Exclusive: Darren Criss, Team StarKid Share Tour Footage

By Rae Votta

Glee might have been Darren Criss’ national introduction as a song-and-dance man, but his legions of Internet fans already knew him as a singing Harry Potter for Team StarKid, the musical-theater social-media phenomenon. Between shooting Glee and debuting on Broadway in How to Succeed, Criss joined the rest of Team StarKid for part of their first national tour last fall, and he stopped by VH1 earlier this month with some of his co-founders to share some exclusive footage from the tour. They also told us about a possible West Coast and U.K. leg of their jaunt, as they hope bring StarKid beyond the confines of the Net.

“StarKid is an Internet musical theater production group we started in college together and have been doing our best to run since we’ve been out of college,” co-founder Brian Holden explained for the uninformed.

The group initially put videos of their University of Michigan-produced Harry Potter musical, A Very Potter Musical, on YouTube to send to friends and family, but once the extensive Potter fandom caught a whiff of their existence, view counts multiplied, and they transitioned from in-joke to mainstream viral success. To date the group has surpassed 100 million views on their videos.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Kristen Wiig Gets Darren Criss’ Awards Season Vote

Darren Criss’ new Broadway career is to blame for him missing last night’s People’s Choice Awards and won’t be at the Golden Globes this Sunday. But while he’s filling Daniel Radcliffe’s shoes in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, he’s also crossing his fingers for awards season wins for his co-stars on the big and small screens.

“Kristen Wiig is up for several awards and of course I’m rooting for her,” Criss told VH1 this week. The two recently starred together in the upcoming comedy Imogene, in which Criss plays a young Backstreet Boy impersonator who winds up in a relationship with Wiig’s character, a woman who’s been placed in her mother’s custody after faking a suicide attempt. Of course, it’s her previous down-and-out character in Bridesmaids that’s earning all the kudos this awards season: Bridesmaids won Favorite Comedy Movie at the PCAs, it’s up for Best Ensemble and Best Comedy at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards tonight, and she’s up for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes, where the movie is again competing for Best Comedy.

“I’m a little biased, but she doesn’t need my good vibes! She did a killer job in Bridesmaids,” Criss noted. “I think it’s tough to be a funny Hollywood lady. It’s a tough business, it’s a man’s business, comedy. It can be kind of tough. She’s risen above the ranks of many. I wish nothing but the best for her.”

Of course, Glee is also nominated for Best Comedy Series at the Globes. But Criss isn’t too upset about missing the award show to perform as J. Pierrepont Finch on Broadway, calling it “a fine reason to not go to the Golden Globes. I’ll take that any day!”

Head over to at 6 p.m./ET for our live red carpet stream from the CCMAs, then tune in to VH1 at 8 p.m. for the big show. Of course, keep it locked here for galleries, interviews, fashion analysis and more!


Darren Criss Describes “Poetic” Meeting With Daniel Radcliffe

By Rae Votta

Since the moment it was announced that Darren Criss would be taking over Daniel Radcliffe’s role in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway, fans have been eagerly waiting for the two stars to cross paths. Well, it finally happened, and while Radcliffe told MTV’s Hollywood Crush his version of the encounter last week, we can definitely say that Criss’ take on the event was a bit more awestruck.

“It was actually a very poetic moment,” Criss told us when he stopped by the VH1 office this week. “I was on stage by myself at a break. There’s nothing as majestic as an empty theater, and I was kind of onstage going through some steps, and emerging from the shadows comes Dan. We had a nice exchange, and it was good to finally meet each other.”

The Glee star is on his second round of filling Radcliffe’s shoes: Long before he was one half of McKinley High supercouple Klaine, he broke into Internet fame as part of Team StarKid, playing Harry Potter in University of Michigan musicals that went viral on YouTube.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Darren Criss Is “Certainly Happy” About Glee Friends’ Return

We like to deliver news to you, dear readers, but you know what’s sometimes more fun? Delivering news to the people whom the news is supposed to be about. Case in point, yesterday, we were all excited about the story that instead of shuffling Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer and other Glee stars off to a spin-off after their characters graduate this season, they’ll be staying on the original show. And it just so happened that Darren Criss (whose character Blaine is still a junior at McKinley High) hadn’t even heard the news until he stopped by the VH1 office for a chat.

“I’m in Broadway Worldlandplace right now,” Criss said by way of explaining his ignorance on such matters while taking over for Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business. “That’s wonderful news [about the seniors staying], because I’m certainly happy to have my friends around longer. I always thought they would stay. Maybe they graduate from school but that doesn’t necessarily mean they leave. Ryan [Murphy] is a sharp cookie, as are the other writers. I am more than confident that they will find a really cool way to make it work in the story.”

We also told Darren about the rumor that Grant Gustin, who plays gay troublemaking Warbler Sebastian, is rumored to be returning to season four as a series regular.

“If there are whisperings of that stuff happening, that’s great,” Darren said. “I really like him a lot and I think his character’s such a great addition to the show and he’s such a talented guy. He’s a good guy too.”
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by (@shalapitcher)

Glee To Bend Space And Time For Rachel, Finn And Kurt’s Return?

Ever since Glee creator Ryan Murphy told Ryan Seacrest last summer that New Directions’ seniors would indeed graduate after this year, fans have been through a kind of roller coaster. First, we thought Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith and the like would be getting the boot after season three, as their characters broke out of Lima, Ohio. Then there was talk of a spin-off. But on Sunday, Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly told the Television Critics’ Association: “There will not be a Glee spinoff but those characters will graduate and it’s led to a very interesting idea that I think is going to really give us something cool to dig into next season.”

And thankfully, a couple of those stars decided not to leave us in suspense any longer: Michele (Rachel), Colfer (Kurt) and Monteith (Finn), at least will be back. Still no word on whether Brittany, Santana, Quinn and Puck will also remain.

“[Ryan Murphy] told me his plan and I will tell you it’s incredibly groundbreaking and it’s revolutionary for television, the way he’s figured out how to use these graduated high school characters on this TV show,” Michele told E! Online this morning.

” A lot of people are sad there won’t be a spinoff but I think they’re going to be very very excited to find out what’s in store – I’m very excited by it,” Colfer told The Insider. “Ryan’s idea is kind of revolutionary. It’s the best of both worlds. Everyone is going to like it.”

So, what do you think Ryan’s “revolutionary” idea will involve? Vote in our poll after the jump and share your own suggestions in the comments. (Bonus question: What do you think of Lea’s very un-Rachel-like blue dress from last night?)
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by (@missmuttoo)

Dianna Agron And Darren Criss Make Us Want To Dive Into A Pool Of Nostalgia

First, these two are so pretty it almost makes us barf. Second, they’re also adorable — seriously, watch their interviews. Third, they pull off retro swimwear which would make most of us look like pears. Who said life was fair? This photograph Dianna Agron tweeted of herself with Darren Criss makes us wonder what Glee is up to next — time travel? The vintage setting of the picture only enhanced the look. We also have a distinct feeling that Dianna Agron could put on a fruit hat and banana skirt and still look good. Hell, so could Darren! She wrote, “Today at the pool. You would think we were filming a classic movie with @DarrenCriss…” Consider us duly curious.

[Photo via Twitter]

by (@katespencer)

Posing 101 With Lea Michele: 22 Of Her Best Red Carpet Moves

After scrolling through 91 pages of photos (yes, really) of Lea Michele we can safely say this: Lea Michele for ALL the red carpet posing awards. This woman is a master, a professional, an icon of the carpet who has risen through the ranks in less than two years. What took Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie and Beyonce years to craft has taken this starlet months, and dare we say – she may just outshine them all. Lea’s obvious love of the spotlight (she was a Broadway performer before Gleeking out, after all) is enhanced by an adorable bod and amazing outfit picks by her stylist. She’s also trained in the art of contortion and knows how to twist and turn her body in such a way that she looks like a lightening bolt dressed in a Marchesa gown. But what’s most impressive is that Lea has a whole playbook of poses at her disposal! While some actresses can knock out on or two signature moves, Ms. Michele has no less than 22 in her tiny pocket.

The tutorial begins below!

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by (@shalapitcher)

Ricky Martin To Guest-Star On Glee – Who’ll Be Next?

According to, Ricky Martin is next in line for a guest role on Glee. He’ll play “the hottest Spanish teacher ever in the history of Ohio,” and we guess, make Mr. Schue (every once in a while we’re reminded that he’s a Spanish teacher too) feel insecure about himself. As fans of Ricky from his early General Hospital (post-Menudo, pre-”Vida Loca”) days, we are very excited. He’s also supposedly singing two songs on the show. OMG, we really want him to help Santana through her tough time coming out — Naya Rivera blew us away at the end of “Mash Off” two weeks ago.

After returning to the stunt-casting well a few too many times in seasons one and two (Gwyneth Paltrow, Britney Spears, Neil Patrick Harris, Kristen Chenoweth, John Stamos …), the show seems to have been taking a break from guest stars in season three. But now we’re ready to see some familiar faces appear at McKinley High. How about you?

[Photos: Getty Images, Fox]

by (@shalapitcher)

People’s Choice Awards Nominations By The Numbers: Vampires, Wizards And Alien Katy Perry

The nominees for the 2012 People’s Choice Awards — the bane of all snooty critics — have been announced. And since you can go ahead and see all of the nominees when you go to vote (through December 6) for the show’s winners, to be announced in the January 11 ceremony, we thought we’d concentrate on some important numbers revealed on the list.

9: Nominations for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (including Favorite Movie, four of the five nods for Favorite Actor Under 25 and Favorite Book Adaptation)

Nominations for Deathly Hallows, Part 1, which came out last November and missed last year’s cut-off.

7: Nominations for Katy Perry, who, in addition to the expected music categories received nods for Favorite Animated Movie Voice (for Smurfs) and TV guest star (How I Met Your Mother).

7: Nominations for Glee, including two for TV comedy actress (Jane Lynch and Lea Michele), two for comedy actor (Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith), two for guest stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristin Chenoweth, and one for network TV comedy. We are holding out hope for a Heather Morris nod one of these days.

Nominations for vampires, that’s just from True Blood and The Vampire Diaries.

13: Last year’s nominations for vampires, because Eclipse came out in the summer. Reminding us just how long it’s been since we’ve had a Twilight movie!

3: Nominations for Water for Elephants/Robert Pattinson. The frustrated Twilight vote finds its outlet!

0: Nods for women in the Favorite Movie Icon category.

0: Nods for women in the Favorite Action Star category.

1: Nod for a woman in the Favorite Superhero category: Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: First Class.

Nomination for a Kardashian. Kim, for fave celebreality star. Sorry, rest of the family!

by (@shalapitcher)

From Glee To Beverly Hills: TV’s Best Virginity Losses

According to, on tonight’s episode of Glee, “The First Time,” both Rachel and Finn, and Kurt and Blaine will have sex for the first time. Given the way the show has been hit-or-miss this season, we’re crossing our fingers the episode lives up to the buildup, kinda the way young couples cross their fingers about losing their V-cards. And as we wait for the big moment, we thought we’d bide our time by looking back at all the other great “losing it” moments in TV teen history.

Beverly Hills, 90210: Brenda loses it to Dylan in “Spring Dance” (Season 1)
“How many girls get to have sex for the first time with someone they love?” Brenda asks Dylan, before they do the deed in a hotel room while the dance is still going on. His smooth reply: “I don’t know. I’ve never really taken an opinion poll.”
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