'The Glee Project' hopefuls revealed; Darren Criss to appear in first episode

glee-project-cast.jpgThe "Glee" reality show has been in the works for quite a while now, and after thousands of fans and hopefuls auditioned via online video, Oxygen has finally released information about the contenders in the running on " The Glee Project." The reality show premieres Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m. EST and will showcase incredible talent as Ryan Murphy, casting director Robert Ulrich, and choreographer/producer Zach Woodlee search out a star for a seven-episode guest gig.

In a statement, Ulrich says, "Each and every one of these kids has what it takes to be a star. I was captivated by their passion and charisma, and I know viewers will be too." Each episode will feature "Glee" cast members coaching and interacting with the contestants, starting with Darren Criss in the premiere.

Read on about "The Glee Project" contestants from the official Oxygen press release. Will you be tuning in?

Alex
Age: 18
Hometown:  Lynn, MA
Alex has been a performer since he was a toddler, and has been performing in amateur shows since high school.  He lost his father to cancer at the age of six and finding his love for acting and singing has helped him find a way to express his emotions.  Extracurricular activities such as church choir, school choir, improv club and costume design keep him extremely busy.  He has tremendous range and has the ability to tackle any lead role --both male or female!  Alex was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.
 
Bryce
Age:  22
Hometown:  Westlake Village, CA
Bryce has been performing ever since he picked up an acoustic guitar and taught himself to play at age 13.  In his junior year of high school, he discovered the theatre department and for the first time in his life felt comfortable in his own skin.  At 15, while vacationing in the Bahamas, Bryce dove headfirst into a coral reef, splitting open his head and breaking his neck.  For the next seven months he lived in a neck brace unsure of whether he would walk again.  Currently, Bryce attends Berklee College of Music in Boston where he is a Voice major with a scholarship.  He sings jazz, rap, pop, punk, reggae and gospel and is also an accomplished songwriter.  Bryce was one of the 34,000 to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace. 

Cameron
Age: 21
Hometown:  Fort Worth, TX
Cameron is a natural musician who, up until six months ago, had never taken a single music lesson.  He's been performing in amateur shows for four years.  In high school, Cameron was hated by all the guys but loved by all the girls.  He grew up loving the Beatles - they inspire him and influence him as a musician and a performer.  He originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call.

Damian
Age: 18
Hometown:  Derry City, Northern Ireland
Damian tours with the Irish vocal group Celtic Thunder and has been performing with them since age 14.  While he has a lower voice than most male pop singers, Damian is a versatile vocalist who has learned to master many different styles.  A native of Ireland, he brings a different cultural mindset than others competing on the show.  Damian was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."

Matheus
Age: 20
Hometown:  Atlanta, GA
Originally from Brazil, Matheus moved to the United States eight years ago to consult American doctors about his 4'9" height.  Their conclusion:  he is "just short." Despite not knowing any English, he enrolled in school three days after moving to the States and through the help of his trusty dictionary, mastered the language within months.  Music has always been his best companion - helping him get through life's difficult challenges. Finally overcoming his insecurities, Matheus decided to audition for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call.  He proudly proves that being different is never a bad thing.

Samuel
Age: 19
Hometown:  Los Angeles, CA
Samuel, a musician at heart, is not only the lead singer in his band, but he also plays guitar, drums, bass and piano.  He's a hopeless romantic and has a knack for serenading the ladies, often more confident singing to them than actually talking to them.  Samuel was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.

Ellis
Age:  19
Hometown:  Grayslake, IL
Ellis has been performing in amateur shows for four years.  Always the outcast in high school, Ellis used her vocal talents and musical theater to find friends and express herself. Ellis originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Chicago open casting call.

Emily
Age:  22
Hometown:  New York, NY
Emily has been performing for 11 years, both in off-Broadway shows and in Las Vegas.  She attended LaGuardia High School - New York City's "Fame" school - and prides herself on her training.  Her feisty and flirty personality commands attention and comes out in the way she performs.  She has her eye on the prize and will do whatever it takes to win, competition and all.  Emily was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."

Hannah
Age:  20
Hometown:  Charlotte, NC
Hannah has been performing in amateur shows for six years.  Even though she sometimes feels self-conscious about her weight, she uses her sense of humor and exuberance to overcome any negative feelings she has about her appearance.  Besides her talent for singing, Hannah can also rap (under the alias Rogue), which illustrates her sincere quirkiness and positive attitude. Hannah originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Dallas/Fort Worth open casting call.

Lindsay
Age:  19
Hometown:  Modesto, CA
Lindsay has been performing in amateur shows for 13 years.  Deaf for the first six months of her life, she especially appreciates her ear for music more than ever.  She hasn't always been accepted as a performer, but she continues to work hard, accept who she is and allow her inner-beauty to shine.  Lindsay was discovered through industry channels to audition for "The Glee Project."

Marissa
Age:  19
Hometown:  New York, NY
Marissa has been performing in commercials and shows on both an amateur and professional level for over 12 years.  She is a native New Yorker with a colorful bohemian style.  She is an artist in every sense of the word:  skilled in singing, acting, dancing, drawing and design.  Marissa was one of the 34,000 people to submit an audition video for "The Glee Project" via MySpace.

McKynleigh
Age:  19
Hometown:  Paducah, KY
McKynleigh has been performing in amateur shows for 13 years.  As a biracial musician, she surprises people when they discover her strength is singing country music.  Growing up home-schooled, she always wanted to be in show choir but never had the chance.  McKynleigh originally auditioned for "The Glee Project" at the Chicago open casting call.

Photo/Video credit: Oxygen