The Glee Project: Shanna Henderson
With just six contestants left, it was inevitable the eliminations were going to start feeling pretty shocking on The Glee Project. But last night, during Romanticality week, the bottom three threw everyone for a loop: Typical frontrunners Blake, Aylin and Shanna found out that one of them would be going home, and perpetual last-chance performer Michael lived to see another day. Despite being the only one of the three who had never before sung for Ryan Murphy for a last chance, one performance of “Stronger” later and 22-year-old Shanna Henderson was The Glee Project’s latest causality.
Henderson got on the phone with EW to talk about her bottom three surprise, why she doesn’t regret her comments to Ryan Murphy about Michael, and the big difference between her and Aylin.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I was shocked you went home!
SHANNA HENDERSON: I was shocked at the moment. I wasn’t shocked I went home, but I was shocked at the combination of the bottom three.
It seemed that both you and Aylin couldn’t believe you were in the bottom three.
Well, I said from day one, if I was in the bottom three with Aylin I knew I was going to go home. I wasn’t shocked I was eliminated but I was shocked I was against those two. I think it was just kind of hard to come to terms with the fact that [I knew] there were people on the show who didn’t deserve to be there over the bottom three. There were still people there that I was like, ‘Why?’ But that was hard. But everything happens for a reason; when one door opens one door closes.
When you told Ryan after your performance that there were people there who deserved to go home more than you, had you planned on saying something like that?
No, I definitely didn’t plan on saying that at all, but if I’m asked my opinion, I’ll give it to him. I’m going to say the truth, but at the same time, I’m not going to beg for a role on Glee. So he asked me if I thought someone should be in my place, and I absolutely thought that Michael should have been in my place, in Aylin’s place, and Blake’s place. We all had a reason to be there, I guess, but I just thought Michael had more of a reason.
Ryan Murphy also said that he thought some of the other women on the show had more compelling storylines. How do you respond to a statement like that?
It was hard to swallow because I’ve had such a tough life, and I chose to not divulge all the information in my life. And in that moment, I was like, ‘Wait. There is so much that you don’t know about me that makes other people stories look like they aren’t compelling at all.’ But at the end of the day, I was happy with the decision to keep things private for the safety of my family. I’ve been through a lot. My life is like a Lifetime movie. You name it, I’ve most likely been through it. So I was kind of sad I didn’t say those things in the moment, but looking back I don’t regret it at all. I’m happy with the decision I made to only talk about the surface issues, like being made fun of for being called like a ‘crack baby,’ and things like that. But there was so much more. And it was my decision not to talk about those things. If that’s what got me voted off, then I went off for a good reason.
It stinks that your first meeting with Ryan didn’t work out.
Right. I think that it came down to storyline. And I think Blake was untouchable because he was hands down the strongest male competitor. So at the end of the day, it was between me and Aylin. And I knew that Aylin’s story intrigued Ryan, because it was this Muslim Turkish girl. I mean, how many times have we heard Aylin say that? She’s smart. She knows that that’s what is going to get her on Glee. So I knew that my story wasn’t that. And just like she can’t touch my story, I can’t touch hers. And it really came down to what story Ryan wanted, and he wanted that.
What’s next for you?
I’m moving to Nashville, I’m trying to set up a five year plan for myself. Like I said on the show, I’d like to be the athletic version of Rachel Berry. That would be my character. I set up goals and I meet them. I’m chasing my dreams…. I’m coming out to Nashville with a hope and a prayer, just like I did on The Glee Project. I’m hoping for the best. I want a Grammy and I want to pursue country music and I also want to be on Broadway. So I’m going to have to work my butt off.