The other first guest mentor is THE Lea Michele. Everyone pisses themselves, and Lea basks in the glow of adoration, tears, and excitement-pee she has come to expect when she walks into a room. God, she and Ryan Murphy are the two most insufferable people, and here they are, standing next to one another, assuming all the attention in the world is for them alone.
"I'm such a fan of Glee Project, I watched it all last season," Lea Michele tells them, humbled by her own magnanimity. Ryan tells them it's not a "talent contest," it's "an inspiration contest." Lea Michele encourages them to be vulnerable and to be themselves, in an acting/singing/dancing (and now inspiration) competition. Oh, fooooffff. No one else got on Glee for being themselves, and Lea Michele would fight you to the death if you told her she was anything like Rachel Berry.
Once lights and production effects are magically conjured by Lea Michele's presence, the contestants perform "Born This Way." It's an uncomfortable performance, with 14 people grabbing at the spotlight and over-flourishing their vocals at any opportunity. Ryan Murphy maintains his signature look of smugness, disdain, and boredom, shaken, not stirred. Lea Michele looks like she is trying to act supportive of them, in a queenly way. When they finish performing, their queen launches straight into notes.
Dani is beautiful, but doesn't know who she is as a performer. Lea wants to watch Shanna and know her. Lea pities Mario and admires that he "went for it." Lily stood out to Lea, which made Lily cry. The "winner" of this thing that no one could win objectively, is Shanna. Shanna wins the greatest prize of all: a one-on-one session with Lea Michele.
The group number this week will be "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. The concept of the video is that they're high school students preparing for a glee club performance. Fancy that.
In the choreography round, choreographer Zach Woodlee has a very low opinion of this group. He's laughing, and having fun, but it's not always clear if he's laughing with or at the contestants. Mario is killing it, for a blind guy especially, and we're a bit worried for Tyler, the transgender guy. He's the weakest dancer, which he blames on spending 20 years trapped inside the wrong body. Based on their performance of "Born This Way," he might be one of the weakest singers, too. Choreography ends, and Zach still finds himself adorable.