'The Glee Project': Matthew Morrison changes his tune

matthew-morrison-fox-upfront-2011-gi.jpg "Glee" star Matthew Morrison admits he "wasn't a big fan at the beginning" of the idea that has become "The Glee Project."

The Oxygen competition, which will give its winner a role in the upcoming third season of the parent FOX series, premieres Sunday (June 12). Currently in England for performances and promotion of his self-titled CD, the original show's "Mr. Schue" says he eventually warmed up to the star search, but it took him a while.

"I'm just not a reality-show kind of guy," Morrison tells Zap2it, "and I thought it was kind of cheap that they would go about doing it that way, because ['Glee'] is so great. I've always trusted [executive producer] Ryan Murphy, though, and he explained to me what it was and what they were trying to create.

"I think they really found some good talent, and it's a much more personal experience going through something like that than just having auditions and meeting someone for two minutes. You really can get into people's lives and where they come from. I'm interested to see it."

Even with the existence of "The Glee Project," Morrison notes that the usual sort of tryout still goes on for "Glee" all the time: "They have auditions every week for little characters here and there. This is a much more intense thing, and Ryan is there every step of the way. I don't know how the guy does it. He's everywhere. I like to call him 'brilliantly demented.'"

Soon to return to the States for his rounds as "special guest" of Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block at their joint concerts, Morrison will appear first on the PBS holiday special "A Capitol Fourth" Monday, July 4. He's happy to let most of the other "Glee" members do their own summer concert tour, which also takes them to England later this month.

"Two years ago, you know who opened for New Kids on the Block? Lady Gaga ... and she's done all right since then," Morrison says. "'Glee' has been amazing the past few years, but I really, really miss being in front of an audience. That's what I do, and I'm so looking forward to being on stage again."
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