'The Glee Project' premiere: Meet Matheus Fernandes and the other hopefuls

glee-proj-matheus.jpgAppearing on "Glee" in a recurring gig was a life-changing opportunity for stars like Darren Criss, Chord Overstreet, and Naya Rivera, and now Oxygen's "The Glee Project" is giving twelve hopefuls that same once-in-a-lifetime chance.

One of the contestants on "The Glee Project," which premieres Sunday, June 12 at 9 p.m. on Oxygen, is Matheus Fernandes, a 20-year-old singer from Brazil. "I actually came here when I was 12," Matheus says of his move to Atlanta, GA. "It's been 8 years since I've been here."

He'd never put much stock into singing until he joined a choir class in middle school. "Music is so universal. People sing when they're sad, when they're happy, everything, and it kind of brings everybody together," he says. "That's what I like about 'Glee,' because there are so many people of different shapes and sizes coming together for music."

Matheus stands at 4'9", but when he sought out a doctor's opinion for the underlying cause of his diminutive stature, they told him that he's "just short." He admits that he has struggled with insecurities because of it. "Kids would talk, kids would point," he says. "It's fine, because it's kind of made me who I am today."

He doesn't feel those insecurities onstage, though. "It's like everything tingles and every time I do it, I feel like it's what I was meant to do," he says.

To read up on Matheus's competition, click here, and don't forget to tune in Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on Oxygen.

Photo/Video credit: Oxygen