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'The Glee Project': Everyone's a Winner!

The show's judges decide not to decide and instead give all four finalists roles on ''Glee''

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'The Glee Project': Everyone's a Winner!

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McKinley High's hallways will officially be teeming with fresh faces this fall. In the Aug. 21 finale of Oxygen's The Glee Project, exec producer Ryan Murphy shocked contestants and viewers when he announced that there were two winners of the reality competition, Samuel Larsen, 19, and Damian McGinty, 18, both of whom will receive seven-episode arcs during Glee's season 3, which premieres Sept. 20. ''I basically forgot how to function as a human being,'' Larsen says of the Glee Project finale, which was taped in April. ''It felt like I was floating or something. I was flipping out!'' Adds McGinty, ''I nearly hit my head off of a piano. It was just ridiculous.'' And the duo are thrilled that runners-up Lindsay Pearce, 20, and Alex Newell, 19, walked away with two-episode arcs on the Fox hit. ''For the four of us, it's an amazing feeling knowing that as a group we have all basically got ourselves a part on Glee,'' says McGinty, who grew up in Derry, Northern Ireland, and has been touring with the singing group Celtic Thunder since age 14. (A source says Oxygen is close to finalizing a fall casting announcement for an expected second season of The Glee Project.) Neither McGinty nor Larsen knows yet which Glee episode will be their debut or which characters they'll play. Murphy told EW in June that he and the other writers had already come up with a juicy plot for the series' victor. ''We have a great story line planned for Sue that will involve the Glee Project winner, who will become the person Sue has hated the most in the entire history of her life,'' Murphy said. ''She's done destroying the glee club and she just wants to destroy the Glee Project winner!'' Larsen, for one, already has an idea for his character. ''Every high school has a rock band,'' says the Los Angeles native. ''I could be the singer of that band, and I see the band breaking up or something and I need somewhere to sing. So New Directions it is.'' Meanwhile, McGinty is eager to be Glee's next breakout character. ''I think I speak for both me and Samuel, yeah, we've won The Glee Project but, as crazy as it sounds, that's in the past,'' he says. ''We have seven episodes on Glee and we wanna work toward getting a full-time role. The hard work begins now.''

Originally posted Aug 26, 2011 Published in issue #1170 Sep 02, 2011 Order article reprints