Hailing from Derry, Damian McGinty is representing Ireland as one of the 12 chosen finalists for the Oxygen Network’s “The Glee Project.”
Out of 40,000 people who tried out, the show’s producers chose Damian through his two-minute online video audition. The 17-year-old came across the audition via MySpace and said, “What have I got to lose? I might as well do it.”
He posted the video recorded with his computer’s webcam, displaying his talents by singing a minute of the hit song “Lean On Me,” and months later the show’s producer Robert Ulrich contacted him via Skype and said he wanted Damian onboard.
The Irish born teenager is competing on “The Glee Project” for a seven-episode role in the hit series “Glee.” A stint on the show can easily catapult any young singer’s career to new heights and help expand his/her career, as 20 million people watch the series worldwide.
The show gives the contestants weekly challenges based around episodes of “Glee” to test out whether or not they are cut out for the competition and one is eliminated each week.
“I think the fact that I am Irish can bring something very different to Glee, because they haven't really featured that many people outside of America on the show yet - certainly no one with a strong accent,” the Derry native said in a recent interview with RTE.
Damian is no stranger to performing. When he was 13-years-old he won a competition, which gave him a solo record deal. The album fell into the right hands and helped him in becoming the youngest member of the male singing group Celtic Thunder, and through it he has achieved much success and gained experience in the music industry.
Despite the fact that the group has been touring for four years and has recorded seven albums, Damian was still expected to audition and go through the protocol of the competition just the same as the other contenders.
The competition has not been easy since a lot is at stake and being away and disconnected from his family and friends has been challenging for Damian.
His country has always been very near and dear to his heart and he is finding that being Irish in an American competition can be a bit trialing. “There are times I feel very misunderstood, to say the least,” he says in the interview and adds that he sometimes finds it difficult to communicate with his housemates on the show because they don’t understand his Irish sense of humor but he remains proud of his roots.
“Ireland is home for me, always has been and always will be. Even though you can get used to America and its culture and food, I miss Irish TV and the sports and the food, the list goes on, but at this stage of my career and my life, I am ready to give it everything I've got to have a chance at cracking it!”
As the show entered its second week in Ireland, the talented singer has made it to the final 11.
Glee” producer Ryan Murphy has announced that a few of the show’s regulars will be leaving after the third season, yet the future role for the winner of the “The Glee Project” competition remains unknown. At the tender age of 17, being the next “Glee” star could be life altering for the Londonderry teenager and he will become a new member of the worldwide phenomenon.
“The Glee Project” is on Sundays at 9pm on the Oxygen Network.