Mike Farragher is music critic for Irish Voice. In an earlier column he dared to be critical of Damian McGinty, the Glee Project heartthrob. Here he abjectly apologizes.
It takes every molecule of strength to go against a critic’s nature and admit he’s made a mistake, but this critic is man enough to do it. Boy, did I get you all wrong.
With a keystroke, you can Google our two names and the article I wrote a few weeks back about you. At the time, I expressed my bewilderment and disappointment that you were allowed to take a slot away from an up-and-coming kid on The O Network’s hit show, The Glee Project.
I said something to the effect that you have the Celtic Thunder megashow on which to hitch your rising star while the other kids the show would sell their souls for a fraction of the spotlight that has shone on you around the globe.
I never doubted your talent, mind you--honest! Look it up!
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Your singing melts heart, your matinee idol looks melts the camera, and I knew you would wow the judges chosen to pick the right person for a guest slot on the wildly popular “Glee.”
What I didn’t expect to see is how the audition process has stripped you like a sander on a wood chair of the very showbiz glitz and showmanship you’ve learned on the Celtic Thunder show.
What’s emerging is a stirring entertainer blossoming before our eyes into a complex character with surprising depth and a fierce street fighting instinct.
With Celtic Thunder, every move is calculated and every note from your throat is scrubbed to perfection by the brilliant production of Phil Coulter. Your choreography on that show, if you’d call it that, involves marching in matching kilts during 'Ireland,' the Coulter-penned finale.
On “The Glee Project,” the choreographer punishes you to bop when you want to drop, the music producer asks you to brush out the glitter off your rib cage to find your true soul, and the cold and calculating eyes of Glee producer Ryan Murphy analyzes your every stage move like an FDA inspector on a hunk of funky ground beef. A lesser person would buckle, but not you!
You finish in the bottom three each week, which means you have to perform for your life in an empty theater while Murphy and his producers decide your fate. It is on that stage when the stakes are at their highest that you transform into an authentic performer who can simply connect with millions by raising an unkempt eyebrow and fighting back a tear.
Who could forget your heart-tugging performance of Elvis Presley’s “Are you Lonesome Tonight?” You were backstage, reflecting on the words, when you were instantly transported to a time when you broke it off with your honey to follow your dreams with Celtic Thunder. You sobbed like you just watched an O Network marathon and yes, the tears were on both sides of the screen, friend.
You’ve had more close calls than a nun at Chippendales, yet the bright-eyed enthusiasm never leaves you. With your thick Derry accent, you confess to the camera that you want this worse than anyone and heck, we want you to win this worse than anyone.
I never thought I’d say that The Glee Project has become my favorite summertime guilty pleasure, right behind Oreo mint chip ice cream. I started watching the show because I needed something to fill these slow summer months covering Irish music for this fine periodical. It’s the kinda column and overall line of work where everyone is your best friend during the month of March, when anything from the auld sod is hotter than donut grease. By August, people avoid you like a Greek municipal bond and your story leads are as parched as your brown lawn. It’s enough to drive a man to drink so many times that the car knows the way to the bar. And so does the bike and skateboard, for that matter.
But heck, why am I bothering you with my problems? You’ve got your eye on bigger things now. You’re in the top 5, thanks to your buddy Cameron falling on his sword and dropping out of the race at a time when you were about to be shown the door. Here in Jersey, we call that getting whacked.
That was the Lord’s work, my friend. I know this because I whipped out the rosary beads I reserve for Communions and funerals and prayed to my Maker that you would mow everything in your path to win The Glee Project.
Well, I am babbling on like the brace-faced school girl I have been reduced to. Please forgive me for all the nasty crap I wrote about you. Oh, and while I am on my knees begging, kindly send a signed picture in the enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. Um, for my kids, of course.
Your #1 Fan,