Before we can get to the week's fireworks and festivities, 10 contenders are still standing on The Glee Project. And one of them has to go.
Tonight the common struggle seems to be with confidence. Some of the contenders don't have enough and some have way too much.
Charlie and Aylin have decided to be "just friends" and actually compete instead of cuddle. How very grown up of them.
Robert tells the group that this week's theme is "Adaptability." And the group cheers. Or at least three of them do. Don't they know the themes are supposed to be difficult and scary and not fun?
As a curve for Adaptability, instead of choosing their lines in the Homework Assignment, lines from Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know" have been assigned to the contenders.
Kevin McHale is this week's guest mentor. It's always amazing to me how different he looks out of the wheelchair and without his glasses. In the spirit of adaptability, Kevin tells the contenders that instead of singing the Homework song as a group as they've rehearsed, they'll be singing it as solos.
Shanna doesn't even know the words. Charlie's practically screaming "musical theater background." And Ali just looks angry.
Michael makes the choice to act the song, as does Aylin. Both of them choose characters and stick with their choices until the end. But Aylin does it better. Both Charlie and Shanna receive points from Kevin for their attempts to change the lyrics to suit their performances.
Aylin wins the Homework round.
As another curve, the contenders aren't learning the song for the Big Group Number until they get to the recording studio. And they won't be learning choreography until they get on set. Awesome. Some of the control freaks are freaking out.
Nikki says the song is "Price Tag" by Jessie J. Aylin is the only one who is even kind of excited.
After a bad week in the booth last week, Michael gives the best performance he's given so far in the competition. Lily nails it, too. Abraham struggles. He's pitchy and breathy and his timing is off. Ali bombs.
On the video set, Charlie's chosen a character that he deems the worst person in the world. He names this character "Scott Campbell" and labels him a sociopath. I'm not sure Ryan's ready to write that kind of character for Glee, but if he is, Charlie's his guy. He gets lost in the character and stands out from the group in a bad way. Erik feels like Mario isn't acting the role he's chosen--someone who loves ladies and money.
Blake has some trouble processing the choreography quickly and it was clear in parts of the video that he struggled. He sort of hung out in the back of the group not exactly moving along with everyone else. Nellie didn't seem to be able to settle into the role easily in rehearsal, but it looked like things came together for her on camera.
Aylin, Shanna, Michael, and Lily are the first called back.
Nellie has to figure out how to be part of the group. She's great on her own, but doesn't blend when she's with everyone else. Blake thinks too much and falls apart when he makes a mistake. Abraham's session in the booth hurt him. Ali's "a little too big for the moment." Mario seemed "flat and tired" on the shoot and blamed it on Erik's direction. Charlie, they thought, had a different energy than everyone else.
As a final adaptability challenge, the remaining six contenders will sing duets. From those pairings, Ryan will choose the three who are eligible for elimination. Ali and Abraham, Mario and Charlie, and Nellie and Blake head off to practice their songs.
Nellie and Blake sing first. They've been given "I've Been Waiting" by Foreigner. They choose to act the song as if they're two star-crossed lovers. Ryan calls it an opera and not a Last Chance performance. Then he tells them to be slightly more aggressive throughout the competition.
Abraham and Ali have Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night." They've divided up the lyrics which makes the syncopation weird in the beginning. And they forget the lyrics. And they rush the song. It's pretty much a trainwreck from start to finish. Then Ryan calls Ali a funny little Dolly Parton.
Mario and Charlie are up last with "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by Elton John. There's no doubt that both of these guys can sing. Charlie has a great top register. But that's just about the strangest, most awkwardly forced, we're-really-friends Last Chance competition I've seen so far in a season and a half. Ryan really has nothing to say other than they both did great and these are still the tricky weeks.
He calls Ali, Nellie, and Blake back for next week.
Abraham had the weakest Last Chance performance. He let Ali steal the spotlight. Mario has a great voice, but his acting is lacking. Charlie's professionalism is still his stumbling block. One of them will have to go home.
The list is up. Mario's going home.
To be honest, I haven't liked him until his closing interview. But when he said he hopes the world sees him as "a talented, fearless, inspirational young man who happens to be blind" that's how I finally saw him. I think it was his time to go, but his final words made me a little sad that he's the one leaving.
What did you think of tonight's theme? Which of the bottom three did you feel to be the least adaptable?
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.