Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Week's Inspirational Pop Culture Moment: Nellie Veitenheimer

 Photo by Tyler Golden/Oxygen

The clear message communicated each week on The Glee Project is “be yourself.” But that mantra is easier to follow when you’re a musical theater geek who loves to shine in the spotlight. It’s a little more difficult for someone like the recently eliminated contestant Nellie Veitenheimer.

The 20-year-old barista from Tacoma, Washington, admitted as much in a recent conference call interview when asked about being critiqued by Glee producer Ryan Murphy. “I was a deer in the headlights in part of that. And with the ‘What character you would have played?’ [question] I wasn’t sure how to put it. But I wasn’t thinking about what other character I would play because I was trying my best to embrace what I was given. And it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t find the words to express myself correctly in that conversation.”

Veitenheimer was eliminated from the show when she, once again, failed to step outside of her comfort zone and vamp it up while channeling Britney Spears. Still the young singer gave it all she had. She conceded, “It was frustrating because it showed me that I hadn’t been expressing myself well enough for them to think that I really wanted it… This is something that I have wanted for a very long time. Literally I’ve been trying to audition for the show ever since it’s been allowed.”

If she had been chosen for a role on Glee, Veitenheimer would have represented a personality type that’s not yet been seen on the show choir series. She would have liked to have played, “the more introverted girl who has a lot to offer but has to be given that chance first and not the kind of person who’s going to just stand on top of a table in the middle of the room and yell about what I want. But I think that’s a lot of girls and it would be really relatable to have this more tomboy, introverted character on ‘Glee.’”

While she isn’t going to have the opportunity to bring a new type of character to the show, she still managed to get her message across. In fact Veitenheimer has established a big Internet following from being on the series. She admitted that she’s been overwhelmed by the response, “I have seen the response and it’s incredible. I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t realize that my story, because it’s more broad, I didn’t realize that it would be so touching. But the fact that I am really relatable has touched a lot of people and it’s really amazing.”

See who takes the top prize when The Glee Project airs on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on Oxygen.

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