dancing and acting tasks being set for the hopefuls by judges on the show. “Being in the final four is just amazing. I feel honoured, I feel amazed, I just feel incredible,” he said.

Damian said he very much has his eye on the top prize of a contract and a definite role in the hit show to stand alongside fan favourites such as Finn, Will Schuester, Sue Sylvester, Rachel and Quinn.

“I can put the fact that I am in the semi-finals in my back pocket and move on,” he said. “I didn’t come here for top four — I came here to win.”

Meanwhile Damian’s bandmate from Celtic Thunder, Derry singer-songwriter Keith Harkin, will be performing with his own band The Durty Stopouts at the Gasyard Feile’s Sound of Free Derry concert tonight from 5pm.

Celtic Thunder have taken the US by storm performing to hundreds of thousands, including President Barack Obama at the White House and opening the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York.

The supergroup have released seven albums, five DVDs and completed several tours across America in recent years.


The winner of The Glee Project will land a place among the cast of one of the most watched television programmes in the world. Glee is a US musical comedy-drama, set in the fictional William McKinley High School of Ohio, that has also taken over the music charts with its catchy covers. Damian McGinty could find himself singing and dancing alongside the likes of teacher Will Schuester, cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester and Glee club members Finn, Quinn, Rachel, Puck and Kurt.

Belfast Telegraph


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