It's the summer of Gina (Sofia Wylie) on High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and for a lot of HSMTMTS fans, it's about time! Over the course of the first two seasons, Gina has grown from "villain" to supportive cheerleader to finally going for the lead. As the Wildcats settle into Camp Shallow Lake for Season 3, Gina is determined to get the starring role in the camp musical — Frozen — while also enjoying being in her first real relationship. It might seem like a lot, but if TV Guide's exclusive sneak peek at Gina's solo number in Episode 2, she's going to figure out the "Balance."
"Make way for Sofia Wylie. Whenever she sings, dances, acts, or breathes, Sofia Wylie sets a world-class standard. I can't wait for audiences to discover her latest and greatest solo yet. She — and Gina — are just getting started," series creator and executive producer Tim Federle told TV Guide of the clip.
The short clip features Gina and a stunning gold jumpsuit performing a new HSMTMTS original and owning every second of it.
"Gina's got a little bit of an edge to her, and Sofia loves playing that edge, but I think that this is a very rom-com season for Gina and Sofia wanted pastels. She wanted a super girly wardrobe. She really participated in this, and it was so fun," Federle elaborated on Gina's arc for the season. "But there is that side of Gina who is used to being sidelined and not playing the roles she wanted, on stage and off. This is the season where Gina is not going to take no for an answer."
Not taking no for an answer sounds very reminiscent of the Gina we met in Season 1, before her walls were broken down and we realized her sharp defense mechanisms were the result of a life of moving around and never having the opportunity to make lasting friendships. Can a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity bring back the Gina who was willing to do anything to get her way? Wylie doesn't think so.
"I think we've all experienced a kind of shifting between different versions of ourselves. I don't think life is linear. We are always growing and not necessarily regressing, but we do revert back to our habits," she explained to TVG. "It's quite easy for Gina to go back into that competitive mode, especially since she's in a new place and she's really going up for the lead. We will get to see some spunk from Gina, but she's trying to grow, and I think she's learned a lot from the past few seasons that will remain with her throughout this one."
Gina will just have to find — you guessed it — the balance between ambition and single-mindedness. The theater is not the only place where Gina has to find an equilibrium. Though she enters Season 3 and Camp Shallow Lake in a bubbly relationship with EJ (Matt Cornett), it didn't take long for Ricky (Joshua Bassett) to show up and throw a lot of things into question.
"She starts off the season in a very loving, exciting, romantic relationship with EJ, but I think there is always her past that is kind of confusing her," Wylie teased. "It's just hard to move on from certain things, so there's always going to be something that lives between two people. If that person remains in her life, it will always be kind of hard to get past that, but she's really trying to continue that relationship with EJ and grow, and trying to be a good girlfriend for the first time."
If the clip of Gina in Episode 2 is any indication, this looks like a young woman who knows exactly what she's doing.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series continues with new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.