On Glee, everybody might be a loser and an underdog, but on The Glee Project, there are plenty of winners. The reality series, which set out to cast a new actor for the hit Fox show, crowned its victors last night, surprising viewers by choosing more than one winner. Dreadlocked heartthrob Samuel Larson and shy Irishman Damian McGinty will each get seven-episode guest stints on the Fox series, while the other two finalists, Alex Newell and Lindsay Pearce, were each rewarded with two-episode guest arcs. Glee is coming off criticism for its decline in quality and the confusing way it's handled the impending graduation of its major characters. Will the Glee Project winners revitalize the show?

Nope. This is four winners too many: None of the four finalists "are prepared to contribute significantly to Glee," says Linda Holmes at NPR. They are all too similar to cast members the series already has. And the last thing Glee needs is more characters to write story lines for. Existing characters like Mike Chang, Lauren Zizes, and Dave Karofsky are already underdeveloped. "It could go a long way for them to write better for the people they already have."
"The Glee Project ends as it must"

Actually, this is just what Glee needs: "This is a lot of fresh blood for Glee," says John Kubicek at Buddy TV. And considering that the show's most popular characters are set to (probably) graduate after next season, fresh blood is a good thing. Adorable Irishman Damian McGinty, in particular, has "high potential for comic relief." Imagine him paired with ditzy cheerleader Brittany, and her not understanding anything he says because of his accent. Such a comedic goldmine could make Damian "a long-term asset to the show."
"Samuel vs. Damian: Who will make the better Glee star?"

But incorporating them into the show will be a challenge: "You can't say that [show creator] Ryan Murphy makes things easy for himself," says Kyle Buchanan at New York. It was already going to be difficult to craft a story line suited to an actor who won a reality series, rather than go through the normal process of searching the "SAG talent pool" for an actor who best fits a story line already written. Now he's going to have to do that with four new characters. "Will the already stuffed show know what to do with them?"
"The Glee Project crowned its winner… sort of"