EXCLUSIVE: 'Glee's First 'Don't Stop Believin' Almost Looked Completely Different!
By Leanne Aguilera
Whether you're a diehard Gleek or just a casual YouTube surfer, chances are you've seen Glee's rendition of Journey's "Don’t Stop Believin'" at least a dozen times.
The hit Fox series, which will take their final musical bow this Friday, has covered the classic 80's anthem four separate times, but the performance in the Glee pilot will go down in TV history as the show's signature moment. The funny thing is, that iconic scene was almost completely different!
"The very first dance number of 'Don't Stop Believin' looks like the most simple [costumes], but that was an absolute example where we had another whole [plan] in mind," Lou Eyrich, Glee's head costume designer for the first three seasons, revealed to ETonline. "The night before we were going to shoot it, Ryan [Murphy] called me and he said, 'I think we need to tear it down and make it really simple and show that they're coming from nothing, so that we have an arc.'"
So what were the New Directions' original six supposed to be wearing in their big pilot finale? "They were just more show choir," Eyrich revealed. "It was more put together -- kind of like matchy-matchy colors -- and it would've looked too polished for this group that was just starting out."
The costume designer, who has recently been lending her talents to the freaky fashion of American Horror Story, said that she and her assistant were left frantically running around Los Angeles trying to create the red-shirt ensemble.
"We literally were at Urban Outfitters, American Apparel – where ever we could find red that would show each person's character," she said. "We were cutting, and ripping, and fitting and sewing, and it went on camera the next day."
Eyrich continued, "It doesn’t look like much. It looks like, 'Oh they're just wearing t-shirts' but the process that went into it was frantic."
Eyric said that discovering each student's distinctive style was a challenge that both she and Murphy were excited to take on. "Coming up with those characters was hard because we didn’t want them to be too on the nose," she explained. "We wanted them to be likable, but still be a misfit. It was difficult coming up with that formula in the beginning."
Despite the long hours and eleventh hour changes, Eyrich considers her time working on the Glee pilot to be one-of-a-kind experience. "Ryan always has a very strong idea of what he wants and the pilot was one of the most magical things that I have ever worked on in my career," she gushed.
"On the page, I thought it was going to be another high school show. We had done Popular and I just thought, 'Oh this is going to be another one of those geek versus the popular girls shows,'" Eyrich said. "And then when we started shooting it, the young actors and their enthusiasm and Ryan's vision -- it was just one of those things that you'll never get again. It was special."
Glee's two-hour series finale airs Friday at 8 p.m. on Fox.
Are you glad the Glee cast wore those red t-shirts? What are you going to miss most about Glee? Share your thoughts to @LeanneAguilera on Twitter using #ETnow.