The second season of "The Glee Project" kicked off Tuesday night, and country crooner Maxfield had the unfortunate honor of being the first "Glee" hopeful to be eliminated.
The 22-year-old singer/songwriter from Nashville just didn't have enough personality for "Glee" showrunner Ryan Murphy. However, Maxfield says he is still grateful for his "Glee Project" experience -- and at least he got to meet Lea Michele before getting the boot.
HuffPost TV chatted with Maxfield, via phone, about his short-but-sweet "Glee Project" experience, meeting Michele, not knowing Lady Gaga and singing in front of Murphy, who Maxfield says is kind of like "an onion."
It's never easy being the first one to go, but at least you got the added bonus of meeting Lea Michele, right?
She's definitely not the hardest person to look at!
Were you shocked that Lea was the first guest mentor of the season?
I didn't have any expectations going in, but when Ryan [Murphy] walked out, I thought that he was the guest mentor. So when Lea walked out, I just thought that was awesome. You have the creator of the show and you have a drop-dead gorgeous girl, so that was an incredible experience.
Were you nervous?
I was pumped. I was like, "Let's go for it. Let's do it." I was more nervous about singing Lady Gaga and making sure that I had my lines right -- and getting the dancing right. I was definitely nervous about that. [Laughs.]
I loved how honest you were about your ignorance of Lady Gaga's music. I think you said that you had never listened to one of her songs all the way through before.
I really haven't! They didn't show this, but I remember that exact moment when my jaw dropped and Nellie looked at me and started laughing. She was like, "Max, are you serious?"
At the time of filming, you had only started singing six months ago, and you were competing against all of these kids who had been performing their whole lives.
Right. I always sang, but it was one of those things where everyone told me to shut up and stop singing, so I never actually thought that I could do it. When I started writing and singing again, I went out and performed somewhere and an accomplished singer/songwriter said, "I really like you voice." That was when I really thought that I could do this professionally.
Why did they tell you to shut up?
I'm not sure, but I know that after speaking with family members and friends, they've said that I've grown tremendously in the last few months. Now, looking back, I feel bad that they had to listen to me. I can't even imagine.
You had a hard time in the vocal booth with Nikki Anders.
Yeah, that was tough. I've always been on the other side of the booth engineering, so this was my first time in the booth. I don't know what happened. It all just happened really fast. If I could go back, I know I could have killed it. For the love of God, I could not sing on key.
What happened during the video shoot? They said that you were hiding in the background.
I forgot to smile. I didn't know that I was supposed to smile during the thing! I was having fun, but I forgot that I was having fun. For me, it was just one of the those moments where I had never been in that situation before. I never had to perform with 13 other people before. I was having fun, but I just wasn't showing it.
Then you had to sing in front of Ryan Murphy for your last-chance performance. Now, I'm going to be honest. When I think of Ryan, the first thing that comes into my head is Lord Voldemort from "Harry Potter."
[Laughs.] I agree! That's awesome! Yeah, he's kind of scary, but then there are these layers. When you start to peel away the layers of the onion ... you know, you can't really peel, you just have to use a knife and cut right through.
I'm glad we're on the same page. Last season, Ryan made a comment about how he's always wanted a country singer on "Glee." Did you go into it thinking that could have been you?
Definitely. I think that's something that "Glee" needs, someone to break up those generic, pop Top 40 songs. I think it could have been awesome. If I had another chance to audition for that role, I'd love to be that character.
You and Chord Overstreet could have done a country duet.
Right? Us Nashville boys need to stick together.
What did you think about your last-chance performance song, "You Were Always on My Mind?"
I thought that was a great pick, and I really love that song by Willie Nelson. But in the back of my mind, I was kind of hoping for something more upbeat, something that I could rock out to on stage, like a Jason Aldean song. I really wanted to show Zach that personality that he was looking for. It was just meant to be. I think it's really awesome that Tyler was able to stay. He has such an inspiring story that really deserves attention.
Right, and "The Glee Project" is not really a talent competition. It's a personality competition. Last season's winner Damian McGinty wasn't the strongest singer, but he had a charming personality, and it made Ryan want to write for him.
I loved how they played his character up [on "Glee"]. They really made him a leprechaun! When I started the show, I remembering thinking, "Man, if I won this thing, I could see [Ryan Murphy] putting me in a cowboy hat with a big belt buckle, and then I'd be riding into the school on a horse. He would totally do something crazy like that.
Please tell me that Zach Woodlee is that awesome in real life.
He's the greatest. He's so awesome. My favorite dance move is the Pretzel, and I remember him telling me that his favorite dance movie is the Pretzel, so that just made everything awesome-er. He's just a fun guy. I don't know if he knows what's going on while he's doing it, but the choreography always comes together really well.
"The Glee Project" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Oxygen.
For more of what to watch this week, click through the slideshow below:
(8 p.m. ET on Fox) season premiere In Part One of the two-night Season 10 premiere, 18 aspiring restaurateurs will once again brave Chef Gordon Ramsay and his fiery personality. The contestants compete in an intense culinary academy to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win the life-changing grand prize: a head chef position working under Executive Chef Kevin Hee at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. Followed by the season premiere of "Masterchef."
(8 p.m. ET on ABC Family) season finale As the fourth season draws to a close, Ben considers transferring to Dylan's school while Anne shares some news with her loved ones.
(9 p.m. ET on Bravo) 90-minute season premiere Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Ramona Singer welcome Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson as they navigate their hectic lifestyles of jam-packed social calendars, careers, children and city living.
(10 p.m. ET on Sundance) series premiere double-bill This 14-part series traces the lives of four dynamic, outspoken and beautiful women who, by accident or illness, have been paralyzed from the neck or the waist down. From executive producer Gay Rosenthal ("Little People, Big World," "Ruby"), "Push Girls" captures the daily challenges and personal triumphs of these women, and will shatter all expectations of what life in a wheelchair can be.
(8 p.m. ET on ABC Family) season premiere A summer has passed since Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer found out about Mona being "A" and Maya's death. With the terror seemingly over and an alleged murderer now behind bars, the town of Rosewood is slowly healing from old and new wounds and trying to get a sense of normalcy. But what looks normal for each girl is not necessarily so. With post-traumatic stress, anger and the acquisition of more secrets, the four Liars are anything but fine. Now all back together and coming upon the second anniversary of Alison's disappearance, the girls find themselves back on the defensive when a shocking event rocks Rosewood. Followed by the midseason premiere of "Jane By Design."
(9 p.m. ET on NBC) season premiere The adventure dating series returns with new host Jenny McCarthy and 14 new singles who bring more drama, more conflict, more laughter and more tears to the jungle -- with an ultimate goal of finding true romance. The 14 men and women are initially paired up but in a shocking surprise, seven additional men are brought in to kick off the adventures as trios. The trios are immediately thrown into a challenge that forces them to navigate rough waters and crawl through a snake-infested well. The premiere episode concludes in an emotional elimination ceremony that will break up some teams and strengthen others.
(9 p.m. ET on TNT) season premiere Jane and Maura's friendship suffers following the shooting of Maura's biological father, gangster Paddy Doyle (guest star John Doman). Jane also finds herself in the middle of an Internal Affairs investigation. And her relationship with Agent Dean (guest-star Billy Burke) is exposed. Jacqueline Bisset and Ed Begley, Jr. also guest-star. Followed by the season premiere of "Franklin & Bash."
(10 p.m. ET on Oxygen) The show settles into its regular Tuesday timeslot with the first competition show of the season, as the finalists tackle the theme of Individuality.
(9 p.m. ET on USA) season premiere In the fourth season premiere of USA's highest rated series, Hank Lawson embarks on a fresh start with his medical practice and separates from his brother Evan, who also starts his own venture. As Divya attempts to reconcile the brothers, HankMed teams up once more in the face of a Hamptons emergency. Followed by the season premiere of "Necessary Roughness."
(9 p.m. ET on Syfy) season premiere On the Season 2 premiere, the team heads to Warsaw, Kentucky, where a woman's home is suffering hauntings, possibly from two steamboats which crashed in a fiery collision, killing more than 60 people in 1868. Next, they travel to Huron, Ohio, in a race against the clock to remove the dangerous energy from an abandoned silo, scheduled to be destroyed in 48 hours.
(10 p.m. ET on TV Land) season finale When Melanie's hair blow out lasts unusually long, Joy and Victoria demand to know who's blowing out her hair. When Melanie tries to keep it a secret from them, tensions arise amongst our ladies and the two rival hairdressers at Elka's favorite salon. Followed by the finale of "Happily Divorced."
(8.58 p.m. ET on Fox) series premiere Fox has a double-bill of new dating shows from 8-10 p.m. on Thursday, starting with "Take Me Out." We're more intrigued by the unabashed "Voice" rip-off "The Choice," which sees celebrities such as DJ Pauly D, Romeo, Jeremy Bloom and Jason Cook take to the spinning chairs to choose attractive singles to take on a date, sight unseen. It kind of ignores "The Voice's" central premise, since all of the single contestants are supposedly attractive and thus not in need of a blind audition, but it should have some novelty value.
(9 p.m. ET on NBC) series premiere When charismatic Chief of Surgery Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) at Hope-Zion Hospital ends up in a coma, he leaves the hospital in chaos -- and his fiancée and fellow surgeon, Alex Reid (Erica Durance), in a state of shock. Along with newly arrived star surgeon, Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies), Reid races to save Harris' life. As the action unfolds, the comatose Harris explores the hospital halls in "spirit" form, not sure if he's a ghost or a figment of his own imagination. Reid, along with her fellow doctors, press on to save his life and those of their other patients as they deal with the complicated and courageous decisions that are made in their daily struggle to keep hope alive.
(10 p.m. ET on A&E) series premiere double-bill This new original real-life series follows the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office, a world where the sheriff is like a king, voodoo is a common practice and no police call is routine. Located 45 miles south of New Orleans, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office investigates thousands of incidents every year. With the fiery personalities of the local Cajuns and the Louisiana justice system unlike any other (it's the only state that is ruled under Napoleonic law), there's no such thing as an ordinary police call. Whether it's a creepy sighting of the Rougarou ("shape-shifting swamp monster"), a distressed neighbor reporting a stolen air conditioner during a heat wave, or a lead on a gruesome local serial-killer case; the deeper into the sticky swampland the deputies delve, the stranger and more mysterious the calls become.
(9 p.m. ET on OWN) series premiere As members of one of the nation's largest emergency response teams, these four female firefighters are ready to battle against nature's most unforgiving forces. Viewers witness the drama, action and danger of their jobs as they respond to life and death situations. With the ending of each shift, these women also open the doors into their personal lives as they strive to balance being mothers, wives, girlfriends and daughters.
(9.30 p.m. ET on TLC) season finale The finale features a bride who returns to Lori's store with a story about her unforgettable maid of honor; a bride who fights with her honorary "bridesman" and a same-sex couple who can't seem to agree on a color choice.
(10.30 p.m. ET on IFC) series premiere On this comedy game show, a panel of comedians compete in inane challenges to win surreal prizes. Contestants are armed with nothing but their wits as they respond to images they've never seen before, make up songs on the spot, complete drawing and sculpture challenges and interact with modern dancers, puppies, babies, gospel singers and more, all under the watchful eye of host Kurt Braunohler.
(9 p.m. ET on Syfy) original telefilm For everyone who has ever fantasized about seeing Snooki being eaten by a shark ... With a cast including Tony Sirico, Paul Sorvino, Jack Scalia, Joey Fatone, William Atherton and Vinny Guadagnino, the movie unfolds during the July Fourth weekend at the Jersey Shore, where angry sharks are on a rampage, devouring residents, leaving it to the local Guidos to save the day.
(8 p.m. ET on VH1) series premiere This spinoff follows the lives of five women allegedly connected to "The Outfit," Chicago's version of the Mob, as they bear the cross for the sins of their Mob-associated fathers. With lives that are right out of newspaper headlines, each woman has chosen her own way to live her life in the city that was once home to Al Capone, sometimes in spite of, and many times because of, who her father is. Along the way, these women battle their friends, families and each other as they try to do what's best for themselves and their children.
(9 p.m. ET on HBO) season premiere Sookie and Lafayette struggle with the aftermath of Tara's shooting, while also cleaning up after Debbie Pelt. Meanwhile, Bill and Eric, cleaning up a mess of their own, are visited by the Vampire Authority, one of whom is Nora, a woman from Eric's past. In search of the missing Marcus, Alcide's werewolf pack comes after Sam. With Bill away, Jessica enjoys her new freedom by partying with local college kids; Jason is visited by the recently turned Rev. Steve Newlin; Terry's PTSD is reignited by Patrick Devins (Scott Foley), an old Iraq War buddy; and Alcide turns up at Sookie's to warn her about the recently resurfaced Russell Edgington. Followed by the season finale of "Veep."
(10 p.m. ET on AMC) season finale In the season finale, opportunity is in the air for everyone and Pete meets a stranger on the train. And of course, in true "Mad Men" fashion, we don't know much else.
(10 p.m. ET on OWN) season premiere From the swinger lifestyle to young girls entering convents, from arranged marriages to child pageants, the new season of "Our America with Lisa Ling" takes viewers along for an in-depth look at some of the most controversial and thought-provoking issues in the United States today. In each episode, Ling immerses herself into the lives of the people she meets and challenges viewers to understand different perspectives and sometimes even question what they themselves have always believed to be true. The first episode focuses on little girls who hope to become beauty pageant princesses.