Is Mr. Schuester out of Coach Sue's crosshairs for good? It sure seems like it. He and Coach Sue called a truce at the end of last season, and now Glee boss Ryan Murphy says she's getting a new archrival!
"The winner of The Glee Project is the person who she hates the most in the history of the show," Murphy tells TVGuide.com exclusively. The Glee Project, airing Sundays at 9/8c on Oxygen, is the reality competition aimed at finding new blood for McKinley. The winner gets a seven-episode arc when Glee returns this fall.
Next season, Murphy says Sue (Jane Lynch) will get a new love interest and run for Congress, but her motivation to take down her new opponent will keep her tied to McKinley High. "The Glee Project winner is Sue Sylvester's new archenemy and she is going to destroy their life," he says.
The winning contestant has no idea yet that he or she will be going toe-to-toe with Lynch, Murphy says.
While viewers won't find out which of the remaining 10 finalists will take the top prize for several weeks, the winner has already made quite an impression on the cast of the Fox musical, as well as Murphy.
"The person that won, for me, the reason why I chose them was because they had the exact same thing that Lea Michele has, that Chris Colfer has, that Darren Criss has, which is they are a star and I want to write for them," Murphy says. "They just inspired me and they inspired the rest of the regulars of the Glee cast, many of whom were mentors during the show. I would go to them and I would say, 'Help me cast this. What do you guys think?'"
In addition to asking the cast for input, Murphy says he was able to rely heavily on casting director Robert Ulrich to find the right talent for the series.
"How he cast this and gave me the finalists was very similar to how he did the Glee pilot. All I said was I want people who are unknown and I want creative stars," Murphy says. "They don't have to be beautiful, they don't have to be handsome, they just have to be talented and they have to have moving stories. That, at the end of the day, is what I've always done and what we do on Glee."
Although he and the cast all came to the same conclusion, Murphy says that the process of picking a winner was not as cut-and-dried as it seems. "The person that we chose is not who I think everybody thinks it is," Murphy says. "The person that won was not the person I thought would win going in."
Which Glee Project contestant do you think would make the best new enemy for Sue?
Check back to read the second part of our interview with Murphy, in which he talks about his McKinley seniors, the show's critics and what's ahead.