By Sandra Gonzalez
August 22, 2011 at 11:06 PM EDT
Tyler Golden/Oxygen
  • TV Show

[Spoiler Alert: Don’t read on if you haven’t seen the season finale of The Glee Project. I’m not going to lie, in the 20 seconds I thought Damien lost The Glee Project last night, I sent one angry tweet, an outraged text, and cursed aloud. (What can I say? The little Irish lad had put a spell on me — and pretty much everyone in that last-chance performance room.) So I was thrilled when Ryan Murphy announced that — TWIST — both Sam, whose name was first announced as the winner, and Damien would be getting seven-episode arcs on the next season of Glee. JOY!! Even more good news? Lindsay and Alex were also getting 2-episode stints! EVERYONE WINS!!

As a fan of all the finalists, this happy ending was a welcomed one. I love that we had two winners and, additionally, two consolation prize winners. Good for them.

Now, with a second season likely, I can’t help but reflect on the season gone by, which was, by my account, a stellar one. And I hope it stays that way. It’s one of the stronger new competition shows I’ve watched in a while, so I hope it doesn’t lose it’s momentum. How can they maintain TV viewers’ interest? Well, I’m glad I asked myself. Here are my suggestions. Feel free to add yours below in comments!

+ ADD an acting challenge: Sure, you could say that acting in group music videos allowed people to get sense of which contestants were decent actors. But then I’d introduce you to a real actor, someone who knows what it takes to practice the craft, and how practice can make you better. The kids needed coaching — and then given a chance to put their lessons to the test. A skit, a monologue, a challenge, anything. It’d be fun to incorporate this into season 2 a little more.

+ Say YES to diversity: The cast of season 1 of this show was among the most diverse I’d ever seen on reality TV. Keep it up!

+ Pick one WINNER: Like I said, as a fan of all the finalists, I had no problem with two winners — and two second-placers. But next season, they unfortunately can’t pull this happy-ending once again. Next season has to get serious or risk not getting taken seriously. How can the contestants worry about the stakes of competition if there are no stakes? Unless they can think of another, equally satisfying twist. But that’s a mountain even my imagination won’t climb right now.

+ MORE Glee cast members I know they’re all busy making 3-D movies, but I’d love to see cameos from some of the main Glee cast members during next year. Dianna Agron, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Mark Salling (Right you are, Laura K!) are among the main cast members that made no appearances during The Glee Project, and that’s a shame. Darren Criss came on twice, Dot Marie Jones appeared, Kevin McHale was on an episode, and so were a handful of others. And it was always a treat to see them mentor their could-be fellow cast members. So it’s good news to hear that the show is attempting to arrange for talent to pop up at the season 2 castings. Make it happen!

That’s all I got. What about you, PopWatchers? How would you grade the season and what would you improve/keep the same next year?

Read more:

‘Glee Project’ renewal expected, here are season 2 casting details — EXCLUSIVE

‘Glee Project’ winners relive last night’s shocking twist!

And the ‘Glee Project’ winner is…

Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, and high school anxiety star in Fox’s campy musical.
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