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Our Damian bags a starring role in Glee as he triumphs over talent show rivals

AN IRISH teenager has won The Glee Project and will now star in the new season of the hit US show.

Damian McGinty will star in at least seven episodes of Glee, which is watched by tens of millions of fans across the world.

The 18-year-old initially thought that he had lost the contest, as show creator Ryan Murphy announced last night that rival Samuel Larson (19) was the winner.

However, after a few gruelling seconds, Damian was proclaimed joint winner, to the delight of the American public.

"It's just mind-blowing, I've just won a place on the biggest show out there, it's insane," Damian told the Herald today.

"The response been phenomenal, I'm just wowed by it all, on Facebook and Twitter there are comments coming in every single second, it's incredible stuff.

"I've had to keep it quiet for months, I couldn't tell a soul but my parents, so my friends all watched it back at home at the same time as it aired in the States -- they had a DVD."

Damian explained that the coming weeks would be dedicated to further training in LA.

"I'm under no illusion that it will be a lot tougher from now on, because I'll be working with people who have been on the show for three years, who are professional and just brilliant at what they do."

The Derry native was one of 40,000 young performers to apply online for the chance to star in one of America's most popular entertainment shows on television.

It is now expected that he will play a freshman exchange student arriving at the school, alongside Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, who play high school sweethearts Finn and Rachel in the show.

"The aim is for me to have a permanent role," he added.

Competition judge and Glee writer Ian Brennan also reckoned that Damian's accent could provide the show with some great comedy moments, as other characters would fail to understand him.

"Brittany would eat him alive, she would just never understand him," Ian said.