The buzz about “Glee” actors’ going or staying and guest stars’ arriving can’t make me care about the once-lovable series that is now 100-percent glee-free. Yet, I am hooked on Oxygen’s “Glee Project” (9 p.m. Sundays).

Picked from 40,000 auditioners, a dozen singers vie for a seven-episode “Glee” gig. Each week, they perform. Each week, a note is posted: “Not called back.” Four episodes remain.

Unlike the “Glee” cast, the contestants don’t look like 30-year-olds. They sing wonderfully (without Auto-Tune) and have real, true stories. A Christian boy cried and called his mom after his duet partner spontaneously kissed him!

Plus-size redhead Hannah McIalwain, left, described by “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy as “pure joy,” says of her competitors: “We’re like a big, messed-up ‘Brady Bunch’ family. We honestly root each other on.”

Murphy himself is on the judging panel; he seems mean as he weighs faults and virtues. Hannah, 20, agrees he can come off that way but says, “Honesty is the best policy, even if he’s going to hurt someone’s feelings.”

Mr. Murphy, I hope I don’t hurt your feelings when I say: “Cancel ‘Glee’ and replace it with ‘The Glee Project.'”

Written by Express contributor Marc Silver
Photo by Tyler Golden/Oxygen Media