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Ali Stroker Falls Short on Glee Project Season 2

Ridgewood native Ali Stroker not selected by Glee creator Ryan Murphy during Tuesday night's Glee Project 2 season finale, but the experience will just make her hungrier, she says.

came thiiiis close to nabbing a major role on landmark show Glee, but ultimately lost the Tuesday night Glee Project Season 2 finale to winner Blake Jenner.

Stroker, a graduate and Broadway performer, was among the strongest competitors on the show, placing in the top three and wowing castmates and show creators alike with soulful singing and a story of inspiration.

The daughter of a Ridgewood teacher and Ridgewood Parks & Recreation employee, Ali has been paralyzed since sustaining a spinal cord injury in a car accident at the age of two.

During the finale, Glee writers and cast members noted the potential story angles with character Artie Abrams, confined to a wheelchair after a car accident at age 8.

Unlike actor Kevin McHale, Stroker is not able to walk. Many on Tuesday night lauded Stroker for possessing a rare combination of talent and perseverence.

"You were so wonderful, you're so optimistic, you're so special and unique," Glee creator Ryan Murphy said in praising Stroker. She performed "Popular" from Wicked, which was well received.

Ultimately though, Murphy was won over with the "leading man material" displayed by Jenner, a 19-year-old actor/singer/impromptu poet from Miami.

Jenner will appear on at least seven episodes of Glee's fourth season and now has a record deal.

Aylin Baramuglu, a 20-year-old Muslim from a conservative family in Ohio, also placed in the top three.

Though she didn't take home the Glee medal, Stroker won't be deterred from living out her dreams.

"I am now walking away empty handed but [am] so lucky to have experienced this competition," Stroker said as the credits rolled. "It just makes me hungrier."

According to WetPaint.com, Stroker is in the process of writing a one-woman show and is active with anti-bullying campaign Be More Heroic.

Paul Aronsohn August 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Ali, You are our hero. Thank you. Paul
Lisa Ertle August 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Oh---she'll be on a prime time TV show eventually. She's too talented and beautiful not to be. She's had tremendous exposure with this show. BTW wasn't she in a REAL University glee club before Glee was ever a thought in anyone's mind? She is the real deal.
Jason August 15, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Ali, I played ball for your dad. To motivate his players, he always told great inspirational stories about incredible people who never gave up no matter the odds they were facing. And I remember how devastated he was when you and your brother were first injured. Seeing what you have accomplished and knowing that his daughter's life is an inspiration to others must fill him with such pride. Congratulations and good-luck to you.
Anne LaGrange Loving August 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Ali - Everyone in Ridgewood is so proud of you, even those of us who never met you. You are absolutely fantastic, such an inspiration! We recently saw you on an episode of Sesame Street that our granddaughter was watching! We all look forward to the one-woman show that you are writing.
Joan Hartmann August 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Ali, You are amazing. You are an inspiration! Mom Jody, and Dad Jim have raised a child with exceptional talents and spirit. Ryan Murphy -- you missed your chance to feature someone with a real disabilitly who is extremely talented and the essence of inspiration. Also another male winner! I can't understand why there couldn't be one male and one female. That would have been awesome. Ali, Love ya and I am looking forward to following your career! (I agree with every one of the comments made.) I have been watching Glee ever since it appeared on TV. I have bought all the DVDs and music. I am a Glee advocate since I was a Glee Club member in high school, oh so many years ago. I remember how devasted I was when I learned that "Artie" did not have a disability. You go girl! You deserve all!

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