08/03/2012 05:37 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2012

'The Glee Project': Shanna Henderson On Her Shocking Elimination, Golden Boy Blake And Being Rachel Berry

Shanna Henderson may have been the favorite going in to this week's episode of "The Glee Project," but unfortunately for the perky 22-year-old, sometimes being too perfect has its disadvantages.

Throughout the competition, Shanna had consistently ranked as one of the show's top contenders. Not only was she solid in the vocal booth, but she also proved to be a tough competitor during the music video challenges. After all, wearing Lady Gaga's 20-pound meat dress during a five-hour shoot is no easy task. However, when Shanna and Aylin were asked to couple up during "Romanticality Week," the duo's playful dancing made the mentors uneasy. Ultimately, Shanna and Aylin's bad romance sent them, along with golden boy Blake, to the bottom three. Needless to say, viewers were just as shocked as the three top contenders themselves.

Despite it being her first time in the bottom three -- compare that to Aylin and Blake's second time in the "Glee Project" gauntlet -- Shanna was sent packing when Murphy just couldn't get inspired by her peppy persona.

HuffPost TV chatted with the latest "Glee Project" castoff about her shocking elimination, her criticism of fellow contestant Michael and what she would tell future "Glee Project" castmembers.

I think everyone was a little shocked to see you, Aylin and Blake in the bottom three. Do you remember what went through your head when all three of you were standing there?
I knew that if I was in the bottom three against Blake and Aylin, I'd be the one to go home. As soon as they announced it, I was like, "That's it. I'm going home." I knew that Blake was hands-down the most talented guy there, and they weren't going to get rid of him. And then Aylin's story, being a Turkish Muslim, was so intriguing to Ryan. Then there was me. I had all of these different qualities, but there wasn't one that stood out for him.

Did you think that you deserved to be in the bottom three?
I did. I think that all six of us had a reason to be in the bottom three, but I was not OK knowing that one of the three of us was going home when there were still people in the competition that I didn't think deserved to be there. That was so shocking to me. It just didn't make sense to me, and I was having a really tough time trying to wrap my head around it. I wasn't angry; I was floored!

You were pretty critical of Michael. You told Ryan Murphy you felt he deserved to be in the bottom. Do you still stand by that?
When we were in the deliberation for the bottom three, he thought that it was going to be him. So that was why we were all shocked. I thought that it was going to be Blake, Michael and I in the bottom three. I still stand by my opinion. Everything that I said on camera, I told Michael to his face. I wanted to be open with him, and we're still friends, so there's no weirdness there.

Did you regret anything about your last chance performance?
I was myself 100 percent during the show. My personal story is like a Lifetime movie, and I know what it's like to struggle. I just didn't know when it was the right time to talk about the deeper aspects of my life and, to be honest, I didn't feel like it was appropriate. I have been through a lot that I didn't talk about on the show, and I don't regret that. I would prefer to keep certain parts of my life to myself.

It's also clear that Ryan likes to pull from people's vulnerabilities, and you didn't put yours on full display.
Right. I realized that after watching everyone else's last chance performances. I'm not one to beg for things. I'm not going to beg to be on anything. At the end of the day, if I'm not what you want, then that's just how it is. I don't think you should have to beg your way onto a show.

I think that when it comes to the "Glee Project," the more times you're in the bottom three, the better chance you have of making it to the finale because Ryan really gets to know you. Do you feel that way?
Of course! I totally was at the disadvantage. I was the underdog in the bottom three. If I could do it all over again, I would fake my way to the bottom three every week, and then I would pull out all of the stops during my last chance performance. Ryan would have been obsessed with me! That seems to have been the way to do it. If there's a Season 3, all of you people on "The Glee Project" need to get into the bottom three. That's my advice.

At least you got to wear Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress as a consolation prize.
It was disgusting! But you know what? I wasn't going to complain. I threw up after that. It was literally 20-pounds of raw meat on my body. It was sticky and gross, but I kept telling myself why Lady Gaga wore it in the first place. I remember what she said about it at the time and how she was making a statement against viewing women as a piece of meat. So I just kept telling myself that this was the time to prove to everyone on set that women aren't a piece of meat. That's the only thing that helped me survive that experience!

You were paired up with Aylin for the "We Found Love" music video. The mentors said that you two overacted. Do you agree with that criticism?
In the moment, I took the criticism, but I think the end product looked great! I thought that we looked very real and authentic. I disagree with the criticism now, having seen the music video. I really thought that we had a genuine connection on screen. I enjoyed watching it. We worked it!

Do you think that, had you been partnered with Blake, you would have done better? On the show it seems like Blake is this magical force who brings out the best performances in all of his partners.
Well, I don't know that everyone wanted to work with Blake ... I think Lily made a comment that everyone had a crush on Blake. I didn't have a crush on Blake. Let's just set that straight. I think Blake is a great partner because he makes things easy. I think that's why people wanted to work with him. To be honest, I just didn't want to be with Lily or Michael that week.

Why was that?
Lily has a very overbearing personality. I love her, but my personality doesn't mesh very well with that. I like to put in the work, and she's more like, "We're going to do things my way because it's easier." And then her attitude isn't very positive. With Michael, I just didn't want to work with him after the homework assignment -- it was such a struggle.

I know that you're a very religious person. Did anyone in your family have a problem with you playing a lesbian on TV?
My family and my friends knew that I was acting. I'm from the South -- the deep South -- so there were definitely whispers around my town, but I think that everyone has the right to be who they are. I don't judge people for being gay. I actually get upset when people associate me with those types of people who do say those awful things because that's not what I believe at all. I don't throw scripture at people and condemn them with it. I'm very open with my faith, but I'm also open-hearted toward all types of people. My family knows that.

You told Ryan that you are the athletic version of Rachel Berry, so are you currently chasing your dreams like Rachel out in New York?
I'm moving to Nashville! I'm on the road right now, and I'm such a goal-oriented person, so I made a list of goals for myself. I'm going to make them happen. My goals are to win a Grammy in five years and to be on Broadway. I also want to make country music. I can't wait to share my story through my music.

"The Glee Project" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Oxygen.

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