6 June 2012 9:04 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

With the end of season 3 of Glee two weeks ago, the summer brings another round of its companion competition series on Oxygen, The Glee Project. “This is an inspiration contest,” Glee creator and competition judge Ryan Murphy tells the hopefuls as season 2 begins.

Who are the 14 contestants vying for next season’s seven-episode Glee arc? There’s Dani, 23; Nellie, 19; Aylin, 19; Ali, 24; Lily Mae, 18; Shanna, 21; Taryn, 22; Tyler, 21; Michael, 18; Maxfield, 22; Mario, 24; Blake, 19; Charlie, 22; and Abraham, 24.

Some highlights of the Premiere episode, “Individuality”

Warning! Spoilers ahead.

The requisite “greeting” of the contestants, all of whom seem thrilled—thrilled—to reunite after auditions … at least until the competition gets fierce and the claws come out!

The producers start big, as the kids are mentored by Lea Michele (Rachel Berry)—who, according to Murphy, was the first actor cast on Glee. Makes sense.

This week’s “Homework Assignment,” in which the contestants work together to create a performance, »

- JMc

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